Does anyone have any experience of how UK visas and polygamy interact with each other, if at all?

Sadly we can't claim that non-monogamy is a cultural norm for any of us so that doesn't help. We figure we need to speak to a solicitor and get our ducks in a row, but we also thought it couldn't hurt to ask around here first.

  • A ‘history of living together’ relates to time spent outside the UK. It would not apply to time spent living together in the UK after a successful Tier 2 visa application were to be successful (Immigration Rules 281b gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/…)
    – Traveller
    Jul 14, 2019 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


There is no visa for polygamous or polyamorous relationships. The UK will not use polyamory against you (or polygamy I suppose), but they simply won't recognize it either for the purposes of granting visas. I am not aware that the UK government has ever bothered to dig into the explicit relationship of two people deeply enough to determine that there was a third person involved with the obvious exception, ofcourse, of multiple marriages to verify legal divorces and current legal marriage status. If he can establish a relationship akin to marriage with a partner in the UK, then he can qualify for that visa. My best advice on this, don't lie. Don't ever try to deceive the Home Office. If marriage is in the cards, one married couple and one married couple only. If that marriage happens to be open enough to involve a third person, that's the business of that couple, not the UK (from their perspective, not mine).

  • Are you sure about the bit about the UK not holding polygamy against you? I know other European countries where it can be taken as evidence of a lack of integration with very severe consequences (up to refusing naturalisation and/or residence permits).
    – Gala
    Aug 22, 2017 at 14:00
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    The UK has been trying to be 'tolerant', within some degree of reason, of varying cultural practices. Combined with the fact that they have, until relatively recent times, had countries under their control where the practice of polygamy has been a social norm since befor history, it is not something that will be held against an applicant. That said, the UK is very strict in its policies regarding who qualifies for a marriage type visa. It must be a legally recognized verifiable marriage (or will be in the UK), and only one fiance/spouse counts.
    – ouflak
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:37
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    They are quite clear about this and I think it is even specifically mentioned in the legislation. There is even a limit to the number of times an individual can ever apply for such a visa, a policy specifically meant to prevent potential cases of possible polygamy in the UK. Also, any convictions for the act can be held against an applicant just like any other criminal offense.
    – ouflak
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:37
  • @ouflak wouldn't this mean, as you can only apply for such visa once and that only one spouse/fiance counts, that because 2 are already in the UK (and are British citizens as well), one of them simply needs to be married with the person outside of the UK? It's not like they are trying to bring 20 wives or "wives" into the country. It's literally one person/family member.
    – kiradotee
    Jul 14, 2019 at 13:26
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    You'd have to convince immigration that the person entering is your wife. If immigration knows that your wife lives in the UK already, then the other person is not your wife. Not as far as the UK is concerned. She may be your lover, but being the lover of a married man doesn't give you rights to enter the UK.
    – gnasher729
    Sep 21, 2019 at 13:26

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