AN Iranian woman stuck in a five-month visa nightmare has been given an appointment with officials – just a day after The National highlighted her case.

The woman, who does not want to be named, feared she would be unable to travel to Scotland for the birth of her grandchild in November because she was unable to gain an appointment with officials at the UK’s visa application centre in Tehran.

A limited number of slots released every Tuesday are snapped up within seconds. The grandmother-to-be began trying to book a date in May and, almost five months later, was increasingly concerned that the red-tape hurdle would prevent her being by her daughter’s side in Glasgow for the life-changing event.

Immigration officials at the UK Government and Swiss-owned contractor VFS Global, which runs the visa application system, acknowledged high demand in Iran but said they were powerless to help.

Instead, she was advised to leave the country and travel hundreds of miles around the Persian Gulf to apply through centres in Abu Dhabi or Dubai – a journey of around 24 hours by car.

The National contacted both parties about the case on Monday, running an article about the family’s plight yesterday.

Now the Home Office has confirmed that the woman has an appointment with officials in Tehran on October 23.

A spokesperson said: “We are currently experiencing high levels of demand from UK visa applicants in Iran and appointments are available on a first come, first served basis.”

Alison Thewliss MP, who represents the woman’s daughter and partner, welcomed the news, but said the case highlights broader problems in the system that must be addressed.

Thewliss, who serves Glasgow Central, accused VFS Global and the Home Office of running the visa application service “like a tombola”.

A subsidiary of the Kuoni travel group, VFS is one of two contractors awarded multimillion pound deals to operate services once performed by embassy staff.

The company declined to comment on this case and the Home Office “strongly recommends” that anyone unable to secure an appointment in Tehran reserves one in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, or completes a new application “selecting a different location from the outset”.

Thewliss said: “Obviously I’m delighted that my constituents’ case is now being resolved. However, it shouldn’t take the pressure of national media coverage to bounce VFS and the Home Office into action.”