Victims of Domestic Violence – Route to Settlement Available


If you are the visa-dependant (spouse or partner) of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK, your visa status will only be valid while you are still in the relationship with this person. Fortunately, UK immigration rules allow domestic violence or abuse victims (who are visa dependants) to settle in the UK.

Persons thus do NOT need to stay in an abusive relationship to remain in the UK.

What is Domestic Abuse or Violence?

The Home Office classify domestic abuse or violence as behaviour that can be emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or financial. The behaviour can include threatening or controlling behaviour to try to harm, isolate or frighten someone.

How to qualify under this route

You can apply if you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse and your partner is:

  • A British citizen, or
  • A person settled in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain or Enter), or
  • Has settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or
  • A refugee settled in the UK, or
  • A member of the UK Armed Forces who has served for at least four years.

You will have to show that your relationship broke down because of domestic violence or abuse from your partner or the partner’s family.

When and where can I apply?

It is important that you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you are the victim of domestic abuse as soon as possible after the relationship breaks down. Do not wait until your visa expires.

You can apply from outside the UK if you have been abandoned overseas. You will have to give a statement about your circumstances with your application.

Children of Victims of Domestic Violence or Abuse

You can apply for your children to settle with you in the UK if one of the following circumstances applies:

  • The children were born in the UK,
  • They have or had permission to stay in the UK as your dependent children,
  • Or if they were born outside the UK after you got permission to stay in the UK as a dependent partner.

You must also be able to show the following:

  • They have been living with you and your ex-partner,
  • Have proof that they will be supported and have adequate accommodation without the use of public funds,
  • They must not be married, in a civil partnership or living an independent life.

Children over the age of 18 may also need to fulfil the English language requirements. We highly recommend that you speak to a Breytenbachs consultant for more advice.

What happens after a successful application?

If you successfully apply, you will receive the immigration status of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This immigration status will give you the right to live, work and study in the UK. You will also be able to apply for some benefits. You can also use this status to apply for British citizenship. This will usually be after 12 months with the status of ILR.

How Breytenbachs can help you

Breytenbachs strongly recommend that persons who want to apply under this domestic violence route to ILR seek help from a qualified Breytenbachs consultant. We will be able to advise on the correct procedures to ensure a successful outcome.

Contact us today for assistance.

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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