APPLY FOR A SPOUSE VISA EXTENSION
Spouse Visa Extension
As a UK spouse visa holder, you may find that you will need to apply for a spouse visa extension to remain in the UK. However, this is not a straightforward process and could feel as challenging as your first application, with the same evidence requirements. Once you have completed this, you will be able to remain in the UK for thirty months before needing to apply again.
This can be a complex and difficult process, and each step must be attended to carefully to reduce your chances of being refused. Even small errors can result in a refusal, so knowing how to apply properly in the first place provides you with the best chance of success.
When you are making your application for a spouse visa extension, you must meet certain requirements for you to be deemed eligible. For example, both you and your spouse will need to be over eighteen and be living together in the UK, with proof that you plan to continue living together indefinitely.
You will also need to fulfil certain relationship requirements, such as proving that you are in a genuine relationship with a British citizen (or your spouse is settled in the UK or has permanent residence) or a person with refugee status. You will be required to prove that you live together and will continue to do so.
You must show that your relationship is a marriage, civil partnership, or that you have been in a relationship for two years that is similar to a marriage. You must be able to prove this.
Personally, you will be subject to meeting a good character requirement. This will prove you have not breached your immigration requirements or committed a crime.
Your finances will come under scrutiny as one of the requirements you must meet. You will need to prove that you have a combined income of £18,600 per annum. This is higher if you have a child (a dependent under the age of eighteen) as it goes up to £22,400, and £2400 is added on for each child. If you have more than £16,000 in savings, this can be used if you do not meet the minimum threshold.
This financial requirement does not need to be met if your spouse receives benefits such as a Carer’s Allowance. Everyone’s circumstances are different in this area, and it is one of the most complex parts of your application.
You will need to prove that you meet an A2 level in the English language - both speaking and listening - by taking an approved test. This is not applicable if you are from an English speaking country, are 65 or over, or have a condition preventing you from this.
In some cases, even if you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to extend your spouse visa. This will be the case if living outside the UK as a couple would present insurmountable challenges for you and your partner, if you have a child who is a citizen or has lived in the UK for seven years, or it would breach human rights if you were asked to leave. In these cases, you will be assessed slightly differently.
To apply, you should begin your application before your current visa runs out. You need to collect all of your information and documents ahead of time, including knowledge of your spouse and your relationship. If you struggle to collect this information, you might be asked for an interview.
You will be required to pay an application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge before acceptance and you will need to fill out the Form FLR (M) to apply for your extension unless you are applying to remain indefinitely.
When applying, you will need to supply supporting documentation; these include both your current and previous passports and, if applicable, any Biometric Residence Permit.
Each person will need to provide slightly different documents depending on your unique circumstances, but you will usually always need to show your passport to prove your identity, proof of your spouse’s right to live in the UK, relationship proof (such as a marriage certificate and bills in both your names) and your financial documents (payslips and bank statements) to prove your financial status.
You will also need to show proof of your English proficiency and any additional documents such as proof of any divorces or civil partnerships you have previously had, if applicable to you.
It will cost £1033 for you to apply for your spouse visa extension when you do so from within the United Kingdom. If successful, this will allow you to remain for thirty months before reapplying.
There are some additional costs to take into account, such as the cost of your biometric information, having any documents translated, and the cost of your English language tests if you need them. It is also possible that you will need to contribute to the Immigration Health Surcharge, which allows you to make use of the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK under a spouse visa.
The Home Office may refuse your application. Because this is an extension, in many cases, this will be down to small errors in your application (the chances of this can be reduced by seeking help with your extension). You will be able to correct these and submit them once more.
However, if you are refused, there is no right to appeal. If the Home Office has made a mistake, as far as you believe, you might have the right to have your application reconsidered. This should be done as soon as you receive your refusal, to fit in the Home Office’s rigid time limits.
How many times will I need to extend?
You will need to apply for an extension every thirty months, but after five years, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).