Cancellation of a spouse visa – staying in the UK after separation
It is a difficult enough decision to end a relationship but if your ability to stay in the UK rests on your relationship and your spouse visa it can be tempting to stay with your partner, even if you have been the victim of domestic violence. If you are in that position it is crucial that you understand your family and Immigration law options so that you can make the best choices for you and your family.
The fact that you entered the UK on a spouse visa doesn’t mean that there are no other ways for you to remain in the UK if your relationship with your husband or wife breaks down and your spouse visa is cancelled. If you are in the UK on a spouse visa and are separating from your partner you need expert legal advice from spouse visa solicitors with both family and Immigration law expertise.
Call us on 0203 959 9123 for help or complete the online enquiry form.
It is hard to cope with the double blow of a separation from your partner and worries about being forced to leave the UK. That’s why many people are reluctant to take legal advice, fearing the worst. However, Immigration solicitors say it is always best to understand your legal position. That way you can make informed choices.
If you are a non-EEA national and you're in the UK as a dependant on a spouse visa or on a partner visa then if your relationship ends your visa status could change as a result of your separation or divorce. You will need to:
• Take legal advice – you potentially need family law advice as well as specialist advice from spouse visa solicitors; and
• Inform the Home Office about your separation. If you do not tell the Home Office and they find out through other means (such as through a government agency) then this could affect your Immigration record and any future Immigration applications you make, including an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain; and
• Make the appropriate visa or Indefinite Leave to Remain application – the type of Immigration application you can make will depend on your personal circumstances so that is why you need to speak to spouse visa solicitors before making any decisions.
As the reason you were granted entry clearance to the UK was your relationship with your spouse or partner when the Home Office learns of the termination of the relationship with your partner they are likely to cancel your UK spouse visa.
Often if you are in the UK on a spouse visa you are under the impression that your spouse has the power to cancel your UK spouse visa. That isn’t right. Only a Home Office official can cancel your spouse visa. However, your spouse could notify the Home Office that your relationship is at an end and that is likely to lead to the curtailment of your spouse visa. That’s why if you are in the UK on a spouse visa it is important to get legal advice quickly so you can inform the Home Office about your separation but, at the same time, through taking legal advice you know your family law legal rights and Immigration options.
If the Home Office decide to stop your spouse visa as a result of your separation or divorce then they will send you what is referred to as a ‘curtailment letter’ telling you that your spouse visa has been cancelled. Instead of your spouse visa continuing until its original expiry date the Home Office will give you an earlier expiry date. This is normally about sixty days. That means you should have about two months to either leave the UK or make an Immigration application to the Home Office so you continue to have entry clearance after the expiry of your spouse visa.
As soon as you receive a curtailment letter you should take legal advice as you and your spouse visa solicitors will need time to consider your various Immigration options and submit an Immigration application if you want to remain in the UK.
If your relationship has broken down but you have not received a curtailment letter from the Home Office you should take legal advice before leaving the UK on any pre-arranged holiday or overseas work trip.
There are a variety of different types of Immigration application that you can potentially make to ensure that you can lawfully stay in the UK after a separation or divorce from your partner and if your spouse visa or partner visa Immigration status is lost because of the relationship breakdown. They are:
In some cases you may have a choice of more than one route so it is sensible to take legal advice to look at the best option for you and the evidence you will need to successfully secure continued entry clearance in the UK.
If you have children with your spouse or partner (who is a British citizen or who has Settled Status in the UK) then your Immigration options after a relationship breakdown may include applying for UK settlement because of your children. This is referred to as ‘the parent route’.
To qualify for settlement under the parent route you will need to meet Home Office conditions and should take legal advice from spouse visa solicitors on whether you qualify to settle in the UK under the parent route.
If you are in the UK on a spouse visa or partner visa you may be able to switch to a work visa (referred to as a Tier 2 (General) visa) and then use the work visa as a route to settlement in the UK.
Securing a work visa will depend on the nature of your work or skills. For example, if you are a nurse or you are in another line of work that is on the UK Shortage Occupation List you may be able to secure a Tier 2 (General) visa. Alternatively, you may be able to get your employer to sponsor you under a Certificate of Sponsorship to secure a work visa.
You may be eligible to apply to stay in the UK after a separation or divorce by applying to the Home Office under the ‘private life’ route. For example, you may be able to apply to settle in the UK if you have been living in the UK for at least twenty years.
Potentially if you separate from your partner you could try to claim Asylum in the UK on the basis that you say that you cannot return to your home country. Any claim that you fear persecution and therefore need Asylum in the UK as a refugee would be carefully investigated by the Home Office who would require supporting information.
If you experienced domestic violence during your relationship with your spouse or partner and the domestic violence was the reason for the relationship breakdown you may be able to apply for leave to remain because of the domestic violence you have experienced.
The Home Office has produced very detailed guidelines on how to determine applications for leave to remain in the UK as a result of domestic violence.
Whatever the reasons for your relationship breakdown, the best advice is not to wait until you receive a curtailment letter from the Home Office cutting short the length of your UK spouse visa before getting advice. If you have waited because of the family situation you are in then it is not too late to get advice on your family and Immigration options.
My son is a British national and OTS Solicitors assisted me in making an application for further leave to remain. I am very satisfied with their professional advice and much needed support. I was worried about my situation but now I am happy that my case was handled really well. They are respectful, caring, friendly and patient. I would recommend anyone to seek assistance from OTS Solicitors. Case Workers: Maryem Ahmed
My Canadian wife wanted to get indefinite leave to remain, a great service from the initial phone call right through to the confirmation of the ILR. Our solicitor (Hans Sok Appadu) was outstanding, he was with us every step of the way, always replying to our emails promptly and was highly professional during our face to face meeting. Without a doubt he made the whole process as stress free as possible. We look forward to using his services again when my wife applies for her naturalisation. Case Workers: Hans Sok Appadu
First of all, i would like to say this is a second time we are using OTS SOLICITORS Great service . Thank you for your help. I got a swift response from the Home Office with approval for Citizenship application the representation was outstanding very professional Mr Hans is very kind, patient and understanding.
My case involved an application for permanent residency and then a naturalisation application. Both were successful. Because of MR Hans My application for indefinite leave was refused before coming to OTS SOLICITORS by other law firm and my case was very complex and we would never have been able to successfully navigate the complex arguments by ourselves. We are extremely grateful to MR Hans SOK Appadu as our solicitor . In my case having a lawyer with an outstanding understanding of immigration law was key. I am now a very happy British citizen I would not even have permanent resident rights in the UK.I would highly recommend their services to anybody with immigration matter go and see MR Hans SOK Appadu at OTS Solicitors thank you very much . Case Workers: Hans Sok Appadu
This is the second time we have used OTS for visa case and both times they have been very professional, answered all our questions and have answered every phone call/email! Thankyou for everything you have done! Especially to Sanae who was Inchage of our case!
Wonderful company and we would recommend them to anyone! Case Workers: Sanae Sahebjalal
I have been traveling back and forth from the USA to the UK for the past 3 years since my fiance is from London. We gave up on trying to do the immigration paperwork on our own. After watching a show on the BBC, OTS Solicitors was featured as a firm that were able to help people regarding valid immigration issues. I called them and Hans and Sanae were on point, professional, and provided a fast turn around. I provided all relevant paperwork needed, it was submitted to the Home Office, once they approved my application and quickly scheduled my biometrics a few days later my spouse visa was available to pick up. The process took a total of 61 days!
My fiance and I can now plan our wedding and start a life together here in the UK. We cannot thank Hans and Sanae enough and highly recommend them. Case Workers: Sanae Sahebjalal
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