It was announced on 13th June 2008 by the Home Office UK Border Agency that there would be some additional changes to the application process. These changes relate to the application forms for those applying to extend their immigration status based on a marital or de facto relationship with a British citizen or lawful permanent resident, including dependants, and relate to biometric information.
From 16th June 2008, there will now be additional requirements for those applying for an extension of stay (also known as further leave to remain, or FLR) in the United Kingdom on the FLR(M) forms. These forms previously did not include any biometric information, which has now been included in the new section of the document.
The new section of the FLR(M) forms for marriage visa applicants is focused on the additional requirement of biometric information. This will allow the successful applicants to obtain a biometric immigration document, which is the legal term for the recently introduced identity cards for foreign nationals. These biometric immigration documents were already introduced for the main applicant on the FLR since 28 April 2008, so this change marks the inclusion of all dependants in the obligation to provide the details required in the new section.
There is, in some ways, a two-fold introduction of this additional requirement for dependants on FLR(M) applications, depending on the location of the applicant and their method of application. For foreign nationals applying in person at the Croydon public enquiry office or those applying by post who live in a London postcode, they must complete the new section and include their biometric information as of the 16th June 2008. For those foreign nationals applying from outside of a London postcode, between the dates of 26th July 2008 and 25th November 2008 they are not required to provide this information. Successful applicants will have their biometric immigration document issued from the 25th November 2008.
These changes in the FLR(M) application process relate to all dependants, including those less than sixteen years of age. If the applicant or the dependant is under sixteen, there is strict guidance for the gathering of their biometric information. In such cases, the biometric information process can only be completed in the presence of an adult who is the child’s parent, legal guardian or is responsible for them. This adult is required to be named at the time of application and also at the time of making the appointment.
This new information is considered to be an important step in the further leave to remain application process for foreign nationals.