If you are in the UK on a spouse visa, at some point, you may need to apply for an extension of the visa, especially if you want to continue living in the country beyond the visa’s validity period. However, it is worth noting that your spouse’s visa extension application might be accepted or rejected. An approval means you’re legally allowed to continue your stay with your spouse in the country for additional 2.5 years (30 months).
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On the other hand, if your application is rejected, you can either exit the country or appeal the Home Office decision. Otherwise, overstaying your current spouse visa puts you at risk of legal consequences, including deportation and unsuccessful UK immigration applications going forward.
Here, you’re going to uncover possible reasons for the rejection of your visa extension application and the best way forward.
Possible Reasons for Spouse Visa Extension Rejection
UK visa extension application is as demanding as the initial spouse visa application. The Home Office expects you to submit a set of information and supporting documents to show why you want to remain in the country and prove that you meet the set requirements.
You must prove that:
- You still hold a genuine and subsisting relationship with your British spouse/partner. If not a British citizen, your partner or spouse can be an immigrant with settled status or humanitarian protection.
- You’ve been living together with the partner indicated in your initial visa application under one roof over the period you’ve been living in the UK on a spouse visa.
- You intend to continue living with the partner for the foreseeable future.
- You and your partner meet the financial requirements applicable to you and give proof of your income.
- You can speak and understand English to a proficient standard if you are not a national English-speaking country and not suffering from a serious mental or physical condition. You’ll prove this by passing an English language test.
- You meet ‘good character’ requirements.
- You have not gone against the conditions of your current visa.
- You’re still of sound mind.
If the Home Office will reject your application if your application is found to fall short of any of the above requirements. For instance, if you:
- Fail to prove your English proficiency
- Fail to attach (enough) payslips bank statements or any other proof of your financial ability
- Divorced or separated with your partner
- Don’t intend to continue living together with your partner in the UK
- Don’t meet good character requirements, for instance, as a result of a criminal record during your stay in the country.
- Use the wrong application form
- Don’t fill out forms correctly
The immigration department will issue you with a spouse visa extension refusal letter highlighting the specific reason(s) for the rejection and indicating if you have the right to appeal the decision.
Consult reputable UK immigration experts such as Gulbenkian Solicitors if you are not sure whether you meet all the requirements. We’ll analyze your case critically and advise you accordingly.
Which Options do I Have After My Spouse’s Visa Extension Application is Rejected?
Appeal the Decision
If your spouse visa extension refused letter indicates that you have the right to appeal, then you can go ahead to challenge the Home Office decision through the immigration and asylum tribunal.
Although, in some cases, spouse visa rejections have the right to appeal, not every case is strong enough to have a successful appeal. Basically, the probability of winning an appeal depends on the reason for the visa extension refusal. Therefore, it is crucial to deeply understand the reason(s) behind the rejection of your application and the chances of winning an appeal.
Besides, gaining immigration legal advice will give you additional chances for succeeding in the appeal. The expert will not only save you time in the appeal application process but also relieve you of most of the daunting activities involved in the process.
In case your rejection letter indicates that you don’t have the right to appeal or you have depleted your right to appeal, it is worth considering a judicial review before you think of throwing in the towel.
When you pursue a judicial review for your case, a court of law will assess the process or criteria that the Home Office used to arrive at their decision and establish if the methods used were lawful or not.
However, judicial review is a highly complex process that requires highly in-depth legal expertise to be successful. But don’t worry; Gulbenkian solicitors got you covered. We’ve helped many of our clients through the process, and most of them have managed to get their visas extended after the review.
Return to Your Country
Depending on the stated refusal reasons, the Home Office might direct you to leave the UK. In case you don’t have the right to appeal, you can opt to leave the country as soon as your visa expires to avoid overstaying. However, this might be very inconvenient to you and/or your spouse and so, consider it as a last resort after exploring the above two options in vain.
Having a spouse visa extension rejected UK might not be the end of the road as far as your desire to live with your spouse in the country is concerned. You can appeal the verdict or seek a judicial review. Most importantly, let a legal expert guide you in your spouse visa extension process to maximize your chances of getting the desired outcome.
At Gulbenkian Andonian, we have a robust team of immigration solicitors who you can count on for assistance in any issue regarding your spouse visa extension application, including pursuing the best outcome for your rejected application. Get in touch with us now for timely expert help.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.