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Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Victim of Domestic Abuse

If you are living in the UK on a spouse visa or partner visa and your relationship has broken down as a result of domestic abuse then it is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a result.

For assistance with your British citizenship application get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582, we are here to help.


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    What is domestic violence/abuse?

    Domestic abuse or domestic violence covers incidents of threatening behaviour – this can take a number of different forms including psychological, physical, coercive control, sexual assault, financial or emotional.

    The abuse can occur between family members including:

    • mother
    • father
    • son
    • daughter
    • siblings
    • grandparents

    Under UK immigration laws, it is possible for the partners of those with British citizenship or settled status who have experienced domestic abuse to apply for indefinite leave to remain by completing SET (DV) application forms.

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    Apply for ILR under the Domestic Violence (DDV) Concession

    Victims of domestic abuse can apply for leave to remain for three months under the DDV concession – this enables them to apply for access to public funds – which makes it easier to qualify for income-related benefits and secure safe accommodation before making an application for ILR status.

    If the Home Office approves your DDV concession leave you are still required to submit a ILR application. The DDV concession is limited to three months and you should ensure your complete a full application for indefinite leave to remain on the basis of domestic violence within this time period.

    If you do not submit a further application within three months, any leave granted you as a result of the concession will cease.

    Eligibility For ILR as a victim of domestic abuse

    You are entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain status under the following conditions:

    • you are a victim of domestic violence;
    • your leave to remain in the UK is as a spouse, unmarried partner, registered civil partner or same sex partner of a British Citizen, a person settled in the UK, or a person with refugee leave status
    • your relationship with the British or settled partner has broken down permanently as a result of domestic violence.

    The domestic violence ILR route is not suitable for those in the UK on a Fiancé visa or any other type of visa such as a student visa, graduate visa or global talent visa.

    When making your application you must also ensure you are living in the UK and you must not be disqualified for ILR under any other grounds.

    The Home Office does not require applications for ILR as a victim of domestic abuse to pass the Knowledge of English language or Life in the UK test.

    Proving domestic abuse in a relationship

    The Home Office does not provide a definitive list of documents that are required to prove domestic abuse has occurred because each case is assessed on an individual basis. However, there are a number of supporting documents that will help give a clear picture of your relationship and experiencing domestic abuse within it.

    Evidence that can support your application include:

    • The granting of a court order, such as a Non-Molestation Order, Occupation Order, Forced Marriage Protection Order, or a Prohibited Steps Order or Contact Order in which domestic violence was a factor in the Order being granted.
    • Your ex partner has criminal convictions for committing domestic abuse against you and/or your children.
    • Evidence of police attending a domestic violence incident at your home.
    • Medical records showing that your injuries were consistent with domestic abuse.
    • A letter from a refuge or other victim support explaining that you have been assessed as a victim of domestic abuse and support has been provided.

    Cost of applying for ILR as a result of domestic abuse

    The standard fee for a domestic violence ILR application is inline with other Indefinite Leave to Remain applications which cost £2,289. However, it is possible to have this fee removed in exceptional circumstances.

    You can request to apply for ILR for free if the following applies:

    • You do not have adequate accommodation in place or anyway of obtaining suitable accommodation
    • You have adequate accommodation but cannot pay for other basic living costs

    When making your application you will need to provide evidence of your financial circumstances such as bank statements, as well as further information on your living situation.

    In many cases, victims of domestic abuse may find they are unable to provide all evidence – especially as their abusive partner may have controlled their finances or denied them access to official documents.

    Part of a ILR application will require you to provide evidence of identity but you may no longer have access to your passport. In this situation, you must make an application to your national country’s embassy or consulate for a replacement and report your existing passport as stolen. When you apply to be granted indefinite leave to remain due to domestic abuse you can explain why you are unable to provide your passport.

    Do you need help applying for British citizenship? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Becoming a British citizen is a life-changing event that comes with many benefits, however, the application process isn’t easy and it can be incredibly difficult to navigate it alone.

      Our immigration lawyers are experienced when it comes to assisting with British citizenship applications, they know exactly what it takes for an application to be successful and can give you the best chance of success.

      One of the most difficult aspects of the British citizenship application process is meeting the strict requirements. Our lawyers will help you to do this. We can advise you about whether you need to take an English language test, which test to take and how to book it. We can also help you to meet the other requirements, this includes helping you to prepare for the Life in the UK Test and assisting you with gathering a substantial portfolio of documents to support your application.

      To find out more about how our lawyers can assist you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today by calling 020 4502 8582.

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