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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.