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Partner writes to Prime Minister over Australian girlfriend left 'in limbo' over visa rules

The partner of a teacher left ‘in limbo’ in Australia has written to the Prime Minister after a change in visa criteria meant she is no longer eligible to work in the UK.

Kimberley Doohan, 24, from Sydney, has worked as a teacher at a school in West London for about two years. She was living with her partner, Jessica Alder, who works in sales for the Advertiser.

Having originally arrived on a youth mobility visa, in December Kimberley had to reapply for her job and subsequently her visa.

After getting the job she returned to Australia at the end of January so that she could reapply for a Tier 2 general visa.

The school agreed to sponsor her and offered her a three-year contract.

When Kimberley left the country to complete the visa application process, the minimum that she had to earn in order to return to the country to work was £26,800.

She just met this threshold, however when she applied in February the minimum salary increased to £30,000 and a point score of 46.

Kimberley has 30 points on a scale used to determine applications.

The school reapplied in March but the threshold increased again to £40,000 with 56 points, and again to £50,000 in April.

Kimberley said: “The school kids have been asking where I am, they have had to bring in a supply teacher. There’s not much communication from the Home Office.

“It’s really frustrating.”

A spokeswoman for the Home Office explained that when the immigration cap is oversubscribed first priority, and the greatest number of points, are given to roles on a national shortage list, followed by PhD-level occupations, graduate-level roles and then by salary, from highest to lowest.

She added: “The minimum number of points required for a Tier 2 application to be considered valid is 21.

“However, where the number of applications exceeds the number of places available for that month, that threshold is raised to ensure the highest scoring applications are successful.    Jessica said: “We feel as though we are in limbo and unable to make future plans.

“I have contacted Theresa May for her opinion on the matter and I await her response.”


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