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Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 68520

Domestic Violence, Long Residency Concession and Right of Access to a Child

Domestic Violence

The domestic violence concession was introduced on 16 June 1999 to assist those subject to immigration control, whose marriage broke down during the probationary year as a result of domestic violence/abuse. It meant that those who left their partner during the probationary period and could prove, by way of a court conviction or similar, that the relationship ended because of domestic violence/abuse were allowed to remain in the country under Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

In order to prove that domestic abuse had occurred, they had to provide one of the following:

  • an injunction, non-molestation order or other protection order against the sponsor; or
  • a relevant court conviction against the sponsor; or
  • full details of a relevant police caution against the sponsor.

From 18 December 2002, the types of evidence caseworkers at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate can consider as ‘proof’ of violence/abuse have been extended. Under the changes, if one of the above pieces of evidence is not available, more than one of the following is acceptable:

  • a medical report from a hospital doctor confirming that the applicant has injuries consistent with being the victim of domestic violence/abuse
  • a letter from a GP who has examined the applicant and is satisfied they have injuries consistent with being the victim of domestic violence/abuse
  • a police report confirming attendance at the home of the applicant as a result of domestic violence/abuse
  • a letter from social services confirming its involvement in connection with domestic violence/abuse
  • a letter of support or report from a women’s refuge

An individual seeking to remain in this country on the basis of marriage must complete a one year probationary period, during which the marriage is subsisting. Partners who are legally unable to marry must have been in a cohabitative relationship for two years in order to get leave to enter or remain.

Long Residency Concession

Indefinite Leave to Remain will be granted for periods of exceptionally long UK residency. This applies for people who have 10 years continual lawful residence in the UK or 14 years continuous residence of any legality.

Short absences abroad of up to six months at any one time within the 10 year or 14 year period will not constitute a break in residency.

The Ten Year Concession may be considered if the applicant has remained in the UK legally, with Home Office approval, for ten years. The result of the application will usually be that the applicant is allowed to stay on a permanent basis, being granted the status of “Indefinite Leave to Remain.”

In order for applications of this nature to be effectively submitted to the Home Office, our consultants will need to collate substantial evidence that will prove your respective periods in the UK. To rely upon the history reflected in your passport with regard to your time in the UK is not enough. Our consultants will be most happy to discuss the necessary documentation which they will require from you, in order to generate a case.

Right of Access to a child

The main points on which the immigration officer needs to be satisfied are that:

  • a passenger who wishes to exercise access rights holds a valid entry clearance for this purpose;
  • there is no reason to believe that false representations were made in order to obtain the entry clearance or that circumstances have changed since its issue; and
  • refusal is not justified on the grounds of restricted returnability, medical grounds, grounds of criminal record, or that the person is the subject of a deportation order or that his exclusion is conducive to the public good.

Leave to remain as a person exercising rights of access

The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to remain in order to exercise access rights are set out in Paragraph 248A in Part 7 of HC 395 and must be referred to when reading the following advice.

Key Points

The main points on which the caseworker needs to be satisfied are that:

  • the applicant is the parent of a child who is resident in the United Kingdom;
  • the parent or carer with whom the child permanently resides is resident in the United Kingdom;
  • the applicant produces evidence that he has access rights to the child in the form of:
    • Residence Order or a Contact Order granted by a Court in the United Kingdom; or
    • A certificate issued by a district judge confirming the applicant’s intention to maintain contact with the child; or
    • A statement from the child’s other parent (or, if contact is supervised, from the supervisor) that the applicant is maintaining contact with the child;
  • The applicant takes and intends to continue to take an active role in the child's upbringing;
  • The child visits or stays with the applicant on a frequent and regular basis;
  • The applicant intends this to continue;
  • The child is under the age of 18;
  • The applicant has limited leave to remain in the United Kingdom as the spouse or unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom who is the other parent of the child;
  • The applicant has not remained in breach of the immigration laws;
  • There will be adequate accommodation for the applicant and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which the applicant owns or occupies exclusively;
  • The applicant will be able to maintain himself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.