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Our FLR(M) Journey

Discussion in 'UK Visa and Immigration Help' started by uklove, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. uklove
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    uklove Active Member

    Hi all,

    Firstly a big huge thankyou for all of you who helped us as we were in panic mode, mmm, I mean applying for the extension to my wife's visa (at the halfway stage on the five year route).
    I have been a member here for a number of years and I could not have got this far without the help freely given on here, well done to those who give their time and effort.

    I wanted to share our experience in the hope that it helps other's on the same path as us.

    Firstly, allow plenty of time. We found the online form very confusing and we had two aborted attempts before we were confident enough to submit our application. Checking your answers is possible but the software is not easy to use (and I'm an electronics engineer!).
    We made a note of documents that we had to upload as we went through the online form so nothing was missed. We started gathering all the documents well in advance but we still had to find more - especially the proof of address ones.
    We scanned all our documents into PDF's which kept the file size down, there is a limit of 6mB per file.
    In case your files are too big, this may be useful:
    https://smallpdf.com/pdf-converter

    Here is a list of documents we submitted:
    Birth Certificates for my wife, myself and our daughter
    My deed poll (I changed my name many years ago)
    Council tax bills, from memory these are required but we also used these for proof of address.
    We rent our home, so we made sure that both our names are on the tenancy agreements and these were uploaded
    The family consent and family declaration forms, both downlaoded, printed, signed
    Spouse declaration
    Marriage certificate
    All passports old and new (myself, my asawa :) and our daughter)
    My wifes' BRP
    IELTs A2 Certificate
    6 payslips stamped as originals, letter from employer, contract of employment
    6 Bank statements

    For proof of address we used:
    My wifes' NI application and letter showing her NI number
    Letters from her bank
    Letter from the letting agent
    Water bills
    Electricity/gas bills

    We did not include any photos or a letter from ourselves.

    I was confused at the timings but here is my understanding.
    You can submit your application up to 28 days before the current BRP expires.
    The IELT's is valid for 2 years so we did that a few months before the deadline (I suggest not taking to far in advance though in case the rules change)
    My wife had to attend a Sopra Steria centre for her biometrics. At first I thought this had to be before the BRP expired but when we submitted the application (on 1st August) we were told to make the appointment before 3rd November so don't panic and pay for an appointment at short notice.

    The decision was made five weeks after the appointment for my wifes' biometrics and the new BRP is valid for 30 months from that date.

    All that remains now is to renew my wifes' passport and change over to our married name at last, the BRP will have to be changed too.

    I wish all of you the best of luck.
    • Winner Winner x 5
  2. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    very useful.


    in our case--my wife still goes by her name she had before we got married, most likely keep it that way till after her ILR..then change it to my surname before she applies for citizen ship--if that is ok.

    then--she can get a british passport in my name--and retain her phil passport as it is now. she renewed it earlier this year--10 years. again--if thats ok.
  3. uklove
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    uklove Active Member

    Hi bigmac, on the subject of passport renewal - I've read somewhere that we can renew my wifes' passport up to a year before it expires, is that the case? We want to start using her married name. Cheers.
  4. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    yes--thats my understanding.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. JoshuaTree
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    JoshuaTree Active Member

    Thanks so much uklove for the informative post, so useful. We're starting to prep and working through applying for further leave after the initial 2.5 years here on a Spouse visa. Couple of questions:
    - where do you see that 28 day limit for applying? We've started the online application and saved progress, couldn't see any impediment so far to just submit it?
    - We also rent and the contract is my name only but for the Spouse application we submitted a letter from the landlord saying she is fine to stay here, so I've got an updated version of that letter to submit this time - sound OK?

    Many thanks,
    Josh
    • Like Like x 1
  6. uklove
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    uklove Active Member

    Hi Josh,

    We used a letter from the agent for our initial spouse visa so it should be OK for your FLR.
    You could apply right up to the expiry date but I read on here the earliest day would be 28 days before expiry, just don't ask me where as I read so much I've got no chance of remembering!
    A few advisors have guides that you can read for free, Google will throw up lots of reading material.

