A care worker whose husband died from Covid-19 wants the government to change immigration rules to allow her family to stay in the UK.
Donna Smith Fustiye and her children joined Ralston Fustiye in Nottingham from Jamaica five years ago.
Mr Fustiye died in April and Mrs Smith Fustiye has learned she does not have an automatic right to stay.
She wants the Home Office’s bereavement scheme to be widened to cover all those who have been bereaved by coronavirus.
Mr Fustiye had lived in the UK since the 1980s and spent 15 years working for Nottingham City Council’s markets department.
The 68-year-old, who had an underlying heart condition, died in April after contracting coronavirus.
In May, the government announced it was extending its bereavement scheme to ensure families of NHS support staff and care workers who have died with coronavirus have the right to remain in the UK free of charge.
Although Mrs Smith Fustiye is a care worker, she does not qualify for the scheme as her late husband did not work in the NHS or care sector.
She said the scheme should be widened to all families who have lost a loved one during the pandemic.
“I feel a little bit like I’m here but not here because I’m not sure what will happen. I’m just hoping for the best,” she said.
Having been in the UK for more than five years, Mrs Smith Fustiye’s family do have the option to apply for indefinite leave to remain but this would take several months and could cost up to £7,600.
Her immigration advisor Joel Matsiko said: “We’re calling on the government to extend the [bereavement] scheme so that anyone who’s lost a loved one during the pandemic can get this automatic indefinite leave to remain.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with all those who have sadly lost loved ones during this unprecedented pandemic.
“A range of measures have been put in place to support NHS, health and care workers, including introducing free one-year visa extensions and exemptions from the NHS surcharge.”