Can I stay in the UK after my divorce?
Going through a separation or divorce can be a traumatic experience. However, the stress can be made worse if you are also worried about whether you can stay in the UK after your divorce. If you think that you may be affected by the retained rights of residence rules you need expert legal advice from top London immigration solicitors. If you are living in the UK as a dependant on your husband or wife's visa you will lose your visa status if you separate or divorce. You may need to apply under complex Immigration rules for a retained right of residence. At OTS solicitors we know our clients expect and deserve the best Immigration and family law advice to protect their interests.
Who may need to apply for a retained right of residence visa after a divorce
If you are a non EEA national who is married to an EEA national you may lose your right to stay in the UK if you separate from your spouse or get divorced. In order to continue to live in the UK after your divorce you may need to apply for a retained right of residence visa.
When applying for a retained right of residence after a separation or divorce, preparation is the key. That’s why from your first meeting with OTS Solicitors our expert London immigration solicitors will advise you on what paperwork you will need to apply for your retained right of residence and how to avoid the traps for the unwary.
Getting top Immigration advice combined with help from a specialist London family solicitor is vital because you can only:
• Apply for retained rights of residence if you can prove your relationship with the EEA national. This means you will need your birth and marriage certificate as well as your decree absolute of divorce;
• The marriage must have lasted at least 3 years before the divorce proceedings were started and you must have lived in the UK with your husband or wife for at least a year before the divorce proceedings were finalised;
• You have custody rights of a child of an EEA national;
• You have access or contact rights to a child of an EEA national – but a judge must have made a court order to say that the contact has to take place in the UK;
• You or a family member has been subjected to domestic violence or there are other difficult circumstances that would justify a grant of a retained right of residence.
A quick read of these rules shows just how important it is to get advice from top London immigration solicitors. Just imagine what might happen if you didn’t know what paperwork you needed or if you started divorce proceedings after two and a half years of marriage or before you had lived in the UK with your spouse for a year.
As top London immigration solicitors we have seen occasions where a mother or father has known about the need to obtain a contact order to help resolve their Immigration status, but the family court order hasn’t said that the contact with the child must take place in the UK. If your UK court contact order doesn’t specify that your contact with your child has to take place in the UK, then the order won't help resolve your Immigration status and help you secure your retained right of residence.
If you are applying for a retained right of residence as a result of domestic violence, then our specialist London Family Solicitors can advise you about the option of applying for a non-molestation injunction (to help stop assaults or threats of domestic violence or harassment against you or your family) or an ouster order (to enable you to stay in the family home in safety) to protect your family and to provide evidence of the domestic violence to help secure your retained right of residence. Even if you don’t want to apply for an injunction order our top London Family Solicitors can advise you on the evidence you may need to produce to the Home Office to support your domestic violence allegations when applying for retained right of residence on these grounds.
What happens if you secure a retained right of residence after your divorce
What happens if you don’t meet the retained right of residence criteria
top London immigration solicitors will be able to explore your Immigration status options. For example you might be able to make an application based on your Employment or as a result of a new relationship.
Staying in the UK after a divorce
As specialist London family and Immigration solicitors, we will guide you through the minefield of divorce and Immigration law to give you the best advice on how to navigate the Immigration retained rights of residence rules. As experts in the fields of family and Immigration law our aim, from the outset of your family law and divorce instructions, is to make sure that you don’t fall foul of complex Immigration rules on retained rights of residence and that you end up with the right supporting paperwork to help support your retained right of residence application .
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recommended Immigration solicitors who also specialise in family law. We are therefore able to provide seamless Immigration and divorce and family law advice. Please get in touch with us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced solicitors.