Bringing Your Filipina Wife or Girlfriend to the UK in 2023 – What you Need to Know
The Philippines is an absolute paradise with breath taking scenery, welcoming locals, and a prime destination for getaways. Picture this: lush jungles full of vibrant flora and fauna, picturesque beaches washed by the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea – all amidst one of the friendliest cultures in Asia!
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Every year, a multitude of visitors from the UK visit the Philippines, many of whom fall in love with its culture and locals so deeply that serious relationships bloom from their interactions. These newfound romances have even been known to lead to marriage between British citizens and Filipina nationals, with the union then requiring an application for a type of UK visa required to bring their beloved partners into the UK.
As one of the UK’s top immigration law firms, British nationals and residents often ask us how to bring their foreign spouse or girlfriend from anywhere in the world – such as the Philippines – into Britain. First and foremost, any foreign national wishing to come to the UK must have an appropriate visa before they step foot in the country. Fortunately, several options are available when it comes to obtaining a visa for your loved one from the Philippines. In this article, we’ll share advice on how to obtain a UK visa for your Filipina wife or girlfriend under the visitor, fiance and spouse visa routes.
Applying for a Visitor Visa for your Filipina Girlfriend
You can make a standard visitor visa application for your Filipina girlfriend to visit you in the UK. A standard visitor visa will enable your partner to stay with you in the country for up to six months.
A visitor visa is a type of visa that allows individuals from from third countries to visit the UK for a short period of time. It can be used for various purposes, including tourism, visiting family and friends, attending meetings, or attending special events such as weddings or graduations.
If your Filipina partner wants to visit the UK for a short period, say for less than half a year, she can apply for a Standard Visitor visa. To be eligible for this visa, she must meet the following requirements:
- She must have a valid reason for visiting the UK, such as tourism or visiting family and friends.
- She must be able to support herself financially during her stay in the UK, or have a sponsor who can support her.
- She must have enough money to pay for her return journey or onward travel.
- She must not be intending to work in the UK or engage in any other paid activity.
- She must not have a criminal record or pose a threat to national security.
The application process for a visitor visa typically involves completing an online application form and attending a visa appointment at a visa application centre in the Philippines. During the appointment, she will need to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photograph, and provide supporting documents, such as a passport, evidence of financial support, and evidence of her reason for visiting the UK.
It is important to understand that a visitor visa does not allow for the individual to stay in the UK for more than 6 months at a time, and it does not allow them to work or settle in the UK. If your Filipina partner wishes to stay in the UK for a longer period of time, or to work or study in the UK, she will need to apply for a different type of visa such as Student, Fiancé or Spouse visa (if you get married).
Applying for a Fiancé Visa for your Filipina Girlfriend
If you and your Filipina partner are in a committed relationship and plan to get married in the UK, the Fiancé visa may be a suitable option. To apply for this visa, you must demonstrate that you and your partner plan to marry within six months of her arrival in the UK, and that your relationship is genuine and subsisting.
There are several requirements that you must meet to be eligible for the Fiancé visa, including:
- You must be a British citizen or a settled person in the UK.
- Your Filipina partner must show that all previous relationships have come to an end and must provide a decree absolute of divorce if applicable.
- You must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600 or have sufficient savings to support yourselves without relying on public funds.
- The must provide payslips for at least six months and bank statements covering a minimum period of six months, as well as a contract of employment.
- Your Filipina partner must speak English to a required level by meeting the English language requirement, which can be demonstrated through passing a Home Office approved English test or being a national of a majority English-speaking country.
- You must have suitable accommodation available for your partner in the UK.
If your application is successful, your Filipina partner will receive a Fiancé visa that is valid for six months. During this time, she will not be able to work in the UK. Once you are married, she can apply for a Spouse visa that will allow her to work in the UK and stay for a longer period.
It’s important to understand that Fiancé visa applications can be complex and can also take a long time for a decision to be reached. Therefore, is recommended that you seek the advice of an immigration law firm like us at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors to help you with the process.
Overall, the Fiancé visa provides an excellent opportunity for you and your Filipina partner to experience life in the UK before deciding to make it your permanent home through marriage.
The English Language Requirement
It is a requirement for many individuals applying under numerous visa routes to pass the English language test at the A1 level of the Common European Framework for languages unless she has a degree taught in English equivalent to a UK BA honours degree.
After you get married in the six months permitted timeframe, your Filipina wife can then apply for a UK Spouse Visa. However, until it’s switched over to a spouse visa and the visa is granted, she will not be able to work in the UK. In exceptional circumstances, if the marriage does not take place within six months, an application can be made to extend it for another six months. For more info, read our article on British citizenship by marriage.
Applying for a UK Spouse Visa for Your Filipina Wife
If you’re a British citizen or permanent resident in the UK and want to bring your Filipina wife over from abroad, you can apply for a Spouse Visa. This process requires you to meet certain criteria and submit an application that satisfies the requirements.
- You must prove that you have met and intend to live together permanently.
- The UK spouse must be employed or self-employed, earning at least £18,600 gross per annum.
- The UK spouse must provide payslips for at least six months and bank statements covering a minimum period of six months, as well as a contract of employment.
- The couple must have adequate accommodation without overcrowding.
- The UK spouse must sign a declaration to confirm that they will support their spouse in the UK and ensure that they do not become a burden on public funds.
Overall, obtaining a UK Spouse Visa for your Filipina wife can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with the right guidance and support, it can be much easier. Whether you’re unsure of the eligibility criteria or need help with the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our immigration solicitors London who will provide tailored advice and an efficient service. With the help of our Spouse Visa Lawyers London, you will be able to navigate the UK immigration system in a clear way and bring your Filipina spouse to the UK so that you can both start your new life together. To get in contact with us, click here.
Documents Needed to Bring your Filipina Wife to the UK
If you are considering bringing your Filipina Wife to the UK, you will also need to ensure the documents you show as proof of your marriage and relationship are acceptable.
Any documents in the Philippine language Tagalog, such as the marriage certificate or a previous divorce decree, must be translated into English by an English professional translator.
A Successful Spouse Visa Application
If all the mandatory evidence is submitted with your Filipina wife’s “entry clearance” application, she will receive a Spouse Visa that lasts for 2.5 years. If you’re still happily together after this period, then it can be extended by another 2.5 years. Finally, if everything goes according to plan, your partner can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as permanent residence) without having to worry about expiration dates anymore!
During this period, your Filipina spouse will be allowed to work legitimately in the UK with no limitations.
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after Five Years
After five years of living in the UK on a spousal visa, your Filipina wife has the opportunity to apply for permanent settlement or indefinite leave to remain. However, she must take and pass an examination known as “Knowledge of Life in the UK”, which tests her knowledge of British history; additionally, if it’s been more than two years since she took an English language test, then that may have to be repeated.
How can Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Help
Spouse visa applications and UK Fiance visa applications are two immigration routes our team of expert immigration lawyers have very high success rates with. We can provide you with the right guidance, advice, and representation of relevance to your specific situation and create an effective roadmap that will allow your Filipina wife to enter the UK efficiently and quickly. To discuss bringing your Filipina wife to the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
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Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.