SET DV Guidance 2024: Secure ILR for Domestic Violence Victims

1. SET DV Route for Victims of Domestic Violence

Victims of domestic violence holding a UK spouse visa find crucial support through the SET DV route. This pathway enables them to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) independently from their abusive partner. Our guide provides an in-depth look at SET DV guidance, covering eligibility criteria, application processes, and the DDV Concession for financial assistance.

SET DV: Purpose, Eligibility, and Application Process

Visa TypeMust hold a valid spouse or partner visa.
Evidence of AbuseProof of domestic violence required (physical, emotional, financial, etc.).
Immigration RequirementsMust meet standard immigration requirements, exempt from language and Life in the UK Test.
Criminal ConvictionsNo unspent criminal convictions.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Complete the SET DV application form online.
  • Compile necessary documents: identity proof, evidence of abuse, and any relevant language proficiency evidence.
  • Note: The SET DV application is free of charge to ensure accessibility for victims.

The absence of an application fee under SET DV is a crucial aspect, ensuring that victims are not financially burdened while seeking ILR in the UK.

Document TypeExamples
Current Immigration StatusValid spouse or partner visa.
Proof of Identity/NationalityPassport, national identity card.
Evidence of Domestic ViolencePolice reports, medical records, support letters.
Language and Life in the UK TestEnglish test certificate, Life in the UK Test pass notification (if applicable).
Required Documentation

Financial Support and DDV Concession

The DDV Concession offers temporary financial and housing support for eligible individuals facing domestic violence.

  1. Seek Advice: Contact domestic violence helplines or specialist organizations for guidance.
  2. Complete DDV Form: Fill in personal and relationship details on the DDV Concession form.
  3. Submit Application: Send the completed form with supporting documents as directed.

Successful applicants gain access to public funds and housing assistance for up to three months, aiding their ILR application under SET DV.


For domestic violence victims on a spouse visa in the UK, understanding the SET DV route and DDV Concession is crucial. These resources offer a pathway to regain independence and security. We recommend prompt application and seeking professional advice to improve your chances of a successful and secure future in the UK.

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    2. Navigating Refusals: Common Reasons and What to Do Next

    Reason for RefusalDetails and Solutions
    Insufficient Documentation– Lack of adequate proof of domestic violence.
    – Solution: Provide comprehensive evidence like police reports, medical records, and witness statements.
    Incomplete/Incorrect Application– Errors in the application form, such as incorrect details or incomplete fields.
    – Solution: Thoroughly review and ensure all required questions are accurately answered.
    Common Reasons for SET DV Refusal
    • Gather All Relevant Documentation: Collect a full set of documents to substantiate your claim.
    • Seek Professional Help: Consult with legal or immigration experts for guidance on your application.
    • Double-Check Application Form: Carefully review the form for accuracy and completeness.
    • Keep Copies of Submitted Documents: Retain copies for reference in case of reapplication or appeal.

    Actions to Take If Your Application Is Refused

    1. Appeal or Administrative Review: If eligible, challenge the decision through an appeal or request a review if a case working error is suspected. Note the strict deadlines for these processes.
    2. Reapply for SET DV: Address reasons for initial refusal, improve your application, and resubmit. Consulting a professional may be beneficial.
    Filing an AppealPresent your case with additional evidence or clarification before an independent tribunal.
    Requesting Administrative ReviewRequest a different Home Office official to reassess your application for errors.
    Reapplying for SET DVRevise and strengthen your application, addressing the reasons for refusal, and reapply.
    Steps to Consider

    Concluding Remarks

    Facing a refusal for a SET DV application can be daunting, but there are actionable steps to address this setback. Understanding the common reasons for refusal and taking appropriate actions, such as appealing, seeking administrative review, or reapplying, can significantly enhance your chances for a successful outcome. It’s important to remain persistent and consider professional advice to successfully navigate the ILR process as a victim of domestic violence.

    3. Conclusion: Essential Insights from SET DV Guidance

    Understanding SET DV guidance is vital for domestic violence victims seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Here’s a summary of crucial points and recommendations:

    Key AspectDetails
    Application RouteSET DV is tailored for domestic violence victims holding a UK spouse visa.
    Application ProcessSubmit a completed form with required documentation, including evidence of domestic abuse.
    Application FeeFinancial requirements are waived.
    DDV ConcessionOffers financial support during the application process for eligible victims.
    Common Refusal ReasonsOften due to insufficient documentation or errors in the application form.
    Recap of SET DV Application Essentials

    Recommendations for Applicants

    • Seek Support: Engage with friends, family, or organizations for help.
    • Ensure Complete Documentation: Provide all necessary documents and evidence.
    • Consult Professionals: Get personalized advice from legal or immigration experts for guidance tailored to your situation.

    Final Encouragement

    For victims of domestic violence, following the SET DV guidance and preparing a thorough application is crucial for a successful outcome. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey – reach out for support, stay resilient, and consider professional advice to navigate this process effectively.

    4. Comprehensive FAQs on SET DV Applications

    1. Can I apply for SET DV while living with my abusive partner?

      No, eligibility for SET DV requires that you have left your abusive partner. Evidence of the domestic violence and separation from the abuser is necessary.

    2. What is the Processing Time for SET DV Applications?

      The standard processing time is about 6 months, but this can vary. Ensure your application is complete and accurate to avoid delays.

    3. What evidence is needed for SET DV applications?

      Acceptable evidence includes police reports, medical records, court orders, witness statements, and letters from support organizations, demonstrating the domestic violence and separation from the abuser.

    4. What is the Financial Requirement for ILR due to Domestic Violence?

      The financial requirement is waived for victims of domestic violence. You do not need to meet the standard minimum income threshold.

    5. Can children apply for ILR through SET DV?

      Yes, children under 18 can apply as dependents. Provide evidence of their relationship with you, their dependency, and household inclusion.

    6. Is the Life in the UK Test and English Requirement necessary for SET DV?

      No, these requirements are waived for victims of domestic violence.

    7. What is the application fee for SET DV?

      There is no application fee for victims of domestic violence.

    8. Can I apply for SET DV from outside the UK?

      No, applications must be made within the UK.

    9. What if I don’t have formal evidence of domestic violence?

      Consider submitting any available informal evidence and a personal statement detailing your experiences. Support from domestic violence organizations can also be beneficial.

    10. Can I work while my SET DV application is being processed?

      Yes, you can work in the UK while your application is under consideration.

    Remember, this blog post is meant to provide general guidance and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to consult with a legal professional or immigration expert for personalized advice and assistance with your specific situation. For further information, please refer to Gov.UK Domestic Violence Guidance Notes.