Teacher refused UK visa extension despite wife's illness

21 Oct 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

An American man who has been working as a teacher in Scotland for the past nine years has been refused an extension to his UK visa.

The Home Office reportedly turned down David MacIsaac's application to remain, despite the fact that he has held a good job and married a Scots woman and has previously been granted UK work permits.

Mr MacIsaac told the Scottish Daily Record about the issues he has faced in trying to get leave to remain. He initially came to the country on a five-year UK work permit in 2004, which was extended in 2009 after he secured a head teacher's position in Dumfriesshire.

He married his wife Susan, who has since been diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2008 and his latest advice from the Home Office, given his relationship and secure job, was to apply for permanent leave to remain.

“By then, I should have been considered eligible for permanent settlement because I was married, had a good job and, had been here longer than five years,” he told the paper.

However, the application was denied and Mr MacIsaac was told to leave Scotland. He noted: “The Home Office have my passport and if I was to leave, I wouldn’t get back in. I have elderly parents in America so it would leave me with a dilemma if anything happened to them.”

The couple have started a campaign to attempt to allow the to stay together legally in the UK. Russell Brown, Labour MP for their local area, Dumfries and Galloway, has lent his support already. Mr Brown told the Record: “I’ve written to the Government minister and asked them to use their discretion and allow him to put in a new application based on his employment.

“We have a shortage of head teachers in local primary schools. It would be a real blow if David is prevented from continuing his job in Ae. We need the minister to use a bit of common sense."