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Spouse Visa Extension Form FLR(M) Guide

UK family visas, such as the Spouse Visa, are generally issued for 2 years and 9 months. This means that the applicant will need to extend their visa at least once before they will become eligible to apply for settlement. It is critical that the extension application is made before the current visa expires. Failing to do so will lead to one becoming an overstayer, creating seriously negative consequences for future immigration applications.

Previously, when UK immigration applications were done on paper and submitted through the post, the correct form to fill out for a family visa extension was named FLR(M): FLR standing for Further Leave to Remain. Today, all applications are submitted electronically online, using the relevant form.

The requirements which need to be met for a successful Spouse Visa extension are the same as those which applied during the initial Spouse Visa application. This means that as part of the extension application evidence needs to be provided demonstrating the fulfilment of such requirements, including that the relationship is subsisting, that the couple continues to live together, and that the financial requirement is still being met. There is no limit on the number of times the Spouse Visa can be extended. This might be helpful if the spouse remains ineligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, as a result of for instance the family spending too much time outside the UK, thereby breaking the continuous residency requirement.


Requirements for Spouse Visa extension

  • The relationship remains genuine, and you intend to continue living together permanently in the UK.

  • The financial requirement and the accommodation requirement are met.

  • English language requirement, if applicable, is met.

  • A valid application has been filed on the correct form, and the correct application fee has been paid.

  • The applicant meets general UK family visa requirements, such as having an adequate criminal record.

English language requirement

The English language requirement is different while applying for extension. If the applicant was granted their previous family visa by demonstrating their ability of the English language at the A1 level, now they will need to demonstrate proficiency at the A2 level.

Example:

Alex, a British citizen, and Natalya, a Russian citizen, moved to the UK 2 years and 8 months ago. Natalya came on the Spouse Visa, having achieved A1 level in her English language test. Now she will need to pass A2 level in her English language test to successfully apply for extension.

Emma, a British citizen, and Miguel, a Mexican citizen, moved to the UK 2 years and 8 months ago. Miguel came on the Spouse Visa, having achieved A2 level in his English language test. He does not need to take an additional English language test for his extension application.

Financial requirements

The British Citizen or settled person must be able to demonstrate that they continue to meet the minimum income requirement. Many types of income can contribute towards meeting the minimum threshold, including employment income, self-employment income, investment income, savings, and others.


The annual threshold to be met is £18,600. If savings is used, then it will be calculated according to the following formula:


(Total amount of savings-16,000)/2.5


Example:

Alex receives an annual salary of £16,000 from his employment. He can also demonstrate savings totalling £23,500, to which we will apply the formula: (23500-16000)/2.5=£3000. Thus, Alex can demonstrate in total £19,000 (£16,000 + £3000) for the purposes of the Civil Partnership Visa. This is above the minimum amount of £18,600. The financial requirement is satisfied.


There are special rules which apply in the case of starting a new employment.

A limited range of UK state benefits, such as disability living allowance, can be relied on to meet the Income requirement. However, other state benefits, such as Universal Credit, cannot.


Specific evidence must be produced as part of the application in order to satisfy the financial requirement. The document requirements are very specific. For example, bank statements must cover a set period of months, they must be issued showing certain information, such as the bank’s mark, and so on.


Exception to the financial requirement can only be made if it can be shown that rejection of the application as a result of financial requirement will lead to “unjustifiably harsh” consequences for the family life of the couple.


Processing timeline

After the application is submitted, the applicant will be required to attend a visa application centre to provide photograph and fingerprints. Once this is completed, an extension application will usually be decided within 8 weeks. With the “priority service”, which costs £500 in addition to the application fee, a decision will be made within 5 working days of the visa centre appointment. With the “super priority service”, which costs £800 in addition to the application fee, a decision will be made by the end of the next working day after the visa centre appointment.


Application fees

The fees for an application made inside the UK are: £1033 per applicant + Immigration Health Surcharge + application centre fees.


Visa conditions

Following a successful extension application, the Spouse Visa will be extended by a period of 2 years and 6 months. After a period of 5 years total living in the UK, the applicant may become eligible to apply for Settlement.

The same conditions attached to the visa will continue following the extension. This means that on the Spouse Visa, you will be allowed to work. However, you cannot access UK state benefits such as Universal Credit.


How we can help

At PaperPlane Visas, we represent a wide range of UK family visa applications. We can help you whatever your individual circumstances. Our adviser always aims to answer all your questions, and to eliminate any worry or stress you might have. You will get advice that is:

  • explained in plain language

  • patient and empathetic

  • expert and professional

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