LONDON: A British beauty queen originally from Syria believes she was banned from entering the US because of the country of her birth.
Leen Clive, a trainee doctor, was due to represent the UK at the final of the Mrs World competition in Las Vegas on Jan. 15.
Clive, 29, who was born in Damascus and arrived in England in 2013, said her family’s visa applications had all been approved but hers was rejected.
“I applied with a British passport. I am representing Britain and I’m a British citizen, so I had no idea I’d be banned from the US,” Clive told the BBC.
“My husband and my baby girl had their visas granted, but mine was refused — and the only difference is my place of birth.”
US officials said in a statement: “Visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The US government says on its website that people applying for visas who are citizens of countries that America considers sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria, must be interviewed by a consular officer.
Emma Hardy, Clive’s local MP, said she is trying to intervene on her behalf. Clive said she has asked the US Embassy in the UK to show “common sense.”
If her appeal proves unsuccessful, it will leave the UK without a competitor in the contest for married women.
“I’m still hopeful. I know I’m running out of time, but if someone from the embassy could look at my application then things could be different,” Clive said.