Immigrationboards.com: Immigration, work visa and work permit discussion board

Welcome to immigrationboards.com!

Login Register Do not show

Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

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

Moderators: Casa, push, JAJ, ca.funke, Amber, Zimba, vinny, Obie, EUsmileWEallsmile, batleykhan, geriatrix, John, ChetanOjha, archigabe, Administrator

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:31 am

Hi guys,

I've had a look through the forum but couldn't find existing threads that addressed this issue - apologies if I have missed a thread that is on point.

I am a British citizen. My girlfriend is Canadian and moved to the UK in August 2013 to live with me - she has a 2-year Tier 5 (YMS) visa that will expire in August 2015.

The very same day that her current Tier 5 (YMS) visa expires will mark exactly 2 years that we will have been living together at the same address (we have been careful to keep documentary evidence of this - council tax bills, utility bills, bank statements, etc.)

I believe I am right in saying that you can apply to remain in the UK if you are an unmarried partner of a British citizen and have been living together as unmarried partners for 2 years. I am concerned that we will have only reached 2 years of living together on the day that her current visa runs outs.

So I have the following questions:

(1) Will it be an issue that we only hit 2 years living together on the day that her current Tier 5 runs out?

(2) If the answer to (1) is 'no', when should she apply for the FLR(M), bearing in mind that the Tier 5 expires in August 2015 and we will only have been living together for 2 years in August 2015?

(3) If the answer to (1) is 'yes', are there any other options we can explore to extend her stay in the UK (other than getting married)?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Frontier Mole
Respected Guru
Posts: 3228
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Frontier Mole » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:36 am

No matter what she has to return to Canada.
The rules for Tier 5 YMS is that you leave the country at the expiry of the visa and can not switch to any other visa in country.

As for your two years together, that is meaningless under the circumstances as you cant rely on the two years because that will show the intent of the tier 5 visa was to circumvent immigration rules. The intent was to live together and set up a permanent family life. Your actions plainly show that was the case.
So in using the tier 5 visa to this she has n fact gained entry by deception, that comes with a ten year ban.

Other routes to return are available but not using your two years together. Tier 2 and tier 4 are the most common visas to gain entry but she will need to qualify under either route.
If she is in a employment role at the moment that meets the requirement she might be able to convince her employer to seek a sponsor licence, if they dont have one already.
The student tier 4 route will be expensive and only delays the inevitably need to regularize her stay at a later point.

The bottom line - she returns to Canada and from there on it is how she can return to the UK.

User avatar
Casa
Moderator
Posts: 24830
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:32 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Casa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:23 am

Frontier Mole, it has been possible to switch to FLR(M) from a Tier-5 visa. Has something changed recently? :?
(Casa, not CR001)
Please don't send me PMs asking for immigration advice on posts that are on the open forum. If I haven't responded there, it's because I don't have the answer. I'm a moderator, not a legal professional.

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:07 am

Hello - thank you for your responses so far.

Frontier Mole - I'm not sure I entirely follow. I've read the Tier 5 (YMS) guidance quite thoroughly; there's nothing in there which prohibits someone with a visa cohabiting with a British citizen in a relationship...? The reasons for coming to the UK on a Tier 5 visa were numerous: to experience living in a different country, to start a career, and so that we could be together (amongst many other reasons). I do not think us living together is evidence of "circumventing immigration rules" - all the eligibility criteria for the Tier 5 (YMS) visa have been fulfilled.

The reason for starting this thread was on the recommendation of a friend who brought the FLR(M) option to our attention - they had been through a similar thing some years ago but couldn't remember the exact process.

Casa - as you say, I thought this was possible (unless something has changed very recently). In the eligibility section of the FLR(M) guidance it doesn't say anything about the 2 year living together requirement not being satisfied if it coincides with a stay under the Tier 5 (YMS).

Does anyone else have any guidance?

Many thanks

User avatar
Casa
Moderator
Posts: 24830
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:32 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Casa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:22 am

My understanding is that there is no restriction on co-habiting on a Tier-5 visa, in fact many couples take this route.
(Casa, not CR001)
Please don't send me PMs asking for immigration advice on posts that are on the open forum. If I haven't responded there, it's because I don't have the answer. I'm a moderator, not a legal professional.

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:30 am

Thank you, Casa. I know a bunch of people that have done this - bit surprised to read Frontier Mole's response!

The main question I'm hoping to get to the bottom of is whether there is any flexibility in the requirement to have been living together for 2 years.

The application for FLR(M) has to be made some time in advance (I think I read it can take 2-3 months) - but we will only hit 2 years on the very same day her Tier 5 visa expires.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks!

