September 18 will go down as an historic date for a whole different reason for one Glenrothes man and his American wife.
For while the rest of Scotland was going to the polls to decide the future fate of the country, David Senior was waiting patiently at Edinburgh Airport as what he had previously described as their “ongoing two and a half year nightmare”, finally drew to a close.
The Pitcoudie resident had married his wife Jean in June 2012 after the pair met on the social media site Facebook, but the couple had been kept apart ever since because of government bureaucracy.
And despite numerous application attempts and a series of appeals, the couple had to rely on email and Skype video calls because UK Immigration repeatedly refused to grant Jean a spouse visa.
The refusal was on the grounds that David did not earn the required £18,000 even though they were aware that he was a registered full time carer of his son who has Aspergers Syndrome.
They also failed to take into account that Jean could provide a full U.S. employment history and had recently gained a degree in graphic design.
But as the couple began to think that they’d be left apart forever, Jean flew to England to meet David in Birmingham to put their case before a special immigration judge.
“He granted our appeal and issued a two-year visa saying our case should never have come this far and certainly not have been refused on so many occasions as it was an infringement of our human rights,” David told the Gazette.
He added: “We’d never have given up, we vowed to keep fighting this for as long as it took, despite the constant knocks to our moral.”
The couple even had to endure a five hour delay at London Heathrow as Jean’s flight came into the UK from Alabama because of adverse weather conditions.
“It was ironic but I knew she was on her way , but those last few hours took a lifetime,” said David.
And he admits there was more than a few tears shed once the couple were finally united.
“It was emotional but we are together now so that’s all that matters,” explained Jean.
“It’s been an ordeal you hope nobody else has to endure but it’s made us stronger and all that matters now is that we find a job for Jean and we can be a family,” said David.