Refugee game developer denied UK visa ahead of awards

30 May 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Syrian refugee who escaped the civil war in 2014 and became a games developer has been denied access to the UK days before an awards ceremony.

Abdullah Karam, co-creator for autobiographical adventure game Path Out, currently lives in Austria under a permanent residence permit, where he helped to create the game as part of the team at local studio Causa Creations.

Telling the story of Karam’s escape from his home country, Path Out has been shortlisted for Indie Prize award, which is due to be delivered to its winner alongside Casual Connect Europe in London.

Accordign to Karam, he has been working through the process of applying for a UK visa via an express visa process since he first heard of his nomination in April. In fact, he has revealed that he has been forced to pay large fees and make numerous trips between Salzburg and Vienna in order to attend interviews and meetings.

However, in spite of Mr Karam’s efforts to meet all the requirements, he was informed on 23rd May, just six days before the event, that his visa application had been rejected by the UK Home Office.

The letter received by the developer revealed that the reasons behind this rejection include a lack of information about his earnings and a lack of proof of his current funds.

Commenting on the rejection, Karam said: "I felt sad and mistreated - let alone the fact they claimed I had two kids and wrote my email address wrong," he says. “A European will never have to go through this treatment, but for a refugee or citizen of a nation outside of the global power club it's a must.”