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I am a British citizen. I sponsored my 'husband' for a spouse visa but found out he's already married in the USA. His legal wife notified Home Office. I knew he was in a relationship but not that he was married. I married him in the Bahamas last year and quickly applied for settlement visa.

He submitted an application for entry clearance on the basis of our marriage. That application is pending. His wife notified the Home Office that he is already married and wasn't free to marry anyone else.

Could he be banned for deception?

Can he be charged with a crime? He lives and is currently in the USA.

Can I be charged with facilitation? It's been 4 months with no response from Home Office. Submitted documents have been returned.

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    @Putvi - it's unlikely that the OP would be able to divorce someone they weren't ever legally married to. Perhaps an annulment? – brhans Apr 29 at 20:04
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    @Putvi the right way to correct those records (in the Bahamas, it seems, not the UK) is through annulment. A divorce cannot proceed unless the marriage was lawful. – phoog Apr 29 at 21:39
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    @Putvi under both Bahama and British law, bigamy is one of the valid reasons for declaring the marriage to be void - laws.bahamas.gov.bs/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1879/… gov.uk/how-to-annul-marriage – user4210 Apr 29 at 22:47
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    @Putvi your point is? The marriage was conducted in the Bahamas - it can be declared void under either Bahamian, US or UK law. Residency of the husband has utterly nothing to do with this at all - the UK page specifically says "You or your spouse must have either...". – user4210 Apr 29 at 22:49
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    @ Putvi If the wife is a UK resident, she may petition for annulment there, the husband's residence does not matter. Under Bahamas law Chap 125 secs 20-21, there is no residency requirement: any marriage by parties one or both of whom was previously married to another person is void, not voidable, and will be so declared upon a proper application. – David Siegel Apr 29 at 23:12
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If the purported husband (PH) has not attempted to enter the UK under false pretenses, and has not submitted documents containing false statements to the UK government, it is hard to see how he might be charged with a crime by the UK in connection with the invalid marriage.

But since the PH is now said to have submitted an application for entry clearance based on the bigamous marriage, a marriage that it appears that he knew or should have known was invalid, he has submitted an official document based on a false statement. That is presumably an offense under UK law, and may well affect the PH's future immigration treatment.

If the deceived wife has not knowingly made false statements to the UK government, it is hard to see how she would be charged in the UK. She would be wise to promptly inform the UK government that the marriage was invalid, to withdraw any statements or applications based on its validity, and to take legal steps to correct the record so that the marriage does not show as valid. This might be by annulment or some other procedure, probably depending on the law in the Bahamas where the purported marriage took place. (Under chapter 125, section 21(b) a prior marriage is valid grounds for an annulment or decree of nullity.) She might also want to notify the US authorities.

The purported husband might have been guilty of bigamy in the Bahamas, depending on just how their law is written. Whether the authorities there will seek to extradite and prosecute him one cannot say.

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    Thank you. He submitted an application for entry clearance on the basis of our marriage. That application is pending. His wife notified the Home Office that he is already married and wasn't free to marry anyone else. I think, from my reading, that would be considered failing to disclose material facts, and may be considered deception. – Esther1985 Apr 29 at 23:04
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    There is no need for an annulment- a bigamous ‘marriage’ is void an initio – Dale M Apr 30 at 0:02
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    @Dale M, quite true, but a Decree of Nullity is a way of officially recognizing and memorializing that this particular marriage is in fact void for this specific reasons, so that one checking or relying on marriage records is not deceived. If there was never a reason for such a decree for a bigamous marriage, prior marriage wouldn't have been listed as one of the grounds for such a decree, would it? – David Siegel Apr 30 at 0:08
  • The purported husband has submitted an application for a spouse visa. Wouldn't that constitute an attempt to enter (or rather obtain entry clearance for) the UK under false pretenses and the submission of documents containing false statements? That would trigger the provisions in the immigration rules concerning deception, which generally lead to a 10-year ban (perhaps on second application). I do not know whether it would also be a crime. I am assuming that he knew (or should have known) that the second marriage was invalid because of the first marriage. – phoog Apr 30 at 14:19
  • @phoog Yes, I think it would. The original question did not indicate tha tthe purported husband had made such a submission. – David Siegel Apr 30 at 14:38

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