Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Immigration Corner: How can I extend my stay?

Published:Tuesday | April 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am in the United Kingdom with my partner who is settled and I would like to apply for an extension to stay. How do I go about this?

- JM

Dear JM,

Persons may apply for an extension of stay if their partners are British citizens in the United Kingdom, present and settled in the United Kingdom, or in the United Kingdom with refugee leave or humanitarian protection. Adults and any children under 18 years of age applying with them must be in the United Kingdom to apply. Persons applying for an extension of stay in the above-mentioned categories must apply on form FLR(M) for a biometric immigration document, otherwise known as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Persons must not use this form to make an application for an extension of stay in the following categories: as the partner of a serving member of HM Armed Forces under Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules. Those persons must complete their application using form FLR(AF); those on the 10-year Partner route under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. They must complete form FLR(FP); as the partner of a person granted indefinite leave to remain in a work route; or if a person is currently in the United Kingdom as their dependent.

To qualify for an extension of stay in the categories of the Immigration Rules for which form FLR(M) must be used, persons must meet the relevant requirements in the following parts of the Rules: Part 8 Family members - Transitional provisions for spouses and partners; or Appendix FM - Family life as a partner - five-year route. The full Immigration Rules are on at: Immigration Rules.

If persons are applying for an extension of stay under the part eight transitional provisions, rather than indefinite leave to remain, even though persons may have completed or are about to complete two years permitted stay as the partner of the same person, must give the reason in section two of the application form and explain in more detail in a letter if necessary. Possible reasons are that the applicant may have not yet obtained a relevant qualification demonstrating knowledge of the English language and life in the United Kingdom (KoLL); or that persons prefer to apply for an extension of stay because of personal circumstances to do with their relationship with the partner.

Persons eligible to apply are the applicants and their children under 18 years of age if they are applying as dependents. It should be noted that dependent children aged 18 or over may not be included unless they were initially granted leave in the category at a time when they were under 18. If there is some reason preventing dependent children from applying with the applicant, they must each apply individually and pay the specified fee.

If persons do not pay the specified fee, the application will be invalid and will be returned to the applicant. However, the authorities will not refund the fee if the application is refused or if the applicant withdraws it.

Just for completeness, please note that the applicant and any children under 18 years of age applying with the applicant should apply before the end of their permitted stay in the United Kingdom.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK).