Chilean player told to leave the UK after visa confusion

A Chilean hockey player studying at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has been told to leave the UK and reapply for her visa in what has been deemed as an “extremely complex situation” following delays during lockdown.

Sofia Navarro has been studying since last September and had been waiting to complete her biometrics test and photo to finalise her Tier 4 Visa.

But UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) said that Navarro now has to leave the country by April 27 and reapply from Santiago, despite having paid all her university fees for 2021 in November.

Michael Gibney, Sofia’s stepfather, said that she was “confronting an extremely complex situation due to negligence from the International Student Services and UKVI.”

According to Gibney, an Englishman who has helped boost hockey in Chile, the NTU international student was informed two weeks ago by phone that her visa had been rejected before the end of the month.

It is claimed that emails had not arrived to her inbox and were wrongly titled “Sheffieldstudentteams” which were subsequently not opened.

Gibney has called on the authorities to allow his step daughter to complete her biometrics test in the UK.

A Nottingham Trent University spokesperson told The Hockey Paper: “This is a decision which has been taken by UKVI in line with its standard process. We are in contact with them and continuing to support Sofia with her case.”

A Home Office spokesperson told THP: “We aim to process all visa applications as quickly as possible. In this case, we sent the customer a reminder to enrol their biometrics, with the visa clearly referenced in the subject, and outlined what would happen if biometrics were not enrolled.

“We sent a further email reminder last month and still received no response, therefore the application was rejected.

“The sponsor has been in touch with UKVI regarding the circumstances and we will work with them on appropriate next steps for Ms Navarro.”

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