Victim Of Domestic Violence On A Spouse Visa
Domestic violence in a relationship is awful, but its arguably even worse when the victim relies upon their partner to remain in the country. We understand the gravity of domestic violence in a relationship, and with that in mind we have created this guide to help those who are suffering to understand their rights, as well as gain access to some practical advice that they can use to potentially break the cycle of abuse.
What Should I Do First?
This is often the biggest problem for those facing domestic violence: they don't know what their first step should be. Our simple advice is to remove yourself from the situation. Your personal safety is the most important thing to secure in the first instance. If you have any relatives, they should be your first port of call. If not, there are lots of refuges available for those suffering domestic violence. Many of these can be accessed via authorities (such as GPs and the police), as well as numerous charities in the UK that can help.
If your personal safety is in immediate danger, we would suggest that calling the police should be your first choice. If you explain your situation, the police will help move you to somewhere safer. You can also alert us during this stage, and we can help to deal with any queries that the police may have regarding immigration.
Will I Lose My Right to Stay in the UK?
No. This is extremely important to understand.
One of the main reasons that partners in violent relationships remain is that they do not know what their options are. Therefore it is vital that you understand that by leaving your partner or spouse, even though you are dependent on them for your visa, you will not be forced into leaving the country. The Home Office have made provisions for those in this situation that allow them to settle straight away.
Can I Still Gain Indefinite Leave to Remain After Separating on a Spouse Visa?
This very much depends upon the circumstances of the separation. If there is domestic violence in the relationship, you will be able to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain at short notice. This means that you will be able to settle yourself in the UK quickly in order to prevent you contravening the terms of your visa. It is important that you sort this at the earliest opportunity. Waiting for significant periods of time may affect your rights, so call today and let our team begin working on your Indefinite Leave to Remain application.
What About Any Children That We Have?
In many cases of domestic violence there may be children involved. It is difficult for us to give advice that covers every eventuality, but we would suggest that if you are worried about the safety of your children, you should get the police involved. We would never suggest waiting when there is the potential for people to be put in danger. The police will be sympathetic to your case and will be able to offer some practical short term solutions to ensure that neither you or your family are left in danger. In the long-term, we can help to ensure that your children's needs are taken into consideration and help you to build your future.
As well as the police, there are also many charities who can help if you are suffering from domestic violence. Charities such as Women's Aid and Refuge (both charities share the advice line number 0808 2000274) can help to give you practical advice and support if you are suffering domestic violence in your relationship. It is important that you speak to these charities, as they can access help programmes that you may not be able to do on your own.
Where Can I Get More Help?
Our team of immigration solicitors can help in all manner of circumstances to provide you the peace of mind that you need. Whether you are suffering from domestic violence, or just need some advice, our team is here to help. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to ensure that we can assist you effectively.
If you are in the process of leaving your partner, or have already left them due to domestic violence, our lawyers can help you to settle your situation quickly and without fuss.
There is no reason to live in fear. Speak to one of our specialists today and they can help to advise you of what your next steps should be. Do not suffer in silence, there are lots of people out there who can help.