UK Spouse Visa Extension
What is a Spouse Visa Extension
Can I extend my Spouse Visa UK application?
A Spouse visa (Marriage visa) extension application to the Home Office is for the applicant to apply to extend for further leave to remain to live in the UK and continue to live with their Spouse (Sponsor) husband or wife in the UK. A successful application is granted a initial period of 2 years and 6 months Spouse leave to remain either under the 5 year or 10 year route.
What are the Spouse Visa Extension requirements?
In order to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa Extension you can apply to extend your Spouse extension application to the Home Office and will need to satisfy and meet the following requirements:
- You (spouse visa applicant) must live in the UK with leave to enter or remain as a Spouse of a British citizen or person or settled in the UK
- You meet the suitability character requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration rules
- You provide evidence of genuine and subsisting relationship with your husband or wife in the UK, since the grant of your previous Spouse leave to remain in the UK
- You can meet the financial requirement of £18,600 to demonstrate you will not have recourse to public funds. The minimum financial requirement is higher if there are any dependants applying with you.
- You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
- There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
- You speak and understand English language requirement at A2 of CEFR, Listening and Speaking unless you are exempt from meeting the English language test requirement. You will need to meet B1 level when you apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK
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What is mean by genuine and subsisting relationship?
The Home Office must be satisfied that you are in a continued genuine and subsisting relationship with your husband or wife in the UK. The Home Office will need to see documentary evidence that you have been living with your husband or wife since the grant of your initial Spouse visa. You will need to prove this by way of showing various documents, which can include Council Tax bills, Utility bills in sole/joint names, Bank statements, Payslips and so on.
There are many instances when you may have had a child or children and therefore this goes on to show that your relationship or family life has been extended and your relationship is therefore durable and subsisting.
Spouse Visa Extension Financial requirement?
In order to apply for further extension of stay to continue to live in the UK as a Spouse of your husband or wife or civil partner, you will need to meet the UK spouse visa extension financial requirement of £18,600 to demonstrate you will not have recourse to public funds. There are several ways to meet the financial requirement including:
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). Maternity allowances are also counted including Bereavement benefits.
- Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares.
- Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant.
- Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).to
Are there any financial requirement exemptions I can rely upon?
If your UK Sponsor – husband or wife or civil partner is in receipt of the following specified benefits, you will not 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
It is strongly seek legal advice if you are unsure, you are welcome to give us a call so we can take further instructions and be able to advice you further before applying and processing your application to the Home Office.
Do I need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge, if I paid earlier?
You and your dependant (s) will be required to pay the UK NHS Surcharge fee, which is currently £1,560 per applicant. The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) covers the period of 2 years and 6 months (30 months) for the length of your Spouse visa extension visa. This fee is separate from the Home Office visa application fee of £1,033 plus £19.20 towards the Biometric fee. There is also option to pay a higher fee known as the super priority service to fast track your application and reach a quicker decision.
What happens if I cannot meet the financial requirement?
If you cannot meet the financial requirement for you and your dependants or your UK partner is not in receipt of specified benefits, you can still apply for switching into Spouse visa under the 10 year route from inside the UK instead. You will still be able to apply at a later date to the Home Office for Indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
How much is the Home Office Visa Application Fee?
The Home Office application fee for Spouse Visa extension application currently is £1,033. You will also have to pay £19.20 towards your biometric fingerprint fee. You can also decide to pay the Super priority service fee for the Home Office to reach a decision within normally 1 working day.
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How long is a Spouse Visa Valid For?
You will be granted a further extension for 2 years and 6 months allowing you to live and work in the UK. Your visa will be granted for 30 months under Appendix FM of the Immigration rules. After completing 5 or 10 years under the Spouse visa category, you will be entitled to apply for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and then British citizenship subject to meeting the requirement. If your British citizenship application is successful, you may then apply for a British passport.
What is my Immigration Status whilst my application is pending?
Whilst your Spouse visa extension application is pending a decision with the Home Office you will continue to be allowed to remain in the UK and continue to enjoy the same rights you enjoyed on your previous Spouse leave to remain in the UK.
It is important to note, you are not permitted to travel while your spouse visa application is pending. 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 as 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 in order to satisfy the Immigration rules.
How long does the Process Take?
On average it can take the Home Office between 4-8 weeks to grant you further Spouse visa extension in the UK. In some cases it can take the Home Office a lot quicker.
How can we help and process your application?
At My Legal Services, our immigration lawyers will deal with all types of visa problems and offer help and services at all stages of your application process in submitting your UK immigration application. We take pride in our capability to resolve complicated immigration matters or else VISA related matter for our clients most effectively and humbly for you and your family members.
Please feel assured we will include the following:
- Our Immigration lawyers will take detailed instructions from you and advising you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures in relation to your Spouse visa extension application in the UK;
- Assessing and checking your documents and evidence to ensure that your Spouse visa extension application fulfils the relevant requirements, if any documents are missing or additional documents are need
- Advising you if any documents are missing or additional documents are required to support and strengthen your Spouse visa extension application.
- Completing of your entire application process from start to finish
- Preparing a representation letter to the Home Office why you qualify for an Spouse visa extension visa application.
Our Top Spouse Visa Extension FAQ's
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.
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.
It is advisable that you submit your spouse visa extension application within 28 days of the expiry of your leave.
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
Just as in your spouse visa entry clearance application, you will need to meet a financial requirement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
You can either apply for indefinite leave to remain as a Spouse under the five or ten year route to settlement in the UK.
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.