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FLR(M) - English Requirement and apply after 30 months

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  • FLR(M) - English Requirement and apply after 30 months

    Hello All,
    I've scoured this forum and everywhere else I can find to try and get clarity to the following points:

    My wife is here on a spouse visa 33 months, she's now been resident in the UK for 30 months since arrival. After many hours searching I'd come the conclusion that this is the case and she can apply for ILR after 60 months residence (both FLR and ILR can be applied for 28 days prior to those milestones) and as such those dates are / were fixed from the moment she landed.

    She was granted her 33 month spouse visa using a Cambridge Enrty Level Certificate in ESOL International (Entry 1) BULATS A1 certificate (June 2013 - no expiry date on certificate) to satisfy the English requirement test.
    English speaking CEF Level: A2
    English reading and listening CEF Level: A2
    English writing CEF Level: A1

    Even though it's no longer on the list of approved courses it can be used to satisfy the English language requirement as it has been used in a previous successful visa application as stated in Appendix_FM_Section_1_21_-_Nov_2015_final.pdf

    "2.5. Applicants who already have a test certificate or result
    A partner or parent applying for leave to enter or leave to remain is not required to provide evidence of meeting the English language requirement if they have done so as part of a successful previous application as a partner or parent. Paragraph 32D of Appendix FM-SE provides for when this earlier test certificate or result can and cannot be used."

    So... I decided to try and book an appointment at test centre to apply in person last night using the UKVI Premium service:
    link on page 'book to apply in person' points to:
    After creating an account and entering some basic details about my wife I had no choice but to pay the IHS £500 surcharge. I received confirmation emails for account setup / authenticate and an IHS reference number (still no Worldpay receipt). Now when I try to continue application by logging into I sign in and it give me no choices but to direct me to pay the IHS fee again. Cannot enter the reference I already have nor can I book an appointment....

    After hours more trying and reading others similar experience I had to email:
    [email protected]

    Whilst waiting I rang the UKVI visa's help line
    0300 123 2241 in despair, to be told I'd have to start a new application and pay the £500 IHS again and get other refunded at appointment and there is only a 20 minute window after paying IHS fee to continue with application to book appointment...

    As I'd had to call them I asked them about both points above for clarification only to be told (after agent consulted supervisor) that:
    You can ONLY apply 28 days before visa expiry date (she'd never heard of eligible after 30 months on 33 month visa) and
    You can ONLY use one of the approved English tests for any visa application...

    My research had said they may well say this if called but as I've so much riding on this can anyone clarify these points as I may loose application fee if too early and be rejected if English test not accepted. I also have added problem of being self employed and if I can get appointment before tax year end 05th April then I should be able to use last tax year as financial requirement (otherwise visa expires early June and I will struggle to get tax return in and required forms, proof in time)

    Sorry for the long winded question, I'm at my wits end and have no clue what to do, please HELP

  • #2
    As far as I am aware nothing has changed on the visa front when issuing the 33 months first entry visa.

    The 3 months were initially given so that the person leaving Thailand (or elsewhere) had time to wind up their affairs and still be able to get 30 months residency in the UK.
    If you left LOS early and entered the UK anytime during those 3 months it was a bonus, then when it came to the next visa the requirement was that as long as you had been in the UK for 30 months you could apply for the next visa, BUT you could do this 28 days prior to the 30 months anniversary of landing in the UK.

    Not sure about the English test but from what i have seen previously on here as you said, as long as it was initially used for a previous visa it was still valid. Someone will need to confirm this though.
    Bye Bye EU Day 31st December 2020 (11 p.m.)


    • #3
      As far as I know your wife's A1 qualification should be fine as you are applying before October 2016 for FLR(M)...After that date anyone applying should have A2 level...I believe that if you had a pass at A2 before Oct 2016 then that should hopefully be acceptable..These new changes have not been totally finalised yet from what I know..No doubt more knowledgeable readers will put us straight..


