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Extend or ILR?

Family member & Ancestry immigration; don't post other immigration categories, please!
Marriage | Unmarried Partners | Fiancé/e | Ancestry

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eraylankester
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 3:13 pm

Extend or ILR?

Post by eraylankester » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:48 pm

Hi,

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.

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CR001
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Re: Extend or ILR?

Post by CR001 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:12 pm

She can extend if she wishes. There is no rule that it is mandatory to apply for ilr after 5 years.
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geoeng
Senior Member
Posts: 953
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:54 am
Canada

Re: Extend or ILR?

Post by geoeng » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:15 am

Applications for an FLR(M) extension from within the UK are online and you don't have to give up your passport so you probably wouldn't need a priority application. Since there is no hard border between NI and Ireland (yet) there shouldn't be any issues travelling between the two even after you submit an application.

Not exactly my area of expertise but since UK visa rights continue as long as you submit an application before the current visa expires, in theory, if necessary you could submit an application for a UK visa extension the day before expiry (and then put off getting a biometric appointment for a few weeks) and then withdraw it if you get the Irish citizenship prior to the UK visa being issued and the only cost would be an administration fee.

eraylankester
Junior Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Extend or ILR?

Post by eraylankester » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:44 pm

Is this possible? I thought there were no refunds on applications made within the U.K.?

geoeng
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Re: Extend or ILR?

Post by geoeng » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:31 pm

Good point, hadn't heard that before but it appears that is the case. I imagine the IHS fee would be refunded if you withdraw the application, which cuts down on some of the cost. Hopefully being able to keep the passport and not needing priority with an online application helps a bit though.

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