Spouse Visa Application Inside UK | Switching & FLR (M) Guidance

spouse-visa-applicationThis relates to spouse visa application from inside the UK. Certainly, it is permissible under the immigration rules to switch from other immigration routes to spouse visa from inside the UK.  Accordingly, the post explains the conditions and requirement for applying, extending or switching to a spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa within the UK.

Switching to Spouse or Civil, Unmarried, Same-Sex Partner Visa

A person who is in the UK with leave to remain which was originally granted for a period of more than six months and who is married to or a civil, unmarried, same-sex partner of:

  • British Citizen, or
  • person with ILR, or
  • person with refugee status, or as a person with humanitarian protection

can apply to switch into a spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa from inside the UK as long as he/she meets all the relevant requirements of the Immigration Rules.

An application for switching into spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa from inside the UK is submitted to the Home Office by completing application form FLR (M).

Requirements for Switching to Spouse or Civil Partner Visa

A person can switch to a spouse, civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa on the basis of the relationship with British Citizen or a person present and settled in the UK. The application will be considered in accordance with requirements of the Immigration Rules as set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

An application for switching to a spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner status, an applicant needs to meet the following requirements:

  1. The evidence of the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant
  2. The documentary evidence to comply with the financial requirement  as set out in Appendix FM
  3. The adequate accommodation; and
  4. English language requirement
  5. Additionally, the applicant should also meet the suitability criteria as set out in the immigration rules.

How to Apply: Application Form and Fee

The application fee is £1033 per applicant for switching into spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa inside the UK. If an applicant is not requesting a fee waiver you must apply online. Moreover, same day service for FLR (M) application for switching into spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner visa is also available at premium visa centres.

Requesting for Fee Waiver

Applicants can request for a fee waiver. Accordingly, can submit the application by completing FLR (M) and fee waiver request and it to Home Office, Leave to Remain – FLR(M), PO Box 495, Durham, DH99 1WR.

Biometric Enrolment Fee

As part of your application, you are required to enrol your biometric information. You will be charged an additional handling fee for this service, payable to the Post Office Ltd. You must pay the fee by cash or debit card when you attend Post Office Ltd to enrol your biometrics. Each dependant included on your application must also pay this fee when they enrol their biometric information. Do not send the biometric enrolment fee with your application fee. Applicants on some immigration routes are exempt from paying an enrolment fee at the Post Office Ltd. If you are in one of these categories you will be informed of this when we send you a biometric notification letter.

FLR (M) Guidance – Spouse Visa 30 Months Extension

The FLR (M) is for applicants for a leave to remain in the UK as a spouse/partner of a UK sponsor 30 months. If an applicant is presently on a fiancé(e) visa and is applying for a leave to remain in the UK as a spouse/partner then the applicant will not be allowed to do work in the UK until the applicant receives notification from the Home Office for the grant of leave to remain in the UK as spouse/partner of the UK sponsor in the UK.

Section R-LTRP: Requirements for limited leave to remain as a partner

R-LTRP.1.1. The requirements to be met for limited leave to remain as a partner are-(a) the applicant and their partner must be in the UK;
(b) the applicant must have made a valid application for limited or indefinite leave to remain as a partner; and either
(c)
(i) the applicant must not fall for refusal under Section S-LTR: Suitability leave to remain; and
(ii) the applicant meets all of the requirements of Section E-LTRP: Eligibility for leave to remain as a partner; or
(d)
(i) the applicant must not fall for refusal under Section S-LTR: Suitability leave to remain; and
(ii) the applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs E-LTRP.1.2-1.12. and E-LTRP.2.1-2.2.; and
(iii) paragraph EX.1. applies.

Suitability Requirements

Section S-LTR: Suitability-leave to remain

S-LTR.1.1. The applicant will be refused limited leave to remain on grounds of suitability if any of paragraphs S-LTR.1.2. to 1.8. apply.

S-LTR.1.2. The applicant is currently the subject of a deportation order.

S-LTR.1.3. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for at least 4 years.

S-LTR.1.4. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because they have been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to imprisonment for less than 4 years but at least 12 months.

S-LTR.1.5. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because, in the view of the Secretary of State, their offending has caused serious harm or they are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

S-LTR.1.6. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because their conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraphs S-LTR.1.3. to 1.5.), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to allow them to remain in the UK.

S-LTR.1.7. The applicant has failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement to-

(a) attend an interview;

(b) provide information;

(c) provide physical data; or

(d) undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report.

S-LTR.1.8. The presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good because the Secretary of State:

(a) has made a decision under Article 1F of the Refugee Convention to exclude the person from the Refugee Convention or under paragraph 339D of these Rules to exclude them from humanitarian protection; or

(b) has previously made a decision that they are a person to whom Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention applies because there are reasonable grounds for regarding them as a danger to the security of the UK; or

(c) considers that they are a person to whom sub-paragraph (a) or (b) would apply except that (i) the person has not made a protection claim, or (ii) the person made a protection claim which has already been finally determined without reference to Article 1F of the Refugee Convention or paragraph 339D of these Rules; or

  1. (d) has previously made a decision that they are a person to whom Article 33(2) of the Refugee Convention applies because, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, they constitute a danger to the community of the UK.

S-LTR.2.1. The applicant will normally be refused on grounds of suitability if any of paragraphs S-LTR.2.2. to 2.5. apply.

S-LTR.2.2. Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge –

  1. (a) false information, representations or documents have been submitted in relation to the application (including false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
  2. (b) there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application.

S-LTR.2.3. DELETED.

S-LTR.2.4. A maintenance and accommodation undertaking has been requested under paragraph 35 of these Rules and has not been provided.

