Victim of Domestic Violence and UK Immigration

Domestic Violence and UK Immigration

Domestic Violence can be any incidents or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, this can include

  • Physical;
  • Psychological;
  • Sexual;
  • Financial; or
  • Emotional

The abuse can also occur in many different forms which may include isolation, exploitation, or depriving a person of needed independence.

Where a person believes that they are a victim of domestic violence they can get 2 types of civil court orders to protect themselves by applying for :

  • Non-molestation orders, which protects the person from the abuser or
  • Occupation order, which provides the victim to reside at the accommodation previously shared.

If a person was granted leave to remain or enter the UK as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen, a person holding indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or a member of HM forces (who has served for 4 years) and the person is a victim of domestic violence, then they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the Immigration Rules.

Fiance and proposed civil partners are not covered by the Immigration Rules to apply for ILR, even though they may be a victim of domestic violence.

It is important to note that an applicant does not need to have a valid leave to remain or enter before they apply under this route, however, they should have been granted previous leave to remain or enter as a spouse, unmarried partner, civil or same-sex partner of a British citizen, a person holding indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or a member of HM forces (who has served for 4 years). Thus the applicant should have been granted leave to enter or remain under paragraphs D-ECP.1.1, D-LTRP.1.1, D-LTRP.1.2, D-DVILR.1.2 or under paragraph 276AD or paragraphs 23, 26, 28 or 32 of Appendix Armed Forces.

From 14 May 2020, the domestic violence route is also extended to EEA family members and they can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

If an applicant submits evidence to show that their relationship has broken down because they have been subjected to domestic violence from someone other than their partner, they will still qualify for ILR. Evidence must clearly show that violence was the reason for the breakdown of the relationship.

Fortunately, even if the applicant does not have a valid leave in the UK, this does not restrict them from applying for ILR under domestic violence. However, the reasons for a delay in applying must be explained.

There is no fixed evidence required and depends on the circumstances of the individual case. However, in domestic violence cases, examples of evidence which can be accepted are –

  • Criminal conviction and /or Police Report,
  • Police caution, final civil court order (Non-molestation or occupation order),
  • Multi-agency risk assessment conference referral,
  • A domestic violence protection order,
  • Witness statements of an independent witness,
  • Prohibited steps orders and contact orders,
  • Letter from social services or welfare officer connected to HM Armed Forces,
  • Letter from an organisation supporting victims of domestic violence confirming that they have assessed the applicant as being a victim of domestic violence;
  • Interim Order;
  • Undertaking to Court;
  • Medical Report; and
  • Witness statement of the applicant.

The applicant may be eligible for a fee waiver if they are destitute or paying the fee may result in them being destitute. From 1 April 2012, an applicant who meets the DDV concession criteria is granted 3 months leave outside the immigration rules (LOTR) with a condition code that does not restrict access to public funds. However, this does not mean that your ILR application will be granted.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are looking to submit an immigration application in the UK, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261 or email info@visaandmigration.com

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