Dr Kevin Parsons, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity, is facing deportation after the Home Office rejected his Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. Parsons runs the risk of being deported as early as 11 June if he does not adhere to the Home Office’s order to leave the country.
Dr Parsons claims he was advised to apply for ILR before his wife, upon whose ancestry visa he is a dependent and who is herself in the process of applying for full citizenship. However, according to Parsons this information turned out to be incorrect and he has now been informed that he and his wife should have filed a joint application for ILR, with a view to applying for full citizenship in the future.
The lecturer was recently offered a £1.32 million grant last year in order to support his research into wildlife adaptation to climate change. This is one of the largest grants awarded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). Applicants who are rejected automatically lose the application fees paid and for Parsons this amounts to £2887.
Parsons has praised the support he has received from his local community and also from his local MSP Gil Paterson. Parsons stated: “When you live far away from family, your community is your family” and added that they had been “very lucky” with their community’s response.
MSP Gil Paterson raised Dr Parsons’ situation at First Minister’s Questions in May, calling for the Scottish Government to intervene on Dr Parsons’ behalf. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would be “happy to look into the details and to see whether the Scottish Government can do anything to appeal to the Home Office to see sense.”
Sturgeon further suggested that Dr Parsons’s story “really sums up the fact that the UK are pursuing an immigration policy that is damaging to the economy of the country.”
The Home Office has refused to comment on the individual case of Dr Parsons, who faces deportation in less than two weeks.
Parsons, a resident of Bearsden, has lived in Scotland for the past five years. His wife is eligible for British citizenship, his eldest daughter is a primary school pupil in a Bearsden school and his youngest daughter was born in Scotland.
Parsons now faces leaving his wife and children in the UK while he returns to Canada.