User avatar
Casa
Moderator
Posts: 24830
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:32 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Casa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:21 pm

My suggestion would be to apply in person at one of the Premium Service Centres on the day the visa expires. Appointments are released onto the system 42 days in advance and if all the documents are in order you should receive a decision on the same day. This is assuming you meet all the other conditions including the minimum annual income level of £18,600. Ensure you submit strong evidence of living together in relationship 'akin to marriage', covering the full 2 years.
(Casa, not CR001)
Please don't send me PMs asking for immigration advice on posts that are on the open forum. If I haven't responded there, it's because I don't have the answer. I'm a moderator, not a legal professional.

Frontier Mole
Respected Guru
Posts: 3228
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Frontier Mole » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:07 pm

Remember this is not a marriage case, if it were I would be less than concerned. It would be a simple case of return to Canada apply for spouse visa job done. Assuming the various requirements are met.
It is the intent of using a tier 5 visa to establish a family life in the UK. It is clear that was the intention therefore the criteria the visa was applied for was not to exercise YMS but to establish a family life. The OP has been explicitly clear on that point.
The gathering of evidence to support the two year cohabiting will instantly demonstrate the real reason behind coming to the UK. Any caseworker will simply put 2 + 2 together and a refusal will be the result. Also consider there is no switching allowed in country from YMS refusal reason two.
There is nothing to stop the Canadian from returning home to exercise a visa application to return but not in country.

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:28 pm

Frontier Mole - I'm very sorry to labour the point, as you undoubtedly have more experience than I do in matters such as this, but what you are saying is just not supported by the official guidance.

As far as I can see, someone with a Tier 5 (YMS) visa is not permitted to switch to another 'points-based' system route. If I understand correctly, the FLR(M) is not within the 'points-based' category and therefore the restriction on switching does not apply. There are (literally) hundreds of other threads on this point, and your advice above contradicts all of them.

Honestly, I'm baffled by your comments about our 'intent' - I can't find any resource online which says that being in a relationship while on the YMS visa is not allowed.

As for returning to Canada and then applying - which route would you suggest for this? FLR(M) is - I think - leave to remain; not leave to enter.

User avatar
Casa
Moderator
Posts: 24830
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:32 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Casa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:26 pm

You can switch to FLR(M) but as you have said, you aren't permitted to switch to any points based category. The Immigration Rules confirm this; https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... _04-14.pdf
Neither is there anywhere in the Rules that prohibits living with your partner while on a Tier 5 mobility visa. The visa is granted to enable you to 'experience life in the UK'.
My interpretation would be that as you are permitted to live with a partner, it would be unreasonable not to count the 2 year co-habitation period for a UPV qualification. It could be argued that a couple decided at the end of the visa period to make their relationship permanent. It would also be normal to have in your possession bills and correspondence throughout your time together, whether or not you were intending to apply for a visa extension as unmarried partners. For example many couples use the Tier visa in order to spend time together and later decide to marry. The only difference between switching to FLR(M) as a spouse and FLR(M) as an unmarried partner is the mandatory 2 year co-habitation.
(Casa, not CR001)
Please don't send me PMs asking for immigration advice on posts that are on the open forum. If I haven't responded there, it's because I don't have the answer. I'm a moderator, not a legal professional.

Frontier Mole
Respected Guru
Posts: 3228
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Frontier Mole » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:42 pm

I am not going to argue the point. Put in the application and see how it goes.
How it will be viewed by a caseworker is subjective to a degree.
My point is simple - the OP has stated clearly and specifically that they have planned to operate as a family from the decision to collate documentation to support cohabiting from day one. That demonstrates the intent to remain, de facto the original reason for the visa was to live as a couple. The secondary benefits of enjoying UK life etc are incidental.
In seeking a tier 5 visa you are agreeing to the terms and conditions. Yip you can happily apply for a non PBS visa but the need to demonstrate 2 years cohabiting also demonstrates that if that information was declared at the point of entry it would have been a refusal.

User avatar
Casa
Moderator
Posts: 24830
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:32 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Casa » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:58 pm

It may not have been in intention when the YMS application was submitted and it could easily be argued that saving copies of bills and official correspondence isn't purely for the purpose of a UPV application. My husband and I have paperwork filed going much further back than 2 years and we're not applying for a visa. Credit agreements for example often require proof of address for the past 3 years.
(Casa, not CR001)
Please don't send me PMs asking for immigration advice on posts that are on the open forum. If I haven't responded there, it's because I don't have the answer. I'm a moderator, not a legal professional.

Frontier Mole
Respected Guru
Posts: 3228
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Frontier Mole » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:30 pm

And I have documents going back decades but not accumulated for the purposes of supporting a cohabiting claim.
Let's be clear the OP stated that the intention was to support a cohabiting claim and that he was careful to ensure that could be demonstrated. There is clear intent to ensure those documents were available for a future family life claim.
If they succeed good luck to them.

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:41 pm

I totally understand that any given caseworker might take a cynical view but, for the purpose of this discussion, perhaps I should clarify a few things:

My girlfriend and I have been "together" for almost 3 years - the first year of our relationship was long distance (her in Canada, me in the UK). It would be ridiculous to suggest that her moving to England was nothing to do with me - of course it was. The intention was always for her to live with me.

