Matt's coming home

IT has been a long time coming but failed asylum seeker Naematullah 'Matt' Rahmati is today due back in England to be reunited with his wife and friends in Ipswich.

IT has been a long time coming but failed asylum seeker Naematullah 'Matt' Rahmati is today due back in England to be reunited with his wife and friends in Ipswich.

After months of battling to avoid deportation and three months fighting to get back into the country following his forced removal, the resilient Afghan could finally be about to resume his life with wife Tanya, 22.

The pair have endured the pain of being thousands of miles apart after Mr Rahmati, who is known as Matt, was returned to Afghanistan - but today that agony was set to turn to ecstasy.

Karen Barroso, Tanya's mother, has worked tirelessly to ensure Mr Rahmati fulfilled the government's criteria to be granted a visa allowing his return to Ipswich.

Today she said: “It has been a long hard road. It's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, especially the last few weeks.

“It will be unbelievable to have him back. We will be relieved and excited to see him again.

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“Tanya and Matt just want to get on with their lives and start moving forward.”

Mr Rahmati, a mechanic from Victoria Road, Ipswich, first arrived in England at the age of 16 in January 2000 after fleeing the Taliban.

He was given temporary permission to stay but was forced to go back after the government decided the country was safe to return to.

He arrived back in Afghanistan in late August and has fought ever since to win a new visa allowing his return to be with his wife. That battle took him to New Delhi, India, where he was finally granted a new visa by officials at the British Embassy.

Today he was due to fly in to Heathrow at 7.35am on a flight from India. However even in the hours before the flight was due to leave India Mrs Barroso and her daughter had learned not to presume their long fight was over.

Mr Rahmati had been due to arrive back in England on Friday morning but officials in New Delhi would not allow him to leave because he had not fulfilled the proper registration procedures when he arrived in the country.

His departure was then rescheduled and put back a day.

Today Mrs Barroso said: “Tanya's a bit philosophical about it. She's a bit like 'I won't believe it until I see him'.

“She can't wait to get him back. She's just physically and emotionally exhausted.”

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