FLR (FP) partner applications
If you hold leave as the partner (spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner) of a British citizen or person settled in the UK or a person otherwise qualifying as a sponsor you may want to extend your leave and submit a “further leave to remain” application so that you can stay in the UK with your partner.
When the application is straightforward and all the rules are met the application is called – in the Home Office jargon – an “FLR(M)” application.
But if you do not meet all the rules – for example if you are an overstayer – you may still be able to make an application for further leave to remain based on your partner, and such an application is called an “FLR(FP)” application.
You do not really have to worry too much about the Home Office jargon: this is our job. What you do need to worry about is understanding how the rules work and whether or not you may qualify.
Migrants in other categories can submit FLR(FP) applications, but in this article we concentrate on partner applications.
Who can apply?
A typical scenario – as alluded to above – is where the applicant with a partner in the UK is an overstayer, ie somebody who at some point held immigration leave which has now expired. But there are other possibilities: the applicant might not meet the English language requirement or the financial/adequate accommodation requirements.
Such an applicant may be able to submit an FLR(FP) application, but there are two things that need to be borne closely in mind. Firstly, this application relies on a highly discretionary rule, that: “there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK”. If you cannot prove this to the Home Office’s satisfaction (which in some cases might be difficult) then the application will be refused.
And, secondly, if the application is successful it provides a ten-year route to settlement, not the five-year route that FLR(M) applicants qualify for.
The application is an online application, and the processing time published by the Home Office is eight weeks. If the application is successful leave is granted for 30 months. The visa application fee is currently £1,048 and additionally there is an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) of £1,560, so total Home Office fees are £2,608.
What can we do?
First of all we can advise you whether you qualify for the visa; some of the surrounding issues can be difficult or complex.
If we ultimately agree on instructions we will prepare your application for you and we will advise you about the required supporting documents. When we are happy with the application we will submit it to the Home Office and represent you until we receive the result.
If your application is refused – right of appeal
If your application should be refused there will be the right of appeal to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal. The Tribunal sits in the UK and is presided over by an immigration judge. It has the power to overturn the Home Office’s decision if the judge thinks the decision is wrong. In the event of a refusal we will advise you as to whether an appeal is the best way forward or whether it would be more appropriate to submit a new application;this is something that depends very much on the terms of the refusal decision.