Before a top London Immigration solicitor answers the question “can I extend my UK spouse visa?”, we need to look at the basics of a spouse visa.
• A husband or wife. The spousal relationship has to be a marriage that would be recognised as a legal marriage in the UK. For example, the marriage cannot be a bigamous marriage as that is not recognised as a legal marriage in the UK;
• A civil partner;
• A partner provided the sponsor has lived with them for over two years. For a partner relationship, you will need to have been living in a relationship that is similar to a marriage or civil partnership.
You are eligible to apply for a spouse visa
or a spouse visa
extension if you are the spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner (if the unmarried relationship is over 2 years living together) of a:
• British citizen; or
• Person who has refugee status; or
• Person who has obtained humanitarian protection in the UK.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
Applying for a spouse visa
or an extension to a spouse visa
can be a stressful experience. OTS Solicitors are Immigration
law solicitors based in central London who have substantial experience of all types of visa applications and visa extension applications.
What are the conditions for a spouse visa extension?
• You and your spouse or civil partner or unmarried partner are both at least eighteen years old; and
• If you are not married or in a civil partnership but are living as unmarried partners, you will need to have been living in a relationship that is similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application for your spouse visa extension; and
• Be present in the UK; and
• Intending to live together permanently; and
• Able to meet the English language requirement; and
• Able to meet the financial conditions.
The top London immigration solicitors
say that to be eligible to apply for a spouse visa
extension, you will need to meet the same conditions that you met when you were granted the original spouse visa
. When applying for a visa or when applying to extend a visa, the Home Office will apply the criteria strictly.
The financial conditions
In the experience of the best London immigration solicitors
the spouse visa
extension criteria that causes the most stress, after the worry of proving the status of an unmarried relationship, is the financial criteria for an extension application.
In order for an applicant to satisfy the financial conditions when applying for a spouse visa
extension, you and your spouse or partner need to have a combined income of at least £18,600 per year. The Home Office does allow some flexibility over the source of the £18,600 per year as a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner can:
• Use a combination of incomes from different sources, including salary, self-Employment income, buy to let rental income, investment income or pension income;
• Use cash savings above £16,000 instead of income;
• Use state benefits and allowances, for example, Disability Living Allowance, as an exemption from needing to meet the minimum income threshold of £18,600 a year.
Documents needed in support of an application to extend a spouse visa
The best London immigration solicitors
advise that you will need to submit documents in support of your application for a spouse visa
extension. That is why it is important to get legal advice when you first submit a spouse visa
application, as you then know what paperwork you will need to keep hold of in case you decide to apply for a spouse visa
The documents you need to submit to UK Visas and Immigration
• Your existing original passport and any previous passports or travel documents; and
• Your original Biometric Residence Permit; and
• Your spouse or civil or unmarried partner’s Immigration status, such as proof of his or her Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK; and
• Evidence of your relationship with your spouse or partner, such as your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document; and
• Your income (if relevant to the application) and your spouses or partner’s income paperwork such as pay slips or bank statements or pension statements; and
• Evidence of your knowledge of English, such as a degree certificate or a pass in the English language test; and
• Extra paperwork depending on your circumstances, for example, a decree absolute of divorce certificate or civil partnership dissolution certificate to prove that a previous relationship has been legally ended or paperwork to prove that you have lived as unmarried partners for over two years. In order to provide evidence of cohabitation, the Home Office may want to see correspondence or documents from the council tax department, utility bills, bank statements or other official correspondence that has been sent to you and your partner.
What is the cost of a spouse visa extension?
• An additional handling fee for enrolling biometric information; and
• A surcharge if you want to make an application quickly using the super priority service. If you pay extra then you should get a decision within one working day.
You may also have to pay the Immigration
Health Surcharge to access the National Health Service during your UK spouse visa
Home Office discretion if you do not meet the Home Office conditions for a spouse visa extension
If you do not meet the requirements for a spouse visa
extension the Home Office may still extend your visa if:
• There would be a breach of your Human Rights to make you leave the UK; or
• There would be significant difficulties for you and your spouse or partner if you lived together as a couple outside the UK that could not be overcome by you; or
• You have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or you have a child who has lived in the UK for seven years and it would be unreasonable for the child to leave the UK.
The top London immigration solicitors recommend legal advice is sought if you need to ask the Home Office to exercise discretion to grant or extend a spouse visa.
Refusal of an extension application for a spouse visa
If your application to extend your spouse visa
is unsuccessful, you only have fourteen days from the date you received your decision letter to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. If you submit an appeal after the deadline, you will need to explain why your appeal was late. The best London immigration solicitors
recommend urgent legal advice is taken if your extension application is refused.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 recommended Immigration
solicitors who specialise in all aspects of Immigration
law. Our specialist approachable solicitors provide expert help on all types of visa applications. If you are applying for a spouse visa
or want to apply to extend your spouse visa
, our leading London immigration solicitors
can help with the application, advise you on the complex Immigration
rules and regulations and the documents you will need to produce to establish that you meet the cohabitation and financial circumstances tests.
Please get in touch with us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors.