BORDER officials are refusing to allow a nine-year-old schoolboy
into the country to see his uncle compete for Britain in the
Daniel Munro was hoping to visit the UK from his home in Vietnam
with his mother, Anne, to watch her brother, John Munro, in the
UK's sitting volleyball team.
His mother had paid £1800 for two return airfares, his uncle had
provided tickets for the contest at the ExCel centre in east
London, and Daniel and his mother had planned to stay for a month
with Mr Munro in London, and with friends, including the Revd John
Taylor, a retired priest, in Wiltshire.
But, with only weeks to go, Daniel, who was born in Vietnam, and
whom Ms Munro adopted in 2008, was told that he would not be
granted a visa because officials believed that he could not support
himself financially and would need state help. His mother, who
holds an Australian passport, was allowed entry into the UK.
They also said that they were "not satisfied" that Daniel and
his mother would "be maintained and accommodated adequately by
relatives or friends, or that you can meet the cost of the return
Ms Munro, a committed Christian, who teaches English and works
with a French adoption agency in Vietnam, lodged an appeal in June.
Last month, however, she received a reply telling her that it would
be 1 October before she even heard how the appeal was to
"It's a total nonsense," Mr Taylor said, who met Ms Munro in
1999 while working with orphans in Zambia. "I don't know what these
officials are thinking. She is quite annoyed about it, because it
doesn't make any sense, and it is costing her a lot of money.
"They refused on the grounds that Daniel could be dependent on
the benefits system, despite John sending all his bank statements
and letters from me to prove that we would support him.
"She appealed and received a letter saying the appeal would take
between six and 12 months - she's supposed to be coming on 12
August. She can't phone them to explain; they won't take calls.
"It is stupid, she's been here before - and gone home
afterwards. Daniel was allowed in to Australia last year with no
problems and they have quite stringent immigration policies."
The Taylors had planned a surprise for Ms Munro - a re- union
with the former Archdeacon of Lusaka, the Ven. Jones Mutemwakwenda.
She lived with his family in Zambia, and their youngest child was
christened Annie after her.
Ms Munro, 42, and her brother John, 40, are the children of an
Australian serviceman and a Vietnamese, who worked in the
Australian Embassy in the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon - now
renamed Ho Chi Minh City. When South Vietnam fell in 1975, they
were put on the last Australian plane out of the city, but their
mother was left behind. They were adopted by their father and
brought up in Australia. John Munro later moved to London and
recently became a British citizen. He lost a leg in a motoring
accident in 1999.
Ms Munro made the visa applications through the British
Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, which forwarded them to the regional
hub of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in Bangkok, in neighbouring
Thailand. She said that she was assured by the Consulate that she
had produced sufficient evidence.
"I am not angry about the refusal of the visa for my son - if
extra evidence is required," she said. "However, I am angry with
the system. Visa applications should not be processed until all the
documents have been checked and the applicant should be told of all
"Daniel speaks to John on the phone regularly and saw him in
Vietnam in August 2008, and in November 2010 when he stayed with
us. My brother and I are very close, and I would be very
disappointed if my son and I were not present to see him play in
In a break from training for his first match on 30 August, Mr
Munro said: "I just don't know what to do. I want them to come
over. Obviously they will be going back. I am very disappointed
that they have been stopped for some very bureaucratic reason."
A UKBA spokesperson said: "This visa was refused because
insufficient evidence was provided to support the application. The
individual's family not only has the right to appeal, but can also
submit a fresh application, which we will aim to consider within