A MAN and his American bride have hit out at officials after finding out they were too young to live together as husband and wife in the UK.
Grant Swift, 19, met Katie, 20, while he was on holiday in Florida – and after two years of courting on the internet, and Katie living with him for six months in the UK, the pair finally got married in November.
But the former waitress, who has been staying in the country on a visitor's visa, has been told she will have to go back to America soon, as the law states both of them need to be over 21 for her to qualify for a spouse visa.
They had applied to the UK Border Agency for permission to get married and it was granted by the Home Secretary, they detailed on the application that it was their intention to live in the UK after they were wed.
But it was after the marriage, when they applied for the spouse visa, they learnt that they were denied the chance to live together in wedlock because of their age.
Mr Swift, of Ossett, near Wakefield, said the law made "no sense". 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.''
An immigration rule introduced in November 2008 increased the minimum age for non-nationals wanting to stay in the UK on marriage grounds from 18 to 21.
The rule, brought in to deter forced marriages, was amended in April last year to state it could be bypassed in "clear exceptional compassionate circumstances".