The Daily Telegraph reports that the immigration authorities have promised to review the deportation of a Scottish based academic and his family whose savings fell £78 below the minimum level allowed.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) had previously stated the rules must be respected but last night (sun) said it would look again at the case of Swarthick Salin, 37.
He was born in India but has lived in Scotland for nine years and earned his PhD at St Andrews University. His three children were born in the UK, but a judge at an immigration tribunal rejected his application for leave to stay.
The decision was taken because his bank balance fell to £721.23 last September and Home Office rules state that people who appeal to stay in the UK must have at least £800 in savings for three months before they apply.
Mr Salins, who said his children feel more Scottish than Indian, called the problem with his bank balance an “oversight'”. His family has “not claimed a penny from the state”.
The UKBA’s pledge came as Alex Salmond, the First Minister, wrote to the Home Secretary arguing that the forcing Mr Salin to leave the UK would be “overly harsh” and calling on her to intervene.
A spokesman for the UKBA, which is part of the Home Office, said:
“The tough immigration points-based system sets out the criteria migrants need to meet to qualify for further leave to remain or entry clearance and ensures that only people we need can come here.
“In light of the court’s judgement we will be looking into this case further and considering any additional circumstances.”
In his letter to Jacqui Smith, Mr Salmond wrote that he hoped she would be “able to intervene in this case to rectify what appears to have been an overly harsh interpretation of the legislation”.
The First Minister said he was “disappointed to hear that Mr Salins has been denied leave to remain after his bank balance fell below the £800 maintenance requirement by £80.
“I would greatly appreciate you reviewing the case and sharing the detail and the reasoning behind the decision with me.”
Mr Salins, from Perth, has worked with the charity Capability Scotland and hopes to join the staff of an aid agency.
His wife, Ranjana, 33, works in a supermarket and they have two sons, aged five and three, and a six-year-old daughter who enjoys Highland dancing.
He completed his PhD, on health care delivery in rural India, with funding assistance from the Balcraig Foundation, a charity set up by Ann Gloag, the Stagecoach bus founder and Scotland’s richest woman.
Mrs Gloag, who supports his case, has described the ruling by an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Glasgow was “perverse and ludicrous”.
Mr Salins is planning to lodge an appeal against the decision at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
The “£78” decision by the UK Border Agency will come as know surprise to Immigration Matters readers and contributors. The UKBA has become increasingly intransient in its decision making leaving little or no room for discretion.
Immigration appeals are heard at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT).
About the AIT
The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) forms part of the Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. The implementation of AIT in 2005, superseded the former Immigration Appellant Authority (IAA).
The AIT is an independent appeal tribunal, part of the Tribunal Service, that hears and decides appeals against decisions made by the Home Office on asylum, immigration and nationality matters. Appeals are heard by one or more immigration judges who are sometimes accompanied by non legal members of the tribunal. Immigration judges and non legal members are appointed by the Lord Chancellor and form an independent judicial body.
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