Can I Remain In The UK After Divorce?
For many people with a spousal visa, they will often, rightly be concerned about what happens if their marriage ever comes to an end. In this article, we look at the rights that you will have after the breakdown of a marriage and look at the wider implications that a marriage breakdown can have on a Spousal Visa.
What are my options if I am on a Spousal Visa and my marriage breaks down?
As your Spousal Visa is directly linked to your relationship with your partner, once your marriage ends, effectively, so does your eligibility to remain on a Spousal Visa. It does not mean that you have no options at all, but it doesn't mean that the Spousal Visa avenue is now closed and you will be required to either leave the country or, more commonly, switch to another of the UK's visa routes.
It seems harsh, but these rules are in place to avoid potential sham marriages and people just coming to the country to get married and then quickly divorce and maintain their right to be in the UK. This has happened a lot in the past and is more than likely the main reason why the government made sure that the loophole was closed to stop any future abuse of the immigration system.
Can I switch to an alternative visa route?
Absolutely, you can, if you are eligible, apply for another of the UK's visa routes such as a Tier 2 General Visa. Often this is likely the best option for you - that is of course unless you have 5 years stay in the UK. If you do have 5 years in the UK then Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) would be the preferable option for most people.
You would, of course, need to locate a job if you were going for Tier 2 General Visa with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder and receive a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) you should then apply for a new visa and extend your stay in the UK with your newly allocated rights on a Tier 2 General Visa.
What if my children are British citizens?
There are many factors involved in determining whether or not you could be eligible to remain in the UK. This is even if your children are British citizens. It will more than likely help your case if your child/children are British citizens, but it is by no means guaranteed that they can help your eligibility.
For more information on eligibility with regards to the nationality of your children then please get in touch. It can be a relatively complicated area and it's worth speaking to us to ensure that you can use your children's nationality to stay in the UK.
Could we just stay married?
From an ethical standpoint it would not be ideal to remain with a partner if you were no longer in a relationship. If, of course, the relationship can be repaired then there would be no need to divorce, but in many cases this simply isn't true. We would not urge people to stay in a relationship purely to retain their visa rights.
If the relationship cannot be repaired then it is worth getting in touch with us and seeing if there is anything that we can do help you with your individual circumstances. These circumstances will be the key to your eligibility to stay in the UK - it will potentially significantly pay you very well to talk to immigration specialists like us to discuss your case.
Can I appeal against having to leave the country?
You may or may not have right of appeal and this will depend on your circumstances - in many cases you will not really have the right to appeal and often you'll be better served spending your time I will looking for a job for a Tier 2 General Visa or investigating the possibility of staying if your children are based in UK.
As you agreed when you made your application that you would leave the country if your marriage ended, it seems that appealing would probably serve little purpose. If you do wish to appeal then please get in touch and our immigration specialists can advise you as to the strength of your case and whether there is any value is lodging an appeal.
My country of origin is not very safe will that help my case?
Potentially yes, whilst you may not have much recourse with UKVI it may be the case that the UK should not seek to return people to a dangerous country - that being the case, we can help you in your appeal if your country of origin is not regarded as being a safe place to live, especially if you have any personal issues there such as your religion or political beliefs. This is a very specific set of issues and you would need to get in touch with us so that we can assess your case in this matter.
The UK does have some duty of care to not return people to dangerous countries - it is a responsibility that the UK takes seriously and if your country of origin is regarded as dangerous it is unlikely that you'll be sent back there, but for more information please get in touch.
Where can I get more help?
Get in touch today and our immigration solicitors can look at your case in detail and suggest any areas where you may have eligibility to stay in the UK. We have a lot of experience in helping people after a divorce to remain in the UK and we can certainly help with your case.