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Home Office reverse decision after rejecting visa for Sheffield woman's boyfriend in time to fly home for Christmas

Ahmed Hassan and Jess Payne thanked The Star after the Home Office reversed a decision to deny Ahmed a two-week tourist visa so they could both visit Jess's family in Sheffield
Ahmed Hassan and Jess Payne thanked The Star after the Home Office reversed a decision to deny Ahmed a two-week tourist visa so they could both visit Jess's family in Sheffield
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The Home Office has reversed a rejected visa application for the partner of a Sheffield woman in time for a Christmas visit.

Jess Payne, aged 27, applied for her Egyptian boyfriend Ahmed Hassan to get a two-week tourist visa so they could spend time with her family in Sheffield over the festive period.

The planned trip holds special significance for the pair as Jess, originally from Bradway, revealed Ahmed intends to ask her father's permission to marry her.

But his original application was rejected saying there was 'no evidence' the relationship was genuine - much to the pair's amazement.

Jess, a teacher and Hassan, an engineer, met in Doha, Qatar, where they currently both work. The couple were devastated when they were also told Ahmed supposedly 'didn't have financial capability' despite being in full-time employment.

The 27-year-old, said she provided supporting statements from family, friends and employers along with details of holidays they've taken together and photos but was knocked back.

But after The Star contacted the Home Office about the decision, Government officials handling the application reviewed the case and told the pair the good news.

The Qatar-based teacher described the news as a 'Christmas miracle'.

Speaking before the U-turn, Jess said: "Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the rigmorale and absolute farce of trying to obtain a tourist visa for an Egyptian.

"His initial visa was denied with no grounds to appeal and I have less than three weeks to sort this out to avoid a sad and lonely Christmas.

"The grounds of his visa rejection were absurd claiming he didn't have financial means to support himself in the UK despite providing bank statements showing a balance of over £10,000. The visa was also denied on the basis that they didn't believe our relationship was real despite evidence."

But the pair's initial despair was later turned to joy.

Jess told The Star: "Not only were you the first ones to reply and offer advice, you have been instrumental in getting our visa refusal overturned so Ahmed can spend Christmas with my family. I am still awaiting a response from Number 10 and the British Embassy so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help.

"You have provided a Christmas miracle to our family."

A Home Office official said information passed from the press office made them review the decision.

A spokesman replying to Ahmed and Jess said: "As a consequence, I have reviewed the decision to refuse your application for entry clearance as a visitor to the United Kingdom.

"Based on the totality of evidence and information now available to me, I am pleased to inform you that I have overturned the original decision."

A Home Office spokesman told The Star: "Applicants for visit visas must be able to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the immigration rules otherwise they will be refused. We will be liaising with this customer over his situation.”