Will di­vorce af­fect my visa?

Jamaica Gleaner - - IMMIGRATION CORNER - John S. Bassie is a bar­ris­ter/at­tor­ney-at-law who prac­tises law in Ja­maica. He is a jus­tice of the peace, a Supreme Court-ap­pointed mediator, a fel­low of the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Ar­bi­tra­tors, a char­tered ar­bi­tra­tor and a mem­ber of the Im­mi­gra­tion Law Pr

Dear Mr Bassie, AM mar­ried to a Bri­tish cit­i­zen and we have re­cently sep­a­rated. I know that we are head­ing for di­vorce. The prob­lem I have is that my per­mis­sion to re­main in the United King­dom is based on my mar­riage. What should I do?

- L.S.

IDear L.S., I am sorry to hear of your plight. When per­sons sep­a­rate or di­vorce while hold­ing a visa that de­pends on the re­la­tion­ship they must in­form the Home Of­fice.

Per­sons must then ei­ther ap­ply for a new visa or leave the United King­dom. It should be noted that the visa is based on a re­la­tion­ship if that per­son has per­mis­sion to stay in the United King­dom for a lim­ited time as a de­pen­dent on their part­ner’s United King­dom visa; a spouse or part­ner on a ‘fam­ily of a set­tled per­son’ visa; the part­ner of a Bri­tish cit­i­zen, EEA na­tional, ‘set­tled’ per­son with in­def­i­nite leave to re­main or some­one with refugee sta­tus or hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­tec­tion.

Per­sons should also be aware that the same rules ap­ply if their ex-part­ner’s visa is based on the re­la­tion­ship, i.e., he/she is a de­pen­dent or he/she is the ‘spon­sor’.

Per­sons should write a let­ter to in­form the Home Of­fice that the re­la­tion­ship has ended. A per­son should in­clude his/her and the ex-part­ner’s name, date of birth, ad­dress, pass­port num­ber; and the Home Of­fice ref­er­ence num­ber. This can be found on let­ters sent from the Home Of­fice.

Fur­ther, if a per­son or the ex­part­ner has chil­dren in the United King­dom, he/she must also in­clude their names and dates of birth; names of their par­ents or guardians, and who they cur­rently live with; and how much time they spend with that per­son or the ex-part­ner.

In ad­di­tion, the author­i­ties will need to know how much child main­te­nance or fi­nan­cial help is given by each per­son who is party to the di­vorce or sep­a­ra­tion, and de­tails of any fam­ily court cases in which ei­ther per­son is in­volved.

Per­sons should also in­clude one of the fol­low­ing forms with his/her let­ter:

The pub­lic state­ment if they do not want the Home Of­fice to tell their ex-part­ner any de­tails from their let­ter; or a con­sent form if they have no ob­jec­tion to the Home Of­fice telling the ex-part­ner de­tails from the let­ter.

How­ever, it should be noted that both forms give the Home Of­fice per­mis­sion to con­tact the ex-part­ner at the ad­dress given. The let­ter should be sent to: UK Visas and Im­mi­gra­tion TM Mar­riage Cur­tail­ment Team PO Box 99 Manch­ester M90 3WW

III hope this helps.

When per­sons sep­a­rate or di­vorce while hold­ing a visa which de­pends on the re­la­tion­ship they must in­form the Home Of­fice.

John Bassie

UNITED KING­DOM

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