Student visa delay threatened to put dance team out of step

November 24, 2008 12:22 PM
Kenneith Yong dancer visa

Kenneith Yong and his dance partner

A national dance team feared it would have to pull out of the world championships after the Home Office dragged its feet renewing a Cambridge student's visa.

Malaysian-born Kenneith Yong, who is studying medicine at Christ's College, applied two months ago to renew his visa to allow him to represent Britain in the competition.

But, with only two weeks to go before he was due to fly out to Vienna to compete in the Latin Formation World Championships, his visa had not arrived.

In desperation, he turned to Cambridge MP David Howarth who immediately took up the matter with the Home Office.

Just eight days later, Mr Yong's visa was sent by recorded delivery to the college.

"I was delighted to help in this matter," said Mr Howarth. "Mr Yong should be congratulated for being selected to represent Britain in the world championships and it would have been unforgivable if he had been prevented from going. I wish him every success in the competition."

Mr Yong has been granted a nine-year visa which will allow him to complete his medical degree before going on to study for a PhD.

But if his visa had failed to arrive, members of the British Latin Formation Team were considering pulling out of the competition or changing their routine.

"It was crucial that all eight couples could take part," said Mr Yong. "Everyone had bought air tickets and the accommodation was booked. It was a harrowing time."

Mr Yong will take part in the world championships on Saturday (November 29) competing against 24 teams from around the world for the title.

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