Visa refusal overturned

Kirsten welcomes decision to overturn an earlier visa refusal.
Kirsten welcomes decision to overturn an earlier visa refusal.

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald has welcomed the Home Office’s decision to overturn the refusal of travel visas for two Pakistani Christians.

The visa applications were made through the Faithshare Visitor Programme run by the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council.

The visas for the visit to Glasgow were twice rejected on the basis that the applicants could not prove they were wealthy enough to be allowed into the UK – despite the fact the visit was the second half of a twinning initiative, and would be fully funded by the Presbytery of Glasgow.

Ms Oswald, who had raised the issue at Westminster several times, including at Prime Minister’s Questions, welcomed the Home Office’s reversal, but said that the initial decision reflected the misguided nature of the Tory government’s approach to visas.

Kirsten said: “The fact that the refusal has now been overturned rewards the efforts of many local Churches, including Greenbank Parish Church who initially brought this important issue to my attention – and I am delighted that the twinning project will now be able to go ahead.

“The repeated decision to refuse visas to the two Pakistani Christians was simply wrong – particularly with it coming down to the applicants being unable to prove they were wealthy enough to be allowed into the UK, despite the visits being fully funded by the Presbytery of Glasgow.

“This reversal is very welcome, and I wish the Presbytery of Glasgow and Diocese of Hyderabad every success in their twinning project.”