A SKYPE couple forced apart by the Tories’ hostile environment immigration policy were reunited in Edinburgh yesterday after a two-year visa battle.

Juli Colaianni and husband Tony Duffy hugged at the city’s airport, delighted to be “out of the clutches of the Home Office”.

The Home Office had rejected US citizen Colaianni’s application for a spousal visa because they said the self-employed plasterer did not meet the minimum income requirements.

However, they relented a week ago after The National publicised their plight and Tommy Sheppard, their SNP MP, took up their case.

The 30-year-olds were married in 2017 after they met while she was studying in the UK.

READ MORE: Couple tells of visa victory joy after two-year Home Office fight

Following the dismissal of her last visa application, Colaianni returned to the US in December to complete a new application.

In the intervening period, Duffy, who had also been looking after his mother, spoke of how their separation was affecting his mental health.

He said he had been preparing for the worst before the couple received news of her visa success.

“I was hoping for the best but expecting another challenge,” he said. “It’s a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”

The National:

Colaianni said all their plans had been put on hold, but she was looking forward simple things, such as waking up next to each other: “I never fully appreciated the everyday boring aspects of life with Tony because I never thought I’d be in a position where we were 3000 miles away from each other.”

She too said the “nightmare” had dramatically affected every aspect of her life.

She flew from Pennsylvania to Dublin and from there to Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Here is my story of the Home Office's hostile environment nightmare

Last night the couple were delighted, and a jet-lagged Colaianni told The National: “As the plane was descending into Edinburgh, I felt an immediate sense of relief because I was almost home.

“When I saw Tony waiting, it was an indescribable feeling. It finally felt like the start of our lives together.

“I was overcome with so many emotions that all I could do was smile and embrace Tony.

“We hardly spoke, it was more of a physical embrace and with that I could feel the lingering stress melt away.

“We can finally feel what married life is supposed to be like with no looming stress of someone determining our future. We were finally out of the clutches of the Home Office.”

Colaianni said they were now looking forward to starting and raising a family in an independent Scotland after year as a Skype family.

“For the first time in 12 months we didn’t need our phones to communicate.

“We spent most of the day just enjoying each other’s company.

“We just want to enjoy being together and look forward to starting a family together and Couple’s joy as the hostile environment is behind them raising our children in an independent Scotland. We’re looking forward to getting back into a home routine.”

She added: “Ever since we have been married, the Home Office have been living rent free in our heads all day every day and, for the first time in almost three years, we are both happy to say the Home Office is the farthest thing from our minds.

“Finally I can work and use my education to better myself and my family but also hopefully Scotland – my home.

“We are both home and happier than ever.

“We are both the persons that we fell in love with again.”