​Thousands of Scots are backing Evgeniia Balashova, a young Russian businesswoman, by signing a petition in her battle against deportation.

The 23-year-old is currently at risk of being deported as her visa extension was declined due to problems with registering her address with officials.

Evgeniia moved to Glasgow from Murmansk five years ago as a student aged 17 and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2016. She then went on to spend another year as a Graduate Entrepreneur before launching her own jewellery business which specialises in 3d printed and precious metal jewellery.

The young designer said she applied to extend her Graduate visa for another year, but it was refused by the Home Office on the grounds of not having registered her current residential address on the Police Registration Certificate, despite numerous attempts to do so.

In a bid to stay in the country she has launched an online petition and within two days has won the backing of more than 2000 supporters.

Speaking on her website, Balashova commented: “Being able to stay in the U.K. would mean an absolute world to me and my future. Because of the nature of my jewellery and the unique technology it uses, it relies on the resources available here in the U.K., the ones that are not even readily available in Russia. The pieces I make can be seen on my website here http://www.evebalashova.com. I work with 3d printed nylon, a very new and inspiring material, which I have been exploring and developing alongside my metalworking skills. My work and my business have been endorsed by The University of Glasgow and my jewellery practice is supported by various UK craft and design bodies.”

“Going back to Russia would mean erasing the last five years of work and development and starting everything from scratch. It will mean that everything I built will have to be destroyed due to a fault of a technical mistake. My lovely workshop space is here, the incredible support of the makers community is here, my friends that have become family are here. I made a commitment to this country when I first moved here and it would be incredibly distressing not to be able to continue my life the way I know it.”

To sign the petition simply click here.

Evgeniia Balashova (Image Credit: Daily Record)
Evgeniia Balashova (Image Credit: Daily Record)

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