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How to apply for leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence

How victims of domestic abuse may be eligible to apply for permission to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence.

Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse) is a serious violation of a person’s rights. It can take shape in many forms: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional or a combination of more than one. Although most victims of such controlling, coercive, threatening, violent or abusive behaviour are women, men are increasingly becoming affected (and reporting). Domestic abuse is classified as a crime in the UK. However, civil remedies are also available.

An increasing number of victims from all genders, from any ethnic background and various segments of our society are reporting the abuse they suffer. However, one segment is particularly vulnerable and less likely to report and seek help: Migrants with precarious immigration status in the UK.

In this guide, I will look at how such ‘unwilling to speak’ victims may be eligible to apply for permission to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence. The rules can be found in Appendix FM (under the heading ‘victims of domestic violence’) which deals with family immigration from outside the EU. It has an exclusive section titled ‘Victim of domestic abuse’ which runs from Section DVILR. In short, the Home Office will allow someone with leave to remain in the UK under Appendix FM to stay in the country permanently if the reason for the breakdown of their relationship is domestic violence.

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Zahid Akbar

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