back to top

Meet One Of The Thousands Of Couples Torn Apart By UK Immigration Laws

Stories like Made and Don's are becoming more common.

Posted on

Under new rules introduced in 2012, British people who marry a non-EU citizen no longer automatically gain the right to bring their spouse to the country. Instead, they must earn a minimum of £18,600 a year (or have more than £60,000 in savings) to "sponsor" a visa. They must earn even more if they also wish to bring a child to the country.


Lissidini gathered together money from family and savings and eventually moved to the UK on a student visa in September 2014, studying at South Thames College.

Perera is still in the UK, finishing his master's. Lissidini spent all her savings on the UK course and is now living with her mother in Uruguay.

The couple, who have now been married for two years, are living thousands of miles apart.

Perera is unable to move to Uruguay due to the lack of job opportunities.Despite being a skilled worker, Lissidini's earning in Uruguay aren't counted as part of their marriage Visa.


Lissidini told BuzzFeed News that right now the couple are trying to find a place in the world they can be together.

She is still applying for jobs in the UK in hopes of getting sponsorship for a visa.

"We were thinking of moving somewhere else in South America," she said, "but deep down I know that would affect my husband's career. I know he would do it for me, but it saddens me every time I think about it."

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at

James Ball is a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. PGP: here

Contact James Ball at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.