This article was published over 6 months ago & may contain inaccurate/out-of-date information,
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The Immigration and Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) have issued a press release regarding the new UKBAUnited Kingdom Border Agency - government body overseeing visas and immigration
immigration rules that will come into effect from 6 April, 2011:
"HAPPY MOTHERS DAY? DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: UK BORDER
AGENCY’S NEW IMMIGRATION RULES WHOLLY AT ODDS WITH
HOME OFFICE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN STRATEGY
The UK Border Agency yesterday laid new immigration rules before parliament, to
come in to force on 6 April, that will make it more likely that victims of domestic
violence remain trapped in abusive relationships. The rules contradict the wider
Home Office Violence Against Women Strategy.
New rules, laid before parliament on 31 March 2011, impose a requirement to be
free of criminal convictions at the time of applying for settlement on those applying
under the domestic violence rule. The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association
has written to the Home Secretary and Equalities Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May
MP, urging her to amend the rules as a matter of urgency and withdraw the
requirement before it comes into force.
The domestic violence rule exists to ensure that people who have come to the UK
to join their spouses here and who are allowed to remain for two years initially
before qualifying for permanent settlement do not remain trapped in abusive
relationships because of fears about their immigration status. Where a person can
demonstrate to the satisfaction of the UK Border Agency that their marriage or civil
partnership has broken down because of domestic violence, so that they are no
longer in a position to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of their relationship,
they can be given permission to remain in the UK."
See the full Press Release attached below.
Relevant convictions could include some types of traffic violations or offences that may have allegedly arisen during domestic disputes. In this editor's opinion, everyone should be protected against domestic violence, not only those without any past convictions.
Further rules in the new laws also state that widowed spouses of immigrant status must also be free of spent convictions in order to remain.
For more information, please see this topic in our Advocacy board
Please help prevent these laws from coming into effect on the 6th of April, urgently contact your local MP today, write a letter and ask them to take action to stop before it's too late. www.writetothem.com