Indefinite Leave to Remain (domestic violence or abuse)

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Domestic Violence or Abuse)

Who can apply for ILR based on domestic violence or abuse?

You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if your relationship has broken down due to domestic violence or abuse. Domestic violence and abuse can encompass emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, or financial harm, including threatening or controlling behaviour aimed at harming, isolating, or intimidating someone.

You can apply if your partner was one of the following:

  • a British citizen
  • a person settled in the UK (including as a refugee)
  • a member of the UK armed forces who has served for at least 4 years

Indefinite leave to remain is the pathway to settling in the UK. It’s also referred to as ‘settlement.’ It grants you the right to live, work, and study in the UK for as long as you desire, as well as the ability to apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can also use it to apply for British citizenship.

Eligibility requirements

You must demonstrate the following:

  • you have permission to stay in the UK, either through a visa as someone’s partner or through the Victim of Domestic Violence Concession.
  • your relationship broke down due to domestic violence or abuse from your partner or your partner’s family.

When to apply

Apply for indefinite leave to remain as soon as possible after the relationship breaks down. Do not wait until your current visa expires.

Getting Help

You can seek immigration advice if you need assistance in obtaining permission to stay in the UK. You may be entitled to legal aid, which provides free legal advice. You can also report domestic abuse to the police or contact organizations for help or advice. For advice on staying in the UK, you can visit the Citizens Advice website.

How We Can Help

Human Rights

Through the Human Rights Act 1998, individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms are protected in the UK. These rights and freedoms include:

  • the right to life
  • protection from inhumane or degrading treatment
  • the right to a fair trial
  • the right to private and family life
  • the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
  • the freedom of expression

State bodies such as the Home Office, local authorities, and the police all have a duty not to unnecessarily breach these rights and freedoms. We offer our specialist expertise in cases involving breaches of Human Rights and are able to identify and bring claims against such breaches. With a wealth of experience in challenging decisions made by the Home Office, we are well-positioned to assist clients with any human rights-based issues.


To give your case the best chance of success, get in touch

To give your visa the best chance of success, and to reduce your stress, please contact our immigration experts.

If you wish to speak directly with one of our immigration specialists to get advice about business and personal immigration, or education in the UK and other visa issues, then please contact our Glasgow Head Office on Phone T: +44 (0)141 212 3355 or request a call back by completing the Online Form. You can also email us at More information can be found from Contact Us.  

*Disclaimer: The above information is for general reference only. Specialist legal advice should be sought.

Latest update: August 2023

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