Form SET(AF) – Application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence

1. What is the eligibility criteria for applying for ILR as a victim of domestic violence using Form SET(AF)?

To be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence using Form SET(AF), the following criteria must be met:

1. The applicant must have entered the UK legally on a spouse or partner visa.
2. The applicant must be the victim of domestic violence from their British or settled partner during the probationary period on their spouse or partner visa. This can include physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse.
3. The applicant must provide evidence to prove the domestic violence, such as police reports, medical reports, court documents, or statements from witnesses.
4. The applicant must not be responsible for the breakdown of the relationship due to their own actions.
5. The applicant must meet the other requirements for ILR, such as passing the Life in the UK Test and meeting the English language requirement unless exempt.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is crucial in applying for ILR as a victim of domestic violence using Form SET(AF) to ensure a successful outcome.

2. What evidence is required to prove that I am a victim of domestic violence for my ILR application?

To prove that you are a victim of domestic violence for your ILR application, you will need to provide a range of evidence that substantiates your claim. This includes but is not limited to:

1. Police reports or crime reference numbers documenting incidents of abuse.
2. Medical reports detailing injuries sustained as a result of the domestic violence.
3. Letters or reports from social services, refuge organisations, or support agencies confirming your status as a victim of domestic violence.
4. Statements from witnesses who can attest to the abuse you have experienced.
5. Any court orders such as non-molestation orders or injunctions obtained against the perpetrator.
6. Photographs or other documentary evidence of injuries or damage caused by the abuser.
7. Personal statements describing the abuse and its impact on your life.

It is important to ensure that the evidence provided is comprehensive, consistent, and persuasive in demonstrating that you have been a victim of domestic violence. This will strengthen your case for ILR as a victim of domestic violence.

3. Are there any specific requirements for the supporting documents to be submitted with Form SET(AF)?

Yes, there are specific requirements for the supporting documents to be submitted with Form SET(AF) when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence. These requirements are crucial to substantiate your case and eligibility for ILR under this category. Some key documents that you may need to include are:

1. Evidence of domestic violence: This may include police reports, court injunctions, medical reports detailing injuries sustained due to domestic violence, or letters from social workers or domestic abuse support organizations.

2. Proof of relationship: You must provide evidence of your relationship with the perpetrator, such as marriage certificates, joint tenancy agreements, or utility bills in both names.

3. Proof of continuous residence in the UK: Documents such as tenancy agreements, utility bills, bank statements, and employment records can demonstrate your continuous residence in the UK.

4. Financial documents: This includes bank statements, payslips, and evidence of any public funds you may have accessed, to demonstrate your financial stability.

5. Identification documents: You will need to provide your passport, biometric residence permit, and any other relevant identification documents.

It is essential to carefully review the specific requirements outlined in the Form SET(AF) guidance and ensure that you submit all necessary supporting documents to strengthen your application for ILR as a victim of domestic violence.

4. How long does it typically take for a decision to be made on an ILR application under the domestic violence route?

The processing time for an ILR application under the domestic violence route can vary. However, typically, a decision is made within 6 months from the date of submission of the application. It is important to note that each case is unique, and processing times can be influenced by various factors such as the complexity of the case, the availability of supporting documents, and the current workload of the Home Office. Applicants are advised to ensure all necessary documents and evidence are provided at the time of application to help expedite the decision-making process. If there are any delays or issues with the application, the applicant may be contacted by the Home Office for further information or clarification.

5. Can I include my dependent children in my ILR application based on domestic violence?

Yes, you can include your dependent children in your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application based on domestic violence. When applying for ILR as a victim of domestic violence through the Form SET(AF), you have the option to include your dependent children on the same application form, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Here are some key points to consider when including dependent children in your ILR application:

1. Age Criteria: Ensure that your dependent children meet the age criteria set by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for inclusion in your ILR application. Generally, dependent children are defined as those under the age of 18.

2. Relationship Requirement: Your dependent children must be related to you as either your biological or legally adopted children to be included in your ILR application.

