"Our immigration system is downright stupid", says MSP as Australian family faces Monday deportation

A member of the Scottish parliament has blasted Britain's immigration system as "downright stupid" following news that an Australian family living in the Scottish Highlands face deportation if they do not secure an extension to their visa by midnight today (Monday). Kate Forbes MSP has criticised the UK government for its treatment of Kathryn and Gregg Brain and son Lachlan, 7, and called for an overhaul of the visa system.

The Brain family with Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon

Monday, August 1, 2016

A member of the Scottish parliament has blasted Britain's immigration system as "downright stupid" following news that an Australian family living in the Scottish Highlands face deportation if they do not secure an extension to their visa by midnight today (Monday).

Kate Forbes MSP has criticised the UK government for its treatment of Kathryn and Gregg Brain and son Lachlan, 7, and called for an overhaul of the visa system.

The family moved to the UK in 2011 on a student visa acquired by Mrs Brain. The terms of their stay were later changed, and they have subsequently been fighting to comply with visa requirements so they can remain in Britain.

The family faces deportation unless Kathryn can get a job which meets the requirements of a Tier Two visa.

"I do think it's terribly unfair," Forbes, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"They've sold everything. They're a key part of their community, and we want them to stay, but the problem is there isn't an obvious avenue to allow them to stay. 

"They've not been allowed to work, they've had to move four times supported by friends of family. The real gutting thing is Mrs Brain did have a job offer which had been taken away. 

"I do think our current immigration system is downright stupid.

"In Scotland, we need people, but they're being stopped from moving in by rigid visa regulations.

"It's absolutely ridiculous, and I'd be the first person to say we need to overhaul the visa system and find one that works – particularly for Scotland." 

Listen to the whole interview above

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