I know this has been done many times before but I’m seeking advice on my situation.

I’m a professional British citizen living in Asia. I have been with my Filipino Girlfriend for around a decade. I provide for her financially. She has a small food and beverage business in the Philippines which is in her name. She has all the paperwork to prove this, including business permits etc. Unfortunately, as it’s basically a cash in hand business not much of the takings are deposited in a bank, although she does have an account.

She has a 14 year old Daughter from a previous relationship and we have an 18-month old Son together who has my surname and I am named on the birth certificate.

I would like to take my Girlfriend and Son to the UK for 2 weeks this year to visit my parents/my sons grandparents who are elderly and would find a long journey difficult. I have the following questions surrounding her being able to prove that she intends to return:

  • Would the fact that her Daughter, who lives with her and is reliant on her, will be staying behind in the Philippines be enough to show she intends to return?
  • Would the fact that she owns her own small business (and has all the documentation to prove this) be proof that she intends to return, despite not having accounts etc to show it is profitable?

Does the fact that I am my sons Father and I want him to see his elderly grandparents and meet his wider family members count for anything? Obviously an 18-month old baby is too young to spend 10 to 14 days away from his Mother.

For the record I will be sponsoring her trip/paying for flights/paying for private medical insurance for the both etc.

Edited to add from comments: My girlfriends mother will be taking care of the daughter and has provided a letter to state this. I can prove that I support my girlfriend, although I work and live in Singapore.

  • How soon do you want to travel? Having your girlfriend pass all her business takings through her bank account for a few months will help demonstrate her finances. Who will be caring for the daughter? Document the arrangement so that the ECO isn't tempted either to assume she's being abandoned or that the arrangement is permanent.
    – user90371
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 5:05
  • Thanks for the reply - we are kind of flexible but we were thinking of this summer maybe July. The problem is it’s a kind of cash in hand kind of business so there’s not much in the way of profit
    – Oris72
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 5:07
  • Also my girlfriends mum will be taking care of her Daughter for the two weeks. My girlfriends mum has said she will provide a letter stating this
    – Oris72
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 5:11
  • 1
    "Obviously an 18-month old baby is too young to spend 10 to 14 days away from his mother": that argument is essentially useless. Babies that age (and younger) spend as long (or longer) away from their mothers all the time. And the Home Office is notorious for suggesting that parents and children maintain their relationships in the long term via videoconferencing. In that context, a couple of weeks' separation is nothing.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 6:56
  • I think two key aspects that would influence a successful application are whether you live together in the Philippines and if you can prove that you support her financially. Assuming you have a job or business ties there, your situation could be more favourable than the scenario where the relationship is long distance with the British citizen in the UK. This may help you draft your cover letter travel.stackexchange.com/questions/71874/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


To prove that your partner intends to return then the immigration authorities will look for several things to prove a strong intention to return.

  1. Family connections.
    That she leaves a child behind with their grandparents is good. Bring a copy of the child's birth certificate to prove this together with the letter from the grandmother you mentioned

  2. Job or business If they own business then show that this is registered in their name, the business bank account details etc. should be enough to prove this. That the business has little income going through the account should not be a problem. (they won't care how successful the business is).

If you can show tax returns for the business and that you employ others, then this also helps.

But, if it is not sufficient for her to live on independently, and she depends on you financially then this will probably be seen in a negative light.

  1. Possibility/intention to stay in the UK. If she has done previous visits and left without overstaying then this helps. Assuming she doesn't turn up with all of her/your worldly possessions in your luggage, and only have enough items for the duration of your stay then this also helps to prove that you don't intend to stay.

They will also look for evidence of wanting to stay. So if she applied to university or for a job or carries her CV with her, then this indicates that she might be planning to stay longer so would count against her.

Also, just apply for the minimum visa you require. If you for example apply for a multi visit 2 year visa for the first ever visit they are likely to reject it. Apply first for a single visit to "build history" of successful travel with the authorities. Then later you can apply for a multi-visit visa.

Then they will want to check that you both have a place to stay, can afford to stay etc. As you are paying for her then you will need to prove this. A hotel for the entire stay (or the address of your parents if you will stay there) Sufficient funds in cash, or in a bank account, access to credit cards etc. for your stay Suitable health insurance etc.

But the fact That you live and work in a different country (Singapore) compared to her unfortunately will not help your case! The authorities will look into and consider if you plan to live together in the UK. So if you can prove your residency in Singapore, prove that you have a job and intend to return (letter from employer), etc. this will help a bit.

If you can show frequent travel between Singapore and the Philippines to visit her then this might help you. If you were already married for some time then this would also help.

I hope that you will at least arrive on the same flights into the UK.

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