Spousal Visas – Better Support for Victims of Domestic Violence

Posted: 15th March 2011

Passport stamps2The Home Secretary has announced that the Government is to give overseas spouses and partners of UK residents who are forced to flee their relationships as a result of domestic violence the permanent right to access support services.
At present, some partners feel forced to remain in abusive relationships because they are in the UK on a spousal visa and have 'no recourse to public funds', meaning that they cannot access support services during the two-year probationary period before they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Following a successful pilot programme, victims of domestic abuse will be able to access services to ensure that they do not need to remain in violent relationships. Access will be for a limited period only, to allow time for the victim to gather evidence in support of a claim for residence based on the domestic violence and for the UK Border Agency to consider the application.
There will be strict checks in place, however, to ensure the system is not abused by those seeking to stay in the country when they do not have the right to do so.
The measure is expected to be introduced in 2012.