      • #4
        Reply from Apply Online E-Support - I need to act URGENTLY please help

        Thanks for your replies guys,

        If I can apply early I need to do it urgently to have any hope of an appointment before end of tax year 5th April.

        If I print references that indicate these 2 key issues correct from pages, docs on the government website (and can find no contradictory updates) take to appointment just in case... should that be sufficient to avoid refusal based on either point?

        Am I correct in assuming that no matter what UKVA tell me when called (e.g. note passed between them just yesterday - no visa's without new approved English test) that unless the information published to the government website changes, updates I can rely on my printed references?

        Is it worth calling UKVA again to query - and ask them to explain contradictions, with refs at hand to refer them to?

        Here is reply from Online E-Support

        Customers are automatically directed to a new surcharge payment web site during the online process.

        If you registered on the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) portal and paid the IHS, you will need to pay again in order to complete the appointment booking process. In which case, a refund can be requested for the initial payment via the IHS Portal https://www.immigration-health-surch.../payment/start

        This link will allow you to log in to your IHS account using the “Sign in” option, then you can access the refund option to make your request.

        If you have not registered on the IHS portal and paid the IHS as part of your appointment booking but not secured an appointment, you should log in again to your Apply Online account using the link

        Click ‘complete’. This may allow you to look for another appointment without paying the IHS again.

        Please note, currently appointments are only available 28 days in advance.

        The second link does not work and is nowhere I can see on the FLR(M) pages, already came across it googling research. does the last line mean appointments only available upto 28 days in advance as is normal... or might it suggest earliest is 28 days from online booking or refer to visa expiry 28 days prior?

        I have followed first link in reply and cancelled IHS payment - told refund in 30 days...
        Last edited by thailander; 10 Mar 2016, 15:00. Reason: typo


        • #5
          Hi thailander,

          Wishing you luck with your wife's flr application. I have the same English qualification as your wife and will be applying for my flr in May and am concerned that the qualification might not be valid.

          Please keep us updated on your application.



          • #6
            The time for my flr(M) is soon. Can anybody definitely confirm that my A1 qualification can still be used.

            Thank you


            • #7
              Varaporn, you are applying for FLR(M) in May, so you're fine.

              Just to reassure everyone applying for FLR(M) before October 2016, here is the definitive current Home Office guidance.

              Appendix FM-SE applies:

              "32D. If an applicant applying for limited leave to enter or remain under Part 8 or Appendix FM submits an English language test certificate or result and the Home Office has already accepted it as part of a successful previous partner or parent application (but not where the application was refused, even if on grounds other than the English language requirement), the decision-maker may accept that certificate or result as valid if it is:
              1. (a) from a provider which is no longer approved, or
              2. (b) from a provider who remains approved but the test the applicant has taken with that provider is no longer approved, or
              3. (c) from a test centre which is no longer approved, or
              4. (d) past its validity date (if a validity date is required under Appendix O), provided that when the subsequent application is made:
                1. (i) the applicant has had continuous leave (disregarding any period of overstaying of no more than 28 days) as a partner or parent since the Home Office accepted the test certificate as valid; and
                2. (ii) the award to the applicant does not fall within the circumstances set out in paragraph 32B of this Appendix."

              This means that if your previous CEFR level A1 pass was accepted by the Home Office for your initial successful entry clearance application then that pass is still valid for your FLR(M) application. It doesn't matter that it was a Cambridge BULATS or KET exam.

              The Home Office has proposed that the English language requirement should be raised from CEFR level A1 to CEFR level A2 for FLR(M) with effect from October 2016 but has yet to publish further details. My guess is that Trinity and Cambridge are busy putting together submissions for a CEFR level A2 secure English language test (SELT) which fits what the Home Office wants.
              Last edited by Tom & Nok; 26 Mar 2016, 21:16. Reason: spelling mistake...errh!
              "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men" Sir Isaac Newton


              • #8
                Thank you so much Tom & Nok that's a big worry of my mind