A Barnsley teenager kept apart from his American sweetheart by UK immigration rules has married her in the USA.
Alex Firth, 18, of Osborne Mews, met Jamie Freeman, 19, who lives in Georgia, on the internet last September on a language learning website.
After a month, the couple realised they had a special bond and in January Jamie came to visit Alex in Barnsley where he popped the question. The two thought getting a visa for Jamie to move to the UK would be a formality.
But the UK government's tough new rules introduced in July 2012 state a non-European spouse or partner must be sponsored by a person "with a minimum income."
Young couples like Alex and Jamie are at a particular disadvantage because they tend to earn less.
On top of that, both Alex and Jamie have health problems - Alex has Asperger's and Jamie suffers from depression and anorexia - making it difficult for them to find work with the kind of minimum income required.
But Alex decided love was all, and on a visit to see Jamie in July, they decided to tie the knot.
They were married on July 29 at the county of Cherokee courthouse in a small service attended by only Jamie's mother, stepfather and younger sister.
Alex said: "It was a very happy day. We decided to just do it because we knew we would eventually, and it may help us legally.
"The problem coming to the UK is that to bring your partner in now you have to be earning £18,600 a year. Jamie's income doesn't count, family or third party support doesn't count.
"No exceptions. Even though we're married and can prove that we can support ourselves, we're just not allowed to live in the UK together.
Alex, who has now come home, said he is prepared to move back in with his parents to demonstrate there is a loving family in the UK to support them.
"We're currently trying to get Jamie in at Barnsley College, but we're struggling from a financial point of view because of the Home Office's unnecessary "one size fits all" student visa requirements.
Jamie has to show she has £7,000 for living expenses, despite having a home and a loving family to support her in England. We can prove this but it doesn't make a difference."
A government inquiry is currently looking at the migration rules and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis is supporting Alex and Jamie.