UK Spouse Visa Extensions After 2.5 Years


Applying for a Spouse Visa Extension After 2.5 Years

If you are a foreign national living with your British or settled spouse in the UK and are on a UK Spouse Visa, you need to apply for an extension approximately 28 days before the initial grant of 2.5 years expires. 

In this article, we discuss the application process for a Spouse Visa Extension and what you need to do in order to be successful and approved by the Home Office.

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Who Can Apply for a Spouse Visa Extension?

Having a valid UK spouse visa is the first requirement for the extension. Only those with a valid visa are eligible to apply for an extension. You must also meet other requirements related to your relationship, finances and English language ability.

Read more about Spouse Visa Extension UK Requirements 2022

When to Apply for a UK Spouse Visa Extension?

It is important to apply for an extension before the visa expires. You can submit your application up to 28 days before the end of your visa validity. However, it is best to apply as soon as possible, so you are not left without status while waiting for a decision on your extension.

For the application to be successful, you may be asked to gather documents in order to prove that the relationship is still genuine and valid. Additionally, it is worth keeping in mind that your extension application might take several months to be processed unless you ask for a priority consideration (with additional home office fees of about £800), whereby the application can be considered in a matter of days. Once the application has been submitted, it does not matter if your current visa expires on the day you apply or at any time afterwards, so long as at the time you apply, you have a valid visa.  

If you are late to renew your spouse visa, you will lose your UK immigration status and be considered an overstayer as you will be in the UK under an expired visa. Remember overstaying your visa without reasonable grounds is a criminal offence under the UK Immigration Act 1971, section 24. Additionally, if you apply for a renewal of your spouse visa after it has expired and is rejected, there is no legal right for an administrative review to fight the decision; however, you may qualify if there are grounds for a judicial review.

What are the Requirements of the UK Spouse Visa Extension 2022?

The requirements for the visa extension are similar to those for the spouse visa application. You will need to prove the following:

  • You are married or in a civil partnership, and your relationship is genuine and subsists with an individual who is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain
  • As per the latest updates from the UK government, the financial threshold for all family visas is £29,000 as  of April 11th 2024, with a further increase to £34,500 later in 2024 and then to 38,700 by the start of 2025. Ensure you’re up-to-date with these changes by visiting our family visa financial requirements page or by contacting our office directly.

  • You have suitable accommodation available for you both as husband and wife;
  • Adequate maintenance funds are available to you and your sponsor;
  • You have adequate English language ability (at least A1 level in speaking & listening).

Which Documents Should I Attach to My UK Spouse Visa Extension Application?

You must also include evidence of your relationship with your sponsor and other documents such as passport-sized photographs, a valid passport and valid UK entry clearance. You will also be asked for the following:

  • Your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate is UK-recognized. If you have none of those, you can attach evidence showing you’ve been in a long-term relationship (at least two years) with your partner and that you intend to continue living together permanently. 
  • Your current spouse visa or any other valid travel document that’s recognised by the home office 
  • Evidence proving that you’ve been living continuously with your spouse in the UK upon getting your current spouse visa. This can comprise correspondence and documents addressed to both of you at the same address over the period of the previous 2.5 years; for example, evidence such as utility bills, bank settlements held jointly and junk mail addressed to both of you, or some addressed to both and some separately. 
  • Evidence of sufficient accommodation in the UK without overcrowding.
  • Payslips (or any other document to show your earning history in the UK) to prove your ability to meet the minimum income requirement. 
  • Your spouse’s copy UK passport or documents are showing he/she has been granted UK’s settled status, such as indefinite leave to remain. 
  • Documents showing your criminal convictions (if applicable)

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What Happens if My UK Spouse Visa Extension Application is Accepted?

If your application is accepted, you will need to collect the biometric residence permit (BRP) from a designated Post Office. Your spouse visa extension will be valid until its expiration, i.e. another 2.5 years. If you successfully complete that period, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain since you’ll have accrued five years of living in the UK.

That’s not all. After indefinite leave to remain (ILR), you can apply for UK naturalisation to become a British citizen

What Can I Do If My Application is Rejected?

Unfortunately, some spouse visa applications are declined when the Home Office finds an application falling short of the aforementioned requirements. If your application is declined, the Home Office will inform you about the options you can explore in your rejection letter. If you missed out on something in your application, the rejection letter would highlight the exact mistake. You may have the right to an application for an immigration administrative Review.

Alternatively, with the information provided by the Home Office, you can make another application for the extension and be sure to include the previously missed details/information in your second application. If you are going down that route, then you should make the second application within 14 days of the rejection of the first. If you do that, you will not be regarded as an overstayer and will continue to benefit from all the advantages of your visa when you were first granted it for the initial 2.5 years, so you can continue to work, for example, whilst your application for an extension is under consideration.  

If you are non-British living in the UK with your spouse, it’s crucial to remember to apply for a spouse visa extension before your initial spouse visa expires. Preferably, involve an experienced UK immigration lawyer in the preparation of your visa extension application and during the application process to ensure that you do everything right the first time. Count on our solicitors for UK immigration law advice for individuals and couples including hassle-free and ultra-effective spouse visa extension application processing. 

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