It would be utterly disgraceful if the Home Office were blacklisting visa applicants based on their nationality – especially medical students who are seeking to come to Scotland to learn and improve their skills.
The reasons the Home Office have given for rejecting Mr Rukbi’s visa are entirely unfounded. He is currently in the middle of his studies at university in Lebanon and will be accommodated by local GPs while here.
It would be extremely worrying if the Syrian nationals were blacklisted for visas in the event that they claimed asylum once arriving. Especially when medical students are coming to improve their training in medicine and enquiring into the provision of primary care to refugees in Scotland.
This would perfectly exemplify the cold and paranoid outlook of the UK Government towards immigrants – in particular Syrians.
If the UK Government truly cares about aiding refugees in the camps in Syria and neighbouring countries, then they would see it fit to allow Mr Rukbi to enter the UK to get invaluable training in a world class health care system to allow him to better tend to refugees in Lebanon of which there are thought be over 1.5million.
The Home Office decision will mean that a medical student will miss out on the opportunity to improve his skills; and Scotland will miss out on hosting such a talented individual.
Although it is uncertain Syrian nationals are being blacklisted, the fact that the two previous students, who had Lebanese passports, were accepted raises suspicion.
I am pleased that Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill has accepted my invitation to meet with me to review this decision. I will also be seeking an investigation into the possibility that a blanket ban is being put on all Syrian passport holders attempting to access the UK legitimately.