Spouse Visa after Curtailment
What Are My Options?
A Spouse Visa allows you to reside in the UK for up to 30 months. You get this type of visa after you prove that you are in a meaningful and ongoing relationship with a partner or spouse who is a UK national or has settled status.
However, if your relationship comes to an end, this has a direct effect on your Partner Visa. This is because you were able to get residence rights in the UK due to your relationship to a UK spouse in the first place. The end of relationship also means that your residency rights under Spouse Visa come to an end.
This is known as Spouse Visa Curtailment.
You may have other visa and immigration options to explore if you face curtailment of your Spouse or Marriage Visa. The Spouse Visa solicitors at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office can help you consider these options and choose one that may extend your stay in the UK.
Possible Reasons for Curtailment of Spouse Visa
Your Spouse Visa is typically curtailed when the relationship between you and your UK spouse breaks down. In most cases, this happens when both parties agree to a divorce. A court may grant divorce for a number of reasons including separate living for more than 2 years, abusive behavior, desertion, or adultery.
For most divorce proceedings, both parties must petition the court. However, if two partners have not lived together for more than 5 years, either partner can file for divorce.
It is best to consult our EU Settlement Scheme solicitors as soon as your relationship with your UK sponsor breaks down. Our immigration lawyers will offer professional advice on how best to proceed.
Notifying the Home Office
The first step you must take after your relationship with the UK spouse or partner breaks down is to notify the Home Office. You must do so immediately and not wait for formalities such as finalisation of divorce proceedings. Either spouse or partner can notify the Home Office that the relationship has ended.
When notifying the Home Office, you must provide the following details:
- Identification details of you and your partner, such as passport number
- Residence details and current address of you and your partner
- Home Office reference number
If you and your British spouse have children together, you must also provide their details. These include the names, birth dates, residence address and people they live with, any formal child arrangements between you and your partner and court details if there’s a legal case concerning the children.
At the same time, you must consult a reliable immigration lawyer to discuss your options moving forward. The Spouse Visa solicitors at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office can offer detailed advice in this regard.
Curtailment of Spouse Visa
After you notify the Home Office about the end of your relationship, you will face Spouse Visa Curtailment. This involves cutting down the duration of your Spouse Visa to 60 days. You then have 60 days to seek alternate visa options or leave the UK.
The actual curtailment period may be longer or shorter, depending on your circumstances. If your Spouse Visa is due to expire before 60 days, you will be required to leave the UK upon its expiry.
On the other hand, if you had previously reported an incident of domestic violence caused by your UK spouse or partner, you may be able to have your stay extended.
If you apply and receive ‘Concessions for Victims of Domestic Abuse’, your visa may be extended for three months. Our EU Settlement Scheme solicitors can offer advice on whether or not you can seek this route.
If you are unable to secure another visa or immigration status following curtailment, it is critically important that you leave the UK by the deadline. If you overstay, this can harm your immigration prospects in the future and you may be convicted of immigration fraud. The authorities may also have you deported and permanently bar you from entering the UK again.
Your Options After Spouse Visa Curtailment
You can explore other visa options to continue your residence in the UK after your Spouse Visa has been curtailed. The precise options available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case and your immigration history. An experienced immigration lawyer can best advise you on the options that suit your case.
Following are some common routes you can take following curtailment:
You can apply for a work visa such as Skilled Worker Visa. You will need to meet specific requirements regarding skills, income, language, and sponsorship to qualify for this option. This is a viable option for you if your employer holds a Sponsorship License. The employer must also pass the Resident Labour Market Test before you can be hired.
You must apply for a Work Visa from outside the UK. You can negotiate with your current employer to provide you a Certificate of Sponsorship. You can then use this certificate to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa.
A key requirement to apply for this type of visa is that your current income must be at least £30,000. However, some professions such as nursing are exempt from this income requirement. You can consult our immigration lawyers to see if you can benefit from an exemption.
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
This is an option for you after curtailment only if you have been living in the UK for at least five years. This makes you eligible to apply for ILR. Once you get ILR status, you can permanently live in the UK.
You can apply for ILR whether or not your Spouse Visa is valid, granted you meet the five-year residency requirement. The ILR status allows you to continue to live, work, and study in the UK for indefinite period. Get in touch with our immigration lawyers to see if you qualify for ILR.
If you have a child who is a British national or carries settled status and has been residing in the UK for the last 7 years, you can seek a Family Visa as a parent. A Family Visa allows you to stay in the UK for 30 months after which you can seek an extension. Your success in applying for an extension also depends on whether the child is still aged under 18.
You are not required to be married to or in a relationship with the other parent in order to be eligible for the Family Visa parent route. You must prove that you share the parental responsibility of the child as one of two parents, or fully bear the sole responsibility for the child.
You must also show that you have an active role in the child’s life. You are required to prove that your financial means are such that you will not need to rely on public funds during your stay.
Our immigration lawyers can offer detailed help and guidance on whether or not you can seek this route to continue staying in the UK after visa curtailment.
Retained Right of Residence
This option is available if you and your former partner who is an EEA national have a child for which you have custody or access rights. Retained Right of Residence was available previously to EEA nationals under free movement rights. It allowed the non-EEA qualifying family members to continue living in the UK without their UK sponsor.
However, it is no longer possible for EEA nationals or their non-EEA spouses to apply for Right to Reside, unless you qualify for an exception. Our EU Settlement Scheme solicitors can help you determine if you can apply as an exception.
Concessions for Victims of Domestic Violence
Sometimes, a Spouse Visa sponsor may perpetrate domestic violence on their partner. The victim of the violence may often feel pressured to avoid reporting it as this can lead to a breakdown of the relationship, and ultimately curtailment of Spouse Visa.
However, you can seek another route to UK residency if you have been a victim of domestic violence and face visa curtailment. The incident of domestic violence must have occurred before the curtailment. You must have a valid proof to back your claim. This can be medical evidence proving domestic violence, a domestic violence protection notice, or a domestic violence protection order.
You must then write a letter to the Home Office outlining the circumstances of your curtailment and domestic violence. It is best to consult an immigration lawyer before you do so. You must also attach relevant evidence and apply for ‘Concessions for Victims of Domestic Violence’ route.
If your application is successful, you are allowed to continue living in the UK for three months. During this period, you can seek a settled residency status and continue residing in the country. This route ensures that domestic violence victims don’t put up with abusive UK sponsors on account of fears related to visa curtailment.
If you are a domestic violence victim facing visa curtailment, our Spouse Visa solicitors can help you apply through this route.
Why Choose Adam Bernard’s EU Settlement Scheme Solicitors?
Being faced with a Spouse Visa Curtailment can be a daunting experience. You need legal assistance such a critical time to see what other visa and immigration options are available to you.
Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office, our Spouse visa solicitors help you consider your options and make the right choice after you face Spouse Visa Curtailment. We can advice you on which visa or immigration route are best suited to your circumstances based on your country of origin, immigration history, relationship history, financial details, and other information.
Call us today at 0207 100 2525 and schedule a free consultation with our immigration lawyers.