DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND UK SPOUSE VISAS
What is a Spouse Visa?
The Spouse Visa is granted by UK Visas and Immigration to a non-UK resident in order for them to live together with their partner in the UK.
This visa applies to individuals who are married to, or in a civil partnership with, a British citizen or a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK or settled status and no time limit on their stay in the UK.
You can read more about UK spouse visa rules in our separate blog here.
If you are looking to apply or appeal for a Visa, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Citizenship contact us here. We offer consultations in person from our offices in Dundee, Brechin and Cupar as well as via phone or video call. You can also email us here.
What is domestic violence or abuse?
Domestic violence and abuse can be emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or financial. They include threatening or controlling behaviour to try to harm, isolate or frighten someone.
What if I am a victim of domestic violence or abuse?
You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if your relationship has broken down as a result of domestic violence or abuse.
You must tell the Home office about the breakdown of your relationship as a result of domestic violence.
If you do not have sufficient money to support yourself whilst you are applying, you can complete a separate application form to ask UK Visas and Immigration for permission to claim benefits for up to 3 months. The form must be completed as soon as your relationship breaks down and you are in need of money.
What is indefinite leave to remain?
Indefinite leave to remain allows you settle in the UK. It’s also referred to as ‘settlement’. Indefinite leave to remain gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK without any restrictions. You can use it to eventually apply for British citizenship.
When to apply for Indefinite leave to remain
You must apply for indefinite leave to remain as soon as possible following the breakdown of your relationship. You must not wait until your current visa ends.
You can apply if your partner was one of the following:
· a British citizen
· a person settled in the UK (including as a refugee)
· a member of the UK armed forces who has served for at least 4 years
Requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a victim of domestic abuse
The requirements to be met for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic abuse are that-
· you must be in the UK;
· you must have made a valid application for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic abuse;
· you must not fall for refusal under any of the suitability grounds and;
· you must meet all of the eligibility requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic abuse.
If you meet all of the requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic abuse, you will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
If in doubt, contact our experts who will be able to help you establish whether you meet the above requirements.
If you do not meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic abuse only because:
· you have been convicted of an offence for which you were sentence to prison for less than 12 months (unless a period of 7 years has passed since the end of your sentence); or
· 24 months prior to the date of your ILR application being decided, you were convicted of or admitted an offence for which you received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record,
You will not be granted ILR but rather further limited leave to remain for a period not exceeding 30 months.
If you do not meet the requirements for indefinite leave or further limited leave to remain, your application in its entirety will be refused.
What can the Chamber Practice do for you?
We understand that the scenarios discussed above are incredibly sensitive. Our experienced immigration team are here to help you navigate such difficult times. We can guide you through the options available to you, the documents required to support your application and assist you through the process of making the necessary Home Office application.
Get in touch with us today for an initial consultation with with an Immigration team