The UK has agreed to grant a visa to a student to take part in an academic conference after a media uproar. Two students from Amsterdam University, had their applications to visit an academic discussion in the UK rejected after Immigration officials claimed that they may not return home after the event. This immigration UK claim was made despite evidence that the students had already booked return flights.
One student chose to abandon the attempt to visit the UK, while the other, Nadza Dzinalija, said that she was thrilled that the UK Home Office had changed their mind about her visa.
The two students were among a group of 29 travelers preparing to visit a conference hosted by the psychology department of Glasgow University. The 21-year-old Nadza was concerned that the UK visas rejection would remain in her file, harming her chances of future visa applications.
Fortunately, London-based barrister Jan Doerfel took the case free of charge, suggesting that the rejection was based on an "arrogant and ignorant attitude." Jan noted that the UK home office had ignored the fact that Nadza had travelled extensively in the past, and always complied with restrictions regarding immigration.
High-profile QC for the UK, Philippe Sands said that he has now begun to organise meetings outside of the UK specifically to avoid these UK visa problems. According to Sands, visa issues are now regular concerns thanks to a combination of problems with government policies, and poor processing of visas.
When news of the visa denial appeared on Twitter, it earned the support of a huge number of followers, which Nadza believed contributed to the Home Office's decision to allow her into the country. Some people on Twitter even mocked the idea that anyone would choose to swap a life in Amsterdam for a life in the UK.
Even though the decision was eventually overturned, many academics are now concerned that Nadza's case may indicate the beginning of a trend in the immigration UK environment, particularly with Brexit on the horizon.
Professor of Psychology for Glasgow University, Niamh Stack said that there's a broader problem linked to this case, that highlights the suspicious nature of the home office. This isn't an isolated example of the UK believing that everyone who visits the country will be desperate to stay.