Further Leave to Remain  - FLR (M

 Further Leave to Remain  - FLR (M)

In order to apply for a FLR(M) visa, the applicant (the person applying) will need to be in a relationship with:

  • A British person;
  • A person who has Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR) or Permanent Residency under EU law; or
  • A person who is in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection.

In addition to this, the relationship must fall within one of the following in order to apply for a FLR(M) visa:

  • Married partners (including those who were recently granted a fiance visa UK);
  • Civil partners (including those who were recently granted a proposed UK civil partnership visa)
  • Unmarried partners (who have lived with each other in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to submitting the FLR(M) online application.

Therefore, the following are the typical types of FLR(M) visa applicants:

#1 A person who has been previously been granted a spouse visa where they first applied outside the UK.

This includes same-sex couples and applicants who apply as unmarried partners.

If you want to submit an unmarried partner visa application from outside the UK, our Unmarried partner visa UK 2021 guidance will be of better help.

#2 A person who is in the UK on a non-partner visa who is married or in a civil partnership with a British or ‘settled’ person. 

Those currently in the UK on the following non-partner visas can consider applying for an FLR(M) visa:

  • Tier 1 visas
  • Tier 2 visas
  • Tier 4 visas
  • Tier 5 visas

If you are in the UK on one of the above visas and apply for a FLR(M) visa, this is technically known as ‘switching’ into the partner visa category.

It is important to note that if you switch into a ‘FLR(M) visa’, the 5-year Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) qualifying period will reset.

“What are the advantages of switching into the partner visa category using an FLR(M) visa?”

The biggest consideration for those switching is that they no longer have to abide by the requirements and conditions of their current non-partner visa.

Continuing from the above example, Jess will no longer have to limit her employment to companies who are able to sponsor her (which is a Tier 2 (General) requirement).

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, this may be a welcome relief.

#3 A person who has previously applied for a FLR M visa and is seeking to extend their FLR(M) visa

Before you submit your FLR(M) application, you should check whether you are eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

When you are issued your spouse visa or FLR(M) visa, you will normally receive a decision letter stating whether you were granted a visa on the 5-year route to Indefinite Leave to Remain or the 10-year route to Indefinite Leave to remain.

“What does the typical route to Indefinite Leave to Remain for partners look like?”

Generally, an Indefinite Leave to remain application is made after:

An out of country spouse visa UK application (which is normally valid for 33 months) + a FLR(M) visa (which is normally valid for 30 months); OR
Two FLR(M) visas.

“When will I be granted a partner visa on the 10-year route to indefinite leave to remain?”

It is usually the case that partners who were granted a partner visa on the 10-year route did not meet all of the requirements in a previous application.

Usually, they overlooked a financial requirement or were granted a visa on the basis of their private or family life.

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