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Visa Rules If You Separate or Divorce

You cannot stay in the United Kingdom on a spouse visa when you separate or divorce. Tell Home Office if you or your partner have a temporary UK visa and the relationship has ended.

TELL THE HOME OFFICE: You can enter, and live, in the United Kingdom with a spousal visa based on your relationship to your partner.

Having this kind of spousal visa means you would have permission to stay for a limited time in the UK as:

  • A dependant of a partner who has a United Kingdom visa.
  • A spouse or a partner on a ‘family of a settled person’ visa.
  • The partner of a British citizen, an EEA national, a ‘settled’ person with indefinite leave to remain, or a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

But, if that relationship ends you must inform the Home Office to avoid problems with future visa applications.

Note: You would need leave the United Kingdom or apply for a different visa. The same rules would also apply if your ex-partner has a visa based on your relationship (e.g. you are their sponsor or they are your dependant).

How to Inform the Home Office

The Home Office needs to keep a track of visas when you separate or divorce. So, you must write a letter to the Home Office to inform them that your relationship has ended.

You would need to include some information and details about yourself and your ex-partner, such as:

  • Name, address, and the date of birth for both partners.
  • Passport number and Home Office reference number (found on letters sent to you by the Home Office).

You would need to include extra information if either you or your ex-partner have children in the United Kingdom. Tell the Home Office:

  • The children’s names and their dates of birth.
  • The names of their parents or guardians (and who they are living with).
  • How much time the children spend with you or your ex-partner.
  • The amount of child maintenance or financial help you are giving to each other (and the details of any family court cases that involve you).

Forms to Send with the Letter

You must include either a statement or a consent form with your letter to UK Visas and Immigration. The purpose is to inform UKVI of a relationship breakdown. Send the one that relates to your preference:

  • Using the consent form means the Home Office can tell your ex-partner the details contained in your letter.
  • Using the public statement means the Home Office will not tell your ex-partner the details written in your letter.

Address to Send the Letter and Form

UK Visas and Immigration
Marriage Curtailment Team
7th Floor
The Capital
New Hall Place
L3 9PP

Note: No matter which form you use, it will give the Home Office permission to contact your ex-partner at the address you gave to them.

Applying to Stay in the United Kingdom

Having a UK visa based on a relationship that has since ended means you must (either):

  • Apply for a different kind of visa that allows you to remain in the United Kingdom.
  • Leave the United Kingdom.
Eligibility to Apply for a Different Visa

There may be several ways that you qualify for the different kinds of United Kingdom visas. Check through your options to see if you can:

  • Apply for one of the different types of work visas.
  • Apply to settle in the United Kingdom.
  • Get one of the family visas:
    • Based on your private life in the United Kingdom (e.g. you already lived here for several years).
    • As a parent of a child who has already settled in the UK, is British, or has lived in the UK for at least seven (7) years.
If Domestic Violence Caused the Relationship to End

If you have suffered domestic violence you can read more online to find out if you can apply to settle in the UK. It might apply to your situation as the partner of:

  • A British citizen or a person already settled in the United Kingdom.
  • A member of HM Forces who has completed at least four (4) years of service.

Note: You should not delay telling the Home Office after the relationship breaks down and applying for a new visa. You can also report domestic abuse and get further help from support organisations.

Tell the Home Office You are Separating or Divorcing: UK Visa Rules