Appendix FM

As specialist Immigration and Human Rights Solicitors, we can help you to apply and succeed in any immigration application under Appendix FM.
  • 1 What is Appendix FM?
  • 2 Appendix FM Guidance
  • 3 What are Appendix FM applications for?
    • 3.1 Who can apply?
  • 4 What is Part 8 of the Immigration Rules?
  • 5 What is Appendix FM Child Visa?
  • 6 What are the Suitability Requirements under the Immigration Rules?
  • 7 Appendix FM financial requirement
    • 7.1 Appendix FM 1.7 on financial requirements:
    • 7.2 Appendix FM 1.7
  • 8 What is GN3.2 Appendix FM?
  • 9 What is a Biometric Residence Permit?
  • 10 What are exceptional circumstances?
  • 11 What is the diference between the 5 years and the 10 years route?
  • 12 What is an FLR(FP) form?
  • 13 How can we help?

What is Appendix FM?

The Immigration Rules contain the framework for immigration applications and claims engaging Article 8 of the ECHR (the right to respect for private and family life). Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules provides routes to entry clearance based on family life.
If you wish to make an application under Appendix FM, it is useful to consult the Home Office guidance on the rules. The guidance gives a detailed explanation of the requirements that must be met and advises on the documents that should be provided in support of the application. Links to different aspects of the guidance are highlighted below.

Appendix FM Guidance

This is a Home Office guidance to its Home Office staff which helps decision makers to conclude how to decide immigration applications that require assessment. The guidance covers Appendix FM 1.7 which deals with financial requirements, Appendix FM 1.7A which deals with maintenance and accommodation, Annexe FM 3.1 which deals with children applications, and in particular section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 which requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. As well as Appendix FM 3.2 children guidance and Annexe FM 3.2.A relate to Adult Dependent Relatives.

What are Appendix FM applications for?

Appendix FM applications are for individuals who are Non-European Nationals, and who are seeking to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life with a person who is either a British Citizen, is settled in the UK or has refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Who can apply?

Individuals can apply to enter or remain in the UK under Appendix FM if they are a:
  • Partner (spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner)
Partners of UK citizens, or of those who are settled in the UK, may make an application under Appendix FM. You are considered to be a “partner” if you are a spouse or civil partner. An unmarried partner may also apply, if he/she have been living with his/her partner in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.
  • Victim of domestic violence
A victim of domestic violence, who entered the UK as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, can apply for indefinite leave to remain if it can be shown that his/her relationship was caused to permanently break down as a result of domestic violence. Domestic violence can take the form of either physical or emotional abuse. We can help gather the evidence to show abuse. We may decide to instruct clinical experts to help show abuse if this is deemed necessary.
  • A child of a person with limited leave
In order for a child to enter the UK to join a parent in the UK, one of the requirements is that the parent shows that he/she has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing. A parent will be considered to have sole responsibility for the child if he/she takes the important decisions in the child’s life and is responsible for the overall direction of the child’s upbringing.
  • A parent
To enter or remain in the UK on the basis of your parental status you will have to provide evidence that you have either (i) sole parental responsibility for the child; or (ii) can access rights to the child, and that you are taking, and intend to continue to take, an active role in the child’s upbringing.
  • An adult dependent relative
Dependents over the age of 18 who are living overseas and require long term care to do every day personal and household tasks may apply under the adult dependent relative route if they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability they require the level of long term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by the relative here and without recourse to public funds.

What is Part 8 of the Immigration Rules?

Part 8 of the Immigration Rules sets out the requirements for leave to enter or remain in the UK under the categories of spouse, civil partners, fiancé, unmarried partner, victim of domestic violence, children etc. In a nutshell it is for applications submitted as family members of persons living in the UK permanently.

What is Appendix FM Child Visa?

Appendix FM is used for applications for children where the parents are entering the UK under Appendix FM themselves or have already entered into the UK and they are living in the UK.
  • Rule 297 of the Immigration Rules is a route for children to take if they make an application to join a parent who is present and settled in the UK or being admitted for settlement in the United Kingdom.  
  • Rule 301 is a rule for children joining a parent or parents with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK with a view to settlement.  
  • Rule 303A are the requirements for limited leave to enter the UK as a child of a fiancé or proposed civil partner. 
  •  Rules 304 – 309 are rules for children born in the United Kingdom who are not British citizens.
  • Rule 309A – 316A are for children who are either already adopted by a person with leave to remain in the UK or is going to be adopted by a prospective parent. 
  • Rule 319F to 319H are specific rules for those children joining or accompanying a parent who has leave to remain as a points based system migrant.

What are the Suitability Requirements under the Immigration Rules?