3. Documentation: You will need to provide supporting documentation for your dependent children, including their birth certificates and any other relevant identification documents, to prove their relationship to you.

4. Consider their immigration status: If your children are also on dependent visas and their visa’s validity or eligibility is tied to your status, it is crucial to include them in your ILR application to ensure continuity in their immigration status.

Including your dependent children in your ILR application can streamline the process and ensure that your entire family benefits from the grant of settlement status in the UK. It is important to carefully review the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the UKVI to ensure a successful application for both you and your children.

6. Do I need to attend an interview as part of the ILR application process for victims of domestic violence?

As part of the ILR application process for victims of domestic violence using Form SET(AF), attending an interview is not usually required. However, there may be exceptions in certain cases where additional information or clarification is needed to assess the application thoroughly. If an interview is deemed necessary, the Home Office will contact the applicant to schedule it. It is essential to fully complete the application form and provide all relevant supporting documents to minimize the likelihood of being called for an interview. In general, the Home Office aims to process these applications efficiently and sensitively, understanding the unique circumstances that victims of domestic violence may face.

7. What is the fee for applying for ILR as a victim of domestic violence using Form SET(AF)?

The fee for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence using Form SET(AF) is £2,389 as of October 2021. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and is subject to change, so it is advisable to check the most up-to-date fee with the Home Office before submitting the application. It is important to ensure that the correct fee is paid and all necessary supporting documents are included with the application to avoid any delays or issues with the processing of the ILR application.

8. Can I switch from another immigration category to the domestic violence ILR route?

Yes, you can switch from another immigration category to the domestic violence ILR route if you meet the requirements for eligibility. In order to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence under the Form SET(AF) route, you must have been granted leave to remain in the UK as a partner of a British citizen or settled person, or as a parent of a British child, and have experienced domestic violence during that time. The domestic violence ILR route is specifically designed to provide a pathway to settlement for individuals who have suffered abuse from their partner or spouse and are unable to remain in that relationship due to the violence. If you believe you meet the criteria for this route, you can submit an application using Form SET(AF) and provide all necessary evidence to support your case.

9. Is it possible to apply for ILR as a victim of domestic violence if I am currently on a UK visitor visa?

Yes, it is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence even if you are currently on a UK visitor visa. In such cases, you would need to meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Form SET(AF) application for ILR as a victim of domestic violence. Firstly, you must prove that you have been a victim of domestic violence by providing supporting evidence such as police reports, medical records, court judgments, or other relevant documents.

Secondly, you should demonstrate that you meet the requirements for ILR under the domestic violence immigration rules, which include having a valid visa at the time of application and not having any restrictions that prevent you from applying for ILR. It is crucial to seek advice from a legal professional or an immigration advisor to ensure that you submit a complete and accurate application with all the necessary documentation to support your case.

10. How should I explain my circumstances in the personal statement section of Form SET(AF)?

When explaining your circumstances in the personal statement section of Form SET(AF) as a victim of domestic violence, it is crucial to provide a detailed and honest account of the abuse you have experienced. You should clearly outline the nature of the abuse, including specific incidents or patterns of behavior that you have endured. It is important to explain how the abuse has affected you emotionally, physically, and psychologically, and how it has impacted your life and well-being.

In your statement, you should also emphasize any steps you have taken to seek help or support, such as contacting the authorities, seeking medical or counseling services, or reaching out to support organizations. Additionally, you should highlight any evidence you have that can substantiate your claims of abuse, such as police reports, medical records, or testimonies from witnesses.

Overall, your personal statement should convey the seriousness of the abuse you have experienced, as well as your resilience and determination to seek safety and protection. Be sure to use clear and concise language, provide specific examples where possible, and address how the abuse has led you to seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK as a victim of domestic violence.

11. Can I work or study in the UK while my ILR application based on domestic violence is being processed?

Yes, you can work or study in the UK while your ILR application based on domestic violence is being processed as long as you have already been granted limited leave to remain in the UK. This limited leave should allow you to work and study without any restrictions. However, if your current visa does not grant you the right to work or study, you will need to apply for the appropriate permissions before engaging in any employment or educational activities.

