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Victims of Domestic Violence and Bereaved Partners (Online Course)

What is covered?

There is provision under the Rules for indefinite leave to remain to be granted to a migrant who is the partner of someone with the right of permanent residence and whose relationship has broken down permanently, because of domestic violence, during their probationary period of leave. The Rules apply to those who were granted leave to enter as a partner under Appendix FM, as well as those who were granted leave to enter as a partner under the pre-Appendix FM Rules.

The Rules also provide for a partner of a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK who is bereaved during the probationary period to be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, provided that the relationship was subsisting and that they intended to live together permanently in the UK at the time of the death of the migrant’s partner.

Course Extract:

The Requirements of the Domestic Violence Route under Appendix FM

The requirements under Appendix FM are as follows:

  • – An application for settlement on the basis of having been a victim of domestic violence can only be made on the appropriate application form (currently SET(DV), by someone already in the UK.
  • – The victim must be “suitable” according to the suitability requirements of the indefinite leave to remain route for partners, which contains the usual bars to settlement (see S-ILR of Appendix FM). These may be mandatory or discretionary grounds of refusal. Note in particular:

S-ILR.1.5. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 12 months, unless a period of 7 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

S-ILR.1.6. The applicant has, within the 24 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record.

  • – The victim must be “eligible”, i.e. must satisfy certain qualifying requirements:
  • – must have been last granted leave as a partner or spouse (though not as a fiancé/proposed civil partner) of a British citizen/ settled person or
  • – having been granted such leave, was then granted leave to access public funds pending a domestic violence application (i.e. under the domestic violence concession), or
  • – was previously granted only limited leave under the domestic violence route because of an inability to meet either S-ILR.1.5 or S-ILR.1.6 of the suitability requirements.

AND

  • – evidence that the relationship with the victim’s partner broke down permanently as a result of domestic violence and that the applicant was the victim.

An application fee is payable, unless the applicant is destitute.

Where a person satisfies these requirements, they will be granted indefinite leave to remain.

If they satisfy the requirements but fail paragraph S-ILR.1.5 or S.ILR.1.6 of the suitability requirements, they will be granted limited leave for a maximum of 30 months.

The knowledge of life and language in the UK requirements do not apply to applications under the domestic violence route.

Top tip                                                                                      

Under the Rules, the domestic violence need not necessarily have been perpetrated by the migrant’s partner. When taking instructions, do not discount evidence of abuse or controlling behaviour from family members of the migrant (as long as this caused the relationship to break down permanently).

Note that the Domestic Violence route under the Rules only applies to those applicants who are in the United Kingdom with limited leave as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. It does not apply where the migrant’s partner is a refugee or has humanitarian protection.

Example                                                                                       

Karim is Egyptian. He came to the United Kingdom as a student in 2010. In 2012, he moved in with Elizabeth, a Chinese national with refugee status. In 2014, he was granted leave to remain under Appendix FM as the unmarried partner of Elizabeth. In May 2015, Elizabeth naturalised as a British citizen. The relationship between Karim and Elizabeth breaks down in April 2016 after Elizabeth pushes Karim down a staircase and he has to spend 2 weeks in hospital. Karim and wants to know if he can make an application for indefinite leave to remain under the domestic violence rules.

Karim will not be eligible for ILR under the Immigration Rules as his grant of leave is not on the basis of being the unmarried partner of a British citizen or a person with settled status. Although Elizabeth is now a British citizen, she was not at the time that Karim was granted leave to remain, she was a refugee.

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