Australian family saved from deportation face uncertainty

Gregg and Kathryn Brain moved to the Highlands with their son Lachlan in 2011.

Brain family: Meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in 2016. <strong>Gordon Terris/The Herald / PA Wire/Press Association Images</strong>
Brain family: Meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in 2016. Gordon Terris/The Herald / PA Wire/Press Association Images

An Australian family saved from deportation following the intervention of the First Minister is again facing uncertainty over their future.

Gregg and Kathryn Brain moved to the Highlands with their son Lachlan in 2011 and believed they would be allowed to stay on a post-study work visa.

However, the scheme ended in 2012 and last year the Brains faced being deported to Australia.

The family were given leave to remain in the UK for 12 months after their case was taken up by Nicola Sturgeon and now their time is running out again.

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The Brains hope to secure a more permanent solution and intend to apply for a four-year visa.

“It’s been wonderful to have that extra year here, it’s been really good,” Mr Brain said.

“We were staying in a cottage which had been effectively given to us by a friend and it was very wonderful to be able to stay there in the short term until we could get a place of our own just outside Dingwall,” he added.

“It was wonderful to be able to have that breathing space and know we had somewhere to stay until we could find a place of our own.”

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Mrs Brain has been working as a historian for the Macdonald Hotel Group, while Mr Brain has found work as a temp at an aquaculture company.

“We’re actually applying for a four-year extension now,” he said.

“Kathy’s employers are right behind it, they already have the four-year sponsorship licence in place and have already paid the Home Office a small fortune to get that done.

“We now need to apply for our visa to match up with the certificate of sponsorship.

“It’s simply a matter of paying the Home Office several thousand pounds in fees and charges and immigration health surcharges on top of the national insurance we’re both already paying.

“So it’s just a matter of putting those funds together.”


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