A NEW chapter is beginning in the life of a Glasgow schoolgirl who has lived in fear for 10 years.
Tashi Tahir, 17, and her mum Sharanee Bashir, 36, have been given permission by the Home Office to stay in the UK after 10 years of claiming asylum.
The family, who live in Knightswood, in the west of the city, were granted leave to remain after a long and drawn-out process.
As the Evening Times has previously reported, St Thomas Aquinas pupil Tashi and her mum, who suffers from mental health problems, fled to the country from Pakistan because her mum believed their lives were in danger.
In March, this year, the family received a letter from Orchard and Shipman, the housing provider, which works on behalf of Serco and the Home Office, ordering them to pack up their belongings and be ready to leave in a matter of days.
With Tashi's sixth year final exams fast approaching and the family in dire need of some stability, the Evening Times stepped in to highlight the action.
It resulted in Serco postponing the move.
Tashi is now delighted to be granted status and given permission to stay in Glasgow.
She has received a Visa to stay here for two and a half years and will make another application after that.
Due to the positive developments she is also in talks with housing providers to arrange to stay in their flat.
She said: "It's changed things dramatically. Now we don't have the fear hanging over us that we might be sent home any day.
"We can live more peacefully now, without the fear of being sent away to not have a life and maybe being persecuted.
"It will take that anxiety away from my mum as well."
As well as the emotional weight being lifted from their shoulders, the family can also now embrace practical change.
With their new Visas they are now allowed to find work.
Tashi, who turns 18 on July 25, has already applied for her National Insurance number.
She said: "It means that we have a Visa to stay in this country.
"If we have a Visa it means that we can work - which is a major thing."
TASHI continued: "It means we can work over the summer and I can get a part-time job. And my mum can work as well and she can go to college to study and won't be stuck in the house all day.
"If she can work and maybe go to college she'll get better."
Tashi and her mum have had a turbulent life - from fleeing their home country to trying to stay in Glasgow and the UK.
Through it Tashi has found relief in her education and has achieved eight credit level standard grades, five A-grade highers and has just completed more.
She was given unconditional offers at several universities - but has chosen to study maths at St Andrew's University where she has been offered a scholarship.
The gifted teenager is hoping to become an actuary to assess the financial impact of risk and uncertainty in business.
Tashi said: "We're really happy that we will hopefully be allowed to stay in our flat.
"My mum's support is all here so it can remain. And if I'm going to move away to go to university she really needs that here.
"The past 10 years have been very difficult. It's nice to be able to move on and start a new chapter."