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Don’t put it in writing: Australian artist deported from the UK for jottings

by Sam Hopwood | Sep 14, 2016
  • Jody Cleaver entered the UK in August, in the midst of a five month Eurotrip, only to be sent back to Australia from London’s Stansted Airport. After being stopped by officials, she was detained overnight and deported based on information authorities found in her travel journal.
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    Jody planned to be in England for a month; opting to stay with a friend in Leeds. Using the West Yorkshire city as her home base, she planned to sightsee, “look after her friend's dog and help redecorate the house.” She also intended to do some odd jobs online for an Australian gallery during her stay. All of which she had set out in a notebook.

    Upon landing in the UK, she was told that living with a friend in Leeds for a month does not represent "the actions of a genuine visitor to the United Kingdom".

    Customs officials found lines in her notebook which raised suspicions. A page headed "Do jobs", with a list of tasks such as researching museums and transport, was taken as evidence of the Australian’s intention to work in the UK without a permit.

    Jody was also unable to mention which sights she would be visiting in Leeds during her month-long visit. This, together with Jody’s lack of permanent employment in Australia and onward flight ticket were cited as motivation for her deportation.

    Following her deportation, Jody will be unable to enter the UK within the next six months and will be questioned every time she re-enters the country. She will also need to show a contract proving that she has full-time work in Australia, with her dates of leave specified and signed.

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