Victims of Domestic Violence
If your UK immigration status is dependent on a UK spouse or partner who is inflicting domestic violence on you, it’s crucial to seek urgent legal advice. There are rules in place to protect you.
UK Immigration advice for victims of Domestic Violence
What happens if your UK immigration status is dependent on a UK spouse or partner who is inflicting domestic violence on you? Men and women in this category are particularly vulnerable, fearing that if they leave an abusive partner they will be removed from the UK by the immigration authorities.
If you are in this situation, it’s crucial to seek urgent legal advice. There are rules in place to protect you. If you make a successful application to the Home Office you could secure indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK – in your personal capacity. At Milestone Solicitors in London we provide specialist legal guidance and support to men and women who are:
- From overseas
- In the UK on a spouse or partner visa
- Victims of domestic abuse
- Seeking to settle in the UK
Our team also represents individuals who are the victims of modern slavery and trafficking and who have sensitive immigration issues to resolve.
Is Legal Aid Available?
In some cases Legal Aid is available, and Milestone Solicitors is an accredited Legal Aid firm. Call us now and we’ll go through the eligibility requirements with you to see if you qualify.
Call us now on +44 (0) 203-500-0385
What Is Domestic Violence?
The Domestic Abuse Act, 2021 defines abusive behaviour as any of the following:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Violent or threatening behaviour
- Controlling or coercive behaviour
- Economic abuse
- Psychological, emotional or other abuse
So it’s clear that you do not need to have suffered physical violence to rely on the law. If you have experienced sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse which has led to the breakdown of your relationship with your partner during your permission to be in the UK as their partner, you are entitled to indefinite leave to remain under the domestic violence rules described above.
You can also apply for limited permission to stay with no prohibition to access public funds, To do so you must be in a position to establish that you are destitute or about to become destitute and in need of benefits, safe accommodation and financial support before applying for Indefinite leave to remain.
To establish domestic abuse as a matter of law you and your lawyer must show that you are ‘personally connected’ to the abuser. This means you:
- Are married to each other
- Are civil partners of each other
- Have agreed to marry one another
- Have entered into a civil partnership agreement
- Are or have been in an intimate personal relationship with each other
- Have a parental relationship in relation to the same child
- Are relatives
How Do I Get Indefinite Leave To Remain As A Victim Of Domestic Violence?
If you wish to apply to settle in the UK and your relationship has ended because of domestic violence you must make an application on Form SET(DV). While it’s possible for you to make this application yourself, the amount and nature of evidence you need to produce coupled with the limited rights of appeal of any decision mean it’s worth seeking legal representation from a specialist immigration solicitor. An experienced lawyer can ensure your application is framed in the best possible light.
For your application to be valid you must :
- Demonstrate that you are in the UK
- Provide evidence of identity
- Pay a fee – although the fee may be waived in certain circumstances
- Show that you meet the eligibility requirements relating to good character and criminal record
Contact Milestone Solicitors
The law on domestic violence is there to protect you. If you are concerned about deportation or other action by the authorities if you make allegations against your partner, talk to us. We’ll explain the process in detail. Above all, we’ll ensure you are comfortable with taking action to secure settled status in the UK (independently of an abusive partner) before we embark on your case.