What to do about your visa
if your relationship
breaks down

If your immigration status is based on your relationship and that relationship breaks down, you must tell the Home Office. This rule affects those who are in the UK for a limited time as:

  • a dependant on their partner’s UK visa
  • the spouse or partner on a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • the partner of a British citizen, an EEA national, a settled person with indefinite leave to remain, or someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

You must apply for a new visa as soon as possible or you will be expected to leave the UK. So the earlier you alert the Home Office the better. This will give you more time to pursue a visa of your own and make plans for your future.

What visas are you eligible for?

The following may provide you with a route towards permanent settlement:

  • Family visa    If you have a family in the UK and have partial or sole responsibility for your child(ren), then this may be the most suitable visa for you.  You will need to show you can accommodate your child and support it without public funds. Once the first 30 months of the visa expires, you will be able to renew it, until you have five years’ continuous residence, and may apply for ILR (below).
  • Work visas   If you are already working in the  UK, your employer may be able to sponsor you under the Tier 2 (general) scheme, which allows skilled workers to remain in the UK after being offered a job.
  • Study visas    If you have had an unconditional offer of study, you may be able to stay in the UK under a Tier 4 study visa.
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)  If your marriage lasted for a minimum of five years in the UK, you may be eligible for this visa. However but you will need to show a good knowledge of the English spoken word and culture through a language test and a Life in the UK test.

Abusive relationship or domestic violence

If you are a survivor of domestic abuse, you do not need to have been in the UK for five years before applying for ILR. You also do not need to remain in the abusive relationship in order to secure settlement. You may be required to apply for temporary leave giving evidence of domestic abuse. If you are successful, you will be able to stay in the UK indefinitely. It is essential that you apply as quickly as possible.

How to tell the Home Office

You must write to the Home Office to inform them that your relationship is over. Make sure that you include your and your ex-partner’s:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • passport number and
  • Home Office reference number.

If you have children in the UK, you must also give their names, dates of birth, details of who they live with and how much time they spend with you and your ex. You will also need to provide information on, how much financial help you give or receive, and any family court cases that are pending.

Address to send your letter

UK Visas and Immigration
Marriage Curtailment Team
7th Floor
The Capital
New Hall Place
Liverpool
L3 9PP

Forms you must send with your letter

If you don’t want the Home Office to give your ex-partner any details from your letter, then you must include a public statement. However, if you are happy for the Home Office to give your ex-partner details from your letter, then you will need to sign and send in a consent form. Both forms give the Home Office permission to contact your ex-partner at the address you give.

How Smith Stone Walters can help

The visa application process can be complex, so it is important that you seek professional help before submitting your application. We have the experience to guide you in making an informed decision. Talk to one of your sympathetic experts who can assist you with as little disruption as possible and the best chance of remaining in the UK.

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