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Bringing My Filipina Wife or Girlfriend to the UK – What you Need to Know
The Philipines is an absolutely stunning country, full of some of the most amazing landscapes you can imagine, some of the friendliest people in the Asia region and a very popular destination for holidays.
It is a country that many British nationals visit every year. It often happens that love is found with the country and its people, where serious relationships begin between a visiting Brit and local that could lead to a relationship to form or to marriage after some time.
As one of the UK’s leading immigration law firms, we are often asked about technicalities involved when a British national wants to bring their foreign girlfriend, spouse, wife or husband to the UK. The processes involved are the same wherever your wife may be from. For the context of this article, we will discuss the question, “How Can I bring my Filipina Wife or girlfriend to the UK?“
Applying for a Tourist Visa for your Filipina Girlfriend
You can make a visa application for your Filipina girlfriend to visit you in the UK. This can be done if you are a British citizen or have permanent residence in the UK.
The visa application for your Filipina girlfriend, which we are happy to take care of, must have a letter of invitation from yourself to your Filipina girlfriend inviting her to the UK. It should state that you have both met and have formed a legitimate relationship and should also say if you have met her parents.
You must show as the sponsor of your Filipina girlfriend evidence of your UK immigration status, your salary, which needs to be no less than £18600 per annum gross and also proof that your accommodation is sufficiently sized to accommodate your Filipina girlfriend and that your landlord allows visitors to stay there.
Bringing My Filipina Wife to the UK – The Process if you are a British National or individual with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
There are two main ways whereby a person can bring their Filipina wife to the UK. But it doesn’t have to be a Filipina, as it can be a wife or a husband of any other nationality. The requirements and principles are the same and we can discuss them with you directly, for more info please do contact us.
Suppose the UK husband is a British citizen or has permanent residence (ILR) here. In that case, he can bring his Filipina wife here to the UK based on marriage on a Spouse Visa by making an application that meets several requirements.
The legal route to pursue in the UK immigration system would be to apply for a UK Spouse Visa, and the requirements are as follows.
- The parties must have met and must prove that they intend to live together permanently;
- The resident UK spouse must be in work as an employee or in self-employment and show earnings of at least £18,600 gross per annum;
- Payslips for at least six months must be shown, and bank statements covering the minimum period of 6 months must also be shown, plus a contract of employment;
- There must also be sufficient accommodation without overcrowding;
- The UK spouse must sign a declaration to confirm he will support his wife here, who will not become a charge on the public funds.
Documents that are needed for bringing my Filipina Wife to the UK
If you are thinking about bringing your Filipina Wife to the UK, you will also need to make sure the documents you show as proof of your marriage and relationship are acceptable.
Any documents in the Philippine language, such as the marriage certificate or a previous divorce decree, must be translated into English by an English professional translator.
The English Language Requirement
Your Filipina wife must have passed the English language test at the A2 level of the Common European Framework for languages unless she has a degree taught in English equivalent to a UK BA honours degree.
A successful Spouse Visa UK application
If you provide all the evidence that is needed for your Filipina wife to be granted “entry clearance” into the UK, she will initially receive a Spouse Visa for 2.5 years. After this period, if your relationship is still going well, your Filipina wife can apply for an extension of a further 2.5 years. And after this, she can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, which is also known as permanent residence.
During this time, your Filipina wife will be able to work legally in the UK without restrictions.
Alternative Routes – The UK Fiance Visa
If you are in a serious relationship with a Filipina woman and would like to bring her to the UK to get married here, you can do this under the UK Fiancee Visa route.
The main requirements for this visa route are that you must prove as the British sponsor that you intend to marry your Filipina girlfriend within six months of entry to the UK.
- Your Filipina wife must show that all previous relationships have come to an end. So it’s important to have a decree absolute of divorce if this is applicable before applying to come here as a fiancée.
- If your application is successful, your Filipina girlfriend will receive a visa for six months, but this will not entitle her to work here until you are married and she has received her Spouse Visa.
- For your application to be successful, you both must prove that your relationship is genuine, that your Filipina wife has the necessary English speaking requirements and that you obviously intend to live together permanently,
- Moreover, you must show that your Filipina girlfriend will be able to support herself or be supported by you, without access to public funds and with adequate accommodation in place.
The UK Fiancee visa will allow her to enter the UK and see if she likes to stay here; however it will not allow her to work in the UK. It essentially allows the foreign applicant to study the culture and customs of the UK, experience the weather and all the circumstances before deciding to get married here and make the UK her permanent home.
After you marry your Filipina girlfriend in the six months permitted timeframe, your Filipina wife can then apply for a UK Spouse Visa as explained above. However, until it’s switched over to a spouse visa and the visa is granted, the wife will not be able to work. This is a visa for which all the spouse visa requirements are present other than the marriage certificate. 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.
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years
If after five years on the UK spouse visa route and your Filipina wife wishes to remain here in the UK permanently, then an application can be made for settlement, also known as indefinite leave to remain. Still, your Filipina wife will need to take the Knowledge of life in the UK test, which is a history test of Great Britain, and may have to repeat the English language test if it was taken more than two years ago.
How can Gulbenkian Andonian Help
Spouse visa applications and UK Fiancee 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.
Ask our Expert Legal Team
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.
Whether it is about a complex or straightforward UK immigration issue, buying or selling a property, divorce, employment, corporate matters, making a will, notary services or discussing any legal issue of your choice – Gulbenkian Andonian is here to help!
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Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.