Fijian soldiers who served in British army taking legal action against UK Govt

A group of Commonwealth-born veterans who served for the British army are taking legal action against the UK government.

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The eight soldiers were deemed illegal immigrants. Source: 1 NEWS

The eight Fijian nationals, who all served in Iraq and Afghanistan, allege the Ministry of Defence and Home Office failed to help them apply for permanent residency in the UK when they left the army leaving them for years in limbo and uncertainty.

From 2001, Taitusi Ratucaucau, 49, served in the military for 10 years as part of the Royal Logistics Corp and felt angry and betrayed he was classified as an illegal immigrant.

Taitusi Ratucaucau, who served in the military for 10 years as part of the Royal Logistics Corp. Source: Supplied

The father-of-three is undergoing physio at a central London hospital after surgeons removed a tumour from his brain but because he’s an illegal immigrant, the NHS billed him $55,000 for medical fees.

"I was surprised to see the price. I can’t believe it ... I don’t have this money - what do you expect me to do?" Mr Ratucaucau said.

His plight and fight for justice first broke on The Guardian and has attracted sympathy and money, enough to cover the medical costs. It's all thanks to well-known Pacific Island advocate, Dan Leo, who lives just on the outskirts of London.

"Now the task moves to fundraising for his family's permanent residence, which is in the vicinity of another £9000 (NZ$17,961)," Mr Leo said.

Commonwealth veterans Remesio Waqaliva and Tevita Cabealawa are also in limbo despite serving Queen and country in conflict zones for 18 years combined.

The former armed forces personnel say they can’t afford to pay the exorbitant visa fees to apply to stay and for a family, the cost would be tens of thousands of dollars.

"It's depressing. I’ve got a family to look after and I haven’t got a job so I have to depend on my wife for the bringing up of our kids," Mr Waqaliva said.

"It's been tough as well. We couldn’t find jobs. Most of the jobs ask whether you have visas so they can see you're eligible," Mr Cabealawa added.

The barrister representing the group, Sarah Pinder from Goldsmith Chambers, told 1 NEWS there’s been a failure to inform of the correct processes to retain legal immigration and this case could trigger more claims.

A government spokesperson would not comment on the individual case because of ongoing legal proceedings.

The spokesperson said "the service of all members of the armed forces including Commonwealth nationals is highly valued."