A Mrs World contestant has been denied permission to fly to the US before the pageant, which begins this weekend, saying she believes her visa was refused because she was born in Syria.
Leen Clive, 28, was due to represent the UK in the global pageant, which is taking place in Las Vegas.
However, Clive, a trainee doctor, said that although her family’s entry visas had been approved, hers was not as she was born in Damascus.
“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.
The US Government identifies Syria as a country that “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism” on its website, and therefore requires all visa applicants from there to be interviewed by a consular officer.
“My husband and my baby girl had their visas granted, but mine was refused — and the only difference is my place of birth,” Clive said.
Clive, who was crowned Mrs UK World in August 2020, was due to join 57 other contestants from around the world, including the UAE, to compete in the annual pageant for married women, which kicks off on Sunday.
However, she is now unsure whether she will make it to the US in time, although she told the BBC she was “still hopeful”.
Emma Hardy, the Labour MP for Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle, where Clive lives, is currently trying to intervene and rectify the situation.
In a statement, US officials said: “Visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
If Clive doesn't attend, it will be first time the UK is not represented at the event since 1984, when it was first established.
The Mrs World pageant made headlines in 2021 when former winner Caroline Jurie allegedly injured a fellow beauty queen in an onstage fracas, allegedly because she was separated.
Scroll through the gallery below to see images of UAE Mrs World contestant Debanjali Kamstra