A JUNIOR doctor will be able to return to work in Scotland after a deportation threat against him was dropped.

Lawyers for the medic, who did not want to be named, said he was "very relieved" after the Home Office cancelled the Removal Direction against him and agreed to overturn a decision to refuse him leave to enter the UK.

The Singaporean national was detained at Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday after returning from a holiday in Malta with friends.

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In what has now been described as a "misunderstanding", the medic was locked up overnight with his phone and passport confiscated, and told he would be deported today amid unfounded claims that he intended to work on the NHS without the appropriate work permits.

He is currently residing in Scotland on a six-month visitor's visa due to delays in processing his work visa and sponsorship paperwork.

He had been due to start work this week, but the start date has been postponed.

HeraldScotland: The doctor was detained at Edinburgh Airport on TuesdayThe doctor was detained at Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday

Lisa McGuigan, a solicitor with Glasgow-based firm McGlashan MacKay who acted for the doctor, said: "This could have had long term implications for any further visa applications he makes to the UK, such as a re-entry ban and he would not have been able to take up his position as an NHS doctor.

"We were delighted that the Home Office recognised that there had been a misunderstanding here and made the decision to overturn their previous decision.

"Sadly it’s not overly unusual that there can be a misunderstanding or that border force can make judgements that someone isn’t a genuine visitor.

"I think Brexit has seen an increase in these sort of issues for EU citizens.

"The issue here was the doctor had studied here, and was coming in to visit to sort his affairs, but the Immigration Officer treated him as coming in to work because he had a pending job offer, when that wasn’t the case."

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Ms McGuigan said law firms were currently dealing lots of cases involving EU citizens being stopped at airports, adding that the medic's case "was symptomatic of the hostile environment as the starting point was not to believe the genuine intentions of a doctor".

A number of politicians, the BMA, and senior medical figures including Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, had also lobbied the Home Office on behalf of the doctor, who had studied medicine in Scotland and completed his foundation training in Edinburgh during the pandemic before returning to Singapore following a family bereavement.

He had been offered a job with the NHS in Scotland, and returned in July.

HeraldScotland: Around a quarter of NHS doctors are non-UK nationals who require work visasAround a quarter of NHS doctors are non-UK nationals who require work visas

Dr Lewis Morrison, chair of BMA Scotland, said the case was a "poor advert" for overseas medics considering coming to the UK to work.

He said: "It’s good news that common sense has prevailed and the threat of deportation resolved in this case. Thanks must go to those who have raised the case so promptly on their colleague's behalf.

“However, there does need to be some reflection on how this issue arose. This doctor was simply trying to go about building a career in medicine in Scotland at a time when we are desperately short of doctors."

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A spokesperson for NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the body which sponsors doctors during training, said:"We are pleased that this matter has been resolved and we look forward to being able to welcome him back to Scotland in due course."

Dr Sandesh Gulhane, a Glasgow GP and Scottish Conservative health spokesman, who was among those who intervened in the case, said the doctor had had "two very anxious days".

"At the end of the day, we got the right result," he added.