By Rory Reynolds
A COUPLE’S dream wedding has been ruined after bizarre bureaucratic red tape prevented them tying the knot.
US citizen Batya Swenson, 39, was to due wed her partner David Forsyth, from Edinburgh, in a sparkling New Year ceremony.
But the UK consulate in Los Angeles refused to grant Batya a visa for just two weeks – in case she stayed and sponged off the state.
They labelled Batya a potential “risk” to the UK – because she may be a drain on social services – despite the fact that she owns one of San Francisco’s biggest legal firms.
David, 43, and Batya – who now live in California with their six-month-old daughter – were stunned whey they received a letter from the LA consulate stating that they doubted she was “genuinely” seeking entry as a visitor.David Forsyth, 43, originally from Fountainbridge, said he was baffled at the level of red tape involved.
He said: “Apparently my fiancé is a potential ‘risk’ to the UK and would be a candidate to flee the US to be a drain on UK social security funds.
“The crazy thing is that we were there just a few months ago as well, I just can’t think why this has happened.”
“I feel let down by my own country and cannot believe this has happened.”
David brought Batya to Scotland to meet his family and to see his home town.
Batya fell in love with Edinburgh during the stay and the happy couple booked the big day at the registrar’s office on George IV Bridge, along with a reception for friends and family at the Royal Scots Club.
They also paid for flights and tickets for the Hogmanay bash on Princes Street, as well as a honeymoon trip to London.
David said: “Batya fell in love with Edinburgh and I fell in love with it all over again through showing it to her.
“We have brought our daughter Hannah over once before and both thought that Edinburgh would be the perfect place to get married.
“The registrar was great, she said they marry people from all over the world in Edinburgh, so we went ahead and arranged everything.”
The consulate said that the couple had given them insufficient documents for the application, despite David and Batya checking that they had.
They are now desperately trying to get in touch with the consulate but have been unable to do so to date.
David’s father Dougie, 68, is hoping that he will be able to see his son married in his hometown of Edinburgh.
He said: “The situation is ridiculous. If they checked Batya’s background they would see she does not want to live in Edinburgh. She is part of a big business in the US.”
A frustrated David added: “It’s a no-brainer. We have given the consulate everything from a copy of our flight details to our hotel accommodation bookings.
“Batya is a partner in a legal firm – you cannot just walk away from a job like that – how is she a risk?”
No-one from the UK consulate in LA was available to comment.