The Home Office have refused a visa
for the 6 year old daughter of Dr Doseline Kiguru, a Kenyan expert in world literature who has recently been permanently employed by Bristol University.
The Home Office’s rejection said it saw “no compassionate grounds” on which to allow the child to join her mother. The letter, addressed to the six-year-old girl, added: “It was your mother’s personal decision to depart for the UK.”
To add insult to injury, the Home Office didn't even tell her they had made this decision until the university chased them.
Kiguru returned to Kenya to apply for her daughter’s visa in July. Expecting no problems, she had enrolled her at a primary school in Bristol from September and bought her uniform.
The visa process should take 15 working days, but it was not until Bristol University intervened at the start of November that she discovered her daughter’s application had been rejected earlier in October. She now has only one week left to appeal.
This is a disturbingly common response from the Home Office,
Academics say that banning the children of researchers is not uncommon, but parents are typically too scared to go public...
A recent report by the Royal Society found academic visas were often rejected for “arbitrary and subjective” reasons. It said African nationals applying for a visitor’s visa – which scientists need to attend research conferences in the UK – were three to four times more likely to be rejected than applicants in east Asia.
The report described a research conference that was focused on gathering insights from the global south, but ended up with no attenders from that part of the world.
The society has denounced “disproportionate” increases to visa fees, planned from next year, as a “punitive tax on talent”, with top researchers coming to the UK facing costs up to 10 times higher than other leading science nations.
Those visa application fees
are increasing by around 15-20% on average.