Family's hopes for Elton's return

DEPORTED Ipswich asylum seeker Elton Ismaili could be back with his Kesgrave family in October.That is the optimistic hope of his former foster parents Kevin and Karen Harris today as they start the lengthy process of applying for a visitor's visa for the 19-year-old.

DEPORTED Ipswich asylum seeker Elton Ismaili could be back with his Kesgrave family in October.

That is the optimistic hope of his former foster parents Kevin and Karen Harris today as they start the lengthy process of applying for a visitor's visa for the 19-year-old.

Mr Harris said: "The thing we are hanging on to now is the chance of getting a visitor's visa for him.

"It's a difficult process and by no means a certainty but it doesn't matter how long it takes, it will always be worth it.


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"I have to fill in forms, then send them to Elton to complete. Then they go to the Albanian embassy which then has to liaise with our home office.

"I'm just hoping the authorities understand he has a family which wants to see him.

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"We are in contact with him every day, either on the phone or the internet, and I really want to go and see him but I have a grandchild in hospital at the moment."

Mr Ismaili was forced out of the country in June after losing his appeal against deportation. He is now fending for himself in Tirana, Albania, where his family think he will be safer than where he arrived in Kosovo.

Mr Ismaili left behind his fiancee, Kirsty Harrison, 17, his former foster family and a job at Salentina restaurant in Ipswich's town centre.

He arrived in Kosovo with £300 in his pocket. His boarding house costs £12 a night and does not provide meals.

Mr Harris said: "They've taken away his opportunity to work, his opportunity for accommodation and a family.

"He's only surviving financially because of us. The £300 he went over there with is long gone.

"He's looking for work but all he can find is work for £2 an hour when it costs £12 a day to live.

"I can't have him working 15 hour days – I'd rather look after him.

"If we get a visitor's visa he could stay here for up to six months, then we can try and find him work which would allow him to stay.

"That's not easy as has to be a job no one in this country can fill and the employer has to prove it.

"I want to thank everyone that's supported him, particularly those who have written letters to The Evening Star.

"Elton had a friend from Ipswich go over to see him recently and he said his spirits weren't too bad.

"He's not enjoying it at all though and we are desperate to have him home."

Do you have a message for Elton and his family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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