Settlement on the basis of domestic violence
If you in the UK as a spouse/civil partner of a British citizen or a person who holds Indefinite Leave to Remain and you are experiencing domestic violence you can end the relationship with such person and apply for ILR yourself as a victim of domestic violence in order to remain in the UK.
The Immigration rules define Domestic Violence as:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.” It may be that the violence is not perpetrated by your spouse but by other family members, for example, your parents in law.
Many victims of violence are afraid to seek help, assuming that violence can only be physical. Please note that domestic violence can have different forms such as psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional. UK has many charities which work and help people who experienced abuse and violence, such organisations can provide the applicant with temporary accommodation and funds.
The applicant can also apply for ‘Victims of domestic violence (DDV) concession’ which will allow them to use Public Funds and get temporary accommodation from the Government. This concession also will give the applicant three months of leave in the UK during which the applicant should submit settlement application to the Home Office.
“Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape regulating their everyday behaviour”. For example, your passport or bank card has been taken away from you.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
The applicant should demonstrate the following:
- The applicant is a spouse or an unmarried partner/civil partner of a British national or has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Settled/Pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme. This means that the applicant holds a spouse/partner visa;
- The applicant is able to provide evidence confirming that during the relationship broke down permanently because of domestic violence;
- There are also another factors which may affect the application such as unspent convictions of the applicant, bad character, failure to provide an information or attend an interview/medical examination, or if false information was provided with the application.
The applicant must provide all available evidence of domestic violence in order to have the best chance of success of the application. The weightiest evidence of domestic violence are reports from the police, the reports of psychologists and doctors. Evidence of cohabitation with your spouse may also be helpful. Such evidence may include joint utility bills, tenancy agreements and any other correspondence indicating both names.