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Brain family can stay in Scotland says Home Office
- Updated: September 21, 2016
Brain family give thanks for ‘incredible support’ as deportation threat lifted.
An Australian family who were facing deportation from their home in the Scottish Highlands have been given a last-minute reprieve.
Gregg and Kathryn Brain, along with their son Lachlan, moved to the UK in 2011 from Brisbane, entering on a student visa granted to Mrs Brain to study Scottish history and archaeology.
They had hoped to stay in the country by taking advantage of the post-study visa scheme, which allowed non-EU graduates from a British university or college to remain in the UK for at least two years.
However, the British Government cancelled the scheme in 2012.
Last month the Home Office told them their leave to remain would end and they had to get out of the country.
Mr Brain had said that his family would be “homeless, jobless and significantly in debt” if they returned to Australia.
The family gained the support of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and their local MP Ian Blackford, who raised their plight in the House of Commons.
Mr Blackford said that the family had become such a big part of the Scottish community that seven-year-old Lachlan had even learnt to read and write in Gaelic, not in English.
But on Tuesday, it was confirmed that Mrs Brain had been offered a job with a hotel group that fitted the requirements of a tier two visa.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We have always been clear with the Brain family that, if a suitable job offer was received, an application to remain in the UK would be considered.
“We gave them a number of extensions on an exceptional basis to allow them to try to secure a job that would allow them to meet the immigration rules.
“Today we have written to Mrs Brain and confirmed that she and her family have been granted leave to remain in the UK.”
Mr Brain said the family would still be in debt “even with the incredible support we’ve had from our community and people right across the UK”.
Ms Sturgeon said she was “glad the UK government has finally seen sense on this occasion” and Mr Blackford tweeted that he was “delighted” to hear the news.
Mrs Brain said the family would now look for a house and take their belongings out of storage as they look to continue their lives in Scotland.