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Friend's Sham Marriage

(15 Posts)
WineAndThyme Sun 10-Apr-16 11:31:29

Hello mumsnet,

I have a friend who i have to now distance myself from because I have seen a different side to her, am wary of her actions, believe she is manipulative and perhaps just not a very nice person and morally do not agree with what she is doing. The only small thing is that she trusts me and i am likely one of only 2 people who know about her situation. It's only after time and knowing her that I have started to feel very strongly about the dishonest nature of her.

I would welcome any thoughts on this and peoples views. I will set the scene.
She moved to London from Sydney late in 2010 to begin a new life. (I met her in 2012) she is an Australian citizen but was born in China. (her mother lives in China and her father lives in Sydney. She doesn't speak to her father and has no contact)

She was dating a German man soon after moving to London. After only being together for about a year she married him in order to obtain an EEA Family Permit which would enable her to stay living & working legally in the UK under EU law. (she was on a 2 year working holiday visa prior to this) they were living (renting)together but 2 years later he told her he no longer wanted to be with her. He is a higher earner and would be able to pay the rent on his own, she however wouldn't. She was also concerned about her visa and legal situation if he divorced her. They came to an agreement in which he said he won't divorce her until she can sort out some other visa allowing her to stay and that he would allow her to stay living in the flat at a lower rent and he would pay the bills. He had the bedroom and for over a whole year(!!) up until last summer she stayed there but sleeping on the sofa! Due to their different work patterns they often weren't in at the same time anyway and have maintained an amicable friendship. During this year and a half she kept prolonging her stay as he kept asking her if she'd found anywhere else to live. She kept putting it off and i believe manipulated him and possibly blackmailed him into this.

Around spring time 2015 (whilst still living at his place on the sofa) she met a Spanish man who she started dating. She is still dating this new man and moved into his flat (which he owns) just before Christmas last year. To my knowledge she still has some belongings at her "husbands' (the German man) and is still married to him. The new man she is now with has absolutely no idea about all of this and doesn't know she is married. She has not told him the truth and he believes she was living with literally a "flatmate". She is now living pretty much rent free in the new mans place.

What she is doing is actually illegal since her EEA family permit assumes you are living with your spouse (obviously) she s abusing the system and manipulating both men. I completely disagree with her actions and she is just taking liberties.

I presume if she gets caught she could get into a lot of trouble about this. I also how long she can live and be with this Spanish man without him finding out the truth?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 10-Apr-16 11:34:55

She works, is a contributor to the economy and not a drain on anyone.

Therefore I don't a fuck. Feel free to give a fuck.

The other stuff - her ex dumped her, she met someone else - hasn't mentioned she was married and got dumped - don't see the problem with this at all - sounds like her business.

TheXxed Sun 10-Apr-16 11:36:19

It's really none of your business, your better off focusing your energy on your own life.

Arfarfanarf Sun 10-Apr-16 11:37:00

Sounds like a big mess all round.
You've posted in legal matters. Are you wanting legal advice on this woman's situation? Are you planning to report her or something?

My view since you've asked for people's views is that if you don't like her, and you have indicated you don't, then don't be friends with her.

verite Sun 10-Apr-16 12:06:16

Under EEA law you are still entitled to residence as a spouse even if you are seperated as long as you are not divorced. It is different under domestic immigration law - EEA law is much more generous. Also it is only a sham marriage if it was entered into for the sols purpose of obtaining residence. If they did genuinely live together as man and wife (ie. it was a genuine relationship) the fact that she had an ulterior motive does not mean the marriage was a " a marriage of convenience" which is the correct term. So whilst they stay legally married she is not doing anything wrong ( from a legal sense anyway).

WineAndThyme Sun 10-Apr-16 12:27:39

Is it still legal even if she is living at a different address? I thought with a family permit you needed to prove you live together?

NotCitrus Sun 10-Apr-16 12:34:46

If she's been married for over 2 years, can she get or has she applied for Permanent Leave to Remain? Once she has that, then she can sort it out.

Lots of people marry when otherwise they might not, in order to have working visas.

JollyXmasJumper Sun 10-Apr-16 13:01:32

And you care because?

You should not presume actually, verite is right, from a legal standpoint it is not a "sham marriage". From a moral standpoint, I would assume that an immigrant who gets dumped and may be at risk of getting deported would receive a lot more support and compassion from a so called friend.

WineAndThyme Sun 10-Apr-16 16:02:46

She told me she only married him for the visa. You should not assume I haven't been a supportive and compassionate friend. But in fact I have but one can only go so far when I know the current partner finds out. She is not telling him the truth. Maybe it's none of my business but morally i think it's wrong.

mudandmayhem01 Sun 10-Apr-16 16:11:28

Its not a sham marriage really, ok the motivation for the marriage may have been influenced by getting a visa, but they did have a relationship, rather than meet at the registrar office and and never see each other again. There are lots of things I find morally repugnant but I don't go reporting to the authorities ( serious crime and child protection issues I obviously would)

WineAndThyme Sun 10-Apr-16 16:57:13

I won't be reporting it

sixinabed Sun 10-Apr-16 16:57:20

Given her situation is legal, then you have to decide whether you want to be her friend? If not then just stop. If you do, but feel you can't without speaking to her about your views on the morals of her situation then talk to her about it - this may end your friendship anyway.

I would advise you not to carry on being friends while feeling resentful - it's not good for either of you.

Romantic relationships are complicated and ultimately, as long as children are not involved, only the business of those in them.

lalalonglegs Sun 10-Apr-16 17:17:42

But lots of people say things like "I only married him for the visa/his money/because we had great sex" and other dismissive reasons when a marriage breaks down. It doesn't mean that that was in fact the case. Her estranged husband seems not to feel used so I'm not sure I understand what the problem is, as a pp said, she is contributing to the system and not planning to bring across an extended family of dependents. She sounds a bit immature as she hasn't filled in the new boyfriend on her circumstances but is that really so bad?

titchy Sun 10-Apr-16 17:24:32

Morally she's in the wrong, but not legally. So sticky beak out.

HarlotBronte Sun 10-Apr-16 21:14:22

Her EEA permit doesn't require them to be living together at all. Given that, in the nicest possible way, you clearly don't know shit, you're probably best off trying to dampen any strong feelings you have on the matter.

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