It is advisable that you will need to fill out the FLR M form if you want to apply to stay longer in the UK because of your family life or your relationship with:
- A British citizen in the UK; or
- A person who lives and works in the UK and has permission to stay there indefinitely; or
- A person who is a refugee or has been given humanitarian protection in the UK.
FLR stands for “Further Leave to Remain,” which is a 30-month extension to stay in the UK.
- Spouse or Civil partner
- Unmarried partner
- Same-sex partner
The application to stay longer must be made by someone who is already in the UK and wants to extend a visa that is about to expire, such as a spouse visa, or by someone who is switching from another category because their situation has changed.
An unmarried partner is anyone who can prove they have been living in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years before they apply for an extension of leave.
You can also use the FLR M form to extend your stay as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner if you came to the UK planning to get married or start a civil partnership but haven’t done so yet.
Who should fill out the FLR M?
You can apply to stay in the UK if you and your partner or family member are both over 18 and have the right immigration status, such as being a British citizen, having indefinite leave to stay in the UK, or being a refugee or getting humanitarian protection.
Using the FLR M form, you can include children under 18 in your application. Dependent children who are 18 or older can’t fill out this form with you unless they were given leave in this category when they were younger than 18.
When you apply to extend your UK spouse visa, both you and your partner must be in the UK and plan to live together for good. In other words, you have to be real with each other.
When you use the FLR M form, you also have to meet these two requirements:
How much money is needed
The need to be able to speak English
If you want to stay in the UK for the rest of your life, you can’t use the FLR M form. If you want to stay in the UK indefinitely, you have to fill out a different form with different rules and criteria.
How much money is needed
To meet the financial requirement, you must make at least a certain amount of money. This is currently set at £18,600 for a single applicant with no children who depend on them.
If you have one child who depends on you, this threshold goes up to $22,400. For each additional child, it goes up by $2,400.
You can meet this requirement if your spouse or partner has a job or is self-employed, or if you have permission to work in the UK and make enough money on your own.
You can also count on any pension, maternity pay, or death benefits you get in the UK, as well as savings of more than £16,000.
If your spouse or partner gets a certain benefit or allowance, you don’t have to meet the financial requirement in the form of a minimum income threshold. Instead, you will have to show proof that you can support yourself and anyone who depends on you.
You must also have a good place to live for yourself and any people who depend on you.
The need to be able to speak English
Unless you are from a country where English is the main language, like Canada or New Zealand, you will usually need to show that you can speak and understand English well.
You can do this if you have a degree that was taught in English and is recognised as being the same as a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD, or if you pass an approved speaking and listening English language test.
How to fill out the FLR M form to make an application
You can use the FLR M form to ask for an extension of your UK Spouse visa at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK runs out. Most of the time, you will have to fill out the application online.
To apply, you and any kids under 18 who are applying with you must be in the UK.
As part of the application process, you will have to give information about yourself and any dependent children who are also applying.
You’ll also have to give information about your sponsor and what your relationship is with them. Your ‘sponsor’ refers to your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner or same-sex partner.
You will also have to explain how you can meet the financial and English language requirements.
Make sure the following are true:
- You are using the current version of form FLR M, which is correct.
- That you paid the right amount
- You send in photos of each applicant in the format required.
- Fill out all the necessary parts of the form, like Section 4 if you or your sponsor have children who depend on you in the UK.
- You and your partner sign the relevant declarations in Section 14.
If there are problems with how the form is filled out, your application could be delayed or denied. If your visa expires before a valid application is made, this could affect your legal status.
What are the documents that back up the FLR M?
Using the FLR M form, you will need to send in a number of documents to support your application for a UK Spouse visa.
These include your current passport or travel document, any old passports or travel documents, and any valid Biometric Residence Permit. If you have a Biometric Residence Permit with a current grant of leave, you need to show this for your application to be complete and valid.
You will also need to show proof of your relationship with your sponsor and their immigration status. You will also need to show proof of your finances and your ability to speak and understand English at the required level.
Originals of the supporting documents must be submitted. If this is not possible, certified copies may be submitted with a letter explaining why originals could not be submitted. Documents that are not written in English must come with a trustworthy English translation.
How long does it take to process a FLR M form application?
After you send in the FLR M form, a decision on whether you can stay longer in the UK is usually made within a few weeks, but if your application is complicated, it could take longer, especially with the recent ongoing world event (e.g. Covid-19 delays and wars in various parts of the world).
Your application could be held up if, for example, you haven’t given the Home Office all the paperwork it needs or if you have to go to an interview.
If you have a criminal record or have done something wrong with your immigration status that needs careful review, your application could be delayed or even denied.
Caseload and things like COVID processing service restrictions will also affect how quickly FLR M applications are processed.
How much does it cost to use the FLR M form to submit an application?
If you are a single applicant using the FLR M form, there is a fee of £1033 for standard applications. There is also a handling fee for enrolling your biometric information. For each child who depends on you, you will have to pay an extra fee of £1033.
But if you have a low income, you might be able to get the fee waived. If so, you’ll need to fill out an online form to ask for a fee waiver.
Should I use the FLR M form to apply for a biometric residence permit?
Anyone who wants to stay longer in one of the categories where the FLR M form is used must also fill out an application for a Biometric Residence Permit.
As part of the application process, a digital photo of your face and a scan of your fingerprints will be needed. This is called “enrolling” your biometric data.
But you don’t have to fill out a separate application for a Biometric Residence Permit because it’s already on the FLR M form.
If your application to extend your UK Spouse visa is accepted, you will be given a permit that has your biometric information on it.
Want some help?
If you live in the UK with your spouse or partner and want to stay longer, you will need to use the FLR M form to make a request. To make a successful application, you must make sure to fill out all relevant sections completely and correctly and provide all required supporting documents.
The law firm Queen’s Park Solicitors focuses on immigration to the UK. We help people with all of their UK immigration needs, and we can help you through any Home Office process, like filling out form FLR M to stay in the UK with your family and apply to extend your stay. If you have a question, please contact us.
FLR (M), FLR (FP) and FLR (O) FAQs
What’s FLR M?
You would use the FLR M form to apply to stay longer in the UK as the spouse, partner, or dependent child of a British citizen or someone with UK ILR, settled status. FLR M stands for Further Leave to Stay in the Marriage category.
What papers do I need for the FLR M?
You will need to show your valid passport, proof that you have a place to live in the UK, proof that your relationship is real, and proof that you meet the language and financial requirements.
How are FLR (M), FLR (FP) and FLR (O) different from each other?
FLR M is about marriage, partners, and children who depend on them. FLR FP is for More Time to Stay in the “F and P” categories, which means that it is based on Family Life in Appendix FM or Private Life in Part 7.
FLR (O) is other further leave to remain application not covered by FLR (M) and FLR (FP). Some examples of FLR (O) is if you’re applying because you have been “trafficked” by someone or you’re a victim of servitude or slavery.