Why are the Brain family facing deportation?

Nicola Sturgeon meeting Gregg and Kathryn Brain and their son Lachlan. Picture: PA
Nicola Sturgeon meeting Gregg and Kathryn Brain and their son Lachlan. Picture: PA
Share this article
Have your say

The Brains - an Australian family living in the Highlands - are battling to stay in the UK and have until midnight on Monday to secure an extension. But why are they facing deportation?

Kathryn and Gregg Brain originally moved to Scotland with their son Lachlan in 2011 on Mrs Brain’s student visa.

The terms of their stay have subsequently changed when the post-study visa was scrapped in 2012. The Brains claim they only became aware of the change to their visa requirements months before it came into effect.

In the time since, the family, who lived in Dingwall, have been granted several ‘grace period’ extensions by the Home Office.

Mr Brain told the BBC: “We came over here on the promise that once Kathryn had finished her studies we’d be able to stay on for two years on a very straightforward ticket - post-study work visa - which was subsequently, retroactively cancelled.”

Mr Brain added: “It’s not that there is anything that we don’t like about Australia, we certainly love the place, but we would be going back homeless, jobless and significantly in debt having racked up a five-figure sum in our dealings with the Home Office to date.”

• READ MORE: Brain family won’t give up fight as visa deadline passes

When an extention to remain under a tier 4 (student) visa expired in December last year, the family made a further application to the Home Office for leave to remain under article 8 of the European convention of human rights - the right to family life - which was rejected in March.

In order to meet current visa conditions, Mrs Brain has been trying to seek employment. In May, she was made an offer of a temporary admin job at GlenWyvis Distillery in Dingwall but it was later withdrawn when it failed to meet the requirements of a UK Tier Two visa.

The family have been forced to move four times in recent months and have racked up five-figure legal fees in their fight to stay in the country.

The Brains said they were ‘still hopeful’ they can find work but now face an extension deadline of midnight on Monday 1st August.

Like The Scotsman on Facebook