1. ITV Report

Welsh-American family's anger over immigration rules

Molly Pudner and 18-month-old Solomon will live separately from husband and father Matthew Pudner while they appeal Photo: ITV News

A Welsh-American family say they are angry and upset at the UK immigration system after temporarily being unable to move back to Wales together.

Matthew Pudner spent ten years in America, during which time he met his wife Molly, and their 18-month-old son Solomon - who has both UK and USA citizenship - was born.

They family wanted to move back to Mr Pudner's home city of Swansea to raise Solomon as Welsh - but Mrs Pudner was refused a spousal visa as her husband did not meet the financial requirements at the time their application was made.

Mr Pudner told ITV News: "We either had to state that we had over a certain amount of UK-based income - which neither of us had at that point because we didn't have jobs in the UK - or US-based income but with a UK job offer.

"I had US-based income and so did Molly, but I didn't have a UK job offer at that point, and so we were caught in no-man's land.

"The other option was to show a required amount of savings, which we didn't have."

Mr Pudner secured a job as a college lecturer just five days after returning to Britain and does now meet financial requirements.

But his wife - who had to fly to Britain as a tourist - has now been forced to return to Arizona with little Solomon while they appeal the initial decision.

It is not known how long the appeal process will take, and if it is unsuccessful they must reapply.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.

"Mrs Pudner's spousal visa was refused because her husband did not meet the financial requirements at the time of the application.

"She is free to submit a new application at any time and may wish to do so if she has new evidence to support her claim that was not available at the previously."

Speaking to ITV News hours before they were separated, Mr Pudner said he feels like the current system "penalises regular working families".

Mrs Pudner added: "It's a great cost, a great distance... and a difficult separation."

Video: The Pudner family speak about their life in Wales before Mrs Pudner and Solomon moved back to the US.