It is important to carefully review the terms of your current visa to ensure compliance with UK immigration laws. The Home Office may impose specific conditions on your stay, and it is essential to adhere to these conditions to avoid any immigration issues. Additionally, keeping all necessary documentation up to date and informing the relevant authorities of any changes in your circumstances can help ensure a smooth processing of your ILR application.

While awaiting the outcome of your ILR application, you should continue to follow the terms of your current visa and maintain regular communication with the Home Office or your legal representative to address any questions or concerns that may arise during the process.

12. Are there any specific time limits within which I need to apply for ILR as a victim of domestic violence?

Yes, there are specific time limits within which you need to apply for ILR as a victim of domestic violence. You must apply for ILR within 2 years of being granted leave as a victim of domestic violence under the Domestic Violence Immigration Rule (Rule DVILR). It is crucial to ensure that you submit your Form SET(AF) – Application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) within this timeframe to avoid any complications or possible refusal of your application. Missing this deadline could jeopardize your chances of obtaining ILR based on your circumstances as a victim of domestic violence. Therefore, it is highly recommended to adhere to this time limit and submit your application promptly to secure your status in the UK.

13. Do I need to provide a police report or medical evidence to support my domestic violence claim in the ILR application?

1. Providing a police report or medical evidence to support your domestic violence claim in the ILR application is not mandatory, but it can significantly strengthen your case. Both types of evidence are considered by the Home Office when determining your eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a victim of domestic violence.
2. A police report can help establish the veracity of the abuse you have experienced as it documents incidents of domestic violence and can corroborate your account.
3. Medical evidence, such as reports from healthcare professionals detailing any injuries or psychological trauma you have suffered as a result of the abuse, can also provide crucial supporting documentation for your claim.
4. If you are unable to provide either a police report or medical evidence, you should provide a detailed personal statement outlining your experiences of domestic violence and the reasons why you are unable to provide such documentation.
5. It is important to consult with a legal expert or domestic violence support organization to ensure that your application is as strong as possible, even if you are unable to provide certain types of evidence.

14. What happens if my relationship with the sponsor has ended before I submit my ILR application?

If your relationship with the sponsor has ended before you submit your ILR application as a victim of domestic violence, you can still apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) under the SET(AF) route. Here is what you need to consider and do in this situation:

1. Ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria for ILR as a victim of domestic violence, including providing evidence of the abuse and your relationship with the sponsor.
2. You must still submit a completed SET(AF) application form with all the required supporting documents, such as police reports, medical reports, and statements from witnesses.
3. Explain in your application the reasons for the relationship breakdown and how it relates to the domestic violence you experienced.
4. Seek legal advice or support from organizations specializing in domestic violence to assist you with submitting a strong application.

Even if your relationship with the sponsor has ended, you may still be eligible for ILR as a victim of domestic violence, but it is crucial to provide comprehensive evidence and information to support your case.

15. Can I travel outside the UK while my ILR application based on domestic violence is pending?

1. As an applicant for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the basis of being a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering if you can travel outside the UK while your application is pending. It is important to note that you are advised against traveling outside the UK while your ILR application is being processed. Leaving the country could impact your application and may result in delays or complications in the consideration of your case. It is essential that you remain in the UK throughout the processing of your application to ensure that you are available for any potential interviews or requests for additional information that may arise during the assessment process.

2. If you do need to travel urgently for exceptional circumstances, it is crucial that you seek advice from an immigration expert or legal professional before making any travel arrangements. They can provide guidance on the potential implications of traveling during the application process and advise you on the best course of action to take in your specific situation. Ultimately, it is recommended that you stay in the UK until a decision has been made on your ILR application to avoid any possible negative consequences.

16. Will my previous immigration history be considered when applying for ILR as a victim of domestic violence?

Yes, your previous immigration history will be considered when applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence. Specifically, the Home Office will review your entire immigration history, including any previous visa applications, immigration status, and compliance with immigration rules. This assessment is crucial in determining your eligibility for ILR as a victim of domestic violence. It is important to provide all relevant documentation and evidence related to your immigration history to support your application. Additionally, any previous refusals or breaches of immigration rules may impact your ILR application, so it is advised to seek guidance from a legal expert specializing in immigration law to ensure a strong and successful application process.

