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Newlywed graduate, 23, faces being told to quit the UK after falling foul of visa rules
American Daniel Whiteley graduated from St Andrews University in summer
The astrophysics graduate married management graduate Jenny in OctoberBut 23-year-old is unhappy that he's likely to be barred from living in UK
02:43 GMT, 27 December 2012
Couple: American Daniel Whiteley (left) graduated with a degree in astrophysics from St Andrews University this summer and married management graduate Jenny (right) in October
A couple who met at one of Britain’s most prestigious universities and married two months ago are set to be forced out of Scotland by tough new immigration laws.
American Daniel Whiteley graduated with a degree in astrophysics from St Andrews University this summer and married management graduate Jenny in October.
His student visa expired the same month.
But despite marrying a Scottish woman and contributing at least 91,000 to the Scottish economy, Mr Whiteley, 23, is likely to be barred from living in the UK.
The couple, who want to settle in or around the Fife town, say they have little option but to move to the United States.
Mr Whiteley, of York, Pennsylvania, said he had been ‘insulted’ to learn that he was not wanted by the UK.
The previous rules would have allowed him to live north of the Border simply because he was married to a UK national.
The new system, which is intended to reduce immigration, requires UK citizens to have a minimum income of 18,600 before they can bring a spouse from outside the EU to live here.
After graduating the couple left Scotland to travel and married in Wolseley, South Africa. They will return home on January 16 but it is likely Mr Whiteley will be refused entry.
He said: ‘I feel that, based on my behaviour while I was in the UK, what is happening to my wife and I is a great injustice.
Seat of yearning: The couple married after graduating from St Andrews University in Scotland (file picture)
‘We both contributed so much to the UK economy while at university and I cannot understand why we are the type of people the UK wants to get rid of.’
Mr Whitely added: ‘During our four years in the UK we each spent 16,000 on accommodation, each paid 5,000 in taxes and National Insurance and I spent 70,000 to attend university.
'I feel that, based on my behaviour while I was in the UK, what is happening to my wife and I is a great injustice'
'How a couple who has given 112,000 to the UK economy before the age of 23 can be excluded based on financial grounds is beyond me.
‘I called the UK my home and was looking forward to returning in January to start a life and business.’
Mrs Whiteley, also 23, of Livingston, West Lothian, said: ‘It is extremely distressing to not be able to return home to live where we once lived.
‘We are choosing to move to America together, where I can enter, stay and work on a specific visa while a green card is approved. The new laws make me extremely angry.’
She said it was unfair to penalise newly married couples because they do not have large savings or highly paid jobs.
She added: ‘We did not marry for convenience, a visa or to abuse the UK benefits – we simply married for love.’
'We did not marry for convenience, a visa or to abuse the UK benefits – we simply married for love'
The couple only realised they were facing a ban from entering the UK after visiting the British High Commission in Lusaka, Zambia, during their travels.
Mr Whiteley said: ‘Everyone we have spoken to in immigration refuses to help us because we don’t “live” in the UK, but neither will the Lusaka embassy because we don’t live here either.
‘We do intend to fly back to the UK on January 16, hoping we can talk to a real human at immigration in Glasgow and deal with the issue there.’
If Mr Whiteley is refused permission to live in the UK he will have to obtain a 30-day tourist visa.
If that happens, he said: ‘We will spend the next month getting Jenny a visa to America and packing up our things.’
No one was available for comment last night from the Home Office.