Applying for FLR(IR) to Extend My Stay in the UK
We are frequently contacted by visa applicants who are unsure of the process they need to follow, the form they need to complete, and the documents they need to supply. This is understandable given the terminology and acronyms used by UKVI, which to the uninitiated may have no meaning. In this article, we will explain who should use the FLR(IR) form when applying for a visa extension and how to apply.
What Is Form FLR(IR)?
FLR(IR) is a form used for specific categories of visa extensions, including:
- visitors (except transit, Approved Destination Status and Permitted Paid Engagements visitors)
- UK ancestry
- domestic workers in a private household
- domestic workers who are a victim of slavery or human trafficking
- parent of a Child Student
- dependant joiners who are applying separately from the main applicant – 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
- relevant civilian employees
- members of an Armed Force who is subject to immigration control (course F)
- dependants of a member of Armed Forces which are not HM Forces (dependants of a member of HM Forces should complete FLR(AF)
- representatives of an overseas business
If your visa type is not listed above, it is likely that you will need to use a different application form. It is essential that you choose the correct form when applying, as failure to do so will very likely lead to a visa refusal and a loss of your application fee.
Applicants are advised not to use form FLR(IR) if they need permission to stay in the UK on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of their private life in the UK (human rights claim). In this case, a family visa application form should be used. The form should also not be used if applying with a fee waiver.
The form can be used by the main applicant and their partner (i.e. spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner) and/or children under 18 if they are applying as your dependants. A child will be considered to be dependant if they rely on you financially and do not live an independent life.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For A Visa Extension When Completing FLR(IR)?
The eligibility criteria vary considerably depending on the type of visa you are trying to extend. For this reason, it is important to check the criteria for your visa before applying. You can find the eligibility rules for your respective visa type on the Home Office website under the relevant section of the immigration rules, as follows:
- UK Ancestry – Appendix UK Ancestry
- Visitors – Appendix V
- Domestic Workers - Part 5 of the Immigration Rules
- Parent of a student child – Part 7 of the Immigration Rules
- Dependant joiners – Part 5 of the Immigration Rules
- Relevant civilian employee – Appendix Armed Forces Part 9A
- Member of Armed forces subject to immigration control - Appendix Armed Forces Part 9
- Dependant of Armed Forces which are not HM Forces - Appendix Armed Forces Part 10
- Representative of an overseas business – Part 5 of the Immigration Rules
- Retired person of independent means – Part 7 of the Immigration Rules
For most of the above visa types, you will still need to meet the original eligibility criteria you met when first applying.
The length of time you can extend your visa will also depend on the type of visa you currently hold. In the case of the visitor visa and the domestic worker in private household routes, the total amount of time permitted on this visa type is six months. Ancestry visa holders can apply to extend their stay for a further five years. For the full list of visa extension durations, have a look at information for each visa type on the Home Office website.
How Do I Apply For A Visa Extension Using Form FLR(IR)?
Form FLR(IR) is completed online, on the Home Office website. When you first visit the application webpage, you will need to select which visa you want to extend. As part of the application process online, you will need to pay the application fee. The amount depends on the type of visa you are applying for; see the online list of application fees. A visitor visa extension, for example, is £993, and a retired person of independent means visa is £1,949.
Once the form is completed and submitted to the Home Office, you will then be advised which documents you will need to send to support your case. These should be sent within ten days of submitting your extension application form.
If you are extending your leave for more than six months, you will need to make an appointment to have your biometric information scanned and uploaded (including your photo and fingerprints). This information will then be used to issue you with a new biometric residence permit (BRP). You will also need to pay £19.20 to have your BRP processed.
The application processing time will also depend on the type of visa you are extending, however, you may be able to pay an additional fee for the priority service (for a decision within five working days) or super-priority service (for decision within one working day).
We recommend taking your time to ensure FLR(IR) is completed fully and accurately. Likewise, it is important to make sure that all of the information you have been asked to supply to UKVI is complete. Doing so will ensure that you do not encounter any delays in receiving a decision on your case. As ever, if you are unsure at any stage of the process, speak to immigration Solicitors who will be able to assist you.