What Happens To A Spouse Visa When A Couple Divorces?

Spouse Visa
What Happens To A Spouse Visa When A Couple Divorces?

Are you a foreign national with a UK spouse visa who recently divorced? Do you have concerns about your immigration status and want to know what choices you and your children have? If so, the following information should be helpful, and you can consult with an immigration solicitor for more thorough advice concerning your unique situation.

What happens to a spouse’s visa after divorce?

According to the Home Office, an individual residing in the UK on a spouse visa may only stay legally if they are in a genuine, ongoing relationship with their partner. Anyone with a spouse visa who has recently divorced or separated from their partner must notify the Home Office immediately.

In fact, both parties are required by law to notify the Home Office of their separation, and once this is done, the period of the spouse’s visa will be reduced.

Curtailing a spouse visa

Once you’ve told the Home Office, your spouse’s visa will be reduced (or shortened) to 60 days, and you’ll be compelled to leave the UK within 60 days unless you take any other action (such as applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or leaving the country).

If your spouse’s visa has less than 60 days left when you notify the Home Office of the separation, you must follow the existing expiration date.

Is it legal for you to stay in the UK after a divorce, dissolution, or separation?

If you are eligible and petition for a new immigration status, the following are your primary options for remaining in the United Kingdom after a divorce, dissolution, or separation:

  • Work visa (e.g., a Skilled Worker Visa)
  • Family visa: as a parent of a child who is British or has been living in the UK for at least 7 years
  • On the basis of your private life, if you’re between 18 and 24 and have lived in the UK for more than half of your life, would have genuine problems returning to your country of birth, or if you’re over the age of 25 and have been living here for 20 years, continuously.
  • Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS); this is only applicable if you have ‘Retained Right of Residence’.
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain is applicable if you’ve been residing here on a spouse visa for 5 years continuously.

What is a retained right of residence?

If you divorce (or separate from) a partner residing in the United Kingdom who is a citizen of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Lichtenstein, you may qualify to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit in accordance with your Retained Rights of Residence.

What if you have a British-born child (or children)?

If this is the case for you, you may be qualified to apply for a family visa through the parent route; however, there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account, which you should explore with an immigration solicitor to ensure you take the appropriate action for your situation.

Divorcing or separating from a partner can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether you will be permitted to stay in the country or what your choices are. Working with an immigration counsellor from the start, on the other hand, can help alleviate your concerns and make the entire process simpler and less stressful for you and your family.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
7th November 2023
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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