The Home Office can deny an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application for a victim of domestic violence if they are not pleased with the amount of proof or evidence provided to support this claim. In such situations, the refusal letter will state that an applicant may submit a request for an administrative review, which would entail a reassessment of the application based on the previous information provided by the applicant.
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This process allows applicants to challenge the refusal of their ILR application, making it subject to an internal review by the Home Office. In this article, we discuss how the administrative review process works for applications for indefinite leave to remain under domestic violence.
Understanding ILR and Domestic Violence
Many of you reading this may already know that ILR stands for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which is an immigration status granted by the UK Home Office to eligible individuals allowing them the freedom to remain and work anywhere in the UK indefinitely. Indefinite leave to remain is also an essential step towards applying for British citizenship.
Moreover, domestic violence is a common term that includes various forms of abuse and coercive behaviour. This can include physical, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse by an intimate partner or family member. The case of domestic violence becomes naturally linked with immigration status when victims need to free themselves from their harsh situation, and they are in the UK on a qualified visa such as a Spouse, Fiance or Civil partner visa, to name a few.
Domestic violence victims may be qualified to apply for ILR under the Domestic Violence Visa (DDV) rule. This provision enables victims who are in the UK as a partner of a British citizen or settled person to apply for ILR if their relationship broke down permanently due to domestic violence.
Learn more about Applying for ILR under Domestic Violence
Administrative Review Application for ILR Domestic Violence
Regrettably, not all ILR applications under the domestic violence rule are successful. In such cases, the Home Office might refuse an application for ILR due to insufficient supporting documents, misinterpretation of the immigration rules, or other reasons. This refusal can bring an already vulnerable victim of domestic violence back into uncertainty and distress.
A refusal occurs when an applicant receives a refusal letter from the Home Office describing the reasons for it and outlining potential options, such as the right to appeal or the right for an administrative review. If you are granted teh right for an administrative review, you will be able to challenge the Home Office’s refusal determination under the premise that an administrative error or mistake has been made in the assessment of your application resulting in a refusal.
The effect of a refused ILR application can be substantial for domestic violence victims. In many cases, these individuals have escaped dangerous environments and are desperate for the security and stability that ILR can provide. With ILR, victims are no longer tied to their abuser through UK visa conditions, giving them a chance to rebuild their lives without fear.
Eligibility for Administrative Review
As described above, an administrative review can be pursued if an applicant believes that the Home Office has made a mistake in declining their ILR application. While not all decisions are eligible for administrative review, many are.
For instance, a victim of domestic violence may apply for an administrative review if:
- Their ILR application under the domestic violence rule was refused based on lack of evidence.
- They were given limited leave to enter or remain instead of indefinite leave.
- They did not present their case strongly enough to support a human rights violation.
Some case scenarios where this review can be useful might include miscalculations in the time spent in the UK, incorrect conditions attached to a visa, or the duration of leave granted being too short.
However, not everyone can pursue an administrative review. It is often the case where applicants will be offered the right to appeal instead. Or, if not provided anything directly, they may be able to go down the route of a judicial review or make a fresh and more robust application.
The Process of Applying for an Administrative Review
If you are a victim of domestic violence, going through the administrative review process may seem hard, especially under the stress of a refused ILR application. However, grasping the process can make the process a bit less intimidating.
- Application: The applicant must complete and submit the appropriate online administrative review application form, whether applying from inside or outside the UK. The form must detail the perceived errors in the original decision and provide supporting evidence. This form must be submitted within 28 days after receiving the decision.
- Fee Payment: You have to pay a fee for the review while applying.
- Review: After submitting the application, the Home Office will perform the review based on the errors described in the application but with no additional evidence.
What Happens After the Administrative Review?
The Home Office can have various responses to an administrative review. They might uphold the original decision, withdraw it, or modify it. The decision can take several weeks, during which time the applicant’s immigration status remains as it was prior to the review.
Even if the administrative review maintains the original decision, there are still legal routes to explore. These may include applying for a new application or seeking a Judicial Review. It is a type of court proceeding where a judge reviews the legality of a judgment or action made by a public body.
Need Legal Assistance? Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Can Help!
Applying for ILR under the domestic violence and navigating the administrative review process can be complex and emotionally draining. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we understand the significance of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain for victims of domestic violence, and our team of experienced immigration solicitors is here to support you every step of the way.
From helping you understand your eligibility for an administrative review to carefully preparing your application, we’re devoted to making the procedure as smooth as possible. Our services include:
- Case Evaluation: Our team will carefully assess your case, reviewing the refusal decision and determining your eligibility for an administrative review.
- Application Preparation: We will assist you in gathering all required supporting documents, correctly filling out the application, and describing the errors in the original decision.
Ongoing Support: We will always be available to respond to any questions or worries you may have throughout the process.
We are extremely proud of our client-centred approach, and we’re dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse in the UK get the help they need to feel secure and at ease. Don’t fight this difficult journey by yourself. Contact us today at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors by calling +44 20 7269 9590 or filling out our form below.
The grounds for an administrative review are usually based on a belief that an error has been made in the decision-making process of your ILR application. This could be due to miscalculations, incorrect interpretation of the law, or overlooking essential documents.
Domestic violence or abuse is when a partner, family member, or anyone else in a domestic setting hurts someone physically, emotionally, financially, or mentally. It can also involve coercive control, which is a pattern of controlling, threatening, or degrading behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is the use of violence, threats, shame, bullying, or other forms of abuse to hurt, punish, or scare someone. This kind of action could be called domestic abuse.
The duration varies based on the complexity of the case. Currently, the administrative review process by the UKVI usually takes around 6 months from the date the review request is received.
If your administrative review is unsuccessful and you still believe an error was made, you may be able to initiate a judicial review. This process is typically more complex, and you should pursue legal guidance before proceeding.
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