More than 12,000 people have called on the Home Office to allow a care worker to remain in the country.

Anugwom Izuchukwu Goodluck, 30, was working in care homes when he was told by the UK Government that he had until Friday to leave the country.

As an agency worker he cared for the vulnerable from 8am to 8pm daily as Covid-19 hit the UK.

But, after gaining a Masters at the University of Sussex, he was told he must leave the UK, where his remaining family live, and return to Nigeria.

Since news broke of his plight, 12,652 people have signed a petition calling on the Home Office to stay.

His former Student Union has urged people to contact their local MPs and Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, wrote to Government Ministers “demanding” his case be reconsidered.

Mr Goodluck, who lives in Croydon at the moment, said: “I’m very grateful, this has been massively encouraging and I’m hoping something will come of it.

"I never expected to have this massive support, people rallying around for my sake – I’m wholeheartedly grateful.”

Some people gave their reasons for signing the petition on

One said: “As a disabled person, I know the value and necessity of care staff, they should be cherished and safeguarded, not banished.”

Another said: “I feel so shocked and ashamed that this is even happening. He should be cherished, not threatened with deportation.”

Mr Goodluck came from Nigeria in 2018 to study a Masters in international relations at Sussex University.

His mother and brother both live in the UK and his grandmother, who was his only family in Nigeria, has since died.

He trained to become a carer with Agincare during his course and, after graduating, began agency work.

The University of Sussex Students’ Union urged people to sign the petition and write to their MP.

A spokesman said: “We stand in solidarity with Anugwom and ask the Home Office to reconsider its decision.

“Anugwom is an exemplary individual, who has put his own life at risk while working as a frontline careworker throughout the pandemic.”

A Home Office spokesman said “We are incredibly grateful for all the work that carers have done during coronavirus, which is why we have made them exempt from the immigration health surcharge.

"Those who are in the UK must follow the immigration rules – and that includes not continuing to work in the UK after applications for visas have been refused. We have granted individuals who cannot return home due to coronavirus leave to remain until July 31.”