A taxi driver has won a “nightmare” battle with the Home Office to bring his wife to Scotland.
Keith Webster spoke of his delight last night after a visa was finally granted to his wife Susan Martinez, 55, from Arizona.
The 49-year-old, from Portlethen, admitted he and his wife had nearly lost all hope they would ever be together on a permanent basis.
He said: “We applied for one visa, which was refused, then another, and it had the same outcome. Susan came to Scotland for six months, but then she had to leave, and we started on a third visa application with a sinking feeling.
“I went to the USA to be with her for five weeks while the 12-week process started and it felt as if our nightmare was dragging on for the third time.
“By this stage, we were running out of hope and faith. We were both slowly getting depressed and we could feel it happening to us.
“We couldn’t plan anything, not even simple things like decorating the house or planning a weekend away because we didn’t know if we were ever going to be together again. Our life was on hold and we just had to go through each day as it came, not making any plans or getting our hopes up.
“We were living in a Groundhog Day situation for months on end, not planning or doing anything different each day.”
Even though the couple were married in the US last year, the Home Office said they were not satisfied that their relationship was “genuine and subsisting”.
But the couple persevered and Mr Webster said he was grateful to local MP Andrew Bowie and solicitor McGlashan Mackay for this week’s news.
Mr Webster added: “Without them, I don’t think we could have done this on our own, but I hope our story shows others in a similar situation there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“The immigration rules really need to change as this shouldn’t happen to anyone, but I fear more people are going to have to go through this if Brexit happens.
“It looks like everyone outside the UK will become in effect a non-EU citizen just like my wife from America. The rules applied to us will be applied to everyone after Brexit unless there is a change and it’s a hostile environment at the moment.”
Now Mr Webster is looking forward to being reunited with his wife as early as next week, and settling into life together.
He said: “We are over the moon that we finally know we have a future in Scotland.
“Our plans now are to try and live as normal and happy life as any other married couple, enjoying life and spending time doing things we both love to do.”
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.