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The UK Home Office has reversed its decision, and allowed the children of an American academic working at Oxford University to move to the UK to live with their mother. The initial rejection of the children's visa application was reported in The Guardian on October 1, 2019. The report explained that "Amber Murrey, an American academic, was “ecstatic” about being appointed associate professor in geography at Oxford University last year. But the dream turned sour two weeks ago when the Home Office refused to grant visas for her two daughters, aged four and nine, to live with her in the UK."
We reached out to Dr Murrey who explained to us why the Home Office's change of decision has been important for her family: "After this entire ordeal, it was surreal to receive the email informing us that the Home Office had ‘corrected’ their initial decision to deny leave to enter the UK. In the end, we do not know what precisely caused the shift in the decision. I am thankful for all of the attention and support that we received, but am concerned for the families who do not have equal institutional support and media access. A dozen families have contacted me directly since I began speaking publicly about our case, and many of them have stories more heartbreaking than mine. I hope to see concerted effort from universities to push back against this practice and I am committed to helping other families in whatever way I can."
The experience of Dr Murrey's family came amidst a number of other stories about visa rejections affecting Americans and other overseas nationals living in the UK. Another US academic working in the UK, Dr Elizabeth Ford, had her visa revoked due to a Home Office error, and was forced to return to the US to apply for a new visa. Dr Ford recently wrote about her experience in an Op-Ed for The American.
If you've been affected by Home Office decisions or would like to voice your opinion on this issue, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.