17. Can I apply for ILR on the basis of domestic violence if I have previously been refused asylum in the UK?

Yes, you can still apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence even if you have previously been refused asylum in the UK. However, there are specific requirements and considerations you need to meet and address in your application:

1. You must have evidence to show that you have been a victim of domestic violence. This can include police reports, medical records of injuries, witness statements, or a court protection order.

2. You need to demonstrate that you have been residing lawfully in the UK for a continuous period of time and meet the residency requirements for ILR.

3. You must meet the suitability requirements for ILR, which can be affected by factors such as criminal record or previous immigration breaches.

4. Your application should include a detailed account of the domestic violence suffered, how it has affected you, and any steps taken to address the situation, such as seeking legal protection or support.

5. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a legal advisor or domestic violence support organization to ensure your application is well-prepared and includes all necessary evidence to support your claim.

18. What rights and benefits do I have as a victim of domestic violence while my ILR application is under consideration?

While your Application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence is under consideration, there are certain rights and benefits that you may be eligible for:

1. Protection from Deportation: As a victim of domestic violence, you may be granted protection from deportation while your ILR application is being processed. This means you cannot be removed from the UK during this period.

2. Access to Public Funds: You may be eligible for access to public funds, such as welfare benefits and housing assistance, to support you during this difficult time.

3. Healthcare: You may be entitled to access healthcare services in the UK, including treatment for any medical or psychological issues resulting from the domestic violence.

4. Work Rights: Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also be granted permission to work in the UK while your ILR application is pending.

5. Legal Support: You have the right to seek legal advice and support throughout the ILR application process, including assistance in gathering evidence to support your claim of domestic violence.

It’s important to seek advice from a legal expert or a support organization specializing in domestic violence to fully understand your rights and entitlements during this period.

19. Will my children be able to access education and healthcare services in the UK if I am granted ILR under the domestic violence route?

Yes, if you are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a victim of domestic violence in the UK, your children will typically be able to access education and healthcare services. Here’s a breakdown of the access your children are likely to have:

1. Education: Once you have ILR, your children will have the right to access state-funded education in the UK. This includes primary and secondary education in public schools, with additional support available for children with special educational needs. Your children may also be eligible for free school meals or other forms of financial assistance, depending on your circumstances.

2. Healthcare: With ILR, your children will be entitled to access healthcare services provided by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. This means they can receive free medical treatment, including visits to a general practitioner (GP), hospital care, and access to prescribed medications. It’s important to register with a GP to ensure timely healthcare access for your children.

Overall, receiving ILR as a victim of domestic violence will not only provide you with security and rights in the UK but will also extend similar benefits to your children, including access to education and healthcare services.

20. Is there any recourse available if my application for ILR as a victim of domestic violence is refused?

If your application for ILR as a victim of domestic violence is refused, there are recourse options available to you. Here are some steps you can consider:

1. Seek Legal Advice: It is advisable to seek legal advice from a specialized immigration solicitor or a reputable organization that deals with domestic violence cases. They can review your application, assess the reasons for refusal, and provide guidance on the next steps to take.

2. Appeal the Decision: Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have the right to appeal the refusal decision through the Immigration Tribunal. This process allows you to present your case before a judge who will reconsider the decision made by the Home Office.

3. Reapply: In some cases, it may be appropriate to reapply for ILR as a victim of domestic violence, addressing any issues that led to the initial refusal. With the help of legal professionals, you can strengthen your application and provide additional evidence to support your claim.

4. Judicial Review: If all other options have been exhausted and you believe that the decision was unlawful, unreasonable, or not in line with immigration rules, you may consider applying for a judicial review of the decision.

It’s essential to act promptly and seek professional advice to explore the best course of action following a refusal of your ILR application as a victim of domestic violence.