The six-year-old British-born boy who was left stranded and stateless in Belgium after the Home Office revoked his passport will be reunited with his mother in Britain today.
Mohamed Bangoura, whose mother is Guinean but whose father is British, was on a three week summer holiday with family friends in Brussels before being turned away from the August 26 flight that was due to take him back home.
Hawa Keita, 29, was not able to travel with her son, who has lived in the UK his whole life, because her passport was with the Home Office to renew her residency permit. The pair have not seen each other for almost a month.
The Home Office had revoked Mohamed’s passport because it said it had been issued by mistake. Because Ms Keita was married to her estranged Guinean husband at the time of Mohamed’s birth in Leeds, the authorities said, he did not qualify as a British citizen. British immigration law says that in such cases citizenship can only be granted through the mother and her husband, regardless of the biological father.
The Home Office said it had sent Ms Keita a letter in March but the single mum, who lives in Sheffield where Mohamed is due to start school in two days, insists she never received it.