AN oil worker has revealed that he feels "ashamed to be British" after a Home Office visa ruling left his wife and children stranded in South America.
Alex Chatwin, 41, from Aberdeen, has spent a year and £15,000 fighting to bring his family home from Brazil and now fears he may have to leave Scotland to be with them.
The chemical engineer married Brazilian Eliene Sady Barbosa at Aberdeen Registry Office in 2008, a year before their daughter Jasmin was born.
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The family then moved to Brazil because of work, before their second daughter, Isis, was born in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. Both children hold British passports.
But when the Chatwin family returned to the UK in August last year and Eliene tried to get a visa, the Home Office rejected her application.
Alex and Eliene, 40, made the hard decision to separate the family so she could apply for a spousal visa from Brazil, but Home Office officials again rejected the application. Alex said: "We've been caught in a bureaucratic nightmare by trying to do the right thing.
"Ours is not a marriage of convenience — we've had two children together and my wife's English is good because she's lived here on and off since 1999.
"I've done my bit as a legal, taxpaying British citizen by applying for a visa for my wife, but I'm being penalised for the international nature of my oil and gas work. I'm very ashamed to be British. How do we end up with a system that treats people like this? It's unimaginable."
The ongoing battle with the Home Office has cost the family more than £15,000 in application fees, flights, accommodation and child healthcare in Brazil.