Appendix FM is a section of the UK Immigration Rules which is known to be confusing. The Appendix FM route is used by people who want to enter the UK or remain in the UK, based on having a family in the UK.
To be granted permission under this route, an applicant must have a ‘family life’, including a person who is either:
- A British Citizen
- Settled in the UK
- In the UK with pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme – however this is restricted to individuals who are ‘EEA nationals’, or
- A refugee or person granted humanitarian protection
This family member is often referred to as a ‘sponsor’. The sponsor must be either already settled in the UK or moving with the applicant to the UK to settle.
Irish citizens are also considered ‘settled’ for the purposes of the Immigration Rules, and so can sponsor.
The appendix sets out the requirements that must be met for an applicant to be granted leave to enter or remain in the UK under this route.
Applicants can be granted leave due to their family life as a partner, parent of a child in the UK, adult dependent relative or as a child of a person with limited leave as a partner or parent.
Appendix FM – Partners
In Appendix FM, a ‘partner’ has a particular meaning. For example, to qualify as a partner under Appendix FM, you must meet the following requirements (amongst others):
- The applicant and partner must both be 18 years of age or older
- The applicant and partner must have met in person
- The relationship must be ‘genuine’ and ‘subsisting’, as determined by the Home Office
- If the applicant and partner are married or are in a civil partnership, this must be valid
- Any previous relationships the applicant or partner has been involved in must have broken down permanently
- The applicant and partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK
Furthermore, as we discussed here, there have been recent amendments to the relationship requirements. For example, it is no longer necessary for unmarried partners to have lived together for 2 years to demonstrate that their relationship is ‘durable’.
Appendix FM – Parents
In order to be granted leave as a parent of a child in the UK, an applicant (parent) must also meet various requirements which are listed in Appendix FM:
- The parent must be 18 years of age or older
- The child of the parent must be under 18 years old and living in the UK. The child must also be either a British citizen, settled in the UK or in the UK with limited leave.
- The parent must have sole responsibility for the child. If they do not, the parent or carer the child usually lives with must be either a British citizen, settled in the UK or in the UK with limited leave. This parent or carer cannot be the partner of the applicant.
The parent must also be able to provide evidence that they are taking an active role in raising the child or that they intend to take an active role once they are granted settlement.
You can read the full Appendix FM on the government’s website.