Form FLR FP: Extend Your Stay in the UK

Form FLR FP is the form you have to complete if you want to live with a family member in the UK for more than six months, or you wish to extend your stay in the UK on the basis of family life or private life. Usually you will be extending or switching your existing visa.

FLR stands for ‘Further Leave to Remain’ and the ‘F’ and ‘P’ are categories under UK immigration law referring to Family and Private life.

You will use this form if you are applying to remain in the UK as a partner or parent of a British citizen or settled person, a dependent of a person applying for limited leave to remain in the UK, or you are applying on the basis of your private life in the UK.

What is the difference between FLR M and FLR FP?

The difference between FLR M and FLR FP is the time it takes to obtain ‘settlement’ (also known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK. There are different routes to achieve settlement. If you are unsure what your route is, you should check in the letter you received from the Home Office when your leave to remain was last approved. The routes are two-year, five-year or ten-year, i.e. they require you to have lived continuously in the UK for either two, five or ten years before you can be considered as officially ‘settled’ in the UK.

FLR M refers to Further Leave to Remain in the ‘M’ category meaning as the spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person, or a dependent child of a British citizen or settled person in the UK. If you apply for FLR in the M category you will be able to satisfy the income / savings requirements and the English language requirement to A1 standard. You will be on the so-called ‘five-year route’ to settlement (indefinite leave to remain).

In contrast, FLR FP applications will usually be put on the ten year route to settlement (indefinite leave to remain) because they are based on family or private life, and not on income / savings.

It is possible to make an application as a parent under FLR FP and still achieve the five-year route to settlement, buy you will have to satisfy all the requirements for FLR M (including income and language).

It is possible to switch from FLR FP to FLR M if you find that you now meet the requirements for the latter.

Both FLR FP and FLR M are granted for 2.5 years initially. However, you will need to make four applications for FLR FP to reach the ten year mark, and only two applications for FLR M to reach the five year mark.

What are the eligibility criteria for applicants?

The eligibility criteria for applicants for FLR FP are listed below under the separate categories of family life, private life and exceptional circumstances. All the categories listed below will be under the ten-year route to settlement, except for an application as a parent where you may qualify to join the five year route (FLR M), as explained above.

Family Life

  • As a parent of a child in the UK (5 or 10 year route). It is important to note that if you are eligible to apply as a parent (see below) then you must do this instead. Your child must either be under 18 or have been under 18 when you were first granted leave and not be living an independent life. you must show that you are either the sole or joint (shared) carer for your child. If you have shared care then you must no longer be the partner of the other parent and that other parent must be a British citizen or have settled status. You must be able to show that you are fully committed to your child’s life, e.g. dropping them off or picking them up from school. You must also show that you are financially capable of looking after the child. Your child must meet one of the following criteria:
    • be a British citizen;
    • be settled in the UK (indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence) or,
    • as long as you are applying in the UK, the child has lived in the UK for seven years continuously and it would not be reasonable for them to leave.
  • As a dependent child of a person who has or is applying for limited leave to enter or remain in the UK other than under the points based system or UK ancestry (10 year route).
    If the child is under 18 and was born in the UK then they can be added to their parent’s application and will receive the same permission to remain in the UK as their parent. If the child is under 18 and was not born in the UK then one of their parents must be either applying to extend their stay in the UK as a parent, with sole parental responsibility for the child, or as a partner, with the partner they are joining in the UK being the child’s other parent.
  • As a partner or spouse if your partner is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence in the UK, or is under official Humanitarian Protection or has recognised refugee status. You and your partner must both be 18 or over and intend to live together permanently after you make your application.

Private Life

You would make this application on the basis of your private life in the UK and can only do this if you already living in the UK.

You must show that one of the following applies:

  • You are under 18, have lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK;
  • You are aged between 18 and 24 and you have lived in the UK continuously for half your life;
  • You are aged 18 or over, have lived in the UK for less than 20 years and would face very significant problems in returning to your ‘home’ country, for example, you do not speak the language; or
  • You are aged 25 or over and have been in the UK continuously for at least 20 years.

Exceptional Circumstances

You can apply outside the immigration rules in exceptional circumstances under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a private and family life). The test is a high one to meet and involves the proving of ‘unjustifiably harsh consequences’ for the applicant, their child or another family member if they are not able to stay in the UK.

What is the difference between 5 year and 10 year route?

The difference between the 5 year and 10 year routes is that the five year route to settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) is granted under an application for further leave to remain in the M category (FLR M).  This is a spouse, partner or dependent visa granted for 2.5 years where the applicant fulfils all the criteria (income, language etc).  By contrast, applicants for further leave to remain on the basis of their private or family life (FLR FP) are usually on the ten year route to settlement.  Their leave to remain is also granted for a period of 2.5 years, but they will need to make four applications in total whereas FLR M applicants will only need to make two in total.  

Supporting documents

Depending on the type of application you are making, you could need to supply a considerable number of supporting documents with your application. These could include:

  • Two photographs of you, one of your partner, plus more if you are applying for dependents
  • Photographs of your partner and/or children where relevant
  • Passport or ID card or travel document
  • Your biometrics residence permit, if you have one
  • Your police registration certificate if you have been asked to register with the police
  • Evidence of your finances, such as bank statements and payslips covering at least the last three months
  • Proof that you have paid the NHS immigration surcharge
  • In some situations you will also need to prove your knowledge of the English language. You will not need to do this if you are a child, or an adult coming to the UK to be cared for by a relative, or if you are over 65 or have a physical or mental condition which means that you cannot meet the language requirement. You may not need to do this if you are applying on the parent (5 year) route but should check this carefully.
  • For a private life application, you would probably need to include utility bills, council tax bills, GP registration letter, mortgage statements and previous immigration documentation.
  • For a dependent application you would need to include the passport of the child(ren), court documents, birth certificates, evidence of the children’s schooling and GP registration letters for the child(ren)
  • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you need a tuberculosis test before you enter the UK.

You should also remember that you must provide a certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.

You must also pay the fee, which is £1033 which is for a single person applying from within the UK, and the same amount again for each dependent added to your application.

If you apply from outside the UK then the fee is £1523 for your application, and the same amount again for each dependent added to your application. It is an additional £1033 for each dependent.

If you are applying in the UK you will also have to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (consisting of fingerprints and a photograph) taken.

When do you need to make the extension application?

The Home Office encourages all applications to be made at least 28 days before the expiry of the applicant’s current leave to stay in the UK.

How long do applications usually take to process?

The length if time an application takes to process depends on whether the application is made from within the UK or not, and whether you use the premium service.

For applications made using the standard service, the Home Office guidance is that applications from within the UK will take up to 8 weeks. For those applying from outside the UK it could be up to 12 weeks.

As long as you are applying from within the UK, you can pay £800 for the super priority service. This means if your appointment to provide your biometric information is on a weekday, that you will have a decision the next working day, and if your appointment is at the weekend then it will take two working days to receive your decision.

You are not able to use the super priority service if you are applying as an adult coming to be cared for by a relative.

Even after the decision is made it can take up to ten working days for you to receive your biometric residence permit.

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

Form FLR FP: Extend Your Stay in the UK 2
Anne Morris
Anne Morris is a corporate immigration and employment lawyer based in London. Anne is the Founder of DavidsonMorris and specialises in employment & immigration law and human resources and global mobility consultancy.

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