A SYRIAN student in Glasgow is fighting a refusal by the Home Office to allow a family reunion with his mother – who has stage 4 cancer – and his brother and sister.

Obada Eid left Syria four years ago to study in Scotland, but late last year his world was rocked when his mother Hoda was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She is in Syria with her son and daughter, and feared for their safety amid the ongoing conflict there.

Hoda had to travel to the Lebanese capital Beirut in November to deliver to the nearest UK consular office the necessary paperwork to enable her to come to Scotland to see her son for what could be the last time.

But the documents became caught up in a Home Office logjam and Obada’s MP Alison Thewliss raised the case with the then- immigration minister Robert Jenrick in November.

When the Home Office decision eventually came through in December, the family were refused permission to come to the UK. Obada is now appealing to the First Tier Tribunal. He said: “To be honest I have more hopes in the judge than the Home Office.

“I had to withdraw from my Masters degree because of the stress. The plan was to do a PhD and I was talking about it to my university adviser.

“I have to do a Masters first, but I couldn’t – mentally it was too much to cope with studying on top of the situation with my family. It’s been very difficult.

“I’ve been trying to find a job but it’s been hard to get one and even if I get an interview or an assessment, It’s very hard for me to study for it.”

The UK Government’s family reunion route to the UK allows individual family members of those who have previously been granted protection status in the UK to join them here, if they were part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their home country.

Immigration lawyer Usman Aslam, who lodged Obada Eid’s appeal, has long been critical of the Home Office and its procedures.

“In this instance, they failed to do two reviews of the case and then eventually reviewed it, which is questionable given this is a dying woman,” he said.

“It is difficult to know what could be more compelling/compassionate that a dying mother of a refugee who didn’t ask to be separated in the first place. It cannot be any more compelling or compassionate than a person given a few months to live.

“Furthermore, this family are skilled, one of them with nursing qualifications, all speak English, all with a place to live in Scotland.

“Whilst I cannot comment on proceedings, we are pleased that our request for an expedited hearing has been accepted. We hope to reunite this family so that they can be together again, especially given the tragic circumstances.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “It is a matter of longstanding government policy that we do not routinely comment on individual cases.”