A “heartbroken” Perthshire vet has returned home to Canada after battling immigration officials during a “bureaucratic nightmare”.
The plight of Carmen Bell, 24, who had been looking for work in Grandtully, near Aberfeldy, was raised with the Home Office by local MP Pete Wishart.
She has had to leave her partner, Colin Millar, behind and the couple are now thousands of pounds worse off after trying to secure a life for themselves in Scotland.
Although the Home Office did not tell her she had to leave, she felt she had no option but to return to Canada to begin working to pay off the debts incurred.
The row follows the high-profile case of the Brain family who faced deportation back to Australia, but have been granted a two-month stay of execution.
Perth and North Perthshire MP Mr Wishart said: “The Brain family case perfectly illustrated why UK immigration policy no longer works for Scotland.
“We have lost the services of a qualified vet who is keen to set up home in Perthshire with her partner, someone who would have enriched our community and who would have benefited our economy.
“Vets are in short supply in Scotland and we have invested tens of thousands of pounds in training Carmen to the highest standard only for the UK Government to boot her out as she tries to secure employment in Scotland.”
He continued: “Securing what is called a ‘Tier 2’ visa is almost impossible for many of our international students who want to remain in Scotland.
“Financial conditions designed for the London economy have to be overcome and the time window is extremely short.”
We have invested tens of thousands of pounds in training Carmen to the highest standard only for the UK Government to boot her out as she tries to secure employment in Scotland.
Mr Millar, Carmen’s boyfriend, said the vet was “heartbroken” to leave him and her “pet family” behind in Scotland.
“All she wanted to do was work and be a contributing member of society,” he said.
A Home Office spokesman said: “All visa applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules and based on
evidence provided by the applicant.
“It is the individual’s responsibility to meet the criteria of the visa they apply for.”
- An earlier version of this story stated the Home Office had removed Ms Bell from the country. This was not correct.