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Given the UK's current political climate, it is understandable that people in the UK on Spouse Visas may feel uncertainty regarding their long-term stability and security. If you are working towards indefinite leave to remain (ILR) but are yet to meet the necessary five years of continuous residence in the UK, it is likely you will need to extend your existing Spouse Visa before the 30-month validity comes to an end, via the Further Leave to Remain based on marriage to a settled person route - FLR (M). But be assured, you are not alone. Even the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle will need to need to apply to extend her own leave to remain if she wishes to pursue permanent residence. In this article, we will outline five of the main considerations when applying to extend your family Visa as a partner or spouse of a British Citizen.
Do not wait until your current Visa expires. It is advisable to submit your application for an extension as early as possible in the period of 28 days before your current Visa runs out (i.e. at the end of the 30 months).
That said, do not worry if you submit your application before the expiry date, but your appointment at a visa centre is after it expires. What matters is the date of application. The same applies if you are waiting for a decision on your FLR (M) application. Once you have applied and until you have a decision you are covered under 'section 3C' leave, which will prevent you from becoming an overstayer.
Unfortunately, more many applicants, this requirement poses the most significant hurdle. According to the 'Evidence of Financial Requirements under Appendix FM', applicants must meet the necessary financial requirements, which currently equates to an annual income of £18,600. It is important to understand, however, that this income may be from:
Furthermore, the minimum income requirement can be reduced, or even eliminated completely if the applicant and/or their UK partner have cash savings. In order to calculate if cash savings can reduce the annual income requirement, simply take the lowest amount of cash savings from the past six months (by referring to the bank relevant bank statement), take away £16,000, and divide that by 2.5. That amount can then be counted towards your annual income. Using this formula, savings of £20,000 will reduce the annual income requirement by £1,600, £30,000 by £7,600, and £40,000 by £9,600. To understand more about the financial requirements for FLR (M) applications, it is useful to read the Home Office guidance, or if you are in any way unsure, seek the guidance of a specialist immigration lawyer.
If you are a national of an English-speaking country as defined by the Home Office (see the full list), then you will not need to prove your knowledge of the English language; only your passport will be required. In addition, you will not be required to sit an English language test if you are 65 years old (or over), or have a physical or mental disability which would prevent you from taking the test, or if you can prove exceptional circumstances. Anyone who has studied a degree taught in English at undergraduate or postgraduate level, at a UK based university, will also not be required to sit an English exam. Those who are required to sit an English language test must do so at a Secure English language Tests (SELT) centre approved by the Home Office - this must be at A2 level.
At present levels, the FLR (M) application fee is £1,033, however, you may need to pay additional costs. Firstly, you will be required to pay another £1,000 for the healthcare surcharge, which will enable you to access the NHS during the period of the Visa. Secondly, there is a charge of £19.20 for your biometric to be taken (including photos, fingerprints, and signature). You may also need to pay for an English test, translation of documents (e.g. marriage certificate), and if you engage the services of an immigration lawyer, legal fees. If you need your application to be expedited using the priority (a decision within 5 working days) or super-priority service (a decision by the next working day), you will need to pay an additional processing fee; £500 for the priority, and £800 for super-priority service.
(uk spouse visa extension documents)
It is all too common for applicants to rush into submitting documents which do not meet the requirements defined by the Home Office. In addition to the evidence required for financial requirements, it is also important to review the specified evidence guidance. This guidance is the same as that used by decision-makers who will be determining your application. For example, to prove salaried employment in the UK, six months of payslips must be provided if you have been with your current employer for six months or more. If the period of time with the current employer is less than six months, then payslips covering the last 12 months are required. This is just one of many examples of where without reading the guidance provided, an applicant may not provide the level of documentation required by the Home Office.
Be in no doubt, the application process for an extension of a UK Spouse Visa is not a mere formality. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements, have the necessary documents to prove your eligibility, or need assistance with the application process, do consider engaging the services of an immigration lawyer. In doing so, you can be assured that not only will your application have the best chance of a prompt and successful outcome, you can focus on your family, work, and personal life, in the knowledge your matter is fully in hand.
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.
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