Can I extend my UK visa?
By Oshin Shahiean, managing partner at OTS Solicitors
You suddenly realise that a deadline is looming and your visa will expire. This is usually when we get a call to ask if and how a visa can be extended.
top London immigration solicitors will tell you that whether you are able to apply to extend your visa, and the prospects of success, all depend upon the type of visa you have and if you continue to meet the visa eligibility requirements.
The vital thing to do is to ensure that you make your application to extend your visa before the expiry of your current visa. If you do not then you will be classed as an overstayer.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
For advice on applying to extend your visa or any other aspect of Immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors.
Can I extend my UK visa?
The most common visa is a standard visitor visa. The maximum length of the visa is 6 months.
You may be able to extend a standard visitor visa if the total time you spend in the UK is less than 6 months.
For example, if you were granted a 3-month visa, you can apply to extend the standard visitor visa for a further 3 months.
Applying to extend a standard visitor visa
To apply successfully to extend a standard visitor visa you need to establish that:
• You intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit; and
• Your plans during your stay in the UK, primarily that you will comply with visa conditions and will not do paid work or gainful Employment; and
• You have the means to fund your travel fare from the UK; and
• You have the financial means to support yourself for the duration of your visa extension.
If you are in the UK on a standard visitor visa for a different reason than tourism or seeing a family member, for example, you are in the UK for private medical treatment and need to extend the visa, then different rules apply.
The best London immigration solicitors advise that in order to apply to extend the visa you must:
• Have at least £2 million under your control in the UK; and
• The money must be invested in specified asset classes, such as, government bonds.
If you hold a Tier 1 (investor) visa and are considering extending it is important to get specialist advice from a top London Immigration solicitor. The Home Office has announced plans to change the Tier 1 (investor) visa scheme. Any changes in the Immigration rules may affect your ability to extend your visa.
• Be able to evidence compliance with visa conditions; and
• Have invested in a UK business in accordance with the Entrepreneur Visa requirements; and
• Be registered as a director of a company or partner or self-employed and be able to prove that you have been working in that capacity for 3 months prior to the visa extension application; and
• Have created two new full time jobs for a minimum period of 12 months.
The evidence required to extend a Tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa can be quite complex. That is why the best London immigration solicitors advise that early specialist advice is taken so you know what documents you will need to obtain to confirm your business activity during your initial visa period.
Applying to extend a Tier 2 (General) visa
• Have current permission to enter or stay on a Tier 2 (general) visa; and
• Still be employed by the same sponsor that provided the Certificate of Sponsorship; and
• Still be employed in the same role; and
• Earning a salary at a level that is in accordance with the Immigration rules.
If you are uncertain about whether your visa should have been reapplied for or you need advice on aspects of the visa extension process you should speak to a London Immigration solicitor.
A Tier 2 (General) visa can be extended for up to 5 years. A migrant’s length of stay cannot exceed 6 years.
Applying to extend a Tier 4 visa
The best London immigration solicitors advise that in order to apply to extend a Tier 4 visa you must:
• Apply before your current visa expires; and
• Apply within 6 months of receiving conformation of acceptance for studies; and
• Have a sponsor; and
• Must be in the UK to make the application to extend the Tier 4 visa; and
• Meet the eligibility requirements of the visa.
When you are applying to extend a study visa, it is crucial to get the timing of the application correct and to provide all the necessary supporting paperwork.
Applying to extend a Tier 5 visa
As there are different categories of Tier 5 workers there are different rules on applying for an extension of a Tier 5 visa.
For example, a sportsperson can apply to extend their visa for the shorter of:
• Up to 12 months; or
• The time left on their current Certificate of Sponsorship plus an additional 14 days.
Different timescales apply to creative workers.
As different rules and regulations apply to Tier 5 visa extension applications it is prudent to get advice from a top London Immigration solicitor on the rules relating to your specific category of worker.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters. We are highly experienced in making applications to extend visas. We are used to dealing with the complex Home Office rules and regulations surrounding extension applications. By using a top London Immigration solicitor to sort out your visa extension, we will minimise the stress and the risks of your application being refused.
For more information on applying to extend a visa or settlement options or any aspect of personal or business immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.