A FAMILY with settled status in the UK has told how confusion over post-Brexit immigration rules left them struggling to return to their home in Scotland after a Christmas break.

Linda Okhuoya-Ologe, who lives in Paisley, travelled to stay with her mother in Poland, along with husband Philip and two-year-old son Basil.

But they were denied boarding of the plane when tried to return on New Year’s Eve and told Philip, who has a Ugandan passport, required a residence card as well as settled status.

EU citizen’s group the3million has criticised the Home Office for a lack of “clear communication”, saying it is aware of other cases where non-EU ­citizens have been caught out by the rules and unable to return home to the UK, despite ­having settled status.

Okhuoya-Ologe, 32, who works as an education officer for a fair trade charity, said: “We travelled to Poland in August 2021 and had no problem going back.

“But at the airport we were told he needs the card and they said they can’t take the risk that we will be bounced back from the border, because that in turn means a fine for them. So they didn’t let us on the plane.”

Okhuoya-Ologe said they were ­advised he could not obtain a residence card while abroad, but could get a one-off permit to get back into the UK. The family travelled around six hours to get to the visa centre in Warsaw, but were then told it would be a six-month wait for it to be issued.

Okhuoya-Ologe said they had been told by immigration advisers who had encountered similar cases that one option was to try travelling another day when different staff were likely to be on duty.

After three weeks, the family ­decided to take the gamble, driving 10 hours to Amsterdam to take a ­ferry to Newcastle, which they thought would be an easier route.

“When we arrived in the UK the ­immigration checking our passports, he saw the Ugandan passport and all he asked was if we all had settled ­status,” Okhuoya-Ologe said.

“That was great but in a way it made me angry – three weeks of ­trying to sort it out and then it was as simple as that, as nobody knows how it works.”

Okhuoya-Ologe said they had ­followed advice from official ­websites which appeared to advise her ­husband, who has recently graduated with a masters degree in advanced mechanical engineering and works in an NHS hospital kitchen, should be able to travel with his passport and settled status. But the need to have a residency card was contained in “one line” at the end of a five-page letter advising his settled status had been issued.

She added: “I think the issue would be solved if the Home Office advice was clear for everyone.”

The National:

The 3million campaign group has written to Home Office minister Kevin Foster (above) raising concerns over the lack of clarity around biometric residence cards (BRC).

A spokeswoman said: “People check their status online, which has a very specific communication you can travel with your status. It doesn’t mention anything additional for ­people who also need their BRC to travel.

“When the BRC expires or if ­people lose it, they are never informed you need to apply for this different one under the EU settlement scheme.There should be specific advice for people who might be affected.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “There have already been more than 5.6 million grants of ­status under the hugely successful EU ­Settlement Scheme, which we ­developed to ­ensure our EU friends and ­neighbours could secure the status they need to stay here.

“EU citizens and their family ­members who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, and who have a pending application to the EUSS, will continue to be able to ­travel in and out of the UK whilst their application remains pending.”