A young couple who met through the Xbox gaming community and have been living together in the UK for more than 18 months are to be separated by UK visa regulations.
Christian Ortiz from Puerto Rico came to the UK on a student visa to study creative writing at Salford University and live with his UK born boyfriend Jordan Gallery in Manchester. The pair started a relationship in 2010 after getting to know each other via Skype and became engaged at the start of this year.
But now Christian’s student visa has expired and he has been told he must either find employment meeting student visa requirements or Jordan must have a job earning at least £18,000 annually if he is to remain in the UK. However, Jordan, 20, is unable to meet the earning criteria because he is a student at Bolton University and has another year of his degree to go.
The couple do not want to move together to Puerto Rico because Jordan can’t speak Spanish and would be unable to work there. Gay marriage is also illegal in the South American country.
Christian told The Manchester Evening News: “I understand there are rules but these are our lives, I’ll do anything for us to stay together. It’s sad enough that a third party is able to decide if we can continue our relationship here.
“We fell in love and it’s not our fault we are from completely different countries.”
The couple have appealed against the Home Office decision but their appeal was turned down. The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.