When it comes to visa applications, whether you are in the UK, outside, applying for the first time, or you need an extension, it pays to be prepared. When renewing your visa or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), it is essential that you apply before the expiry of your current visa to avoid being an over-stayer in the UK. Not only will you then risk being removed from the country, but it may also jeopardise your chances of being granted an extension or a future visa or indefinite leave to remain (ILR). You also risk losing your right to work and your right to rent. By making an application before the expiry of your current leave to remain, you can then legally stay in the UK under the same terms and conditions until you have received your decision (even if this is weeks or months after the expiry of your current leave). This is the reason why online applications (which apply to almost all visa types in the UK now) are so beneficial; knowing that once you have clicked the ‘submit’ button, and your application has been received, you can then remain until the point of decision.
In this article, we will discuss the earliest point at which current visa holders can apply to extend their visa, or for ILR.
The general advice provided by the Home Office is that visa extension applications should be made no earlier than 28 days before the expiry of the current visa. As with many aspects of immigration law, there are some exceptions.
In the case of the points-based system, applicants must apply for a Tier 2 visa extension within three months of the new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) being assigned, or 60 days before the visa expires (whichever is sooner).
For Tier 4 study visa holders, the Home Office website states that you must apply for an extension within six months of getting a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) and before your current visa expires - but no more than three months before the course start date on your CAS.
For the Tier 1 investor visa, the general recommendation of applying 28 days before your current visa expiry is applicable. By applying too early, you may have a shortfall in your leave when you apply for ILR as your extension visa will run from the date of the decision, not the date when your leave expires. As such, Tier 1 investor visa holders need to balance the need to apply before the expiry of their visa with ensuring they have enough leave when applying for ILR, otherwise, there is a risk that a further extension application will be required. Tier 1 Investor visa holders should also be aware of the specific extension deadlines which apply, depending on your circumstances and when your visa was initially granted.
If you were granted your Tier 1 Investor visa between 6 November 2014 and 28 March 2019, you must apply before 6 April 2023 for an extension if you wish to rely on investment in government bonds. The Home Office guidance states “If you apply for an extension on or after 6 April 2023, you can only rely on investments that were in government bonds before 6 April 2023. You must maintain £2 million in qualifying investments in active, and trading UK registered companies from 6 April 2023 onwards”.
Timing is critical when it comes to applying for ILR. As explained above, by applying too early, you do risk being rejected on the basis of not having met the required continuous lawful period in the UK. It is essential that you apply before your current leave expires, or you risk becoming an overstayer. The earliest date from which you can apply is based on a) the continuous period of leave you need to be eligible for ILR and b) when you were granted entry to the UK. In most cases, the ILR qualification period is five continuous years (there are exceptions for some visa types such as the investor visa which permits ILR after two years). To meet the continuous time in the UK requirement, you must not have been outside of the country for more than 180 days in any consecutive year.
The earliest possible application date is 28 days before the five-year anniversary of the granting of leave to enter the UK (i.e. not the date you actually entered the UK). This is because the Home Office include the time between the granting of the visa and your entry into the UK as part of your leave time in the UK. If, however, the gap between being granted leave and entering the UK is more than 90 days, then this is not included, and you will need to work out the five-year anniversary from the date of entry. If you are in any way unsure when you should apply for ILR, or whether you are eligible, perhaps due to extended absences, it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from immigration Solicitors before proceeding.
As with any endeavour, success in immigration depends on planning and preparation. While it is tempting to apply early for an extension, this may not have the desired effect and may lead to a refusal by being made too soon. This does not, however, prevent you from ‘getting your ducks in a row’ and preparing all of the necessary information, evidence, and translations necessary to make a successful extension application. That said, you will also need to ensure that the dates on any documents (e.g. bank statements) fit with the correct time periods for when you do apply for an extension. As you will know from your initial application, attention to detail is crucial in receiving a positive decision from the Home Office.
Knowing what to if you have Overstayed your visa before renewal
What to do if UK visa is about to expire due to COVID-19 lockdown
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS