A pregnant Indian woman’s wish to be reunited with her husband in Scotland was temporarily foiled after her visa application was rejected simply because her English was “too good” for the United Kingdom.
Alexandria Rintoul failed to join her husband Bobby Rintoul at their new house on the east coast of Fife in Scotland after she passed a more advanced English exam than the visa application actually required.
The 22-year-old musician, who also has an English degree, took an International English Language Testing System test with a level that would even enable her to study at some of the country’s top universities.
However, she was told that it was not what the Home Office requires for immigration. The Home Office informed Alexandriathat she can always apply again for the visa, which, unfortunately, costs around $2,700.
In an interview with the BBC, Bobby, an engineer from Lower Largo, explained that an immigration lawyer advised his wife to take the advanced exam.
“We were told the visa process is difficult so we should hire an immigration lawyer to help us, which we did,” the 33-year-old husband said. “They told Alexandria to do the higher test and we submitted all the evidence requested of us.”
Bobby, who works in the oil and gas industry, lamented that they received a rejection letter simply because she has over-qualified herself with a more technical test than what was required.
“It says she should do a lower one so she can be entitled to be here and that she did the higher one unnecessarily. They say we can apply again but it costs £2,000 ($2,700)for each application,” he explained.
“It’s just a money making outfit as they could have used some discretion and accepted the higher qualification.”
According to Bobby, the rejection cost them around $5,400 in total fees.
“Some applicants for visas to settle in the UK need to pass an English language test at an approved center that is specified in the immigration rules,” a representative from the Home Office was quoted as saying.
“Mrs Rintoul failed to do this and also failed to submit the necessary supporting evidence for her application. It is open to her to reapply under the Priority Visa Service.”
When Alexandria’s application was rejected, she resorted to staying at hotels in Bangalore to work on processing a second application. Her husband expressed fear that she might be too far into her pregnancy to fly or give birth by the time her visa is approved.
Bobby Rintoul, who met his wife after spending a year and a half in India, decided to book a quick flight to India so they can at least be reunited on Christmas.
“We were ready to start our life together here. It would be our first Christmas in our new house and her first in Scotland,” he told MailOnline. “It was her dream and it’s been taken away over such a trivial issue.”
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