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    Spouse Visa Extension

    Extension of a spouse visa for the UK is a crucial step for those seeking to continue their stay and build a life with their loved ones. This comprehensive guide outlines the key aspects of the extension process, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared.
    Successful applicants will be granted a further 30 months to stay in the UK, at the end of which they will become eligible to apply for settlement, known as ILR.

    Spouse Visa Extension Requirements After 2.5 Years

    In the UK, after a person has spent 2.5 years on a partner visa, it becomes necessary to extend their visa. This procedure imposes a number of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to successfully extend the visa and maintain the person’s legal status in the UK:

    • Confirmation of family relations. The partners may provide evidence of their life together, such as joint accounts, photographs, and witness statements.
    • Financial stability. It is important to have a stable income that will allow you to provide for yourself and your family. If one partner does not work, then the other partner must provide an adequate level of income for all family members. The route is normally subject to a specific income threshold.
    • Suitability. Visa holders must meet certain requirements related to their character and conduct.
    • English language proficiency. In order to extend the visa, it is necessary to confirm English proficiency at level A2 or higher according to the CEFR system (Pan-European Foreign Language Proficiency).

    Relationship Requirements

    It is necessary to confirm that the partnership is genuine and is not only for immigration purposes.

    The relationship must be genuine and real.

    Spouses must provide proof of cohabitation, such as correspondence addressed to them at the same address, joint accounts, shared real estate or shared possessions.

    Financial Requirements for Spouse Visa Extension

    In order to meet the financial criteria when seeking an extension for a spouse visa, it is necessary for both you and your spouse or partner to demonstrate a joint yearly income which is normally at the minimum level of £18,600.

    If the applicant has dependent children applying as part of their spouse visa extension, the income requirement is higher. For the first child, the applicant will need an extra £3,800 in gross annual income and £2,400 for each additional child.

    If the partners have significant savings, this can sometimes be relied upon instead of income.

    The financial threshold does not always apply, for example where the settled partner is receiving certain welfare benefits.

    The partners should be able to confirm their financial position by providing certain specified documents depending on their source of income. The documents may include, for example, bank statements, tax returns or payslips

    The English Language Requirements

    In most cases, it is necessary to have a level of English language proficiency of at least A2, confirmed by an approved test. However, an approved may not be required if the applicant has a degree which was taught in English. Moreover, if the applicant is a citizen of a majority English-speaking country, they will be exempt from the language requirement.

    It is important to note that knowledge of English is one of the key factors when considering a visa application, therefore it is recommended to prepare in advance for the English test for spouse visa extension and obtain the appropriate certificate if necessary.

    Good Character Requirements

    Spouses must meet certain standards relating to good character and conduct which are known as the “suitability” requirements.
    How to Apply for a Spouse Visa Extension?

    To extend your spouse visa you will be required to fill out the FLR(M) form. This application is comprehensive and demands the submission of a diverse range of information and supporting documents. It is of utmost importance that you meticulously and accurately complete every section of the FLR(M) form. Even minor errors can lead to potential problems with your application.
    In cases where the Home Office determines that your evidence is insufficient, they may require you to attend a personal interview.

    Documents Required for Spouse Visa Renewal

    A standard list of spouse visa extension documents includes:

    • Passports of both partners with valid dates and visas (if applicable).
    • Marriage certificates.
    • Documents confirming cohabitation (for example, utility bills, bank statements or other correspondence).
    • Evidence of the financial position of both partners (bank accounts, tax returns, etc.).
    • Documents confirming knowledge of the English language (for example, an approved language test certificate).
    • Other documents that may be required depending on the individual situation (for example, documents on marital status, medical evidence, documents relating to children, etc.).

    How Long Does the Spouse Visa Renewal Application Take?

    The UK spouse visa extension processing time depends on several factors, including the current caseload of the immigration authorities, seasonal fluctuations, and any unforeseen circumstances. The decision is usually made within 8 weeks. Individuals may opt for the premium service (paid separately) to get a faster decision.

    Spouse Visa Extension Fee

    In accordance with UK law, the following spouse visa renewal fees apply:

    • Visa fee – it costs £1,048 to apply from inside the UK.
    • The healthcare surcharge fee – £1,560 in total (rising to £2,587.50 from 6 February 2024)

    What Can I Do If My Application Is Refused?

    If you have been refused UK spouse visa renewal, do not despair. In this case, you should take the following steps:

    • Examine the reason for the refusal. Find out why you were refused a visa extension. This may be due to a violation of visa conditions or a lack of documents, or another reason.
    • Appeal against the decision. You can appeal against the decision to refuse to extend your visa by submitting an appropriate application to the UK immigration authorities. In this case, you should provide additional documents and arguments stating why you think the decision was wrong.
    • Apply for a new visa. If you choose not to appeal, or if the appeal has not yielded results, you can make a new application for a visa. To do this, it is necessary to take into account any mistakes that were made when applying previously, and prepare all the necessary documents in accordance with the relevant requirements. Before choosing this option, it is also necessary to bear in mind your immigration status, as overstaying can have a negative impact on your current and future applications.

    It is important to remember that each case of refusal to extend a visa is different, therefore, in order to decide how to address the refusal, it is necessary to carefully consider all aspects of your situation.

    How Can We Help?

    Contacting Sterling Law for legal assistance in obtaining and extending a spousal visa in the UK provides a number of advantages, such as:

    • Experience and knowledge. Sterling Law has many years of experience in the field of immigration law, which allows us to quickly and effectively resolve issues related to obtaining and extending spousal visas.
    • Comprehensive service. The company offers a full range of services, including consultations, preparation of documents, representation of clients’ interests to the immigration authorities and support during inspections.
    • Individual approach. Sterling Law takes into account all the features of each specific case, which helps clients to get the most favourable solution.
    • Professional support. Lawyers at Sterling Law are always ready to help and answer any questions that arise, providing their clients with reliable support at all stages of the visa application and extension process.

    Sterling Law is one of the leading law firms in the field of immigration law. We offer a wide range of services, including consulting, preparation of documents and representation of clients in immigration services. The team of professionals has many years of experience in this field, which allows them to quickly and effectively solve the most difficult issues.
    Extending a UK visa can be a difficult process, but with the right approach and knowledge of all the requirements, you can successfully extend your visa and stay in the country for a long period of time.

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