A Russian businessman, who also works as a lecturer, may have to leave Britain because of a simple error on his UK visa application.
Alexander Shaf, 33, has been in the UK since 2010 when he arrived on a student visa to study for an MBA. He moved to a general Tier 1 visa in 2011 and applied for indefinite leave to remain in 2016. However, he was turned down because the authorities said he has spent too much time out of the country.
The physicist, who has invented a live online game and successfully raised investment to launch it, had returned to Russia while his father was dying of cancer. He is blaming the rejection of his application on a missing signature on the documents that were processed during this period.
Mr Shaf, an entrepreneurial ambassador at Cranfield Business School, told the Evening Standard: “This is sending a big warning message to entrepreneurial communities across the globe — think twice before you decide to go to the UK. All your efforts, if not your life, can be ruined by negligent and formalistic work of the UK immigration authorities.”
He was unable to see his father before he died because if he left the UK again, he would not be allowed to re-enter.
The Home Office told Mr Shaf that his reasons for being out of the country were “not sufficiently compelling”.
His application for a Tier 1 entrepreneur visa was turned down and his appeal was also rejected. He has now applied for a judicial review of the case, which may take three years.
The Home Office said that Mr Shaf’s application had been turned down because he had failed to give the authorities all the information needed to process it.