A frontline carer who helped battle the coronavirus pandemic has been forced to stop work and told he will be deported after his visa application was rejected.

Anugwom Izuchukwu Goodluck was working in care homes until the height of the lockdown in Britain when he was told by the government to leave the UK.

Because his visa application was rejected, the 30-year-old could no longer work and he will be deported back to Nigeria, he said.

Mr Goodluck had cared for vulnerable people around Brighton, for 12 hours a day over February and March as COVID-19 gripped the nation.

But after gaining a masters in International Relations at the University of Sussex last year, his family visa application was rejected at the end of March because he is over 25 and did not rely on a parent for support.

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He arrived in Britain from Nigeria in 2018 to study as his brother and mother already live in London. His grandmother, who was his only family in their homeland, died in 2009.

Mr Goodluck was then forced to move in with his mother in Croydon, south London, as he could no longer afford his rent in Brighton after losing his job.

When his application was rejected the Home Office confiscated his passport and it has now expired so he is unable to get a new one.

He said: "As soon as my application was rejected my agency called me and said because my visa had been rejected I had to stop working.

"I had to leave my job and will have to leave the country. I don't know how to start a new life in Nigeria. I'm just stranded, I can't go out because I can't risk getting sick, I can't work, I have no money and I have had to move in with my mother.

"I don't even know how to go back as they seized my passport after my application was rejected."

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Mr Goodluck was also told he had no right to appeal the decision made by immigration authorities.

He added: "It's so depressing and dispiriting, having to go through the whole process. It's been heartbreaking really.

"I used to sing and dance for the residents, I loved working with people at the care home, making people happy, helping them live their lives and giving them what they needed was an amazing job.

"I had been doing my work, I loved my work and having to give it up has been a terrible four months for me.

"I don't understand why someone who is providing a valuable service to the community and during the middle of a pandemic, would be told to stop working and leave the country immediately."

Mr Goodluck trained to become a carer at the Agincare agency during his degree.

After graduating, he began working in care homes around Brighton and also did some voluntary teaching at schools around the city.

He said if he was given a visa he would return to the care sector, despite it being so challenging during the virus pandemic.

Mr Goodluck added: "I was working up until March, we were wearing face masks every day and would guard the entrance to make sure everyone washed their hands and used sanitiser as we never wanted to put anyone's lives at risk.

"It was tough at that time, but Brighton did not have that many cases so we needed to be careful to protect our residents."

The Home Office website states that if an applicant is an adult they can only be on a family visa if they "do not live an independent life". They have been contacted for comment.