Ending your marriage does not have to mean the end of your life in Britain. Sadly, many UK Spouse Visa holders fear leaving their marriage, believing they risk losing their home and children. As we shall see, this is not the case; however, without robust legal guidance, it is easy to find yourself having no legal right to live and work in the UK. Therefore, it is vital to talk to an immigration solicitors before you end your relationship.
To legally live in Britain on a Spouse Visa, you must be in a "genuine and subsisting marriage or civil partnership" (the latter applies to Civil Partnership Visas). The mistake made by many is they think that their marriage ends upon divorce. For most other legal purposes, such as financial support, this is true. However, under immigration law, the right to live and work in the UK on a Spouse Visa ends upon separation.
You have a legal duty to notify the Home Office if you have a UK Spouse Visa and your relationship ends. Upon being informed, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will curtail your visa (i.e. shorten your leave to remain in the country).
"So, what if I just stay quiet?" you ask.
Don't risk it. It only takes a disgruntled neighbour or work colleague or an innocent comment on a government form to expose you. And if UKVI find out that you are not in a "genuine and subsisting marriage or civil partnership" but still on a Spouse Visa, the consequences will be grave. Such actions amount to fraud and can result in you being removed and not able to return to Britain for many years. Unfortunately, this has happened to many people who have children. You will not be treated leniently.
Always fully disclose to the Home Office changes in your personal circumstances.
An examination of the Immigration Guidance shows that, like all routes which rely on a caseworker's discretion, to succeed under point number 4 is not easy. For example, the guidance states:
"Where there are no family, friends or social networks in the country of return that is not in itself a very significant obstacle to integration - many people successfully migrate to countries where they have no existing ties."
"If an applicant has never lived in the country of return, or only spent their early years there, this will not necessarily mean that there are very significant obstacles preventing them from integrating particularly if they can speak a language of that country".
And even if they cannot speak the language,
"...this will not in itself be a very significant obstacle to integration unless they can also show that they would be unable to learn a language of that country, for example because of a mental or physical disability".
Few people would succeed in an application under point 4 without professional legal assistance.
No one should be forced to stay in a relationship where domestic abuse is present. UKVI is permitted to grant ILR to victims of domestic violence who leave their relationship if they are on a Spouse Visa. Make sure you support your application by gathering as much evidence of the abuse as possible, such as police reports, medical reports, threatening messages etc.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, please call Refuge on 0808 2000 247 (24 hours).
If you are in the UK as the family member of an EU/EEA national and your relationship breaks down, you may be able to remain in the country under a Retained Right of Residence. You will need to have been married for three years to qualify or have resided in the UK with your spouse for at least one year prior to separating. Furthermore, the EU/EEA national must be a 'qualified person', meaning they are exercising their Treaty rights by either working, studying, being self-employed, or they are self-sufficient.
To apply for Retained Right of Residence, your marriage must be formally dissolved by the Courts. You can remain in the UK, even if you are separated as you are still recognised as an EU/EEA citizen's family member.
At 11pm on 31 January 2020, the UK officially leaves the EU. However, these rules will apply during the transition period which runs to December 2020.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
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