Further Leave to Remain visa's.
Introduction to UK Further Leave to Remain visa applications:
You can continue to stay in the UK as a Spouse, Civil Partner, Unmarried Partner or the family dependent of a parent living in the UK. Your parent must continue to be in a relationship with a British / Irish citizen, or an overseas nationals partner who holds Indefinite leave to remain.
To be successful in your further leave to remain application you will need to demonstrate you can continue to adequately maintain yourselves in the UK without the need to access public funds. Demonstrate you continue to meet the visa application requirements under Appendix FM, and demonstrate you continue to be in a legitimate, subsisting relationship together.
Spouse's, Partners and their dependents can extend their visas to lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK after completing a period of 5 years.
Section 1: Eligibility requirements
Section 2: What you need to demonstrate
Section 3: Appendix FM Requirements
Before applying you need to check you meet the eligibility requirements so your further leave to remain application will be considered valid:
Applicant and their married, civil or unmarried partner are both over the age of 18;
Child dependents applying were granted a visa before they turned 18 years old at 1st entry into the UK
Child dependents have not begun an independent family life outside their parents household
Parents of dependents are in the UK as a Parent or Partner under Appendix FM
Parents of dependents UK partner (sponsor) is also the child dependents 2nd parent
Parents of dependents continues to hold sole responsibility for their child's upbringing
Applicant and their partner are not in a prohibited relationship;
If applying for the first time applicant and their partner have met in person;
If applying for the first time applicant and their partner are legally married and recognised in the UK;
If applying for the first time applicant and their long-term partner have been in a relationship akin to marriage for 2 years
Applicants relationship with their partner is genuine and subsisting;
Applicant and their partner continue to live together in the UK with a view to being permanent;
If applying for the 1st time the applicant and their partner, and any previous marriages or civil partnerships of the couple had broken down permanently.
Applicant and any dependents must meet the financial requirements under appendix FM;
Applicant has adequate accommodation for them and any dependents without requiring access to public funds
Applicants over 18 years old must pass an SELT English Test if English isn't their native 1st language
Child of a parent in a UK Partner relationship:
The relationship to the child can be demonstrated in 1 of 3 ways:
The child dependents parents UK Partner (sponsor) is also their biological parent
The child dependents parent is being sponsored by UK Partner and child's parent continues to hold sole responsibility for their child
Exclusion of the child to extend would be considered undesirable due to serious & compelling grounds in regards to the child's welfare and needs
Child is not leading an Independent life or started their own family life:
At the time of the application submission any child dependents can not be living an independent life of their own. This means your child can not be the spouse, civil partner, fiancée or proposed civil partner or unmarried partner to someone else. If this is the case then your child will not be eligible for a child dependent visa they would need to apply for further leave to remain as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner in their own right.
Applicant is not in a Prohibited relationship:
This means that the applicant and their partner can not be directly related in anyway:
Required to have met in person
When applying for the 1st time the applicant must demonstrate they have met face-to-face in person which developed into a mutual acquaintance and from their developed into a relationship.
Marriage in the UK
In order to qualify for further leave to remain as a Spouse, the applicant and their partner will need to be legally married and the marriage recognised in the UK. In the UK applicants and their partners are required to give their intention to marry and complete the notice period required. Applicants and their partners must have been married at an authorised place of marriage and their marriage must have been conducted by a person authorised to register marriages. A marriage in the UK must be evidenced using a marriage certificate.
Marriage outside the UK:
An overseas marriage will be recognised in the UK if the marriage is formally recognised in the country in which it took place and the marriage correctly followed and satisfied the legal requirements of the country in which it took place. There is nothing in the laws of either person’s country of domicile at the time of the marriage to prevent the marriage from being recognised; and any previous marriages of the couple had broken down permanently. A marriage outside the UK must be evidenced by a reasonable equivalent to a UK marriage certificate, valid under the law in force within the relevant country.
Unmarried Partnerships in the UK:
In order to qualify for further leave to remain as an Unmarried Partner, Applicant and their long-term partner will need to demonstrate that they have been in a unmarried relationship akin to marriage / civil partnership for a minimum period of 24 months. This is normally demonstrated through co-habitation together.
