UK Spouse Visa Extension

Our immigration solicitors can make extending a UK spouse visa easier, with our complete project-managed service. We can help you gather the evidence needed to satisfy the requirements for this visa, so that you can stay for longer with your partner in the UK.

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UK Spouse Visa Extension

Holders of the UK spouse visa are able to stay in the UK with their partner for an initial two years and nine months, or 33 months. If you are in the UK on this visa and the expiry date for your period of leave is approaching, you will need to seek an extension to this visa in order to remain in the country with your spouse.

Here at Cranbrook Legal in central London, we provide an all-encompassing service for those who are looking to extend a UK spouse visa. Our SRA-regulated firm largely focuses on the highly specialised and often complicated field of immigration law, which leaves us well-placed to help you through every aspect of your case.

Our friendly, experienced, and capable professionals in immigration law can project-manage your application for a UK spouse visa extension from the start to finish of the process, to maximise your chances of securing a positive decision from the Home Office. All of this expertise and experience can be provided for a pre-agreed fixed fee, to help you budget for this crucial visa application.

We have an excellent track record of helping non-UK nationals of a wide range of circumstances and needs to get approved for a spouse visa extension for the UK. As a consequence, they are able to continue enjoying life with their partners in the UK, and might even use their visa extension as a platform for further applications for indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship.

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How can you help me obtain a UK spouse visa extension?

It is important to appreciate that the Home Office can be as fastidious and exacting in its handling of spouse visa extension applications, as it is in its processing of initial spouse visa applications.

This makes it crucial to take every possible step to ensure you put together a convincing case to have your own spouse visa extended. This will include making sure you continue to meet the wealth of requirements you would have needed to meet for your first spouse visa application.

Our skilled and seasoned experts in immigration law here at Cranbrook Legal, are well-placed to guide you through every aspect of your application for a spouse visa extension for the UK.

For a pre-agreed fixed fee, we can assist you in gathering the evidence required to satisfy the various UK spouse visa extension requirements, including in relation to your finances, English language ability, and the genuineness of your relationship.

Why do I need to extend my UK spouse visa?

When you were originally granted a UK spouse visa, you will have been given the right to live in the UK with your partner for two years and nine months. If, therefore, your period of leave is coming to an end, and you would like to continue living in the country with your partner, you will need to apply to extend your UK spouse visa.

If the Home Office approves your application for a UK spouse visa extension, this will entitle you to remain in the country with your partner for another two years and six months (30 months).

You may also have longer-term ambitions in extending a UK spouse visa, as living continuously in the UK on this visa for five years would render you eligible to apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’. This is the status that would allow you to settle in the UK permanently, and later apply for British citizenship if you desire this.

What are the requirements for the UK spouse visa extension?

In order to secure a spouse visa extension for the UK, you will need to ensure you are continuing to meet the general requirements for this visa route. The fact that you will have already been granted leave for this visa previously does not necessarily mean the extension of your visa will be a mere formality.

As would have been the case when you applied for your initial spouse visa, if you wish to extend your UK spouse visa, both you and your partner will need to be at least 18 years old.

In addition, your partner will be required to meet one of the following conditions:

  • Being a British or Irish citizen
  • Having settled in the UK, such as by having indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or proof of permanent residence
  • Being from the European Union (EU), Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, and having pre-settled status; they will need to have begun living in the UK prior to 1 January 2021
  • Having a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
  • Having refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

It will also be expected that if you are interested in extending your spouse visa, both you and your partner will be present in the UK, and will be living together permanently.

There are various other UK spouse visa extension requirements that you will need to account for. Those include showing that you are in a genuine relationship – as is detailed further below – as well as the English language requirement, and what is known as the ‘minimum income requirement’.

With regard to the income requirement, you will need to show that you and your spouse have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year. You will be expected to prove that you have more money than this if you have children who are not British or Irish citizens, do not have pre-settled status, or are not permanently settled in the UK.

Do I need to include evidence from my UK spouse visa application too?

As will have been the case when you first applied for your UK spousal visa, when you apply to extend that same visa, the Home Office will place a strong emphasis on you providing evidence that you satisfy the requirements for this visa route.

There are various things that you will need to prove if you are to be successful in extending a UK spouse visa. You will need to show the Home Office, for example, that the following statements are true:

  • You are in a civil partnership or marriage that is recognised in the UK
  • You have a good English language knowledge
  • You are capable of financially supporting yourself and your dependants

If you fail to satisfy the above requirements, it might still be possible for you to apply for a visa or extend your current permission to stay if:

  • You have a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen or has spent seven years living in the UK, and it would not be reasonable for them to leave the UK
  • There would be very significant and impossible-to-overcome difficulties for you and your partner if you lived together as a couple outside of the UK
  • Forcing you to leave the UK would represent a breach of your human rights

Another one of the key UK spouse visa extension requirements – as with the initial spouse visa application –will be proving that you are in a genuine relationship. You will need to provide evidence that you are married or in a civil partnership.

