Law in way of marriage

Grant and Katie Swift, Ossett
Grant and Katie Swift, Ossett
Share this article

A YOUNG husband faces a heartbreaking separation from his bride after being told she will have to leave the country because of immigration laws.

Grant and Katie Swift, of Kingsway Close, Ossett, met in Florida two years ago and got married in November.

But they were told they could not live legally together as a couple because Mr Swift is not yet 21 years old.

Mrs Swift has just been refused a discretionary visa, meaning she will have to return to America on June 24 – which is also Mr Swift’s 20th birthday.

The law says both must be 21 before Mrs Swift is offered a spouse visa.

Mrs Swift, 21, is currently not allowed to work or go to an NHS doctor as she is still classed as a visitor, despite being married to a UK citizen for more than six months.

She said: “We have a lawyer trying to help us but we’re losing hope now.

“There is nothing I will be able to do to come back until Grant is 21.”

Despite an appeal to home secretary Theresa May, the couple were told they have “not established a family life” and therefore it “would not be detrimental” to them for Mrs Swift to return home.

Mr Swift said the law was an infringement on their human rights.

He said: “Katie is so important to me and I couldn’t imagine things any other way now. We were allowed to get married but we’re not allowed to start married life together, it seems crazy and completely unfair.”

In April last year the law was amended to state it could be bypassed in “clear exceptional compassionate circumstances”.

But the couple say they meet every part of the criteria except age, and have appealed again against the decision.