Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Victim of Domestic Violence and Bereaved Partner.

What Is Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) allows a person to settle in the UK for an indefinite time period or permanently and paves the way for British Citizenship.


In our previous blogs, Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, we explained the general rules for obtaining ILR and changes to the right to return for an ILR holder. In this article, we will explore rules and procedures for obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK as a bereaved partner of a person present and settled in the UK and as a victim of Domestic Violence.

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

What is included?

  • What is Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • Introduction
  • Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Bereaved Partner

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence includes any incident or pattern of incidents which amount to controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence, abuse, intimidation, financial control, sexual violence, emotional violence, regulating victim’s everyday behaviour, and exploiting etc.


if a spouse or civil partner of a British National or ILR holder is a victim of domestic violence, then such spouse and the civil partner can apply for ILR straightaway as a victim of domestic violence, irrespective of their length of stay in the UK.

Unlike a bereaved partner, a victim of domestic violence does not need to have a valid visa at the time of application. In most cases of domestic violence, it is quite common that the other spouse/partner intentionally does not apply for the renewal or extension, or the partner may have confiscated the passport and biometric card of the spouse, etc. resulting in no legal status for the spouse.

The Home Office recognises these situations and allows the victim of domestic violence to apply for ILR even, where spouse visa has been curtailed, finished, not renewed, or the victim has overstayed her last grant of limited leave etc.


The general fee for ILR applies to all applications for ILR, however, under the rules for a Victim of Domestic Violence, a fee waiver is available to all applicants who can show that they are destitute.

Financial and English Requirements

There are no financial and English Language requirements for the Victims of Domestic Violence.


A victim of domestic violence must fill an online form SET(DV) and submit his/her application through the post to Liverpool under the current rules.

Burdon of Proof

The burden of proof lies on the applicant to prove that he/she was a victim of domestic violence. The following evidence can prove helpful.

  • Non- Molestation Order
  • Undertaking from the perpetrator
  • Letter of Support from Domestic Violence support organisation such ad Black Women, woman’s trust, victim support etc
  • Medical Report from GP
  • Witness statements
  • Police logs, custody record etc
  • Pictures, videos etc.

Bereaved Partner

As a general rule if someone is in the UK on a spouse visa of a British national or ILR holder and if the marriage or civil partnership breaks down then this will result in curtailment of the spouse visa. The spouse has no other choice but to leave the United Kingdom. However, under limited circumstances, such spouse can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Under the rules for Bereaved partner and further changes to the rules for ILR, the bereaved spouse can apply for ILR, provided the partner died during the probation period. The probationary period could be under 5 years route or 10 years route.

Required Evidence

The bereaved partner must prove to the Home Office that the relationship as husband and wife or as a civil partner at the time of bereavement was

  1. Genuine;
  2. Subsistence; and
  3. Permanent

The suppose will be granted an ILR upon a successful claim as a bereaved partner.  The time period of stay in the UK as a Spouse is not relevant. For example, if a person has joined his/her partner in the UK as a spouse and the bereavement occurs immediately then such person does not have to wait for 5 years  (if on 5 years route) or 10 years (if on 10 years route) to apply for ILR.

Immigration is a complex area of the English Legal system. If you are a victim of domestic violence or a bereaved partner, you can speak to our experienced lawyers for expert legal advice through mobile, tablet and laptop instantly.

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This Article is Written by
Syed Aamir
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