Notice: wp_enqueue_script was called incorrectly. Scripts and styles should not be registered or enqueued until the wp_enqueue_scripts, admin_enqueue_scripts, or login_enqueue_scripts hooks. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 3.3.0.) in /home/immigration/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4138
UKBA immigration officials are failing victims of domestic violence says leading Barrister | Immigration Matters

Want to learn more about UK/EU Immigration Law? Click Act Now to learn more... Act Now

Call Us +44 7950 458 464 |
 Categories : News


An article by leading immigration Barrister Colin Yeo for the Guardian.

The stated intention of the domestic violence immigration rule is to prevent a woman from being trapped in an abusive relationship in order to get status in the UK. Normally, she must remain in the relationship in order to get permanent leave to remain in the UK. This rule provides an escape route. It is a noble and well-intentioned rule but the unlawful, restrictive and plain ignorant approach of officials makes it virtually impossible for many genuine victims of domestic violence to succeed. And yet, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) routinely refuses immigration applications from women who are victims.

Cases where there is no court conviction of the man in question, or alternatively without evidence from an “independent and objective” source, are rejected out of hand without any proper consideration of the evidence that is available. Even police and domestic violence shelter letters of support are considered inadequate evidence if they are deemed to rely on the word of the victim rather than direct witnessing of the violence in question.

This approach may seem reasonable at first blush. Cases must be supported by evidence, after all, and it would be wrong to assume without evidence that the men in question are indeed perpetrators of domestic violence. In truth, though, the approach followed by officials is perverse and withholds protection from those who most need it. Domestic violence belongs to the private sphere: it is part of its pernicious nature. There are normally no direct witnesses and there are very few convictions, despite its prevalence. The requirement for “independent and objective” evidence of a private act would therefore make Kafka, well, blush.

I recently represented a woman who submitted two police reports, letters of support from various domestic violence help organisations, reams of abusive, threatening and violent text messages and emails and witness statements from many friends and family members who had witnessed her partner’s abusive and erratic behaviour. Most of this evidence dated to well before the marriage had broken down, and before the woman could conceivably have been interested in preparing for an immigration application based on domestic violence. Still, this was not enough, and the case was initially rejected on the grounds that much of the evidence could be forged (not that it had been, only that it could be) and the rest was from people who had not themselves directly witnessed actual violence.

Essentially, the official was suggesting, without ever saying so, that from the day she entered the UK the woman had lied to the police, lied to her friends and family, and had herself sat down and written tens of pages of text messages and email exchanges. There was, of course, no evidence to support this bizarre theory and there was nothing in the paperwork or evidence itself to suggest that it was false or forged. The official seemed to be ignorant of basic information on domestic violence. For example, the fact that 44% of victims experience it repeatedly, that on average 35 assaults occur before the police are called, and that only between 23% and 35% of incidents are reported to authorities.

This is certainly not the only example I have come across recently, and other lawyers and organisations report similar experiences.

Other departments of the previous government recognised that the private nature of domestic violence makes victims peculiarly vulnerable, but at UKBA some officials prefer to turn a blind eye. The courts and UKBA’s own policy on this type of application clearly state that all relevant evidence must be considered, although UKBA policy says that reports from those who have not directly witnessed the abuse should be “treated with caution”.

The problem lies not so much in the policy or the law. It is in the culture of disbelief so prevalent amongst officials at UKBA and in their sheer ignorance of the complexities of the cases they have to decide. Instead of engaging with the available evidence and making a judgment on whether the woman is telling the truth, artificial and arbitrary evidential requirements are imposed.

Officials need to get out from behind their filing cabinets. They need to meet the people whose lives they hold in their hands. It is only if they have some understanding and empathy that officials can make decent and high quality decisions. Source: Colin Yeo for 

See also:

Early day motion by MP’s in support of doomed RMJ

JCWI call for demo against Refugee and Migrant Justice closure

Justice Secretary defends government over Refugee and Migrant Justice collapse

Weekly Immigration News Round up 20 June 2010

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  or visit

Complete USA Immigration and Naturalization Package

For more information on US Naturalization and immigration Click Here!

Spread the Word, like or share this page, your friends will also love it and thanks for it.

Do you employ foreign workers? Don't risk a £20,000 fine and a possible custodial sentence. We can advice on Entrepreneur Visas, Investor Visas and Home Office sponsor licence compliance for your business. Use the button below to schedule an appointment...


Immigration Adviser, Speaker and Author See also: Profile - Profile:!/groups/14119859749/

7 Responses to “UKBA immigration officials are failing victims of domestic violence says leading Barrister”
Read them below or add one

  1. are u sure? have you checked on the address i had enclosed?

  2. Here’s your reply. Most scammers are not in the UK, but are faceless crooks working on the internet from other countries where there is no rule of law.

  3. i just want to ask coz i think this are members of a scam on hiring individuals they just would go into any dating website and victimize those innocent people who want’s to have a greener pasture in your country and they would also have connections with your recruitment agencies in UK such as the premier agency and the visa office agency i just to know coz they also affect other people in your country who are doing the right thing in a legal way. and this scammers should be given the penalty or judgement so that they stop what they are doing and most of the scammer are from UK.

    I want to have an immidiate reply.

  4. I want to to ask if this is person really lives in this address: Hansen Morgan 14 Clifton street, Blackpool, Lancashire,UK. and if this Barrister is a real person or a fictitious one.BARR. VAN PIRES. I want to have some information if you can provide me. Thank you and more power.

  5. UK government and Home Office emails normally end with and not from a free email address provider.

  6. i receive a massage from uk immigration and the email address is “ is it correct?

    thank you

  7. dr muhammad nadeem says :

    i found this article very usefull for me regarding domestic volince ,and will be for others.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked by *.

You must beLogged in to post a comment.