ArticleUnderstanding ILR for domestic violence survivors

Domestic violence and abuse, in its many distressing forms, can leave victims feeling trapped and powerless, especially when it involves their immigration status in the UK. Fortunately, the UK immigration system provides a crucial lifeline for those caught in such dire circumstances: the option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under Domestic Violence.

What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence extends beyond physical assault. It encompasses a range of behaviours, including:

  • Psychological and mental abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Coercive control, a legally recognised form of psychological manipulation
  • Online or digital abuse
  • Harassment and stalking

Victims can be of any gender, and abuse isn’t limited to physical harm. The Serious Crime Act 2015 highlights coercive behaviour as a pattern of intimidation or humiliation, including financial control, isolation, or threats.

Eligibility for ILR under domestic violence

The path to ILR is open to spouses, civil partners, and unmarried or same-sex partners of British citizens or those with permanent UK residence. Key eligibility criteria include:

  • Being in the UK when applying.
  • The relationship with the British or settled partner must have genuinely broken down due to domestic violence.

Applying for ILR under domestic violence

Victims must demonstrate that their relationship ended due to domestic abuse. Crucial steps include:

  • Collating evidence of the abuse, which could be in the form of medical reports, police records, or testimonies from support organisations.
  • Understanding that physical and mental abuses are treated equally under the new Home Office rules.
  • Seeking the guidance of expert UK immigration solicitors can be invaluable, ensuring a well-prepared and supported application process.

These ILR applications demand sensitivity, expertise, and an understanding of the legal intricacies involved. Professional legal advice can provide the necessary support and guidance, empowering victims to take decisive steps towards safety and stability in the UK.

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