ArticleUK’s new approach to domestic violence concession applications

On 16 February 2024, the UK Home Office has implemented a significant update to the Domestic Violence Concession application, a pivotal move for immigration solicitors assisting clients affected by such harrowing circumstances. This announcement introduces a new application form that streamlines the process for victims seeking refuge and settlement in the UK. Below, we outline the updated steps and considerations that immigration solicitors should take into account when advising their clients on this matter.

Domestic violence is a critical issue that affects individuals across various spectrums of society. In the UK, the legal framework provides avenues for victims of domestic violence concession to find relief and safety, including the possibility of settlement or leave to remain based on domestic violence. This article outlines the essential steps and considerations for individuals seeking settlement in the UK on the grounds of domestic violence, aiming to offer a beacon of hope and guidance for those in need.

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Domestic violence encompasses any form of physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse between family members or partners, regardless of gender or sexuality. Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is the first step towards seeking help and legal remedy.

Under UK law, domestic violence is acknowledged as a serious ground for applying for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) before the completion of the usual residency requirements. This provision aims to protect victims by allowing them to exit abusive relationships without losing their legal status in the country.

Steps to follow for settlement based on domestic violence

Contact the police or domestic violence helplines and charities that can provide immediate support and shelter. In England, organisations like Refuge, Women’s Aid, and the National Domestic Violence Helpline offer crucial support services.

  • Collect evidence: For a successful application, evidence of domestic violence is required. This can include medical reports, police reports, letters from social services, shelter records, or testimonies from witnesses or professionals who have supported you.
  • Legal advice and representation: Consult with a solicitor specializing in UK immigration law and domestic violence cases. A solicitor can provide legal advice tailored to your situation, help gather the necessary evidence, and guide you through the application process.
  • Application for settlement: Victims of domestic violence can apply for settlement using the ‘SET(DV)’ form available on the UK Government’s official website. This application can be made regardless of the type of visa held by the victim, provided they were in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK at the time of the abuse.
  • Legal proceedings: In some cases, you might be involved in legal proceedings against your abuser. It’s essential to keep your solicitor informed about any developments, as these can impact your settlement application.
  • Mental health support: The psychological impact of domestic violence is profound. Seek support from mental health professionals to help you through this challenging time. The NHS and other organizations offer counseling services to victims of domestic violence.
  • Access to public funds: If you are facing financial difficulties, you may apply for a concession. This concession provides temporary access to public funds, allowing you to apply for benefits while your settlement application is being processed.
  • Application process for a concession: If you are applying under the Migrant Victim of Domestic Abuse Concession (MVDAC), it is necessary to fill out and submit the Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) form for Domestic Violence Victims (DVV) directly to the Home Office via email at While the Home Office will accept postal submissions, please be aware that the processing period may extend beyond that of electronic applications. Should you choose to send your application by post, direct it to: DV Duty Officer, Department 81, UK Visas and Immigration, The Capital, Level 5, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9PP

In completing the LOTR (DVV) notification form, it’s imperative that the applicant provides a signed declaration. This declaration is a consent form authorizing the Home Office to release information regarding their case to third-party organizations. These may include but are not limited to, shelters or refuges, social services, legal representatives, and the Department for Work and Pensions, to facilitate support for their application.


Please be advised that there is no entitlement to either appeal or administrative review following a refusal issued under this specific concession. Furthermore, a refusal will not be subject to automatic reconsideration. Reconsideration requests will only be entertained if there is a substantive suggestion that the policy has not been applied correctly. Any such request for reconsideration is subject to approval by a senior caseworker.

For those affected by domestic violence, it is crucial to take action, gather evidence, and seek support from the various services available. Legal professionals and agencies specializing in domestic violence are valuable resources that can provide assistance and guide victims through the process of securing their right to remain in the UK, as well as to safety and stability.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, reach out to GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.