S-LTR.2.5. The Secretary of State has given notice to the applicant and their partner under section 50(7)(b) of the Immigration Act 2014 that one or both of them have not complied with the investigation of their proposed marriage or civil partnership.

S-LTR.3.1. When considering whether the presence of the applicant in the UK is not conducive to the public good any legal or practical reasons why the applicant cannot presently be removed from the UK must be ignored.

S-LTR.4.1. The applicant may be refused on grounds of suitability if any of paragraphs S-LTR.4.2. to S-LTR.4.5. apply.

S-LTR.4.2. The applicant has made false representations or failed to disclose any material fact in a previous application for entry clearance, leave to enter, leave to remain or a variation of leave, or in a previous human rights claim; or did so in order to obtain from the Secretary of State or a third party a document required to support such an application or claim (whether or not the application or claim was successful).

S-LTR.4.3. The applicant has previously made false representations or failed to disclose material facts for the purpose of obtaining a document from the Secretary of State that indicates that he or she has a right to reside in the United Kingdom.

S-LTR.4.4. The applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.

S-LTR.4.5. One or more relevant NHS bodies has notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £500.

Eligibility

Section E-LTRP: Eligibility for limited leave to remain as a partner

E-LTRP.1.1. To qualify for limited leave to remain as a partner all of the requirements of paragraphs E-LTRP.1.2. to 4.2. must be met.

Relationship Requirements

E-LTRP.1.2. The applicant’s partner must be-

  1. (a) a British Citizen in the UK;
  2. (b) present and settled in the UK; or
  3. (c) in the UK with refugee leave or as a person with humanitarian protection.

E-LTRP.1.3. The applicant must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.4. The partner must be aged 18 or over at the date of application.

E-LTRP.1.5. The applicant and their partner must not be within the prohibited degree of relationship.

E-LTRP.1.6. The applicant and their partner must have met in person.

E-LTRP.1.7. The relationship between the applicant and their partner must be genuine and subsisting.

E-LTRP.1.8. If the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership it must be a valid marriage or civil partnership, as specified.

E-LTRP.1.9. Any previous relationship of the applicant or their partner must have broken down permanently, unless it is a relationship which falls within paragraph 278(i) of these Rules.

E-LTRP.1.10. The applicant and their partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK and, in any application for further leave to remain as a partner (except where the applicant is in the UK as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner) and in any application for indefinite leave to remain as a partner, the applicant must provide evidence that, since entry clearance as a partner was granted under paragraph D-ECP1.1. or since the last grant of limited leave to remain as a partner, the applicant and their partner have lived together in the UK or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period in which they have not done so.

E-LTRP.1.11. If the applicant is in the UK with leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during that period of leave, there must be good reason why and evidence that it will take place within the next 6 months.

E-LTRP.1.12. The applicant’s partner cannot be the applicant’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, unless the applicant was granted entry clearance as that person’s fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner.

Immigration Status Requirements

E-LTRP.2.1. The applicant must not be in the UK-

  1. (a) as a visitor; or
  2. (b) with valid leave granted for a period of 6 months or less, unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings

E-LTRP.2.2. The applicant must not be in the UK –

  1. (a) on immigration bail, unless:
    1. (i) the Secretary of State is satisfied that the applicant arrived in the UK more than 6 months prior to the date of application; and
    2. (ii) paragraph EX.1. applies; or
  2. (b) in breach of immigration laws (except that, where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded), unless paragraph EX.1. applies.

UK Spouse Visa Extension Financial Requirements

For extension application as a Spouse/Partner Visa, in terms of E-LTRP.3.1.(a) the applicant is required to meet the min income threshold. This means that the UK sponsor/partner must earn a min annual income, which is £18,600 for the spouse. If the applicant is applying with one dependant child under the age of 18 years then the amount will increase by £3,800. For each additional dependent child, it will increase by £2,400. So, if an applicant is applying with three (3) dependent children under 18 years of age then the min threshold of income is a £24,800 (i.e. £18,600 for spouse/partner + £3,800 for the first child + £2,400X2 for the additional two children).

Specified Savings £16,000

In terms of E-LTRP.3.1.(b) the specified savings is £16,000. If an applicant has cash savings of £62,500/- then he/she may not need to combine the savings level with the Income from other sources. As after deducting £16,000 (i.e. the amount of mandatory savings) from total available savings (£62,500), the residual cash savings amounts to £46,500, which in terms of (b)(ii) are 2.5 times of the min income of £18,600.

E-ECP.3.1. The applicant must provide specified evidence, from the sources listed in paragraph E-ECP.3.2., of-

(a) a specified gross annual income of at least-

(i) £18,600;
(ii) an additional £3,800 for the first child; and
(iii) an additional £2,400 for each additional child; alone or in combination with

(b) specified savings of-

(i) £16,000; and
(ii) additional savings of an amount equivalent to 2.5 times the amount which is the difference between the gross annual income from the sources listed in paragraph E-ECP.3.2.(a)-(d) and the total amount required under paragraph E-ECP.3.1.(a); or

The financial requirement can be met through a combination of sources. These include income from employment or self-employment, a pension, non-employment earnings like rent and savings of over £16,000. You are also able to use your own income if you are earning it in the UK as this will contribute to your household income. There may also be cases which exempt you from the financial requirement.

You will be able to combine income from multiple sources to reach the financial requirement. These include:

  • income from employment/self-employment, as long as you have been earning the wage for at least six months;
  • pension;
  • maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay;
  • Non-employment pay, such as from rent or shares;
  • Cash savings of over £16,000 if they have been in the couple’s control for over six months.

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