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Immigration News

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006



Yes, there is no divorce in the Philippines. As per the recognition of divorce obtained in the UK (or anywhere in the world where divorce is legal), the answer would depend on the citizenship of the parties. Are both UK citizens? Then of course, by international comity, the Philippines would recognize their divorce. Is one party a Filipino/a at the time of the divorce? (Note, that it should be at the time of the divorce and not at the time of marriage.) If yes, then this is where the situation gets iffy. It must be the foreign party (UK citizen) who should apply for the divorce. Is one party a Filipino at the time of the marriage, but at the time of the divorce already a UK citizen? If yes, the divorce would be recognized here.

Hope that helps.

Mens Rea

As far as my understanding goes (and again this is not my case just a posting). Husband and wife are in the Philippines, separate for 3 years. Husband goes to UK, naturalizes, files for a divorce (I assume in abstensia or by consent), then comes back to the Philippines and then gets married. I think the issue for the US Consulate is the second marriage in the Philippines. Had they married in the UK I don't think there would be a problem.

Thus your interpretation bore out my hunch. That is, there are other facts and analyses to be done rather than purely knee jerk say "no divorce."


If the man obtained divorced when he was already a UK citizen, then his remarriage (2nd marriage) in the Philippines will be valid, because the divorce will be recognized. Of course he must "prove" that the divorce is valid pursuant to UK laws and also prove that when he obtained the divorce he was a UK citizen.

The Filipina wife will be allowed to remarry. There's already literature about such situation... what happens to the Filipina wife when his foreigner husband obtains a divorce? Since there is no divorce in the Philippines, does that mean that her status would remain "married"? :-O I could give you the citation if it's important to you, but the law already allows the Filipina to remarry, as an acknowledgment of such "unfair" situation.

I agree with you that no one should just have absolute "knee jerk" reactions about the divorce situation here in the Philippines. :) (Or much of everything else actually. Take care!)

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