Husband's visa is Holly Stinson's perfect gift
A SOUTH East Cornwall woman's dream has come true after her American husband was granted a visa so they can spend their first Christmas together as a married couple.
Holly Stinson, 20, of Polbathic, and Alex Stinson, 23, a carpenter from Pennsylvania, have waited two years to be reunited following their marriage, due to UK immigration laws.
At first, Mr Stinson's visa application was refused by the UK Border Agency but Mrs Stinson's family rallied supporters in an online petition, which had more than 280 signatures.
Mr Stinson's visa was finally accepted last week after an appeal.
Mrs Stinson, a sales assistant at the Shell garage at Trerulefoot, said: "It will be a dream come true. We have never spent Christmas together.
"It's been going on for so long and the stress was unbearable being apart. It's been a big relief for me and the family."
Mr Stinson had to go back to the USA after three months of married life in the UK due to the immigration laws.
Legislation specifies that the spouse living in the UK has to earn £18,600 to be eligible to sponsor their non-EU other half.
The couple met online and were friends for eight years before starting a relationship four and a half years ago.
Mrs Stinson has had to travel to the USA to see her husband on many occasions.
Her mother, Becky Moore, helped her to rally support in an online petition.
Mr Stinson was originally denied a visa to live in the UK but the family appealed that decision.
The appeal was successful in August this year after Mrs Moore and her daughter presented their own case in court, with help from the Migrant Legal Project in Plymouth, as they could not afford a lawyer.
Mrs Moore said it was hard on her daughter to see her brother, Daniel Moore, 28, who wed in the same year as her, in 2011, enjoying married life when she could not.
She joined a Facebook group called South West United Families to gain support and advice.
Mrs Moore said: "It was heart breaking. It has been very stressful on the family.
"There are so many families in the same situation. We have got a situation where European citizens outside the UK can bring over spouses.
"We have coped quite well because we are a close-knit family."