IT is a love story that has spanned almost 5,000 miles.
But the romance between Lizzy Thornton and Lewis Batohie could be doomed – thanks to new immigration rules.
The Huddersfield student is engaged to her American boyfriend but he cannot move to the UK because of tough new restrictions.
Now the couple are appealing to MPs and to Home Secretary Theresa May in the hope they can finally be together.
The rules, introduced in the summer, mean that Lizzy, of Quarmby, has to be the sponsor for Lewis and has to have an income of £18,600 a year or have a savings account with at least £62,500.
Lizzy said: “I am still a student at The Open University and a part-time attendant at Huddersfield Sports Centre, so barely have time to be working a job to earn that much money.
“Lewis and I hoped that third-party sponsorship would still help and my family are more than willing to help but unfortunately, with the new rules, a third-party would not be allowed to sponsor him.
“I hope, someday soon, the government will come to realise how ludicrous these immigration laws and expectations are and have some compassion for those who want nothing more than to be with the people they love in the place that they love.”
Lizzy, 20, met Lewis on the internet 18 months ago.
She said: “We talked every day; it turned out we had a lot in common. After a few months he asked to be my boyfriend. I was sceptical as he lived in San Antonio, Texas and I didn’t like the idea of a long distance relationship, but I had grown to really like him so I agreed.
“Spending so much time together online meant that we had nothing to do except talk. We couldn’t sit down to watch TV together in silence, we didn’t have our friends to go and hang out with. So every day we would wake up, call each other via Skype and sit and video chat all day.