This week, it was reported that a Canadian national who was subject to domestic violence at the hands of her EEA national partner has been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. Sandra Sidey obtained an EU Resident’s card as the unmarried partner of Goetz Schrader, a German national whom she started dating in 2005 and moved to the UK with in 2007. Once the couple split Ms Sidey was told that she no longer had the right to live in the UK.
UK Home Office Failing Unmarried Partners
Ms Sidey and her German national partner decided to move to the UK in 2007. The couple were seemingly happy until Ms Sidey was physically attacked by her unmarried partner on 22 December 2010. Ms Sidey left the relationship shortly after the attack and Mr Schrader denied that he had assaulted her for over two years to the courts. He later confessed that he did in fact attack Ms Sidey and was convicted “of assault occasioning actual bodily harm” and ended up leaving the UK.
As Ms Sidey was in the UK on the basis of her relationship with an EEA national she was told that she no longer had the right to be in the UK. In 2012, an Immigration Judge in the First-tier Tribunal ruled in Ms Sidey’s favour. However, the UK Home Office contested the decision and believed that Ms Sidey had no right right to remain in the UK. At this point Ms Sidey was half way through her law degree and left in shock by the decision of the Home Office.
Ms Sidey chose to challenge the Home Office’s decision and after nearly three years she got news that has been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. Despite the successful result Ms Sidey feel that the Home Office is failing to protect unmarried partner’s of EEA nationals:
“The current legislation leaves the unmarried partners of EU nationals who are victims of domestic violence in a particularly undesirable position. They either feel trapped in an abusive relationship or they feel punished for leaving. Although the Home Office is seemingly taking steps to protect and assist victims of domestic violence, this is one area where they are failing.”
Looking to Challenge the Home Office
If you are in a similar situation to the above mentioned case our Immigration Solicitors will be able to advise you on taking the steps to retain your rights to remain in the UK.
A detailed consultation will take place at our London office where you will be talked through your UK visa options. If you have already submitted a visa application and it has been refused our Solicitors will look into challenging the Home Office’s decision.
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