That being said, her decision to move to the UK was not exclusively based on this - she had studied here for a year (before we met), she now has a full-time job which is quickly turning into very successful career, she has friends quite independent of me, etc. I think it would be an overwhelmingly cynical (almost inconceivable) interpretation for someone to say we have cheated the system...!

Finally, my reference to "documentary evidence" in the OP should not be read as a systematic process by which we hope to con the immigration authorities(!) All such documentation is incidental to our (very genuine) relationship: joint tenancy agreement in both our names, joint bank account through which we pay rent, joint council tax bill, joint utilities and so on. My point is simply this: it is a requirement for FLR(M) to prove a subsisting relationship akin to marriage. We can do this, no problem at all - the issue is the 2-year threshold.

All of this seems to have got us slightly off point. My original question was whether or not there is any leeway or grace period for the 2-year co-habitation requirement for unmarried partners under FLR(M), given that we will only satisfy said requirement on the very same day that she is supposed to leave the country.

I appreciate you raising potential ancillary issues, but so far the only practical suggestion from Casa has been to book an appointment in-person on the day the Tier 5 runs out. That seems sensible, although I would be a bit concerned that if (for whatever reason) the application is refused, then that's it - she has to pack up and go.

Appreciate any further thoughts.

Frontier Mole
Respected Guru
Posts: 3228
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:03 pm

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by Frontier Mole » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:48 am

There is no leeway in the two years. So following the same day application route is the safest bet.
If her career is so sucessful why is she not going down the tier 2 route?Is it simply to avoid the journey back to Canada?

wf
Member of Standing
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:30 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by wf » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:35 am

As has being pointed out there is no such stipulation that Tier 5 visa holders cannot cohabitate or come to the UK as a couple. I am personally aware of dozens of people who have done exactly that.

While there is no dependant category for Tier 5 YMS, it is stipulated that family members need to apply for their own visa. I cannot see why this would be advised if cohabiting was against the terms of the visa.

https://www.gov.uk/tier-5-youth-mobility/overview

You can’t:
- bring in family members on your application - they must apply separately

wf
Member of Standing
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:30 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by wf » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:37 am

If her career is so sucessful why is she not going down the tier 2 route?
Why go through all the hoops of Tier 2 including finding a willing employer (and then being tied to them) when she could gain an unmarried partner visa with almost no restrictions?

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:24 pm

Tier 2 is not an option - her employer does not have a sponsorship licence and there is no chance of that happening. I don't know if you've had experience of trying to find a willing employer sponsor, but (especially at the junior end of the career ladder) it is VERY difficult to find.

This isn't about trying to "avoid the journey back to Canada" - this thread has gone so far off topic. To be as clear as I possibly can:

(1) It is my understanding that the best option for us is to apply for the FLR(M) as unmarried partners. Subject to meeting the 2-year requirement (which is the subject of this thread), I firmly believe that she/we meet all other eligibility criteria.

(2) An application for FLR(M) has to be from WITHIN the UK. On the basis that we will be making an FLR(M) application, I'm not even sure why a journey back to Canada is relevant. You can't apply for it unless you're in country.

(3) The question is therefore whether or not the time that we have been living together while she is on the Tier 5 (YMS) visa can count towards the 2-year co-habitation requirement. As we will only cross the 2-year threshold on the day her Tier 5 (YMS) visa expires, I am after practical suggestions as to how/when to apply for FLR(M).

The suggestion to book a same day application is, so far, the most productive advice. My only concern is that if (for whatever reason) the application is refused - say we forget to include one important document - then she will effectively have to leave the country that very same day. That will obviously make any re-application difficult, as the application has to be made in country.

Thanks again.

wf
Member of Standing
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:30 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by wf » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:15 pm

The time together on YMS counts, apply as late as you can, it is extremely unlikley they are going to deny it because you are 1 or 2 days under the 2 year limit.

Even if you apply by post on the last day, her existing leave (YMS) continues until a decision has been made) and by the time the decision is made you will have certainly crossed the 2 year period, though strictly speaking it is difficult to prove that at the time of application.
then she will effectively have to leave the country that very same day. That will obviously make any re-application difficult, as the application has to be made in country.
Even if that did happen she can apply from the visa from Canada, just it will not be FLR.

https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk

bjws1987
Newly Registered
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:19 am

Re: Tier 5 (YMS) to FLR(M)

Post by bjws1987 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:24 pm

Excellent - thank you wf!

I think we will probably use the premium face-to-face service just for peace of mind - I'll look for an appointment that is as close as possible to the last day.

I did not realise there was a similar visa that you could apply for to enter - thanks very much for that information.

I'll post back when we have a result.

I really appreciate all your help!

Locked
cron