Scotland rugby international Damien Hoyland has spoken out on his family’s fight to prevent his grandparents’ deportation.
Mozaffar Saberi, 83, and his wife Rezvan Habibimarand, 73, have lived in Edinburgh on and off over the past 40 years.
Although the rest of their family is British, the couple never sought citizenship and now face removal because they do not have the required visa.
Edinburgh Rugby player Hoyland is one of the couple’s 11 grandchildren and today made an emotional appeal for them to be allowed to remain in Scotland.
“It’s only really hit home today the idea that I might not be able to see them ever again,” he told Sky News in am emotional interview.
“They’ve been a massive, massive (influence), they’ve been there since I was very young. Ever since I can remember they’ve been around.
“I know they’ve been back and forth from Iran since I’ve been a young age, but it feels like they’ve always been here, always present.
“The thought of not having them around anymore is really horrible.”
Thousands of people have signed the petition against the removal of Mozaffar and Rezvan.
The couple spent time in the UK on visitor visas over the years but after visiting in November 2012 they made an application to remain on human rights grounds which was refused by the Home Office. A second application was also refused and they are now appealing against the decision.