A VULNERABLE Pakistani woman who waited for more than four years for a Home Office ruling on her application for asylum in Scotland has finally been granted leave to remain as a refugee after we highlighted her plight.

Nuzhat Hussain, whose 10-year-old son is in care and has been diagnosed as autistic, now hopes she can get their lives back on track.

Her son was taken into care more than five years ago as she challenged Home Office bureaucracy and her own health issues to be allowed to stay here.

Hussain applied for asylum in 2017 fearing that she would be stigmatised if sent back to Pakistan over her son being taken into foster care.

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Her initial supervised contact with the boy was stopped with no real explanation, which did not help her own mental health.

Immigration lawyer Usman Aslam pursued the Home Office doggedly, but said all they did was continue to ask for further evidence – which had previously been provided – and even took Hussain’s fingerprints on two occasions.

We told in January that when her son was diagnosed as autistic she sought out educational courses to help her understand and cope with his “complex” needs.

Social workers were pleased with her commitment and were said to be considering face-to-face contact ­between Hussain and her son. They also stressed the importance of her staying in this country.

We have seen senior social ­workers’ correspondence to the Home Office setting out Hussain’s own ­vulnerabilities, and explaining why it was reasonable to expect that forced repatriation would have a “severe ­impact” on her mental health.

Aslam said there was no excuse for the delay: “It is beyond belief that the Home Office think that over four years’ delay is acceptable … I would also point out that around three of those years were pre Covid-19 so there is no excuse.”

His client could have been ­awarded discretionary leave to remain, which is usually for 30 months, but has now been granted refugee status, which is a five-year route to potential ­settlement.

An emotional Hussain told the Sunday National: “Thank you so much – it’s all because of you and ­Usman. I have to call my son’s social ­worker so I’m hoping to see her this week.

“This has been a big worry and I wasn’t expecting to get refugee ­status which gives me five years’ leave to ­remain here. I’ll be in a ­better ­position to get settled and try to ­restore ­contact with my son.”

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Aslam, from the Glasgow firm Rea Law, said he was delighted with the result: “I am thrilled at the result for Nuzhat, who has now been granted refugee status. She has already ­obtained her qualifications and will positively contribute to Scotland.

“I was surprised that this case wasn’t, as far as I know, raised in the Westminster Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions.

“I will make enquiries and make sure that if it hasn’t, that the Home Secretary is made fully aware that Nuzhat had to wait around four-and-a-half years for this decision. This should not happen to any refugee.

“A massive thank you to Greg and the Sunday National for highlighting this case so that the public is fully ­informed of the issues that we face in our field.”