    Good luck,
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JoshuaTree
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    JoshuaTree Active Member

    Most useful uklove, yeah I read the 28 days on here too but a friend of my asawa who's first visa expires early next year has already applied and been approved! Although establishing the facts through both her and my asawa is always an... interesting challenge :confused:;)

    Thanks again :like:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Mattecube
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    Mattecube I have no need Trusted Member

    On this point it is 28 days or less to apply before your visa runs out, there are a couple of instance wher you can apply for a visa before the original one has ran out these are
    1. Fiancee visa normally valid for 6 months but if you marry say within a month of arriving you can apply for a spouse visa straight away (this allows the applicant to work)
    2.Fiancee visit visa again valid for 6 months and as above once married you can apply for a spouse visa
    There maybe others on humanitarian ground or work visas.

    To pick up the point on housing your name only on the rental agreement is fine just make sure you have a letter from the landlord stating that they are aware and happy for your wife to live there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. JoshuaTree
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    JoshuaTree Active Member

    Thanks a lot Mattecube, appreciated - it makes sense to me. I've got a new letter saying permission given for my wife to continue residing at our address.
    I'm yet to find a reference on the Gov website about the 28 days limit unless you know of somewhere you could direct me. The time limit seems right otherwise you could be applying several months in advance, but I'm receiving stress at home as asawa's friend has already done it, screenshots to provide it and she's on a Spouse visit same as us... again the garnering of information, and saying what they actually mean, is a continuing entertainment (?!) but the specifics have to be right in this instance.
    I'll keep reading.
  10. Mattecube
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    Mattecube I have no need Trusted Member

    What is a spouse visit?
    I will dig the 28 rule out later
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. bigmac
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    bigmac Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Yep. Thats what we did..applied for first flr same day service at croydon ukvi..got it 16 days after we got married. She already had a job lined up so well worth losing the last 3 months of her fiancee visa.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. JoshuaTree
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    JoshuaTree Active Member

    Apologies, that should be a Spouse Visa!
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  13. Brom27
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    Brom27 Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Hi Josh, on a spouse visa the earliest you can apply is the 30th month anniversary of her arrival in the UK minus 28 days (that’s the calculation as to when she can first apply for the extension). The spouse visa is valid for 33 months that’s why the calculation is different. The 28 day rule apply to those who are holding a Leave to Remain (like people who switch from fiancé visa). Once you have the Further Leave to Remain (which is what you are applying for atm) you can apply for the ILR 28 days before the visa expires.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Brom27
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    Brom27 Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Congratulations @uklove :cat:
  15. Mattecube
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    Mattecube I have no need Trusted Member

    how are you @Brom27 it's been a while?
  16. JoshuaTree
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    JoshuaTree Active Member

    Hi Brom - good to converse with you again! Hope you're well - thank you for that, can you point me to where that info is? That starts to explain things, as if the visa is for 33 months but you can apply on the 30th month anniversary minus 28 days, that's basically 4 months early, which ties in with what my wife's friend has done, obtaining her FLR just now when it doesn't expire until January.

    Thank you :like:
  17. Brom27
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    Brom27 Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I’m keeping well thank you Mattecube hope you are well yourself. Just been keeping busy with life really. Time flies and I’m also due for my extension soon hence my appearance again :D
  18. Brom27
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    Brom27 Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I’m afraid I won’t be able to give you a link for that info (but I’m not telling porkies :D) I just learned that from reading it somewhere on the internet but like you say that would explain why Jasmine’s friend was able to apply not following the 28 day rule as spouse visa is different. I have a lot of friends on spouse visa too and they were able to apply on the calculation I stated above.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Mattecube
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    Mattecube I have no need Trusted Member

    yes thanks wife is now on FLR after her spouse visa and we are about to apply for her daughter's 2nd FLR. All money time and preparation.
    Soon be ILR time
  20. Brom27
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    Brom27 Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Yeah it’s never ending money money money isn’t it, but hey we’ll all be over this in the future (hopefully).
    • Agree Agree x 1

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