Yorkshire bride, 20, told to leave UK

Bride Katie Swift is old enough to marry the trans-Atlantic love of her life, vote and enjoy a drink – but she is too young to stay in Britain.

Katie, 20, has been told she is not old enough to live in England with her Yorkshire husband.

Distraught Grant Swift met his bride, beautiful blonde Katie, while he was on holiday in Florida – and after two years of courting on the internet, and Katie living with her man for six months in the UK, the lovestruck pair finally wed in November.

But former waitress Katie, 20, 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.

An immigration rule introduced in November 2008 upped 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".

But the frustrated couple say they meet every part of the criteria except age and have still been snubbed.

Confused hubbie Grant, 19, 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," said Grant, of Ossett.

An immigration rule introduced in November 2008 upped the minimum age for non-nationals wanting to stay in the UK on marriage grounds from 18 to 21.

Grant, who works for a technology company, said: "We've never been in any trouble and we're not after any financial

support, we just want the right to live in the same country."

Worried Katie, who was living with her grandparents - one of whom has terminal cancer, said she had every intention to find a job in the UK.

The couple have started a petition and also have a Facebook page to help their campaign.