Spouse Visa Extension
A Spouse Visa Extension application will allow you to continue to live in the UK alongside your partner for another 30 months. The criteria for further leave to remain requires you to demonstrate your ongoing relationship, finances and English proficiency.
Contact our immigration team for a no-obligation assessment.
UK Spouse Visa 5-Year Route
A Spouse Visa Extension application refers to further leave to remain in the UK as a spouse or a civil partner based on your subsisting relationship with a British national or settled person, following an initial grant of leave under the same route. You must prove that you continue to meet the visa eligibility requirements regarding your relationship and finances.
Individuals who hold a Fiance Visa and have married in the UK must also use the FLR category to extend their stay in the UK.
You will be granted a further 30 months to remain in the UK, at the end of which, you should have accrued five years‘ qualifying residency in the UK and become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Spouse Visa Extension Requirements
To extend your Spouse Visa, you must satisfy the Home Office UKVI that you meet the following requirements:
- You must be lawfully present in the UK with leave to enter or remain as a spouse of a British Citizen, a person with indefinite leave to remain or refugee status
- There is sufficient evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship with your UK spouse for the past two years
- You satisfy the minimum financial requirement
- You and your family have adequate accommodation
- You satisfy the English language requirement
- You meet the suitability criteria in Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.
Part of the application requirements for extending your spouse visa will be to prove that your marriage is genuine and subsisting. In addition, you and your Spouse must prove that you have been living together as a family unit for the duration of your stay in the UK. The Home Office UKVI usually requires you to submit substantial evidence to prove your ongoing relationship.
Financial Requirement Spouse Visa Extension
To meet the minimum financial requirement when applying for a spouse visa extension, you and your Spouse must have a combined income of at least £18,600. If the applicant has a child (under 18 and dependent on you), the minimum threshold rises to £22,400. The financial requirement will increase by £2,400 for each additional child you have.
This minimum income threshold can be met through your spouse or partner’s salaried or self-employed income or your income where you have permission to work in the UK. In addition, you can combine income from different sources, such as pension income or maternity allowances. You can also use cash savings above £16,000 instead of income.
The ‘adequate accommodation requirement’ requires applicants to prove that the accommodation where they plan to live with their family in the UK will meet the following requirements for a UK family visa application, the accommodation:
- is owned or occupied exclusively by the applicant and their family
- is not, or will not, be overcrowded when the applicant joins their family
- will be obtained without recourse to public funds
- meets the UK public health regulations.
Spouse visa extension applicants must demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and meet a standard of A2 level in English speaking and listening under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The following applicants will not be required to take the English language test:
- A national of an English-speaking country
- Someone who holds a degree or higher qualification from an institution recognised by UK NARIC which was taught or researched in English
- Someone with a long-term physical or mental condition
- A person aged over 65
Character Suitability Conditions
A vital part of your application will be the character suitability requirements, otherwise known as the good character requirement. Your immigration history, as well as your conduct whilst you have been in the UK, will be taken into consideration. Suppose you have a criminal conviction, have broken the law in any manner or failed to adhere to any conditions placed on your UK visa. In that case, you will not meet the character suitability requirement. This includes any outstanding money you owe to the NHS or litigation debt.
Spouse Visa Extension Documents
The Immigration Rules set out specific requirements for the supporting documents for a spouse visa extension application, including the content and format of the documents. Generally, you should include the following:
- Identity evidence that your partner is British, in the UK with indefinite leave to remain, leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme (pre-settled status), or limited leave to remain under Appendix ECAA
- Relationship evidence that you have met your partner in person and that your relationship continues to be genuine and subsisting
- Cohabitation proof that since the grant of entry clearance, proving you have lived with your partner together in the UK, or you can provide a good reason why you have not
- Financial evidence proving that you will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds
- Proof of sufficient accommodation for you and any dependents
- Evidence that you speak and understand English to the required level.
Your spouse visa extension documents will depend on your circumstances.
Spouse Dependant Visa UK
Dependant children under 18 can apply with the main applicant, provided they continue to rely on you and have not formed an independent life. For each dependent child, you must prove the correct level of income or savings.
With the spouse visa extension, Dependant children will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant. After five years, dependents can qualify for indefinite leave to remain.
Apply for Spouse Visa Extension
You must apply online for your spouse visa extension application before your UK spouse visa expires. Usually, you will need to complete the FLR M application form. As part of the application process, you must accurately fill out the form online and prepare supporting documentation demonstrating how you satisfy the requirements.
In circumstances where, for example, you have been unable to provide all the evidence that the Home Office needs, you may be invited for an interview. Your application may be delayed or refused if you do not provide the correct documentation. You will need to pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge before the application will be accepted for submission.
You will need to provide your biometric information to make a valid application. You will then be issued a new BRP card when the Home Office UKVI grants your application.
Spouse Visa extension processing time
Standard applications usually take around 8-12 weeks to process. A well-prepared application will usually be processed more quickly. And applications without proper supporting documentation can be delayed as further checks may be required. Depending on availability, standard processing times can be shortened by opting for additional paid services, such as priority or super-priority services.
Spouse Visa Extension fee 2023 UK
The standard application fee is £1,048.
Other costs involve the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is £624 per year, or £1,560 for 2.5 years.
Other costs may include a housing report, an English language test and documents requiring English translation.
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain Spouse Visa
When your Spouse Visa extension application is accepted, you will be permitted to stay in the UK for 30 months. After completing 60 months on the spouse visa route, you will be eligible for Spouse ILR. This will enable you to live and work in the UK without restrictions.
You can apply for British citizenship if you are married to a British national. Otherwise, you will be eligible for citizenship after 12 months.
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 UK spouse visa extensions. We apply our extensive knowledge and expertise to meet our client’s needs.
Frequently asked questions
When can I submit my spouse visa extension application?
You must apply for your spouse visa extension before your current visa expires. Usually, this is within 28 days of the expiry date.
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.
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.
Why choose Whytecroft Ford for your Immigration application?
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Our experienced team will help you get clear and concise advice for your UK immigration application with a no-obligation assessment. During this assessment, we will:
- Assess the possibilities for obtaining, extending or switching into a particular UK immigration category, and
- Identify any strengths and/or challenges of your circumstances concerning your new application.
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