Spouse Visa Extension – FAQs

by | Jul 5, 2021 | Further Leave to Remain, Spouse Visa Extension

Under the Appendix FM category, every UK spouse visa holder must apply for an extension before the initial 2.5 years visa grant expires. In this post, we cover the most important questions when applying for a spouse visa extension application.

Spouse Visa Extension UK Frequently Asked Questions

Can I extend my UK spouse visa?

Once in the UK with leave as a spouse, you can apply to extend this leave, providing that you meet the requirements in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The requirements for further leave to remain in the UK as a spouse are the same as those that apply to initial applications in the spouse visa category. However, you must ensure that your application satisfies the relationship, financial, accommodation, and immigration status requirements again. A higher-level English language requirement will also apply.

When should I submit my application for a spouse visa extension?

You should submit your spouse visa extension application within 28 days of the expiry of your leave. 

How do I make a spouse visa extension application?

Applications are made online. 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 book an appointment to attend a service centre to enrol your biometrics.

What is the most difficult spouse visa requirement?

The most difficult spouse visa requirement is undoubtedly the financial requirement. This is because the Home Office adopts a strict stance concerning financial documentation.

To discuss your FLR M Visa application with an experienced immigration adviser, contact our team on 0208 757 5751 or complete our contact form

What happens if I do not meet all of the UK Spouse visa requirements?

Unfortunately, your application will likely be refused if you do not meet all the requirements.

What is the processing time for a spouse visa extension application in the UK?

If you apply via the Standard Service, your application normally is decided within eight 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. Complex applications or adverse immigration history may result in a longer processing time. 

Can I travel outside the UK while my spouse visa extension application is pending?

No. If you leave the Common Travel Area, which includes the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, when your application is pending, your application will be treated as withdrawn. 

How do I meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa extension?

As in your initial spouse visa entry clearance application, you must meet a financial requirement. You must show that you or your partner has an annual income of at least £18,600 plus additional funds if you have non-British children. You can rely on your or your spouse’s income to meet the financial requirement, or you can combine your earnings. 

The financial requirement can be met in many other ways, including employment, self-employment, property rental income, pension income, savings etc. In certain circumstances, you may be able to rely on a combination of these.  If you rely on cash savings alone, you must show that you have £62,500, plus additional sums if you have children. 

Do I need to take another English Language test?

If you were required to sit an English Language test for your entry clearance application, you might need to sit another test at a higher level. The required level for the test at the extension stage is A2 of the Common European Framework for References. 

What supporting documents do I need for a UK spouse visa extension application?

It is advised that you seek advice from an immigration lawyer who will ensure that your documents satisfy the requirements of the rules. Generally, you should include documents to prove that:

– Your partner is British or is a permanent resident of the UK
– You and your partner are over the age of 18
– Your relationship continues to be genuine and subsisting
– Since the grant of entry clearance you have lived with your partner together in the UK
– You meet the financial requirements
– There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents
– You speak and understand English to the required level.

When can I apply for indefinite leave to remain as a spouse?

Most people in the spouse visa category are on a five-year route to settlement.  Therefore, after two grants of 30 months grant of leave, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

When can I become a British citizen after ILR?

In addition to meeting the Naturalisation requirements, if you are married to a British citizen, you can apply to naturalise as a British citizen as soon as you are granted indefinite leave to remain. However, if you are married to a non-British citizen, you will need to wait 12 months from the date of being granted indefinite leave to remain before you can apply for British citizenship. 

Which spouse visa requirement is the highest cause of refusals?

The biggest cause for refusal is the financial requirement. Mainly because applicants do not comply with very specific rules regarding the supporting documents you must provide to evidence particular sources of income.

When do the spouse visa requirements have to be met?

The spouse visa requirements must be met on the ‘date of application’. The date of application is when you pay the Home Office fees on the online application.

What are some common mistakes when applying for a Spouse visa extension in the UK?

Your application may be refused if:
– You provide incorrect documentation, information or representations as part of your FLR(M) visa application
– You left out relevant information in your visa application
– You failed to submit an undertaking
– You have previously made false representations or failed to disclose material facts in an immigration application
– Legal costs have been awarded to the Home Office for which you have not yet paid
– Unpaid National Health Service (NHS) charges of more than £500 that you have not yet paid.

UK Spouse Visa Extension Advice

Our immigration advisers regularly assist foreign national spouses in relocating and settling in the UK with their families. The financial requirement rules are complex and include mandatory requirements in the documentary evidence that must be provided to demonstrate access to the relevant funds. Failure to demonstrate that you meet the spouse visa extension application criteria may result in the application being delayed or even refused. 

Our UK spouse visa lawyers can provide a no-obligation assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a spouse visa extension or professional advice or assistance with preparing a spouse visa extension application. 

At Whytecroft Ford, we know that accurate and timely advice could make all the difference in the world. We are a highly driven professional team that provides clear and reliable immigration advice to individuals applying for a UK spouse visa extensions. We apply our extensive knowledge and expertise to meet our client’s needs.

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