In some circumstances, it may be possible for a person, who previously had leave to remain as a spouse or partner, to apply for indefinite leave to remain when their relationship has broken down due to domestic abuse. If separating from their partner would leave them without access to accommodation or funds to meet their basic living needs, they may also be able to apply for the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession in order to access benefits whilst they are applying for indefinite leave to remain. However, these options are not available to all migrant survivors of domestic abuse. It will always be important for a survivor to get legal advice about their immigration options as soon as possible following a relationship breakdown due to domestic abuse.
A person can apply for the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession if they:
A successful applicant will be granted three months leave to remain with access to public funds (benefits and housing assistance). The indefinite leave to remain application must be submitted during this period and the person will continue to have access to benefits and housing assistance until the Home Office makes a decision on the application.
The Destitution Domestic Violence Concession is not available to survivors of domestic abuse who:
It will be important for a person to get legal advice about their immigration options as soon as possible following a relationship breakdown, whether this was due to domestic abuse or for other reasons, particularly if they currently have leave to remain as a spouse or partner. As the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession results in a variation of leave, it is important that this is only applied for when a survivor has been advised that this is an appropriate immigration route. Find an immigration adviser.
Legal aid is available for survivors of domestic abuse who are applying for indefinite leave to remain. It is also available for asylum cases. However, it is not available for most other types of immigration cases.