Update (13 June 2023): Permission granted by the High Court in Birmingham to challenge lawfulness of the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession and how it applies to those with pre settled status

Central England Law Centre’s client (GN) has won her first court battle to challenge the way she and other survivors of domestic abuse who have pre-settled status are treated by the government when they first flee from their abusive partner.

The initial claim was made by the Law Centre's client in March 2023 and the Secretary of State for the Home Department had been required to provide an initial response on 6 April 2023 but sought an extension until 23 May 2023.  Despite this extended period of time within which she could have responded, the Secretary of State has failed to do so.  In the absence of a response and after considering the client’s application, permission was granted by the court on 12 June 2023 on the basis that the claim is arguable and should proceed to a final hearing.  The Secretary of State is now required to give a detailed response to the claim by 17 July 2023.

GN was subjected to alleged domestic violence at the hands of her husband resulting in the break down of the relationship. Because GN holds pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme she is unable to make an application for limited leave to remain with recourse to public funds under the DDVC rules and/or indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence. These applications are, with some limited exceptions, only available to victims of domestic violence who hold limited leave to remain as a partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

The DDVC would have granted GN leave to remain for three months and the ability to access essential services such as welfare benefits and housing assistance. Instead, GN was left destitute and forced to rely on support from her local authority.

Central England Law Centre is arguing that GN is being treated less favourably than those who are able to apply under the DDVC and DVILR rules and that this difference in treatment amounts to discrimination contrary to Article 14 European Convention of Human Rights (Protection from Discrimination). 

For more information about the case see news article here.