Can I Apply For A Relationship Visa If I’m Still Legally Married?


Marital break ups happen and there are many consequences that a couple should bear because the pain is sometimes unbearable. This post aims to answer this question if it is possible to apply for a visa on the basis of relationship while legally married. My answer is: yes, it is possible. However, an applicant has  to understand what the Immigration Rules says on applying for this visa category.

Durable Relationship – there is no specific definition stipulated in the Immigration Rules aside from living together in the same address and the relationship subsisted for 2 years. Of course, the Home Office shall undertake an extensive examination of the personal circumstances and the burden of proof to prove that the relationship is genuine is coming from the applicant.

My advise is not to get married in the UK until you made application to divorce your spouse. You will need to wait for the document called: Decree Absolute or the finality of the divorce. Though divorce is not yet recognised in the Philippines, but since your habitual residence is in the United Kingdom, you can file a divorce petition here in the UK against your estranged partner. But don’t go to the Registrar Office yet in the UK to get married because if they found out that you lied about your marital status, the government will haunt you for deception and fraud.

Sabi ng iba pwede naman dayain ang form. Sabi kase ni ano, ni ganito pwede na daw ako magpakasal kase 10 years na kami di nagkikita ng asawa ko at tsaka may asawa na sya.

You can apply on the basis of your relationship to a British citizen or a Permanent Resident or an EU national. However, do not get married yet until you are divorced here. If you can prove that your relationship is genuine, then by all means apply and make sure you have all documents to prove that your relationship is loving and caring and not just because you wanted to have a visa also known as “marriage for convenience” or sham marriage.

There are many requirements you will need and some are: photographs of you and your partner in various occasions and places, letter of support from family and friends writing why they believe that you relationship is genuine, tenancy agreement and utility bills to confirm that you have been living together for 2 years or more and many others you think will support your application.

I have a client who was detained because the Home Office came at the very day of her wedding. She thought that because she has a British partner will exempt her from getting arrested. That was her misconception and wrong advise from people without knowledge pertaining to laws.

If you have a partner in the UK (British, PR or EU only) and you believe that your partner will happily support your application, you can apply for a relationship visa even if you are still legally married in the UK. The caveat is that that marriage should have broken down and not you loving two lovers.

The proverbial “you cannot serve two masters at the same time” still pervades.

– Don Magsino MBA is a qualified Immigration Lawyer in the UK don@stanfordlawassociates.co.uk

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