If you are currently living in the UK on a spouse/partner visa and wish to extend your stay beyond the initial period you were granted, you will need to complete and submit the Home Office’s FLR M Visa form. Form FLR M is also used to extend the stay of dependant children presently in the UK and also for those on a non-partner visa who wish to live with their partner in the UK. In this article, we will explain the purpose of the FLR M visa form, who can apply, the conditions, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.
What is the FLR M Visa application form?
The FLR M visa form is typically used by partners (and their dependant children) who are coming towards the expiry date of their spouse/partner visa and want to further extend their stay while still in the UK. An FLR M visa normally has a duration of 30 months, at the end of which holders (i.e. partners and their dependant children) can apply for permanent settlement (indefinite leave to remain – ILR).
Who is the FLR M Visa form for?
The FLR M visa is for two main groups of people:
- Current partner visa holders, and
- Current non-partner visa holders who are married or in a civil partnership to a person with British citizenship or who is settled in the UK.
Current spouse visa holders
You will need to complete Form FLR M if you are currently in the UK on a partner visa and need to extend your stay. As a partner visa holder, you will already have met the relationship requirements when you first applied – i.e. be married, in a civil partnership, or have been living with your partner for at least 2 years when you submitted your application.
The FLR M visa form is for those who are still in a genuine relationship with a British citizen who lives in the UK, a person who is present and settled in the UK (i.e. they hold EU Settled Status or ILR), or a person with UK refugee leave or humanitarian protection.
Form FLR M can also be used by fiancé(e)s or proposed civil partners present in the UK who have been unable to get married in the 6 months granted on their family visa. In this case, successful form FLR M applications will lead to a further stay of 6 months only.
Current non-partner visa holders
You can also use the FLR M visa form if you are in the UK on a non-partner visa (e.g. work visa, study visa, youth mobility scheme visa) and you live with a married or civil partner who is a British citizen or settled person (i.e. they have EU Settled Status or ILR). If you currently hold a non-partner visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa, by applying for an FLR M visa, you are “switching” visa. Switching means that you are changing from one visa type to another from within the UK.
What are the FLR M visa eligibility criteria?
To make a successful FLR M visa application, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Suitability requirements – the Home Office will check whether you have previously breached the immigration rules, have been convicted of a criminal offence resulting in a lengthy prison sentence or have been issued with a deportation order. Any of these will likely result in your application being refused.
- Relationship requirements – you must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a partner who is a British citizen, settled in the UK, or has refugee or humanitarian protection. You must be married, in a civil partnership, or have been living with your partner for at least 2 years.
- Financial requirements – you must have a joint annual income of at least £18,600 – this can be met through employment, self-employment, income from investments or rental properties, or savings over £16,000 (if you have £62,500 in savings, you will fully meet the financial requirements for a first extension).
- Accommodation requirements – you must be living in suitable and adequate accommodation in the UK that is a) not overcrowded and b) meets any public health and safety requirements. You must also ensure that the accommodation is sufficient and suitable for your dependant children.
- English language requirements – you can meet this requirement in several ways, including if you:
- Pass an English language test (this must be to A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) if applying for the first time, or level A2 if extending your visa)
- Come from a country which exempts you from this requirement
- Are over 65 (which also exempts you from this requirement), or
- Have a degree (or higher) which was taught in English
How to apply for an FLR M Visa
To apply for an FLR M visa, you will need to complete a number of steps as follows:
Step 1) Complete the FLR M application form online.
Step 2) Pay the FLR M application fee (£1,048 for each person applying). You will also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge, which will allow you to use the NHS. This costs £624 per person per year (or £470 for children)
Step 3) Book an appointment at your nearest UKVCAS service point where you will have your fingerprints scanned and photo taken (your biometrics)
Step 4) Attend your UKVCAS biometric appointment
Step 5) Upload your documents and evidence (UKVI will tell you which documents to provide) – these can also be provided when you attend your UKVCAS appointment.
Your FLR M application will take between 6 and 8 weeks to complete. If you need a faster decision, you may be able to use the super-priority processing service for a fee of £800 (provides a decision in one working day).
The partner visa (FLRM) is a highly beneficial and flexible visa intended for those already present in the UK, allowing holders to live with their wife, husband, or unmarried partner. As an partner visa holder, you will have the freedom to work for any employer, study, and travel from and to the UK without restriction.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your FLR M visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or by emailing email@example.com. We’re here to help!