My wife is currently on her second FLR(M) visa, which expires in mid Nov 19.
We live in NI. I am a dual national and my wife is currently awaiting an invitation to receive Irish citizenship. She has already received approval and paid, but must attend a ceremony before it is officially confirmed. This was to have been on Sep 30, but due to a legal issue the ceremony has been postponed pending emergency legislation. She should receive her citizenship this year, enabling her to apply for an EU passport, but it is 50/50 whether she will get it before her UK visa expires.
Ordinarily it would be her time to apply for ILR. However, as the Irish passport will confer many of the same working and residency rights as ILR while having the advantage of permanence (even after Brexit) she would rather not apply for ILR and sit the ‘life in the UK test’ if possible, especially as she no desire to claim UK citizenship in the future.
Would it be possible for her to extend her current visa for another 2.5 years instead, even if she is elgble for ILR?
As she will require her passport to attend the ceremony, unfortunately a postal app is not possible, so with the priority and health surcharge we are looking at 2500 to renew. This is only (!) 500 less than ILR, but it is still a saving and excludes the need for the UK test, which I know would cause her great distress.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to this, as paying 2.5k to cover a 4 week period (maximum) would be a bitter pill to swallow.