The Immigration Rules provide requirements to be met for applicants leave to remain under Appendix FM. When applying for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK, the applicant must meet various suitability requirements to avoid refusal. General Grounds for Refusal. The suitability requirements are set out under the Immigration Rules and the requirements were updated in 2020. Part 9 of the immigration sets out various detailed provisions which form the basis of a potential refusal or cancellation of a visa. The General Grounds for Refusal are set out under section 2 of Part 9 of the Immigration Rules and some of the provisions in Part 9 are mandatory and some are discretionary.

Appendix FM financial requirement

Appendix FM applications have financial and English language requirements, although there are provisions for exceptional circumstances.

Appendix FM 1.7 on financial requirements:

The sponsor is required to have an income of at least £18,600 per year, with this threshold increasing if the sponsor or his/her partner has non-British, non-EU dependent children.
Income from specified employment or self-employment can be considered, and there is the potential for other sources of income including cash savings, pensions, allowances and income from properties or shares to be taken into account.
There is no income requirement if the sponsor can satisfy a savings requirement of a minimum of £62,500 in cash savings.

The Appendix FM 1.7 Home Office guidance can be found here.

English language requirements:
The English language requirement can be met by:
Having a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR level or higher, or an equivalent qualification from a test centre recognised by the Home Office
Having a qualification of the standard of a Bachelor or Master’s degree or PHD taught or researched in English.
Nationals from countries that predominantly speak English are exempt from this requirement.
Routes for settlement:
Under Appendix FM, a partner, parent or child may make an application for settlement on the basis of a 5-year route if eligible.
If the requirements are not met but there are exceptional circumstances, applications may be made under the 10-year route.
Waiving of requirements due to “insurmountable obstacles”:
Under Section Ex.1, some requirements for family life applications may be waived if there are “insurmountable obstacles” to family life with the applicant’s partner in the UK continuing outside the UK.

Appendix FM 1.7

Appendix FM 1.7 contains the rules on the financial requirements. The financial requirement requires the sponsor to have an income of at least £18,600 per year and needs to be met by those applying as a partner or as a child of a person with limited leave to remain. This earning threshold remains the major obstacle to many who seek to enter the UK. It can be waived if refusal of entry or right to remain in the UK would breach Article 8. Although it is difficult to demonstrate an Article 8 breach, at OVO Solicitors we have a successful track-record of arguing that an application under Appendix FM should be granted in order to be humans-rights compliant.
There is no requirement to have an income of £18,600 or above where the sponsor can satisfy a savings requirement. This requires the sponsor to have a minimum of £62,500 in cash savings.

What is GN3.2 Appendix FM?

In order to come to the UK as a partner you must meet certain financial requirements which are set out in paragraph E-ECP-3.1 or E-LTRP-3.1. If these financial requirements are not met the decision maker must consider whether circumstances which are contained in Gen. 3.2 apply so as to take into account exceptional circumstances which would render refusal of entry clearance or leave to remain a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights because such a refusal would result in unduly harsh consequences to the applicant, their partner or a child.

What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

A Biometric Residence Permit is an identity card which contains your personal details and biometric evidence and is issued to those who come to the UK for more than six months.

What are exceptional circumstances?

Appendix FM also provides for an exception to the financial requirements if there are “exceptional circumstances” which could render refusal of entry clearance or leave to remain a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (private and family life), because such refusal could result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, their partner or a relevant child.
Unjustifiably harsh consequences is a very high threshold. The consequences are not just bleak, but exceptionally bleak.
“Insurmountable obstacles” means that there would be very significant difficulties which would be faced by the applicant or their partner in continuing their family life together outside the UK. These obstacles would not be able to be overcome and would entail very serious hardship for the applicant or their partner.

What is the diference between the 5 years and the 10 years route?

These are two routes for settlement on the basis of family life as a parent or a partner which is provided for under Appendix FM. The five years route will be appropriate to those who meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements of the Immigration Rules and the 10 years route applies in respect of applicants who meet the suitability requirements, but only certain eligibility requirements.

What is an FLR(FP) form?

In order to make an application in the UK one has to complete an application form. Different forms need to be completed for different categories and circumstances. The form FLR(FP) extends a stay in the UK with leave to remain as a family member (under Appendix FM) and private life (Under Part 7). We often use this form for eligible partners (under the 10 years route or the five years route), dependent children, applicants under the private life in the UK 10 years route in relation to Immigration Rule 276.

Where applicants cannot satisfy the requirements of the five-year route of the Immigration Rules under Appendix FM to remain in the UK, they are expected to leave. However, if there is evidence to suggest that it will be unreasonable for them or for their child to leave the UK, or that there are exceptional circumstances, an application can be allowed and the applicant will be granted leave to remain on the 10 years route.

How can we help?

Immigration applications under Appendix FM can be complex, as they require a substantial amount of supporting evidence. OVO Solicitors years of work as a UK immigration lawyer have afforded our extensive experience in handling these types of applications which means We will make the process as straightforward as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team of immigration solicitors if you require more information.