The Home Office recognises the ever-increasing concerns regarding the ill-treatment of non-EEA nationals in the UK and therefore introduced the indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence and abuse category to protect their fundamental Human Rights. Applicants who have been granted leave on the basis of their relationship with a British or settled citizen may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence and abuse.
What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?
There is no fixed definition of domestic violence and abuse and it can occur in different ways. If you believe you are a victim of domestic violence and abuse it is important you report the abuse and get advice. There are different kinds of abuse but it usually consists of power and control. Domestic violence and abuse can happen where there is an incident or patterns of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour. Abuse can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Financial; or
There are protective measures in place for victims of domestic violence or abuse under the Family Law Act 1996 which protects victims of abuse. There are two specific types of orders that can protect victims of domestic violence and abuse. The first is a non-molestation order which is designed to prevent further abuse. This order prohibits the abuser from contacting the victim. The second order is an occupation order which allows the victim to continue living in the accommodation that was previously shared. The abuser would have to find alternative accommodation until the substantive matter has been decided. The order is primarily used to exclude perpetrators. If a person breaches an occupation order, it is contempt of court.
What are the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a victim of domestic violence or abuse?
In order to apply for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence or abuse you must have:
- Been granted leave as a spouse or partner of a person settled in the UK;
- Been in a genuine and subsisting relationship prior to the breakdown of the relationship; and
- Evidence of domestic violence and abuse and show that this was the cause of the relationship to break down.
Applicants are advised to submit an application as soon as the abuse begins as they are not required to wait until the expiry of their current visa. Whilst the Home Office recognises the difficulty for victims in providing documentary evidence in support of their case it was imperative a strong bundle of supporting documents are submitted. Our solicitors and barristers can assist with retrieving documents and with the formal procedure of reporting the abuse to the police. Victims can also contact the 24-hour Freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
It is possible for victims who are vulnerable and in need of financial support to apply using a fee waiver. A fee waiver allows victims to submit an application without having to pay an application fee. A fee waiver is usually granted where a person is considered destitute and they have no accommodation or any means of obtaining any financial support.
Using Legal Representation to submit an Indefinite Leave to Remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Indefinite Leave to Remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful indefinite leave to remain application as a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss your application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.