Karishma Dharni

The Domestic Violence Rule

If you have come to the UK on a spouse or partner visa and you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – the right to live in the UK permanently – under the domestic violence rule, IF:

  • You are in the UK as the wife, partner or civil partner of someone who is British or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  • You have experienced domestic violence;
  • Your relationship has broken down permanently due to domestic violence;
  • You can show that domestic violence has taken place against you by providing evidence of the abuse and
  • You meet certain suitability criteria. This includes being free from unspent convictions.

If you are thinking of applying for ILR under the domestic violence rule, it is important that you seek legal advice. A legal representative will be able to collect evidence for you and help make your application.

There is a fee for applying for indefinite leave to remain through the Domestic Violence Rule. However, if you are destitute and cannot access any money, you do not have to pay the fee. Your immigration adviser can support you to explain why you cannot pay and help you to provide evidence.

You may be eligible for temporary financial support, known as the Domestic Violence Destitution Concession (DDVC).

If you do not have current leave to remain in the UK, for example because it has expired, you may still be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain under the Domestic Violence Rule. It is vital that you get legal advice from an immigration adviser and explain your history and circumstances of abuse.

In order to help you, your legal adviser will need to know the following information:

  • When you came to the UK and how long you are allowed to stay in the UK;
  • Why you came to the UK e.g. to join your husband, as a student, domestic worker;
  • If there are any conditions or restrictions upon you staying in the UK e.g. you must not work or claim benefits;
  • If you have your passport and other essential visa or immigration documents. It is important that you try and take these with you when you see the legal adviser.

Your legal adviser will explain your immigration status, what rights you have to stay in the UK and what steps, if any, you can take to remain in the UK if you are afraid to return to the country you came from.

We use cookies

Please note that on our website we use cookies to enhance your experience, and for analytics purposes. To learn more about our cookies, please read our Privacy policy. By clicking "Accept Cookies" or by continuing to use our website you agree to our use of cookies.

Cookie Policy
Exit Site