A Pinay Used A Fake Name: Can An Illegal Immigrant Become Legal In The UK?

Noong isang taon may lumapit sa akin na isang Pinay. Sinabi niya na sya daw ay TNT at gumamit ng maling pangalan sa passport. I asked her why she used a false name in her passport. It is part of my duty as a lawyer to assess and investigate the reasons and see if there are merits in her case.

Sa aking pakikipag-usap sa kanya, I found out the reason why she ended up using a false name. She told me that she was a victim of an agent who duped her with a large amount of money. It appears that it was an illegal recruitment agent who falsified her documents in 2005 without her consent and applied for a false name. Dahil siguro walang alam at walang pinag-aralan, tinanggap na lang niya na maling pangalan ang dala niya. From then on, she has been using that passport in many countries like the Middle East.

As a lawyer, I cannot mislead the UK Government and the Court. It is my duty to be truthful in compliance with my professional code of ethics. I advised her that if she wanted me to accept her case, she must allow me to be honest with the Home Office Immigration and I need to inform the Caseworker that she used a false name to enter the UK. She said yes. I advised her to rectify her passport under her real name to the Philippine Embassy in London. Should she said no, I won’t accept her case at all as it will jeopardise me and put my profession into disrepute.

As part of her application, she admitted that she has established a genuine and subsisting relationship with an EU national. They have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for many years. I then made my legal submissions and pleadings to the Secretary of State that my client used a false name which was against her will. I also said that my client is not finding an excuse or alibi to gain a lawful residence in the UK. She was making an application to regularise her immigration status in good faith. She has no criminal records and no civil injunctions in the UK or in any other country. Then it is up to the Decision-maker to assess the merits of her case in the light of the documentary evidence my client has provided in support of the application. She sincerely apologised to the government. The application was submitted along with all genuine, non-fabricated documents. There was no deception or any falsehood. I advised her that there is no guarantee of success. She was ready for any consequence – she can go home and apply to come back anyway.

After months of waiting, the Home Office made a decision to grant my client a 5-year visa. My client is very happy. I was so pleased with the result. In my opinion, it is very crucial to disclose everything to the Government and let them make a decision based on the evidence you have provided. There is no point of lying or hiding material information when we know that it could be found out. The old cliché: “honesty is the best policy” works for this client.

If you are living in the UK without valid permission, you will be classed as an illegal immigrant and you could face deportation. Everyday life will be difficult as you won’t have the right to work or to access free healthcare or benefits.

Even people who enter the UK lawfully can find themselves become an illegal immigrant. Perhaps you have overstayed and not left the country, despite an expired or curtailed visa, or a refused immigration application.

Depending on your circumstances, there may however be ways that you can make your status legal by making an application based on your human rights such as family or private life under the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

You might be able to apply to stay in the UK if:

  • it would be very difficult for you to live in the country you would be in – for example because of a lack of work, education, family or friends, or if you wouldn’t be accepted back there
  • returning to your home country would be dangerous – perhaps if you would be persecuted
  • you’ve got a partner who has a right to stay in the UK – for example, if the partner is British or an EEA citizen
  • you’ve got children in the UK, especially if they’re British citizens, settled or have been in the UK for 7 years or more
  • your last visa was as a partner and you’ve suffered domestic abuse at the hands of the partner related to your visa

If you’ve got children living in the UK illegally, it’s important to get advice on whether you can make an application for them. They’ll be living illegally if they haven’t been registered for British citizenship or leave to remain.

Legal disclaimer

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. We are based at Suite 4, Stewart House, 56 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex IG11 8RW | Telephone: 0203 643 7508 |Fax: 02033931725  | Email: donm@queensparksolicitors.co.uk |Regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) 

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