Examples of documents that can be used as evidence of a genuine relationship include:

  • A marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • A tenancy agreement, utility bills or council tax bills confirming that the two of you pay the same bills or live at the same address
  • A bank statement confirming that the two of you live at the same address, or that comes from a joint bank account
  • A letter from your doctor or dentist confirming that the two of you live at the same address

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above aspects of your application for a UK spouse visa extension, please do not hesitate to call our team on 0208 215 0053, or to arrange a free consultation via our online contact form.

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What other documents are needed for the UK spouse visa extension?

The following are all examples of information and evidence that you can expect to need to provide as an applicant for a spouse visa extension in the UK:

  • All your names
  • Your birthdate
  • Your current passport or other valid ID for travel
  • Copies of your photo page and any visa or entry stamps in the passports you have had in the past
  • A copy of any biometric residence permit you have
  • Information about any immigration applications you have previously made
  • Information about any criminal convictions
  • Your national insurance number, if you have one
  • A certified translation of any document in a language other than English or Welsh

You can also expect the Home Office to ask various questions about your spouse when you apply for a spouse visa extension in the UK. They will request such details as your partner’s:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Nationality
  • Passport
  • Right to be in the UK – for example, whether they have British citizenship

Staying on the subject of your partner, the Home Office will also ask you for information about any people your partner has been married to in the past, and evidence of marriages ending, such as a divorce certificate.

The above is not an exhaustive rundown of the documentation and evidence you may need to provide in order to extend a UK spouse visa; the complete list will depend on your circumstances.

Can I travel while my UK spouse visa extension is under consideration?

The short answer to this question is, no – or at least, not unless you stay inside the Common Travel Area (CTA), which is a long-established open-borders area consisting of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.

Technically, you can travel while your application for a UK spouse visa application is still being considered. However, if you travel outside of the CTA in such circumstances, the Home Office will treat your application as having been withdrawn. This is set out in Paragraph 34K of the UK Immigration Rules.

It is therefore crucial to be mindful of what could be extremely serious consequences if you do travel beyond the CTA while the Home Office is still processing your visa extension application.

If, for example, you submitted your application for a spouse visa extension in the UK prior to the expiry date, and you then transfer onto what is known as ‘section 3C leave’ while you continue to wait for a decision on your application from the Home Office, your section 3C leave will be treated as having expired on the date you leave the UK. This could mean that you have no right to re-enter the UK when you wish to return from your overseas trip.

Another potential scenario is that prior to you travelling outside of the CTA, you might have applied for an extension of your UK spousal visa before the expiry of your extant leave, and you might still have leave remaining on your original visa when you return to the UK from your trip. In this case, that extant leave will still be valid, and you will therefore have the right to re-enter the UK as long as the expiry date of your original visa has not passed. However, your application for an extension will still be automatically treated by the Home Office as having been withdrawn.

Bear in mind that if you do cause your application for a spouse visa extension in the UK to be treated as withdrawn due to travelling outside of the CTA, you will not receive a refund of your application fee. This is another reason why our specialists in immigration law usually strongly advise against overseas travel for those still waiting for a decision on their spousal visa extension application.

Below, we will explain in further detail what is meant by the concept of ‘section 3C leave’.

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Contact our Immigration Solicitors In London on 0208 215 0053 or
via info@cranbrooklegal.com to make your enquiry.

Can I continue to work while my UK spouse visa extension is under consideration?

One of the benefits of being a spouse visa holder is that it gives you the right to work in the UK full-time, without restrictions.

You are also not limited in terms of the type of employment that you can take on, or the industries in which you can work. Indeed, you may have taken advantage of this freedom during your initial leave, so you might be interested to know whether this will be impacted by the wait for a decision on your visa extension application.

The good news is that if you apply to extend your UK spouse visa before the expiry date of your original visa, but this expiry date then passes while you are still waiting for the Home Office to decide on your application, your existing leave will effectively continue until you have received a decision. This will include retaining the right to work in the UK while you wait for that decision.

This ‘rollover’ of a visa holder’s previous leave while their extension application is still being processed is commonly referred to as ‘section 3C leave’ – a reference to section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. This is the legal provision that sets out how section 3C leave works.

It is important to note, however, that section 3C leave will not be triggered if the Home Office decides on your visa extension application before the expiry date of your original period of leave. You will also not benefit from section 3C leave if you fail to apply before your original visa’s expiry date; instead, you will be considered an overstayer, with the associated legal consequences.

For more information about any of the above aspects of extending a UK spouse visa, please feel free to call our immigration solicitors today, on 0208 215 0053. You can also enquire to us online to arrange a free consultation.

What happens if my UK spouse visa extension is granted?

In the event that the Home Office approves your application for a spouse visa extension for the UK, you will be given the right to continue living in the UK on this visa route for another 30 months.

This, in turn, will mean you get to continue enjoying the rights associated with a valid spouse visa in the UK, including to live with your spouse and work full-time. It will also give you the chance to accrue more than five years continually living in the UK, which would make you eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK.

The latter status is also known as indefinite leave to remain, which would entitle you to keep on living, working, and studying in the UK for as long as you wish.

You might even choose to use ILR status as a foundation for a subsequent application for British citizenship; you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting ILR status before you will be permitted to apply for citizenship.

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