Visa Nightmare For Med Student
The Afghani mother of a Cambridge medical student has repeatedly been denied a visa to come to England to attend his graduation.
A Cambridge medical student has called for help from his MP after his mother was denied the right to travel from Afghanistan to attend his graduation.
Mohammad Razai, 24, was forced to flee his native Afghanistan nine years ago. The Soviet government killed his father whilst he was still a baby, and he spent his childhood indoors to avoid being raped by the Taliban men known to abduct young boys.
As a member of the Hazara ethnic group, Mohammad’s life became increasingly difficult as the Taliban persecuted his people and his family. When in 2000 one of his uncles was beaten and murdered in prison, the young Afghan knew that he had two choices: flee or die.
His mother managed to smuggle Mohammad out of Afghanistan by dressing him as a woman in a Burqa. He arrived in the UK unable to speak any English, with only a small bag of clothing. Despite this, the brainy asylum seeker eventually managed to get into UCL before coming to St Edmunds College, Cambridge.
However, Mrs. Razai has been denied a visa four times. Both Mohammad and his mother are beginning to give up hope.
“I was supposed to graduate in June but it was postponed until October and now to January,” Mohammad said.
“My mother has made four day-long journeys to Islamabad to try to get these visas. She is exhausted and giving up.”
Razai has now appealed to his MP, Julian Huppert, who has given his full support. Huppert has promised to take the case to the Immigration Minister, Damien Green, and has said that “ the Border Agency is being unnecessarily harsh in this case”.
A spokesman for the immigration authorities said the visas have been denied for fear that Mohammad’s mother would not return home after the ceremony.
Whether the UK border agency can be forced to back down and a happy ending emerge remains to be seen.