MEAGHAN Farrell’s has always dreamed of travelling from her home in America to work as a teacher in Scotland.

Born in Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania, the 27-year-old has close family ties in Paisley, Renfrewshire, where her grandfather lived before emigrating in 1950.

With lots of second and third cousins in the city it seemed ideal when a teaching post was advertised in a Catholic primary school in nearby Glasgow.

After a successful interview, the usual background checks and an endorsement of her teaching credentials by the General Teaching Council for Scotland she had already started packing when the Home Office advised Glasgow City Council her visa had been rejected.

With her future in turmoil, Ms Farrell will now have to stay in America while the vacant post at St Angela’s Primary School, in Darnley, is re-advertised and she goes through the same visa process again.

“It was a dream come true for me to be allowed to enter Scotland to teach. My family is from Scotland so for me this almost feels like coming home,” she said.

“My paternal grandparents are originally from Paisley and that was the the main reason for my desire to go abroad and teach. I thought I would be coming full-circle if I could return to their home country and teach in Scotland.

“This is a goal that I have been working towards for over a year and I have invested a lot of time and money into this process. I also resigned from my teaching post in Virginia and moved my life back to my parents’ house before the move to Scotland.

“Due to this setback it seems that I am in limbo, living back home with my parents without a job. It is still my goal to come to Scotland, and I am hopeful that it will happen because I know I can be an asset. I just need someone to give me that chance.”

Despite widespread teacher vacancies across Scotland and a particular shortage of approved Catholics in the denominational sector, Ms Farrell was declined under the complex Home Office points based system.

Because the Westminster Government’s monthly immigration cap has already been reached it means all applicants are judged against each other on a set of criteria - including salary levels.

Those in occupations where there are shortages, such as the medical sector, are given priority with the rest of the places allocated according to factors such as level of salary or qualifications.

Teaching is currently not viewed as a shortage occupation and does not command the same sort of salaries as other professions.

Glasgow City Council has now re-advertised the post with the hope that the visa application will be successful at the second attempt.

Ms Farrell is also hopeful she will be soon be able to pursue her dream move.

She said: “I was heartbroken when I received word that my sponsorship had been refused, but I am very fortunate that Glasgow has not given up on me and they still are going to reapply for the sponsorship.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Following a successful interview the teacher has been offered a job in Glasgow and we will do everything in our power to help her secure the correct documentation in order to teach.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said the government recognised the contribution of international teachers, but the immigration system was designed to ensure employers “looked first to the UK resident labour market” before recruiting from overseas.

She added: “When demand exceeds the monthly available allocation of places, priority is given to applicants filling a shortage or PhD-level occupation.

“No occupation on the shortage occupation list – which is based on advice by the independent Migration Advisory Committee – has been refused a place.”

The Home Office is currently looking at creating more flexibility in the system by creating a specific category for doctors and nurses which will free up more places for other occupations.

Research by The Herald earlier this month revealed there were nearly 700 teacher vacancies at primaries and secondaries across Scotland.

Councils facing some of the most acute shortages include those in the North East such as Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, but there were also shortages in Glasgow.

Teaching unions argue the main problem is pay and conditions with the increasing workload of staff putting off recruits at a time when salaries have declined in real terms.

Glasgow also has an issue with the number of teachers with Catholic approval in its denominational sector.

It is not uncommon for there to be at least 40 teachers working in the sector who don’t have approval every year because of the wider shortages.

In 2016 Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, president of the Catholic Education Commission, said there would be ‘significant consequences’ for Catholic education should the ‘acute’ problem not be addressed.