Unmarried Partnerships outside the UK:
An Overseas long-term partnership will be recognised in the UK if applicant and their unmarried partner can demonstrate prior to entering the UK they have been in a long-term relationship together akin to marriage / civil partnership again for a minimum period of 24 months. An Unmarried partnership outside the UK must be demonstrate in the same way as in the UK through co-habitation.
Genuine and Subsisting Relationship:
In order to qualify for a further leave to remain visa the applicant will need to provide the Home Office with evidence their relationship continues to be or if applying for the first time as a UK partner they are in a genuine and sustaining relationship. UKVI make their decisions on whether a relationship is genuine and subsisting on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all evidence provided using balance of probability on both parties individual circumstances to make their decision.
Factors UKVI may consider on 1st time & extension further leave to remain applications:
The length of their relationship;
Whether they are now living together or have done so in the past
Do they have children together (biological, adopted or step-children) and shared responsibility for them;
Whether they have shared financial responsibilities;
Whether they have visited one another’s home country
Whether they have meet each others families;
Whether they have made or discussed plans of living together in the UK;
Should UK Visa & Immigration have any concerns about the genuineness of a relationship they will more likely scrutinise their further leave to remain application and possibly look for grounds to justify an application refusal.
Intention to live permanently in the UK
To qualify for a Further Leave to Remain, UK Visa & Immigration will want to be satisfied the applicant and their partner intend to continue to live together permanently in the UK.
Previous Relationships are Permanently dissolved
When married the UKVI will want proof neither applicant or their spouse, civil partner are married to another person at the date of application submission. If either applicant or their partner have been previously married then they need to provide evidence that any marriage / civil partnership outside their current relationship has ended. Divorce certificates are the easiest way of demonstrating the end of a marriage but other documentation can also be used. A divorce in the UK is demonstrated through a decree absolute from a civil court. Overseas divorces must be evidenced using an equivalent to a decree absolute that's lawfully valid within the relevant country.
Partners & Dependents Visa Accommodation Requirements
Whether the applicant applies for further leave to remain as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or family dependent, they need to provide evidence of adequate accommodation continues to be available to them and any dependents applying with them. Which they own or occupy exclusively without the need to access public funds.
SELT English Test
If English is not the applicants native language and they are over 18 years old at the point of application submission they will need to sit an SELT English language test there are 3 different language levels required for UK family visa routes.
SELT level A1 Test applies for Entry clearance
SELT level A2 Test applies for Further leave to remain
SELT level B1 Test applies for Indefinite Leave to remain
For an in-depth look at obtaining an appropriate SELT language certificate check out:
If the applicant is eligible to apply for further leave to remain (FLR) from within the UK, they can rely on joint household income if they are eligible to work under their current leave to enter / remain or their partner can demonstrate an exemption.
How to met the financial requirements through ‘adequate maintenance’ when you have an exemption
If the applicants UK partner has a long term illness or disability and receives any of the following benefits or allowances through the Department of Work & Pensions in the UK, then they may be eligible to apply under "adequate maintenance" requirements through appendix FM.
To meet the financial requirements they will need to provide evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than demonstrating they meet the minimum income threshold requirements above. The application can be considered on “adequate maintenance” grounds by providing supporting evidence of any of these benefits.
• Carer’s Allowance
• Disability Living Allowance
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
• Attendance Allowance
• Personal Independence Payment
• Armed Forces Independence Payment or
• Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
• Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
• Police Injury Pension
“Adequate Maintenance” threshold requirements will continue to apply on the next visa application as long as their spouse/ partner continues to receive any of those benefits or allowances indicated above at the time of the next application submission.
Further Leave to Remain Financial Categories under Appendix FM
The financial requirements for everyone else can be demonstrated through one or more of the following 5 categories. Where the parent of a child has been granted a UK Spouse visa, and is now applying for further leave to remain any dependents will need to provide evidence that their parent and or their parent's partner has a gross income of:
£3,800 for the 1st child (who's British / National holding ILR, Pre-settled / Settled Status or right of abode)
£2,400 each additional child (who's British / National holding ILR, Pre-settled / Settled Status or right of abode)
section below is written in the 1st person
Category A: In employment with current employer for 6 months or more
When you are already in the UK holding leave to enter / remain with permission to work your application can be considered under joint household income. Joint household income is a combination of both your joint employment income from all income sources recognised under Category A. You can combine Category C: non-employment income, Category D: cash savings and Category E: pension if necessary to meet the minimum financial requirement of £18,600 per annum.
