Domestic abuse is undoubtedly one of the most difficult family situations to face, let alone discuss with others outside of the home. There are many personal reasons why you may feel stuck, lost, or isolated- especially if you are somewhat legally attached to your romantic partner via a Spouse Visa. We guide you through the rules and your rights, should you bravely decide to separate or divorce your partner while on a Spouse Visa UK.
What are the rules of my Spouse Visa UK?
There are several rules to applying and obtaining a Spouse Visa in the UK, although none of them will be an obstacle to you, should you wish to separate from your violent partner. To obtain a Spouse Visa, you will:
1) Be married to your partner and share a family home OR have an Unmarried Partner Visa.
2) Be attached via a Spouse Visa to a partner who is earning over £18,600, or £22,400 if you have a child (an additional £2,400 per child). Your partner is known as `The Sponsor` by immigration law.
3) Have joint savings over £16,000; however, The Sponsor may largely take authority over the family savings, particularly if the relationship can be described as controlling.
4) You will usually be given a probationary period of 2.5 years to test the relationship, although we understand that issues such as domestic abuse do not always highlight themselves as quickly or as slowly.
5) The probationary period can be extended once over if you meet the requirements again. After five years of living in the UK, you can apply to become settled under an Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you are suffering domestic violence issues, you may even experience arguments surrounding your extension paperwork. Please be reassured that there are precautions in place to protect your individual visa status- so you’ll never be forced to leave under these circumstances.
What does domestic abuse mean for your Spouse Visa UK documentation?
The first point to remember- no matter what your abuser tells you, always remember that it is not your fault. The Home Office recognises this- which is why there are measures in place to ensure partners who fall victim to domestic violence, can stay in the UK. The second point to remember- you do not have to stay in your situation in order to protect your visa status. In fact, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain at short notice if you are suffering physical, psychological, sexual or emotional abuse.
Ways to seek help if you are living with domestic abuse
Above all, it is important you find refuge from your abuser. Take time to think about where you can go to stay safe, such as:
– With trusted friends and family members
– At a domestic violence refuge
– Places recommended by local domestic abuse charities
– Visit gov.uk help pages for further guidance on how to get help during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
You can also speak to your GP or the police if you feel you are in immediate danger.
For further advice on your UK Spouse Visa application, or for confidential assistance with checking your visa documents, contact ustoday.
A final note from W M Immigration
It is important to get your documents checked to ensure you meet Home Office requirements.
Our document checking service includes:
1) Review of all your documents
2) Advice on replacement or alternative documents
3) Suggestions on how to improve your application (or renewal)
4) Provides peace of mind before you apply (or renew)
5) Application checked by OISC qualified immigration caseworker
Our professional document checking service is priced at £350. Visit herefor further information.