What is a Spouse Visa extension?
A Spouse Visa extension is an option for people already living in the UK with leave to remain as the married partner of a British citizen or person with settled status.
If you extend a Spouse Visa you will be granted a further 30 months in the UK. After this, you can go on to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, providing you abide by the ‘continuous residency criteria’ and have lived in the UK as a spouse for five years or longer. The Spouse Visa extension requirements are the same as those for your original Spouse Visa. They include showing that you continue to meet the genuine relationship requirements, accommodation requirements, and financial criteria.
Call us on 0161 826 9783 to find out more about how Immigration Lawyers Manchester can support you in your aims to extend a Spouse Visa.
Spouse Visa extension requirements
The UK Spouse Visa requirements you need to meet to be eligible for an extension vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances. However, the universal condition for this visa category is that you are able to prove the relationship between yourself and your partner is still genuine and subsisting.
To continue to be eligible for a Spouse Visa, and successfully extend it, one partner must be a British citizen or settled person. If this partner has lost their citizenship or settled status for any reason since your original application was granted, you will not be eligible for a Spouse Visa extension.
You must also continue to satisfy the financial requirement for a Partner Visa. This requirement dictates that you and your partner have a minimum income of £18,600 gross annual income between the two of you.
You and your partner must also still be living together as a couple in the UK to extend your visa. Your accommodation must continue to satisfy the UK Living Conditions guidelines.
If your Spouse Visa is set to expire, contact us now to find out how we can assist you to ensure your Spouse Visa extension has the greatest chance of success first-time round.
Genuine relationship requirements
You must continue to meet the UKVI’s ‘genuine relationship test’ if you are applying for a Spouse Visa extension in the UK.
This means that you need to show your relationship / marriage is still ‘genuine and subsisting’, meaning you intend to stay with them in a loving, long-term partnership.
You can prove that you meet the relationship requirements for a UK Spouse Visa extension by providing photographs of the two of you continuing your relationship in the UK, as well as tickets to events you’ve attended, holidays you’ve had together, and proof of shared finances (such as bank statements from shared bank accounts).
You can use a variety of documents to prove that you and your partner meet the genuine relationship criteria. However, you should be wary of the fact that the Home Office is trained to detect fraudulent visa applications, so avoid supplying evidence that would appear as though it is incorrect or manipulative.
Financial requirements for a Spouse Visa extension
You and your partner must continue to meet the financial requirement for a Spouse Visa if you want to apply for an extension.
Spouse Visa extension financial requirements
- That you and your partner have a combined gross annual income of at least £18,600 per annum
- For the first dependent child you have, the minimum income threshold is raised by £3,800 and a further £2,400 per each additional child
- These funds can come from employment, self-employment, stocks and shares, property lettings and savings (up to the value of £16,000)
English language criteria
UK Spouse Visa extension requirements include the non-British spouse showing that they still meet the Spouse Visa English language requirement. For a UK Spouse Visa extension application doing this is usually very straightforward.
You meet the English language criteria for this category of Family Visa if you:
- Have passed a test with a registered provider (such as IELTS) that shows you speak and understand English to an A1 level or above and you have an English language certificate that proves this
- Hold a degree that was taught in English from a recognised educational institution
- Are a national of a country in which English is the most widely-spoken language
Spouse Visa extension advice
If you need Marriage Visa extension advice our Manchester immigration lawyers can help you. We provide in-depth advice, including untimed advice sessions and document lists. Your lawyer will explain legal jargon in straightforward language. They will also advise you on your requirements, application process, and next steps for a visa extension under this category.
Call us on 0161 826 9783 to find out more about our advice services.
Spouse Visa extension applications
Our Manchester-based immigration lawyers can assist you with an application for a Spousal Visa extension. As part of this service, your specialist Family Visa lawyer will work closely with you, overseeing your entire application for you. They will draft a detailed cover letter to support your extension application, as well as compile an Evidence Portfolio to support your case.
Call our team today on 0161 826 9783 to find out more about our application services.
Spouse Visa extension forms
To make a Marriage Visa extension, you must apply using an FLR (M) form to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), which is the visa-processing arm of the Home Office.
You should be wary of submitting any false information or submitting a form that has mistakes on it. This is important because you will not be entitled to any form of refund if you submit a form that is incorrect.
Application process for extending Partner Visas
To make a Spouse Visa extension application, you must submit the relevant application forms, along with your supporting documents to the UKVI.
You must also pay the extension application fee, which is currently £1,033.
Once you have done this, it usually takes around six weeks for your application to be processed, though it can take longer if there is anything unusual or complex about your case.
Documents needed for a UK Spouse Visa extension
There are several documents you need to submit with your application forms when you apply for a UK Spouse Visa extension.
Documents required for a UK Spouse Visa extension
- Evidence that you are still in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British citizen/person with settled status (photos, media, tickets, shared bank statements, social media logs)
- Evidence you and your partner still live together in adequate accommodation (shared tenancy or mortgage)
- Evidence you and your partner satisfy the minimum income requirement (bank statements, job contracts, payslips, business revenue and profit documents)
Switching from a Spouse Visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain
Once you have extended a Spouse Visa, and you have lived in the UK with valid leave as a spouse for at least five years, you can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This is a form of leave that grants you unrestricted stay in the UK, in which you are no longer bound by visa restrictions or requirements.
To apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain from a Spouse Visa, you need to meet the ‘continuous residency’ requirement.
This states that you cannot have left the UK for more than 180 days in the previous 12 months before submitting your Indefinite Leave to Remain application. If you do not meet this, you must wait a further 12 months and make an Indefinite Leave to Remain application then.
You do not need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once you have extended a Spouse Visa. If you choose, you can remain in the UK under these visa conditions and apply for a second extension.
Once you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain you can qualify for British citizenship by naturalisation. Whilst both Indefinite Leave to Remain and British citizenship permit you to live in the UK without any restrictions, you can only apply for a passport as a British citizen.
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If you extend a UK Partner Visa, you will be granted another 30 months of leave in the UK.
This is the same amount of leave as your original visa, as the extension process effectively grants you the same form of leave with the same restrictions and criteria.
After five years of living in the UK as a spouse, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If this is granted you won’t need to be concerned about how long your visa lasts.
It usually takes around four-six weeks for this type of extension application to be processed by the Home Office.
If you need to have your application processed more quickly you can opt to use the UKVI’s Premium Service. If you use this service, your application will be processed within a week by a super-priority service, providing there are no extenuating circumstances.
There is no limit to the number of times you can choose to make a UK Spouse Visa extension application. However, you can also apply for settled status after you have extended your visa once and lived in the UK with it for five years or longer.
Yes, you can extend an Unmarried Partner Visa. To do this, you must show the UKVI that you still meet all the Unmarried Partner Visa requirements. These include that you and your partner live together in a relationship that is ‘akin to marriage’.
You must also satisfy much of the same criteria as the Spouse UK Visa, including the same financial, accommodation, and English language requirements.
If you have lived in the UK for five years or longer with valid leave to remain as an Unmarried Partner you will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
You are able to submit your UK Spouse Visa extension application during the 28 days before your current Spouse Visa expires.