If I am in the UK on a Spouse Visa, Do I Need to Inform the Home Office of my Separation or Divorce?
Although it isn’t nice to think about separating or divorcing from your partner, it’s important that you are aware of what steps you need to take if your right to remain in the UK relies on them and your relationship breaks down.
Whether you are married to or cohabiting with your partner, if your immigration status relies on your relationship with them, you need to inform the Home Office of your separation if you decide to break up.
Have you separated from your partner but want to remain living in the UK? Our immigration team could help.
Can I Stay in the UK After a Divorce?
Even if your marriage or relationship has broken down and you are divorcing or separating from your partner, you may still be able to stay in the UK. How you do so will depend on your circumstances, such as your job and whether you have children.
There are four routes you can take to be able to stay in the UK if you are about to go through a separation or divorce. Whichever option suits you best, you need to act fast and get the ball rolling. If you don’t, your visa status will be revoked and you will be living in the UK illegally.
Your four options are:
Settling in the UK on your own merit
If you have lived in the UK for long enough on certain visas, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain, known as settlement or permanent residency.
The ‘parent route’
If you have children in the UK you might be able to apply for the parent route, however there are conditions you will have to meet.
Switching to a work visa
If you’re employed, it may be possible for you to switch to a Tier 2 general worker visa. However, your job may have to be on the shortage occupation list and your employer will have to be a registered sponsor.
The ‘private life in the UK’ route
If you have lived in the UK for a long time, and can provide evidence of this, you may be able to apply to stay on the basis of the length of your stay. The conditions are different depending on your circumstances.
You may also be able to apply to stay in the UK if you have experienced domestic violence or abuse. Although it can be difficult, you will need to tell the Home Office that you’ve experienced domestic violence or abuse at the hands of your partner.
You should also seek the advice of an immigration solicitor, who will be able to help you decide what you should do next. You might be able to apply for an extension on your current visa, indefinite leave to remain, a family visa or asylum.
Do you need help applying for one of the above routes to stay in the UK after a separation or divorce? Our immigration solicitors are on hand to help.
Can British Citizenship be Revoked after Divorce?
If you have been living in the UK for a long time and have obtained British citizenship, your right to live in the UK no longer relies on your relationship. However, there are certain situations in which British citizenship can be revoked.
For example, if you used deception in your citizenship application and the Home Office finds out when you tell them about your divorce, they could revoke your citizenship.
However, your citizenship will not be revoked solely on the basis of your divorce, because you are legally allowed to live and work in the UK regardless of your marital status.
How to Inform the Home Office of your Separation or Divorce?
If you and your partner are going through a separation or divorce, and your leave in the UK relies on your relationship with them, you must inform the Home Office as soon as possible.
You should write a letter to the Home Office and inform them of the relationship ending. You should include the following information:
- Your name and your partner’s name
- Your date of birth and their date of birth
- Your address and their address
- Your passport number and their passport number
- Your Home Office reference number and theirs
If you have children together who live in the UK, you must also include the following in your letter:
- Their full names and dates of birth
- The full names of their parents or guardians
- The full name/s of the person/people they live with
- How much time they spend with you and your partner
- How much financial help you and your partner give each other
- Any details of family court cases you and your partner are currently involved in i.e. child custody disputes
With your letter, you must include one of two forms that you have to download from the government website. These forms are:
- The consent form – submit this alongside your letter if you are happy for the Home Office to tell your ex the details you have provided in the letter
- The public statement form – submit this if you do not want details you provided in your letter to be told to your ex
The Home Office will contact your partner at the address you give for them, even if you submit a public statement form, since both forms give them permission to do so.
Here to Help When You Need it Most
We know that going through a separation or divorce is hard at the best of times, but if your right to legally live in the UK is at risk it can make the whole situation much more stressful and draining.
Fortunately, our team can help you make an application so you can continue living your life in the UK.
Whether you need help constructing your letter to inform the Home Office of your separation, or want assistance in applying for a new visa category, our solicitors are on hand to support you.
Please note: A 30-minute consultation with one of our immigration experts can be held in our offices or over the phone or Skype. Please be aware that we do not offer free advice and will charge a non-refundable fee of £95 per consultation.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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