Domestic Violence

Relationship broken down? Visa Concerns?

Each year, we assist thousands of people come to the UK to join their UK present and settled partners. This typically involves obtaining a visa under the partner/family category such as same sex/unmarried partner or spouse.

Those of you who entered the UK under such a category, will then often seek our assistance to make further applications to either extend your existing leave, or for us to assist you in achieving settled status in the UK.

Whilst the prospect of joining your UK settled partner to embark on an exciting and romance filled journey in to the future may seem like it’s just a visa decision away, many of those who join their UK partners find that as time goes on, their hopes of love, excitement and happy families sadly turn into their reality of arguments, financial troubles and incompatibility.

Prefer to talk? Call our experts now on 0203 384 4389
So, what happens when things go wrong?

Well, in practice, there are several possible scenarios here…

The most amicable and least emotionally and finally draining would be that both parties make a joint and well-informed decision that their relationship isn’t working, and they need to part company as respectful and responsible adults. The partner subject to subject to immigration control leaves the country and goes “back home”.

Alas the above scenario is a rare one. Often, we find that immigrants who have joined their UK partners and are now experiencing problems have a very difficult and emotionally draining experience.

Sometimes, a relationship may have no problems but may end due to an unfortunate twist of fate such as the UK settled partner. If you are in this fortunate position, you have our heartfelt condolences but we recognise that may not be enough and you may also require legal assistance to figure out what your options are and what you can do to stay in the UK legally if your partner has died.

How can we help you today?

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT CAN BE DONE IF YOUR UK SETTLED PARTNER HAS DIED>>

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT CAN BE DONE IF YOU HAVE SEPARATED OR DIVORCED>>

A common scenario when examining visa problems as a result of broken-down relationships is that the overseas partner is the victim of domestic abuse.

With most partner/family UK visa categories, the overseas partner/family member would normally need to complete a minimum term of five continuous years of lawful UK residence before they became eligible for permanent residence or, to use its official title, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR for short).

We often hear from overseas partners who have become the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of their UK settled partners but are further humiliated because they feel powerless to leave. This is because they are often told (or more commonly threatened) by the perpetrator that if they try to leave or report them, their visa will be cancelled, and they will be sent “back home”. This situation means that many overseas partners who require a visa put up with being victimised and abused simply because they don’t want to lose their visa.

This is a particularly typical situation for those who have arrived in the UK as spouses or partners from south east asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc although the problem is by no means limited to these countries.

Often, there are cultural considerations and victims are reluctant to return to their home countries because it may be considered to bring shame on their families or may mean that their hopes of building a better life for themselves, their children and their ability to support family back home come to an abrupt end.

Prefer to talk? Call our experts now on 0203 384 4389

 

What can you do if you are a victim of domestic violence and do not want to leave the UK?

It may surprise you to learn that rather than force visa holding partners to leave the UK if their relationship breaks down (due to domestic violence), the UK government actually offers domestic violence victims to opportunity to achieve permanent residence / Indefinite Leave to Remain.

UK Immigration Solicitors have an excellent track record in obtaining indefinite leave to remain for our clients who are victims of domestic abuse.

Domestic Violence is defined as violent or aggressive behaviour within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.”

Domestic violence is classed as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. An adult is someone who is 18 years or over.

Family members, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family, are defined as:

  • – mother
  • – father
  • – son
  • – daughter
  • – brother
  • – sister, and

The legal definition of injury is when any harm is done to a person by the acts or omissions of another.

Knowledge of language and life is not required under the victims of domestic violence rules. Applicants who can prove they are destitute are exempt from paying the application fee for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence.

Prefer to talk? Call our experts now on 0203 384 4389

 

Requirements For ILR As A Victim Of Domestic Violence

The requirements to be met for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence are that:

  • the applicant must be in the UK.
  • the applicant must have made a valid application for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence.
  • the applicant must be deemed suitable for settlement based on leave to remain; and
  • the applicant must meet all eligibility for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence.

In order to meet the eligibility requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence your last grant of limited leave must have been:

  • as a partner (other than a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) of a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK.
  • granted to enable access to public funds pending an application
  • The applicant must evidence that during the last period of limited leave as a partner the applicant’s relationship with their partner broke down permanently as a result of the partner’s domestic violence to meet the requirements

Prefer to talk? Call our experts now on 0203 384 4389

Obtaining ILR As A Victim of Domestic Violence

If we can establish that you meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence you will (subject to a successful application) be granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK which will mean you will not longer be subject to immigration control.

If you do not meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence only because you have an unspent conviction, we may be able to make the necessary application and representations for you to obtain a further limited leave to remain for a period of up to 2.5 years.

Prefer to talk? Call our experts now on 0203 384 4389

 

What next?

If you are the victim of domestic violence and have experienced a relationship break down due to domestic violence or otherwise, we understand this this may be a particularly tough, hurtful and confusing time for you but you don’t have to face things alone and help is available to ensure that your rights and feelings are properly considered – Don’t accept being a victim because you are scared of what will happen to your visa – Get help Now!

Our expert team of lawyers can help you figure out where you stand and what your options are. We can provide you with expert guidance of what needs to be done, when and how so that you don’t have to put up with suffering as a victim any further.

Speak to our expert Assessment Team now on 0203 384 4389

Remember: Our friendly staff are trained experts and your confidentiality will be respected. We are the UK’s #1 Immigration Lawyers and will not share any information you discuss with us with your partner or the Home Office.

Call us now or fill out the Confidential Assessment Form to take the first step to solving your problems.

It is quick, easy and totally Free to have an Assessment carried out now so why wait?

Further Information

UK Visas & Immigration requires the following requirements in order to grant you a SPOUSE VISA:

  • If your partner is a British national, holds indefinite or limited leave to remain under the Appendix EU or be entitled to limited leave under the Appendix ECA;
  • both of you are over 18 years of age;
  • the two of you have met in person and are legally married;
  • You intend to live together permanently; Your relationship is genuine;
  • Any previous relationships have ended permanently;
  • No public funds are required to support you in the UK;
  • You and anyone with you in the UK has adequate accommodation;
  • The level of English that you understand and speak is sufficient.
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may need to satisfy different requirements so it is strongly advisable to confirm your eligibility  in advance of making an application.

You may be eligible to apply for citizenship if you were born in the UK. It depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances.

  • You may be eligible to apply for citizenship if:

     

    • you have a British parent
    • you have another type of British nationality
    • you’re stateless
    • you previously gave up (renounced) your citizenship
  • You may be eligible to apply for citizenship under the Windrush Scheme if both:

     

    • you or one of your parents arrived in the UK before 1973
    • you’ve lived in the UK and not been away from it for more than 2 years

    If your parent arrived in the UK before 1973, you must have either:

    • been born in the UK
    • arrived in the UK before you were 18

    Some Commonwealth citizens have ‘right of abode’ in the UK. This means you can live or work in the UK without immigration restrictions.

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