Category B: Less than 6 months with employer or has variable income
This category is used when you & your partner or both in the UK and you have permission to work. Either your partner and/or you are in salaried or non-salaried employment at the date of application submission, and you haven't been with the same employer and/or not earning the same income level relied upon in the application for at least 6 months prior to the submission date of your further leave to remain application.
Category B can be used by anyone who has been with their current employer for less than 6 months, or who has been with their current employer for more than 6 months but their earnings our variable and need to be considered under category B rather than under Category A.
Category B, financial requirements must be met and evidenced in 2 parts.
First, your partner and/or you (with permission to work in UK) must be in salaried employment at the date of application submission and have been in employment with a new employer for less than 6 months, you can count the gross annual salary at the date of application towards the financial requirements if your income exceeds £18,600 under appendix FM for this new employment period.
To meet part (2) your partner and/or you must have received in the 12 months prior to the application submission date combined level of income required to meet part (2) of the calculation for Category B exceeding £18,600 per annum.
Category C: Non-employment income
Non-employment income, is from property rental or dividends from shares.
• property rental
• dividends or income from investments, stocks and shares, bonds or trust funds
• interest from savings
• maintenance payments from a former partner of the applicant.
• UK Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment
• Widowed Parent’s Allowance
• payments under the War Pensions Scheme,
• Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
• The Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme
• Maintenance grant or stipend (not a loan) associated with undergraduate
study or postgraduate study or research
• ongoing insurance payments
• ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement
• ongoing royalty payments
Category D: Cash Savings
If your partner & or you (including parents of child dependent applications) have cash savings above £16,000, these can be used solely or in combination with salaried or non-salaried employment. Further leave to remain applicants who rely on cash savings to satisfy appendix FM financial requirements should bare in mind the level of cash savings required on entry clearance & Further leave to remain applications are different from the level needed when applying for indefinite leave to remain.
Category E: Pension income
If your partner or both of you are retired you can use your State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension to demonstrate you meet Appendix FM requirements. Pension income can be combined with categories A-D in order to meet Appendix FM requirements.
Category F & G: Self-employed
If you are self-employed you can use Income generated through your self-employed activities, including income as a company director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, your own self-employed activities if you have permission to work or your UK partners self-employed activities can be used on a child dependent further leave to remain application.
Category F: Last full financial year
If your partner and you are in the UK with permission to work and you both are self-employed or either the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of submission, you both can use your income from the last full financial years accounts to meet the financial requirements for your application and any dependents you have as long as you meet the required income level relating to the number of dependents you have within your household.
Category G: Average of last 2 full financial years
If your partner and or you are in the UK with permission to work as self-employed, or as the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application submission, you can choose instead to rely on Category G. This allows you to use an average of the income received over the last 2 full financial years to meet the financial requirements. Referencing to the ‘average’ of the income received over the last 2 full financial years in Category G being referenced as the mean average.
Income under Category F or G can be combined with income from salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment income and pension income in order to meet the financial requirements. However cash savings cannot be combined with income under Category F or G. Parents with child dependents can use their self-employed earning including their UK partners to demonstrate meeting Appendix FM on Further Leave to Remain applications for themselves and their dependents.
How our Immigration adviser can help you
Marc Gibson our immigration adviser specialises in assisting foreign national Parents and their dependents relocate and settle in the UK with their UK partners. Marc has supported hundreds of UK and other settled nationals sponsor their foreign partners to prepare and submit successful further leave to remain applications for themselves and their family dependents. Whether you require a consultation to understand the Immigration Rules for Further Leave to Remain visa, or have your visa application professional checked by him before submission or use his representation service to prepare and submit your Further Leave to Remain application for you, Marc can help.
Appendix FM financial requirements are particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence needed to demonstrate you can meet the requirements of a UK Spouse visa application. Our immigration adviser specialises in assisting married applicants with complex financial circumstances complete and submit successful Spouse applications.
Marc prides himself on being friendly, approachable and professional in meeting his clients’ needs, he is dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to his clients when providing his UK Spouse Visa service.