Form FLR IR: Extending Leave in the UK

It’s important to apply to extend your leave before it expires, to avoid overstaying and becoming unlawfully present in the UK. Form FLR IR is used to apply to extend your stay in the UK where you fall within certain visa categories.

The following categories would use Form FLR IR in order to extend their stay in the UK:

  • you need an extension of your visitor visa (unless you are a transit, Approved Destination Status or Permitted Paid Engagement visitor, in which case you should not use this form)
  • you are applying under UK ancestry provisions
  • you are a domestic worker in a private household
  • you are a domestic worker and the victim of human trafficking or slavery
  • you are the parent of a Tier 4 child student (a child student who is aged between 4 and 17 and attending a course at a UK independent school)
  • you are a relevant civilian employee (an employee or family of someone working for NATO armed forces or similar)
  • you are a member of an Armed Force who is subject to immigration control (course F)
  • you are a dependant of a member of Armed Forces which are not HM Forces
  • you are a representative of an overseas business
  • you are a dependent ‘joiner’ applying separately from the main applicant. This refers to dependants of a person who has limited leave to enter or remain in the UK, not including dependants of a person with leave under the points based system or dependants of a person in the UK with leave on the basis of family or private life.

Until 2019, if you were a retired person of independent means, you would also have applied to extend your stay using Form FLR IR. However, the retired person of independent means category is now closed to new applicants. If you already have permission to stay in the UK under this category then you can you can still apply to extend your stay or settle in the UK.

If you would like to extend your stay on the basis of family or private life, then you should used Form FLR RP, and if you wish to extend your stay on human rights grounds, leave outside the Immigration Rules and other routes not covered by other forms, you would use Form FLR HRO.

What are the eligibility criteria for applicants?

The eligibility criteria for applicants for FLR IR are listed below under each category of of applicant.

Generally speaking, your spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner and/or children under the age of 18 if they are applying as your dependants, may apply with you (although see the visitor category for an exception to this).

If this is the first time that you are applying for leave on Form FLR IR then you will not be allowed to list dependent children over the age of 18 on the form. They must apply separately. The only time that you can include dependent children over the age of 18 is if they were included on an earlier application when they were under the age of 18 (but they will have to pay the adult fee).


If you have come to the UK for medical treatment as a visitor and need to extend you stay, you will need to provide medical evidence showing why you need to stay in the UK for a longer period of time. You will also need to provide evidence that you can pay for the next stage of your treatment.

The rules for applicants in the visitor category do not allow for dependants, although the guidance states the they may be allowed to remain “exceptionally in some circumstances.” It is safe to assume that this is a difficult test to meet and you should not count on this applying to you.

UK ancestry

In order to apply under this category you must be able to show that:

  • you are a Commonwealth citizen aged 17 or over;
  • one of your grandparents was born in the UK and Islands; and
  • and you are applying because of your UK ancestry.

Specific documents that you must provide to apply in this category are:

  • your full birth certificate showing your parents’ names;
  • evidence that one of your grandparents was born in the UK and Islands;
  • document(s) showing that you are able to work and intend to seek employment in the UK; and
  • any relevant marriage certificates.

Domestic worker in a private household

You must submit evidence from your current employer that you are employed in their private household and continue to be required in that role, along with evidence that your employer is allowed to stay in the UK, for example, their passport. You must also supply a copy of your terms and conditions of employment and a statement from your employer that they are complying with National Minimum Wage legislation.

Domestic worker who is the victim of human trafficking or slavery

In this category you only need to include the letter from the Single Competent Authority in the UK that has concluded that you are a victim of human trafficking or slavery. The Single Competent Authority is the government body that decides who is a victim of modern slavery.

Parent of a Tier 4 (child) student

You must provide evidence that you can pay for yourself and your child(ren) without recourse to public funds or taking up employment, for example, bank statements. If you are supported from overseas by family members or a spouse then you must provide evidence of your joint bank account and a letter from them confirming their support.

You must also show that you have enough money to maintain your home overseas whilst you are in the UK.

If you are going to stay with relatives then you must be able to show that they are legally in the UK and have enough funds to support you and accommodate you.

Relevant civilian employee

To apply in this category you must supply your Date of Estimated Return from Overseas, or your Official Letter of Employment. This must state the name of the employer, and the start and end date of your employment. You must also provide evidence of your accommodation and how you will maintain yourself and any dependants, along with evidence of your dependants’ relationship to you.

Member of Armed Forces who is subject to Immigration Control

To apply in this category you must provide a sponsor letter supporting your application, official Armed Forces Enlistment Progress Letter (including training dates) and a letter confirming your invitation to come to the UK for the duration of your training.

Dependant of a member of Armed Forces which are not HM Forces

If you are applying in this category you must provide:

  • Your partner or parent’s official Armed forces letter/posting or movement order.
  • Your partner or parent’s wage slips.
  • Evidence to show your relationship to the Member of the Armed Forces. This could be a marriage certificate or a birth certificate in the case of a child.

If you are applying as an ‘other dependant’ (child over 18 years old or a dependant parent), you must be named on the posting letter of the Member of the Armed Forces and you must provide a letter explaining how you are part of the family unit and what you will do in the UK.

Representative of an overseas business

If you are the representative of a media organisation you will simply need to show that you continue to be employed by the overseas media organisation on a full time basis.

If you are the sole representative of a Parent Company based overseas, you will need to provide a letter from the Parent Company stating that it is based overseas, will remain so, and that you remain employed by them. You will also have to provide your payslips for the last three months.

You will also have to provide details of the subsidiary company established in the UK, for example through its company registration documents, and evidence that the UK operation is active.

Dependent ‘joiner’ applying separately from the main applicant

If you are applying as a dependent joiner separately from the main applicant, then you must provide evidence of your relationship, for example a marriage or civil partnership certificate, if you are applying as their partner or spouse. If you are applying as a main applicant’s unmarried partner (i.e. without a marriage or civil partnership certificate) then you must be able to provide proof that you have lived together for two years or longer.

You must also provide the immigration permission (visa / residence permit) of the main applicant who is your partner or parent.

If the dependent is a child then they must include their birth certificate with the application, showing both parents’ names.

Practical guidance for applicants when completing Form FLR (FP)

You must apply online on the current version of Form FLR IR. You can find the current version on the website.

You will need to submit the following documents:

  • Two identical photographs of yourself – be careful not to mark these in any way, for example with a staple. You will have to write your full name on the back. You must also provide two identical photographs of any dependants applying with you.
  • Your biometric residence permit if you already have one
  • Your passport, national identity card or travel document
  • Police registration certificates (if any)
  • Evidence of your finances, for example payslips and bank account statements going back at least three months. You may also have to provide bank statements of the people upon whom you are relying on for accommodation and support.

You should also check if you need to pay the immigration health surcharge. If you do need to pay this, then you must do so before you complete your application, then fill in the reference number on the form.

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.

The fees that you will have to pay depend on which category you fall into, but they are currently as follows:

  • visitors £993
  • representative of overseas business costs £704
  • all other categories £1033
  • retired person of independent means (if you already have this and are renewing) £1949

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.

If you are applying as a representative of an overseas business then you must send in your application online, it is not possible to use the in-person service.

How long do applications usually take to process?

The length of 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 or super premium service.

For standard applications it can be as little as three weeks in some situations, such as UK ancestry and representatives of overseas businesses, but as long as 12 weeks in others.

If you choose to pay the premium service, your application will be process within 5 days and for the super-premium service, it is next day.

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 IR: Extending Leave 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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