close menu

The UK spouse visa and divorce: How to remain in the UK

by John Dunn | May 27, 2016
  • Non-EEA nationals holding a UK spouse visa can apply to continue living in the UK after their relationship with an EEA citizen comes to an end, if certain criteria are met. These types of applications are, unfortunately, complex and often extremely emotional procedures. This article takes a broad look at how you, and any children you may have custody over, may retain your leave to remain in the UK.
    Divorce

    Rights and duties as a non-EEA national

    There are certain circumstances in which a non-EEA national who held a spouse visa can apply for leave to remain in the UK. Please note: It is your duty to inform the Home Office that the relationship has ended. Since your UK spouse visa is contingent on a relationship with an EEA-national, you must ensure that your visa status is up to date.

    Divorce or termination of relationship

    As a non-EEA national you will need to have been in a relationship with an EEA national for more than three years to be eligible to apply for leave to remain. In the case of divorce or termination, the relationship must have lasted three years before the day that dissolution proceedings began. You must also prove that you cohabited for at least 12 months out of those three years.

    If successful you will have leave to remain in the UK for five years. Once you have spent five years in the UK, subject to certain restrictions and conditions, you may apply for permanent residence.

    Death of the EEA national

    A non-EEA national family member may remain in the UK if their EEA family member has passed away. However, the non-EEA national must have been living in the UK for at least a year before the passing of the EEA national. In addition to this, the non-EEA national must be self-sufficient and able to meet other requirements set out by UKVI.

    Children

    If you have custody of a child born of your relationship with an EEA national through whom you received a UK spouse visa, you may be able to apply for leave to remain through your child.

    This can be a particularly complex method of retaining your right to reside in the UK. If you are considering this route, it is advisable to seek immigration advice from a qualified expert as soon as possible.

    How to proceed

    New application forms were introduced by the Home Office in January 2015. However, the application process is complex and time consuming. You will have to provide evidence of the existence of the relationship as well proof of its ending; whether by death or divorce/termination. In acrimonious splits, ex-partners have often been unwilling to co-operate with non-EEA nationals.

    Unfortunately, the Home Office’s generally unsympathetic attitude toward non-EEA nationals in these situations compounds the difficulties in obtaining leave to remain.

    Having a third party help you through this process is vital. As visa experts, we can recommend the best course of action with regard to your residency rights. We can also offer advice on other visa options which may be available to you.

    Give us a call on +44 20 7759 7527 or +27 21 657 2180 and we’ll do everything we can to ensure you remain in the UK legally. You can also send us an email and we’ll get back to you to set up a consultation.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • Sydney skyline
      Invest in Australian property and earn permanent residency for you and your family
      Oct 18, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Australia-look-see.png
      Everything you should do on your look-and-see visit to Australia
      Aug 12, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Porto cityscape
      10 reasons to move to Porto, Portugal
      Jul 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Oxford-street
      Everything you ever wanted to know about applying for a UK Tier 2 (General) visa
      Jul 18, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Australia skyline
      Landed a temporary job Down Under? Get an Australian working holiday visa
      Jul 08, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • sydney-australia
      Australian visa processing times: How long you’ll wait for approval
      Jun 27, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • British passport and citizenship approved
      British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference
      Jun 25, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • seven-corners-image
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      Jun 13, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • kangaroos
      Two new Aussie visa routes for skilled migrants
      May 23, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Passport-stamp
      25% of UK spouse visa applications are refused every year – make sure yours isn’t one
      Apr 02, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
     
     

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120

    Durban

    25 Richefond Circle
    Ridgeside
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom

    Croydon

    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

    Australia

    Melbourne

    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.