Immigration Corner | How to stay in UK after break-up nullifies visa
Dear Mr Bassie,
My cousin is in the United Kingdom and is in a relationship on which she received a visa and which provides her with, status to stay over there. I do believe that it will end in divorce or, at the very least, separation.
What can she do, as she would like to remain there?
Persons must tell the Home Office when they divorce or separate from their partners if the visa is based on their relationship. Those persons must then either apply for a new visa or leave the United Kingdom.
It should be noted that a person's visa is based on their relationship if they have permission to stay in the United Kingdom for a limited time as a dependent on their partner's United Kingdom visa as a spouse or partner on a 'family of a settled person's, visa, the partner of a British citizen, EEA national, 'settled' person with indefinite leave to remain, or someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection.
The same rules will apply if the ex-partner's visa is based on his/her relationship, i.e., that person is the dependent or their 'sponsor'.
Persons should tell the Home Office by writing a letter to the Home Office to advise them that the relationship has ended. Persons should include their own and their ex-partner's name; date of birth; address; passport number; Home Office reference number, which can be found on letters sent to them from the Home Office.
If a person or his/her ex-partner has children in the United Kingdom, he/she must also include their names and dates of birth; names of their parents or guardians, and who they live with; how much time is spent with him/her or their ex-partner; how much child maintenance or financial help both parties give each other; details of any family court cases that both parties may be involved in.
When sending the letter, persons must include with their letter one of the following forms with it; that is, he/she must use the public statement form, if he/she does not want the Home Office to tell their ex-partner any details from the letter; consent form, if he/she has no objection for the Home Office to tell their ex-partner details from their letter. Please note that both forms give the Home Office permission to contact the ex-partner at the address that is given. The letter should be sent to the following address:
UK Visas and Immigration
TM Marriage Curtailment Team
PO Box 99
As previously stated above, if the visa is based on a relationship that has ended, that person must either leave the United Kingdom, or apply for a different type of visa to stay in the United Kingdom.
When applying for a different visa persons should check their eligibility for the respective visas. For example, a person may be able to apply: for a work visa; to settle in the United Kingdom; as a parent of a child who is British, settled in the United Kingdom or has lived in the United Kingdom for at least 7 years; based on their private life in the United Kingdom, e.g., they have lived in the United Kingdom for a while.
Just for completeness, if the relationship has ended because of domestic violence, a person should check if he/she can settle in the United Kingdom if he/she is the partner of a: British citizen or person settled in the United Kingdom; member of HM Forces who has served for at least four years. It is strongly advised that persons should apply as soon as possible after the relationship breaks down. Please note that persons can report domestic abuse and get help.
I hope this helps.
- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-Law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a Justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of arbitrators, a chartered Arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: email@example.com