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Our Top Spouse Visa Extension FAQ’s

There comes a time in every UK Spouse visa holder’s life when their thoughts naturally turn to applying for an extension of stay in this category. That time normally comes a few months before they have been living in the UK for 2.5 years in the Immigration Appendix FM category. In this post we look at ten of the most common questions asked by spouse visa holders when considering applying for a spouse visa extension. Let My Legal Services Help You With Your Spouse Visa Extension.

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Can I extend my Spouse visa?
Once in the UK with leave as a Spouse, you can apply to extend this leave, providing that you meet the requirements set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules for an extension of stay in this category.

The requirements for further leave to remain in the UK as a spouse are broadly the same as those that apply to initial applications in the spouse visa category. However, you will need to make sure that your application satisfies the suitability, relationship, financial, accommodation, and Immigration status requirements again. A higher level English language requirement will also apply.

How soon can I apply for a spouse visa extension?
You must make sure that you submit your spouse visa extension application prior to the expiry of your leave. If you do not, your leave will not be extended, by virtue of Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, whilst your application is pending and you will become an overstayer. More information regarding Section 3C can be found here.

How early can you apply for visa extension?

It is advisable that you submit your spouse visa extension application within 28 days of the expiry of your leave, otherwise you face the risk of your application being rejected.

To discuss your spouse visa extension application with one of our immigration solicitors, contact our lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form 

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What is needed for spouse visa extension?

The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the supporting documents that you must provide in support of your spouse visa extension application, as well as the content and format of the documents. Advice from an immigration lawyer will ensure that your application satisfies the requirements of the rules and is technically correct. However, in general terms, you should include:

Evidence that your partner is British, in the UK with indefinite leave to remain, leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme (pre-settled status), or limited leave to remain under Appendix ECAA;
Evidence that you and your partner are over the age of 18;
Evidence that you have met your partner in person and that your relationship continues to be genuine and subsisting;
Evidence that since the grant of entry clearance that you have lived with your partner together in the UK or you can provide a good reason why you have not;
You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents; and
You speak and understand English to the required level

Five year route
Most people in the spouse visa category are on a five year route to settlement. Therefore, after two grants of 30 months’ grant of leave, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Ten year route
Some people are in the UK on a ten year route to settlement. If you are on the ten year route to settlement, you will need to have had four grants of leave before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

How do I meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa extension?

Just as in your spouse visa entry clearance application, you will need to meet a financial requirement of the Immigration rules under Appendix FM.

You will need to show that you or your partner has an annual income of at least £18,600 plus additional funds if you have non-British children. Meeting the financial requirement with children is covered in this post. You can rely on your own or your spouse’s income in order to meet the financial requirement, or you can combine your earnings together.

The financial requirement can be met in a number of ways including through employment, self-employment, property rental income, pension income, savings etc. In certain circumstances, you may be able to rely on a combination of these. Applications where the income is derived from employment (or self-employment as a Director) from a specified limited company, or from self-employment can be slightly more complex as further documentation is required.

If you rely on cash savings alone, you will need to show certain level of savings, plus additional sums if you have children. This post covers using cash savings in order to satisfy the spouse visa extension financial requirement.

You may still be able to meet the requirement if you are not working or are on benefits or have sufficient savings to satisfy the financial requirements.  If your UK Sponsor – husband or wife is in receipt of the following specified benefits, you will need to fulfil the financial requirement of £18,600.

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement benefit
  • Police Injury Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under War Pensions Scheme

What is the ‘adequate maintenance’ test & requirement?

The adequate maintenance test/requirement will require you and your partner to prove that the level of income available to your family unit (after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted), is equal or exceeds the level of Income Support an equivalent British family of your size is eligible for. This is subject to the following adequate maintenance calculation:

The adequate maintenance calculation

A – B ≥ C
(A minus B is greater than or equal to C)

A is the net income (after deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions);

B is housing costs (what needs to be spent on accommodation)

C is the amount of Income support an equivalent family unit can receive in the UK.

Do I need to take another English Language test?

If you were required to sit an English Language test in order to meet the English language requirements for your entry clearance application, you may need to sit another test at a higher level.

Spouse visa extension applications require evidence to show that, since entering the UK, your English Language skills have improved. The required level for the test at the extension stage is A2 of the Common European Framework for References.

Tests must be completed at a provider approved by the Secretary of State.

You may previously have relied on a degree that was taught in English to meet the language requirement. You will need to resubmit the degree certificate and any confirmation from UK ENIC, if relevant.

How do I make a spouse visa extension application?
The process for applying to extend a spouse visa is similar to the out-of-country process for spouse entry clearance applications.

Applications are made online, and then you will be required to attend a centre to enrol your biometrics and have your passport and supporting documents scanned.

Once you have submitted your online application, you will be able to upload copies of your supporting documents to the Home Office’s partner website and you will be able to book an appointment to attend a service centre to enrol your biometrics. You can also get your documents scanned at the centre.

How much does it cost to extend Spouse visa?

The visa application fee is £1,033, plus £19.20 towards your biometric fingerprints. There is also a separate fee towards the Immigration Health Surcharge currently £1,560 for the duration of your visa of 2. years.

Pic of Couple

What is the processing time for a spouse visa extension application?
If you apply via the Standard Service, your application for further leave to remain as a spouse will normally be decided within 4-8 weeks. It can sometimes take longer. If you apply via the Super Priority Service, you should normally receive a decision on your spouse extension application the next working day after providing your biometric information. It should be noted that during the Covid-19 pandemic there have been some delays to Appendix FM applications being considered, and priority services are limited.

If your application is complex or you have an adverse immigration history, you may find that your spouse extension application takes more time to consider.

Can I travel while my spouse visa extension application is pending?
No. If you leave the Common Travel Area, which includes the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, when your application is pending, your application will be treated as withdrawn. This will cause difficulties because you may not be able to re-enter the UK. You may have to submit a new application from outside the UK for entry clearance.

To discuss your spouse visa extension application with one of our immigration lawyers, contact our spouse visa extension lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

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Here is a helpful checklist:

Spouse Visa Extension document checklist:

Partner Visa applications require the most extensive amounts of supporting evidence, as you need to prove you meet every requirement to be eligible. A few examples of the types of documents you should submit with a Spouse Visa Extension application are:

  • Proof that your relationship is real: Rental Agreements, Mortgage Statements, Utility bills in sole/joint names, phone bills, Council tax etc
  • Proof of your income: Job contracts, your P60, your bank statements, Payslips. Different rules are apply for Self employment applicants and/or Company Directors. It is also possible to satisfy the financial requirement via Cash savings by having sufficient savings of £62,500.
  • Proof that you meet the accommodation requirement: House lease, letting contract, proof of booked temporary accommodation
  • Proof that you meet the English language requirement: IELST Listening and Speaking Test unless you are exempt
  • There are many different types of documents you can use for a Spouse visa application. Proving that your relationship is genuine is subjective, and it depends on the nature of your lives together and communication with each other. As a result, there is no limit to the evidence you can submit to prove this.

When can I apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse?

You can either apply for indefinite leave to remain as a Spouse under the five or ten year route to settlement in the UK, after completing the relevant period of time under either route.

When can I become a British citizen?
If you are married to a British citizen then, subject to satisfying a residence requirement, you can apply to naturalise as a British citizen as soon as you are granted indefinite leave to remain.

Contact our UK Spouse visa extension Immigration lawyers Today

For expert advice and assistance in relation to a spouse visa extension application, spouse visa or extension or spouse visa appeal, contact our immigration lawyers in London on 02037324736 or via the enquiry form.

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