I wonder if you could help with this one. A friend is here on spousal visa, has good job etc, and in process of getting her ILR. Unfortunately her marriage is going downhill and she needs to know if she would be able to stay in the UK if a divorce does happen. Once she gets her ILR will she be able to stay in UK to get her citizenship, or will she need to go back to SA if he divorces her?
Any help greatly appreciated as she is rather worried at the moment.
Once she gets her ILR, it is hers to use and there should be no come back on that one. The only difficulty that may arise is when she applies for her British nationality as they will ask for marriage certificates etc.
From the Uk Border agency website (under rules pages):
18. A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a returning resident may be admitted for settlement provided the Immigration Officer is satisfied that the person concerned:
(i) had indefinite leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom when he last left; and
(ii) has not been away from the United Kingdom for more than 2 years; and
(iii) did not receive assistance from public funds towards the cost of leaving the United Kingdom; and
(iv) now seeks admission for the purpose of settlement.
In other words the ILR gives residence rights indefinitely BUT if the holder leaves for more than two years settlement will be lost. (My understanding anyway).