A SOLDIER serving with 3 Scots who has served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus has been refused a UK visa to bring his teenage daughter to live with him and his wife in the Highlands.

Now the case of Lance Corporal Denis Omondi, who is originally from Kenya but has British citizenship, has been raised in the Commons by his MP Drew Hendry.

Omondi has been in the Army for eight years and is based at Fort George. He was previously unaware that he had a daughter in Kenya, but since finding out about Ann he has visited her regularly over the past six years. He has full custody of the 14-year-old, who attends a boarding school in Kenya, and he has no contact with her mother.

The teenager was a bridesmaid when he married Shelagh Whyte, from Inverness, 13 months ago, after they had been together for more than five years.

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Omondi applied for an entry clearance application for his daughter in early November, but the Home Office rejected it later that month.

He has lodged an appeal, but now faces the prospect of reapplying and incurring additional legal fees.

During Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons yesterday, Hendry said to Theresa May: “My constituent Denis Omondi is a British citizen. He has uncontested custody of his young daughter Ann who is in Kenya.

The National:

“Despite visiting her as often as he can, she has been denied a visa because the Home Office claim he hasn’t spent enough time with her.

“The problem is Prime Minister, Denis is a serving soldier in the British Army. He is stationed at Fort George and has served tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus at the behest of the UK Government.

“Does the Prime Minister believe this situation is fair and will she look into how to reunite this loyal soldier and loving father with his daughter?”

The PM thanked Omondi for his “commitment” serving in the armed forces and said she would ask the Home Secretary to look at the case.

Hendry wrote a supporting letter for their application in November and raised the rejection with the Home Office the following month. He has since written to the Immigration Minister and Defence Secretary, asking them to intervene and meet him to discuss the case.

As yet, he has had no response.

Hendry told The National: “Denis did everything by the book but got the same result as we’ve seen with the Felber and Zielsdorf families – closed ears and closed minds.

“Shelagh has recently recovered from breast cancer and was unable to work for several months, leaving the family struggling to meet these additional costs.”

Although the Home Office said there was not enough evidence to support Omondi’s relationship with his daughter, he supplied a batch of paperwork, including her birth certificate, custody documents, receipts for her school fees and evidence of regular letters and phone calls, as well as evidence of them having spent time together when he was in Kenya.

The National:

Omondi is away on a training exercise, but last night his wife told The National: “I hate to use the word but he is a perfect immigrant, isn’t he?

“He’s come over to this country, he’s joined our armed forces, he’s serving our country, paying the higher tax rate and all he wants is the opportunity to be a dad. This whole thing is breaking his heart.

“He’s so devastated that he can’t give his daughter the life that she should be getting.

“She’s got no stable home, no bedroom, nowhere to call home and she’s lonely and all he wants is to give her what she needs.”

“She’s just a little girl and she’s devastated – she just wants to be with her dad. Denis is broken-hearted and feels betrayed. He’s not being allowed to be a dad because he’s here and he’s here serving our country.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Mr Omondi’s application is being reviewed. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”