'I cared for my partner on his deathbed - now I might get deported'

Kai Jolley with a photograph of his late partner Robert Woodward
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)


A grieving man who cared for his partner as he was dying of cancer has spoken of his devastation after being told he could now be forced out of the UK by the Home Office.

Kai Jolley had been in a relationship with Robert Woodward for three years before Robert sadly lost his battle with cancer in March. The couple had been planning to get married.

Kai, who is from Canada, has built his life in Liverpool, living in Toxteth, but has now seen his application to remain in the United Kingdom turned down by the Home Office, meaning he could have to leave the country and the community he calls home, the Liverpool Echo reports.

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The 33-year-old has been in the UK for six years having initially moved here for an earlier relationship. After that ended, he met Rob in Liverpool. Not long after the two met and began a relationship, Rob told Kai that he had lung cancer.

Kai said: "Rob had surgery on his lung, he had chemotherapy and immunotherapy and then he got the all clear and rang the bell at the hospital. It was such an emotional day for us. But then the cancer came back and spread."

Kai said he helped to care for Robert as he was in hospital and then into a hospice, but at the same time he found out that his rights to live and work in this country could be taken away.

Having applied for a right to remain in the UK last summer on the basis of his family life with Robert, he was told in December that the application had been refused.

Kai Jolley with a photograph of his partner
Kai Jolley with a photograph of his partner -Credit:Liverpool Echo

In its response, the Home Office said Kai and Robert's relationship did not meet the necessary requirements, something he found painful and confusing.

He said: "Rob and I were in a happy, loving, open relationship. We were planning our future together, we wanted to get married. We had two registered addresses but we were living together in Toxteth and I was caring for Rob. They basically don't believe that we were in a relationship."

He added: "The rejection is because they don't believe that Robert and I were in a relationship."

Kai said that after losing his partner, the idea of having to leave his home and his friends in Liverpool would be another devastating blow.

He works as a digital community support coordinator, working with adults with acquired brain injuries and dementia and is heavily involved in Liverpool's arts scene, having produced shows at theatres around the city and performed in others.

He also runs an independent film company, the Liverpool Film Initiative, which provides work for more than 20 freelancers in the industry.

Kai added: "This city is my home, it is my community and I feel like I have contributed a lot here. To take all that away seems so pointless."

Kai is challenging the Home Office's decision and has started a fundraiser to help with his legal costs, which can be found here. He says that if he is able to stay, any excess money raised will be put back into the Liverpool community through charities and community groups.

Kai added: "The process is absolutely soul-destroying. I have exhausted so many avenues asking for help in this devastating situation with little success.

"I already have lost my partner, please don't let me lose my home, my career, my community & my main support network through this difficult time as well."

The Home Office said it was inappropriate to comment on the case as it is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.