A family and their seven-year-old Gaelic-speaking son have been offered a last gasp chance at staying in Scotland.

The Brain family, originally from Australia, are due to be deported from the Highlands at the end of the month.

But Kathryn Brain has now received a job offer from a local distillery that could allow them to remain in the country.

Alex Salmond described the move as a “game changer” but warned that as the job offered is temporary the discretion of UK ministers would be required.

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Last night the Home Office said it would consider an application made before the family's "grace period" ran out.

Kathryn and her husband Gregg and old son Lachlan moved to Scotland in 2011.

The family arrived in the Highlands on Kathryn’s student visa and intended to switch to a two-year post-study work visa after that.

But in 2012 the Home Office cancelled the scheme, forcing the family to apply for a visa for those from outside Europe who have been offered a skilled job.

Mrs Brain, 48, who completed her degree in Scottish history and archaeology last year, had lined up a suitable post but it fell through.

Without a job offer in place by the end of this month the family will be forced to leave the UK.

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The case was raised with George Osborne, standing in for David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions, in the Commons.

Mrs Brain later accused the Chancellor of effectively washing "his hands of us".

Mr Salmond said that the case had “captured hearts” across Scotland and that it would be "really marvellous news” if the family could stay.

He added: “I think the Government are under a lot of pressure on this.”

Earlier Mr Osborne had told MPs: “As I understand it the family don’t meet the immigration criteria”.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson accused Mr Osborne of knowing "nothing about" the family's plight.

He told him: "I'm sorry this has been going on for weeks and that frankly is not good enough. Appeals have been made to the Home Secretary by the First Minister, by the local MP, by the local MSP, by the community, it is wall to wall across the media of Scotland and the Chancellor of the Exchequer clearly knew nothing about it.

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"The problem in the Highlands of Scotland, is not immigration, it has been emigration, so even at this late stage, knowing nothing about it, will the Chancellor speak to the Home Secretary, speak to the Prime Minister and get this sorted out."

Mr Osborne retorted that the SNP should use the new tax and enterprise powers being devolved to Holyrood to attract people to the Highlands.

SNP MP Ian Blackford has also described the couple's deportation as a human rights issue because Lachlan's first language is Gaelic.

A Home Office spokesman said: “All visa applications are considered on their individual merits, and applicants must provide evidence to show they meet the requirements of the immigration rules.”

Meanwhile, Mr Osborne said that Google's agreement to pay £130 million in a decade of back taxes was "good news".

Labour described it as a "cosy deal".

France is currently pursuing the American internet giant for £1.3bn.