We often work with clients that are looking to settle in the UK with their partners. From Spouse Visas for nationals married to a UK citizen wishing to remain in the UK with their partners to Civil Partner Visas or Partner Visas for those with family already settled in the UK.
However, what happens when individuals wish to remain in the UK without their partners after a separation or divorce? When going through a divorce or separation, many individuals wonder what will happen to their visa. Read on for information and advice on UK visas after a divorce or separation.
Earlier this year, QC Immigration presented a webinar to Family Lawyers, offering guidance on immigration options following divorce, separation, family dissolution and child arrangements. These solutions may also help individuals in planning ahead following a difficult, life-changing event.
These situations can be distressful for clients, creating anxiety whilst assuming they will be deported from the UK after the separation. This is often not the case.
At QC Immigration, we endeavour to get to know our clients well in these situations. Details like their background or contributions to the UK often guide us in advising the client whether they can keep their Visas or have the chance to switch to different visa routes.
When discussing alternatives, clients often discover that they are eventually eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or Settled Status.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
There are several routes that may be applicable to you if you are looking to stay in the UK after a divorce or separation. Some of these options may include:
Explore your eligibility for the Spouse, Civil Partner, Unmarried Partner, Fiancé(e) Visa or Proposed Civil Partner Visa here.
Explore your eligibility for the Parent Visa on our dedicated page.
If none of the above options apply, you may consider other routes such as Work Visas.
If a client cannot rely on the above family routes, we can look into options available to you through your independent UK history. One of these could be based on your own private life and long residence in the UK which ultimately builds upon your human rights, especially if you have lived in the UK for a long period of time and have contributed to the economy.
The criteria would be if the client has been living in the UK and one of the following applies:
When clients have European connections, you may explore the EU Settlement Scheme. Applying to Pre-Settled Status is frequently a possibility.
The criteria to consider would be:
When there are children involved, clients may have the right to choose among other possibilities such as retained EU rights, Parent Visa or Child Visa.
As we are increasingly dealing with families of multiple nationalities, relationship breakdown and immigration status issues are often tied together. It is important to work on a strategy with an immigration expert: considering the best options for each client is key to enable a smooth transition from one Visa to another to maximise the chances of remaining in the UK. If this is something you would like to discuss please get in touch today.