A Scottish MP has labelled UK immigration law as ‘not fit for purpose’ after one of his constituents was rejected for a settlement visa to stay with his wife and daughter.
US-born Scott Johnson married Scottish wife Nicola while they were both teaching in Fife in 2007 and their daughter Lauryn was born in Inverness in 2008. The family moved to Pakistan to teach at the Karachi American School and came back to Scotland to live in Edderton, Ross-shire, in 2015.
Mr Scott suffered a heart attack on the day they returned in May last year and in July, he applied for a UK settlement visa. Just before Christmas, immigration authorities asked him to supply a medical update within 72 hours, which he did, but his visa application was rejected in January.
One of the reasons for rejection was that he had applied for it while he was in the UK, even though he had made the application while still recovering from his heart attack and was not in a state to travel
Mr Scott told The National: “It also claimed that Nicola and I didn’t provide enough evidence to prove that we are in a sustaining relationship.”
Mr Scott is now waiting to find out whether an appeal has been successful and in the meantime, he cannot travel abroad because his passport has been confiscated. His MP Dr Paul Monaghan has taken up the case and was in contact with Theresa May when she was Home Secretary ahead of her appointment as Prime Minister.
Dr Monaghan said: “Scott is a US citizen with a Scottish wife and a daughter who was born in Scotland. They are not a burden on the state, they want to live and work in the Highlands, but the UK Government is making that impossible.
“These are the kind of people we should be bringing to the Highlands and encouraging to stay in Scotland and this case highlights the despair that is caused by the UK immigration service.”