You will need to complete the FLR M form if you want to make an application to extend your stay in the UK on the basis of your family life and relationship to either:
- a British citizen;
- a person who is both present and settled in the UK, ie holding indefinite leave to remain; or
- a person with refugee status or who has been granted humanitarian protection in the UK.
Eligible relationships include:
- Civil partner
- Unmarried partner
- Same-sex partner
An unmarried partner includes anyone who can evidence they have been living in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application for an extension of leave.
You can also apply using the FLR M form to extend your stay as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner in circumstances where you came to the UK with the intention of entering into a marriage or civil partnership but have yet to do so.
Note that this form should not be used to apply to settle in the UK.
Are you eligible to apply using the FLR M form?
You can apply to remain in the UK if you and your partner/relation are both over the age of 18, and they satisfy the required immigration status as either a British citizen, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or have refugee status or humanitarian protection.
Children under the age of 18 can be included in your application using the FLR M form. Dependent children aged 18 or over may not apply with you on this form, unless they were initially granted leave in this category at a time when they were under 18.
When making an application to extend your UK spouse visa you and your spouse/partner must be in the UK and intend to live together permanently. In other words, your relationship must be genuine.
When using the FLR M form you must also meet the following two requirements:
- The financial requirement
- The English language requirement
The financial requirement
To satisfy the financial requirement you must meet a minimum income threshold. As a single applicant applying with no dependent children this is currently set at £18,600.
This threshold increases to £22,400 where you are applying with one dependant child, and thereafter by £2,400 for each additional child.
You can meet this financial requirement through either income from the employment or self-employment of your spouse/partner, or your own income where you have permission to work in the UK.
You can also rely on any pension, maternity allowances or bereavement benefits received in the UK, as well as cash savings over £16,000.
You are exempt from meeting the financial requirement in the form of a minimum income threshold if your spouse/partner is in receipt of a specified benefit or allowance. Instead, you will need to provide evidence of adequate maintenance for you and any dependents.
In addition, you must also have adequate accommodation for you and any dependents that live with you.
The English language requirement
Unless you are a national of a majority English-speaking country, for example, Canada or New Zealand, in most cases you will need to demonstrate that you have a good knowledge of the English language.
You can do this by either having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised as being equivalent to a UK bachelors degree, masters degree or PhD or, alternatively, you will need to pass an approved English language test in speaking and listening.
How to apply using FLR M form
You can apply to extend your UK Spouse visa using the FLR M form at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires. In most cases, you will need to complete the application process online.
As part of the application process you will be required to provide your personal details, as well as those of any dependent children applying with you.
You will also be required to provide the details of your sponsor and the nature of your relationship with them. Your ‘sponsor’ refers to your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner or same-sex partner.
You will also be required to provide detail of your ability to meet the financial and English language requirement.
Should I apply for a biometric residence permit with the FLR M form?
Everyone applying for an extension of stay in the categories for which form the FLR M form is used must also apply for a Biometric Residence Permit.
As part of your application process a digital photograph will need to be taken of your face, and your fingerprints will need to be scanned. This is known as enrolling your biometric information.
However, you do not have to apply separately for a Biometric Residence Permit as the FLR M form includes an application for a permit.
In the event that your application for an extension of your UK Spouse visa is approved, you will automatically be given a permit containing your biometric information.
What documents do I need when submitting the FLR M form?
You will be required to submit various documents in support of your application for a UK Spouse visa using the FLR M form.
These include your current passport or travel document, any previous passports or travel documents and any valid Biometric Residence Permit. If you have a current grant of leave on a Biometric Residence Permit, you must provide this for your application to be complete and valid.
You will also need to provide proof of your sponsor’s immigration status and your relationship, as well as documentary evidence of your finances and ability to understand and speak English to the required level.
How long does it take to process an application using the FLR M form?
Having submitted the FLR M form, a decision to extend your stay in the UK will usually be made within a few short weeks, although if your application is complex then it may take much longer.
Your application could be delayed, for example, if you have not provided all the documentary evidence that the Home Office needs or you are required to attend an interview.
Any criminal history or immigration violations that require careful review may also delay your application, if not result in any extension of stay being denied.
How much does it cost to submit an application using the FLR M form?
If you are a single applicant using the FLR M form there is a fee of £1033 for standard applications, with an additional handling fee for enrolling your biometric information. A separate fee of £1033 will be added for each dependant child included in your application.
However, if you are on a low income you may be eligible for a fee waiver. If so, you will need to complete an online fee waiver request.
Please note: If you are looking to extend your stay in the UK indefinitely, you cannot use the FLR M form. Applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK requires a different form with different rules and criteria.
Do you have a question about the FLR M Form?
If you are currently residing in the UK with your spouse or partner and want to extend your stay, you will need to make an application using the FLR M form. Ensuring you compete all relevant sections fully and accurately, and providing all required supporting documents, will be crucial to making a successful application.
DavidsonMorris is a law firm specialising in UK immigration. We help individuals with their UK immigration needs, and can guide and support you through any Home Office process, including the application to extend your stay using form FLR M. If you have a question, please contact us.