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

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

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Don Adam Perera and Made Lissidini met in a bar in Argentina on 12 September 2011. Perera is from England and Lissidini is from Uruguay.

Made Lissidini

"After a couple of hours of drinking we were getting ready to leave," Lissidini told BuzzFeed News. "I opened a big red door and was faced with the most amazing man I've ever met."

Made Lissidini

By January 2012, Perera had moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, to be with his new love.

Made Lissidini

A year later, they married.

Made Lissidini

But a month after marriage, Perera had to move back to the UK to start a master's degree, forcing the couple apart for a year.

Made Lissidini

Lissidini was unable to move with him due to immigration laws.

Made Lissidini

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.

As a student, Perera did not earn that much – ​so he couldn’t afford to bring Lissidini to the UK.

Made Lissidini

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.

Made Lissidini

But she was only able to stay for the duration of her course, which ended this August.

Made Lissidini

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.

Made Lissidini

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

Made Lissidini

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.

Made Lissidini

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."

Made Lissidini

"After he graduates I'm thinking we can maybe move to Ireland, and try the European Family permit once again. But honestly I don't know. We tried that before and it didn't work."

Made Lissidini

"I feel completely lost. I daydream about being able to get in the next flight to London, hug and kiss my husband. But my hopes are limited and my future seems a little tainted."

Made Lissidini

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

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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

Contact James Ball at James.Ball@buzzfeed.com.

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