Noong 2019, I was appointed to handling a case of a Filipina overstayer who was detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) at Bedfordshire. Sinabi niya na she was an overstayer. Aminado sya at tanggap niya na mali ang ginawa niyang pag TNT. She also said that she was caught working illegally. Furthermore, she mentioned that she has been in a serious relationship with a British man in the UK. That relationship has been ongoing for many years. Sinabi niya na may mga kaibigan daw sya na nag report sa kanya sa Immigration.
She wanted me to act on her behalf and take over the conduct of the case. My first job as a lawyer was to ask relevant questions: 1) What are the reasons why she cannot go home?; 2) Have those reasons been considered by the Secretary of State for Home Department (SSHD); 3) Are there any other reasons why she is unwilling or unable to return to her country of origin?
She said that she used to be married with her estranged husband in the Philippines. She has been receiving threats from her husband and for that reason she did not want to return to the Philippines. Natatakot sya dahil may banta sa kanyang buhay na ipapakulong daw sya for Adultery – an offence under the Philippine’s family jurisdiction. Nakasulat yan sa Article 333 and 334 of the Philippines’ Revised Penal Code:
Art. 333. Who are guilty of adultery. — Adultery is committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void.
Adultery shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.
My next course of action was to ask her about objective evidences upang patunayan na totoo ang kanyang mga sinasabi. I advised her to gather all evidences in support of her claim.
Adultery is a crime in the Philippines and a person found to have committed this can be imprisoned for years. Idinagdag ko pa dito ang prison condition ng Pilipinas which is one of the worst prisons in the world.
I represented her to the Home Office UK Immigration and submitted that it is against my client’s best interest to return home because of the legal submissions I have mentioned above. I asked the Caseworker to consider the case in the light of the evidences provided.
It is not easy as I have to dig deeper on other UK case law that can support my legal representation. I find the Chikwamba, Beoku-Betts, Razgar and many others were very helpful in advancing my submissions that to ask my client to go back home is against her human rights, private and family life which she has established in the UK – an interference against her Article 8 ECHR.
The Home Office called and confirmed that they have granted my client a 10-year visa to remain in the UK with the right to work and live – in the light of the evidences she has presented.
Overstaying and illegal working are criminal offences in the UK. If you have other reasons to remain in the UK, you can submit an application to be considered by the Home Office.
The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.
We are Queen’s Park Solicitors. My name is Mr. Don Magsino, BSc, MBA, GDL. I am a Trainee Solicitor. We are based at Suite 4, Stewart House, 56 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex IG11 8RW | Telephone: 02036437508 | Fax: 02033931725 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA)