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Divorce as a Foreigner

Posted by hongkongboy 
Divorce as a Foreigner
February 26, 2021 09:10AM
Hi. I'm on a FLR(M) visa as a spouse of a UK citizen. Our relationship is broken down. sad smiley We will divorce as soon as I get my Canada open work permit. Hong Kong is not safe and I do not plan to return there.

I need to ensure the whole divorce process is legal and does not affect my citizenship pathway for Canada.

As a foreigner, I understand legally I need to "tell the Home Office when I divorce or separate from my partner if my visa is based on our relationship" (https://www.gov.uk/visas-when-you-separate-or-divorce), then the Home Office will "tell me when do I need to leave the UK".

My questions are:
1) Do I inform the Home Office of divorce immediately after applying for divorce online through gov.uk, or after getting the decree absolute (officially getting a "divorced" status)?
2) It takes at least six months to get the decree absolute. If I need to inform the Home Office immediately after applying for divorce online through gov.uk, and they only give me a short time to leave the UK, will i be able to finish all the remaining steps (until getting the decree absolute) in Canada?

Have to make this post because I called UKVI twice for this issue, they gave me two completely opposite answers on the first question. sad smiley

Thank you.
Re: Divorce as a Foreigner
February 26, 2021 09:30AM
This is really an immigration/visa type question rather than a divorce question. For an authoritative answer you would need to speak to a lawyer familiar with that type of work.

You would be able to complete a divorce in England even though you had left, yes. Provided the court had jurisdiction when you issued the divorce petition it would not matter if you subsequently left. And since divorce is a matter of paperwork which hardly ever involves anyone attending court in person there is no reason why the divorce could not be completed after you had left the UK. You would, though, need to make sure that you received any communications from the court so they would have to be sent to an address from which you knew you would receive them.
Re: Divorce as a Foreigner
February 26, 2021 01:17PM
David Terry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is really an immigration/visa type question
> rather than a divorce question. For an
> authoritative answer you would need to speak to a
> lawyer familiar with that type of work.
>
> You would be able to complete a divorce in England
> even though you had left, yes. Provided the court
> had jurisdiction when you issued the divorce
> petition it would not matter if you subsequently
> left. And since divorce is a matter of paperwork
> which hardly ever involves anyone attending court
> in person there is no reason why the divorce could
> not be completed after you had left the UK. You
> would, though, need to make sure that you received
> any communications from the court so they would
> have to be sent to an address from which you knew
> you would receive them.

Thank you for the answer! So after I've applied for divorce online I can leave the UK. Whew that's great.
Re: Divorce as a Foreigner
February 26, 2021 02:24PM
>>So after I've applied for divorce online I can leave the UK.

Yes, being out of the UK shouldn't affect the divorce. You do need to make sure that any correspondence from the court goes to an address from which you can be sure you will receive it, though. If you don't then you may not know what is going on or what steps you need to take next.
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