How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Alice H Your Own Question
Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm.
Type Your UK Immigration Law Question Here...
Alice H is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a difficult situation. My girlfriend is in UK on a

This answer was rated:

I have a difficult situation. My girlfriend is in UK on a student visa granted in 2010 and to expire in 2014. She will hopefully graduate with a good (possibly first class) degree from University of Liverpool in June 2014.

Obviously if she can obtain a relevant job from an employer with a class 2 sponsorship licence she will be able to apply for leave to remain by switching to tier 2.

We are trying to cover all options, however, and I wonder if there is any way she can apply to remain here as my partner. I am a UM citizen by birth.

We have known each other and had a solid relationship for over 8 years now and she came to UK previously on visitors visas as well as me visiting her in Belarus.

The major complication is that I am married although my wife lives permanently in a nursing home and our relationship is nominal only. I do not wish to divorce my wife as I think she has enough emotional turmoil living with her disease (MS). However, i assume that as I would not be eligible to marry my girlfriend in these circumstances she would be prevented from applying to remain as my spouse. Am I correct?
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

Your analysis is correct.

You cannot marry your girlfriend whilst married to your wife. This would be bigamy, of course, which is a criminal offence.

Also you cannot say your girlfriend is your spouse - she obviously isn't. If you did, this would be a lie and get you both in trouble and you'd ruin her chances of staying in the UK.

Based on the information you've given, your girlfriends only real option as things stand is to find post study employment.

Hope this clarifies the matter for you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. I was fairly certain i was correct but wanted to be absolutely certain since it appeared that for the purpose of applying for leave to remain then marriage was not essential merely 'being partners'. I had assumed, it seems correctly, that my not being in a position to marry her would preclude this potential route.

I understand. This further information may assist.

The requirement under the immigration rules is that the relationship should be "...genuine and subsisting".

If your relationship is genuine and subsisting you would expected to show evidence that you:

are in a current, long-term relationship;

are living together with your partner;

share responsibility with your partner for any children;

share financial responsibilities with your partner, such as a joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, a joint bank account or joint savings, and utility bills in both your names;

and your partner have visited one another's home country and family; and
you have made plans about living together in the UK with your partner.

Unless these requirements are fulfilled it is unlikely you could say your girlfriend is your partner for immigration purposes. Although having a mistress is not illegal, I think you would find it difficult to establish the requirements under the 'genuine and subsisting' requirements.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks again.


The information is indeed helpful. As it happens I think we could easily satisfy the current, long term relationship requirement and we have had joint tenancies and council tax and utility bills in the past although now that she is studying away that is no longer the case, although I do effectively pay for her accommodation.


There are no children so that wouldn't apply, but because of her studies we would undoubtedly fail the currently living together requirement.


I would just point out that all parties here (including my wife) are aware of what is going on but it does seem that loyalty to my wife and my refusal to divorce her may act against us.


I just hope the girlfriend can find suitable post study employment. Although so many of the potential employers seem to be asking for specific levels of pre-university UK based qualifications we are somewhat concerned.

Thanks for the additional information.

Loyalty to your wife and refusal to divorce is likely to count against you.

I've been looking at the Immigration Rules in a little more detail. Under Part 8, 295A the following is stated:

"...any previous marriage or civil partnership (or similar relationship) by either partner has permanently broken down; and

the parties are not involved in a consanguineous relationship with one another..."

This is clearly something you'll have to bear in mind of you decide to make an application.

Hope this helps. Please remember to rate my answer. Happy to discuss this further.

Alice H, Solicitor Advocate
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience: Partner in national law firm.
Alice H and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC

Meet The Experts:

  • Thomas



    Satisfied Customers:

    BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
< Last | Next >
  • Thomas's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • INC's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • Clare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years hight street experience
  • A Hayat's Avatar

    A Hayat

    Immigration Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    13 years specialist skill in UK Immigration & Nationality Law
  • Paul Richmond's Avatar

    Paul Richmond


    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons) (First Class), LL.M (Distinction), Immigration Barrister (12 years)
  • Awan-Legal's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Specialist in immigration law with the highest level of accreditation in this area and with many years experience.