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Five Things To Remember When Applying For a UK Spouse Visa Extension

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.

  • Apply before your existing Visa expires

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.

  • Submit Proof that you meet the spouse visa extension financial requirement

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:

  • The applicant, OR
  • The applicant's partner (sponsor), OR
  • Include a contribution from the applicant

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 experienced immigration lawyers.

  • Meet the English language requirement

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.

  • The fees involved in applying for a Spouse Visa extension

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.

  • Only submit documents when you are sure they meet the requirements

(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.

Final words

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 immigration solicitors. 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.

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O.L

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I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

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Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

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"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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"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".

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Top Notch Immigration Service

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Gallagher Jones

"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".

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"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".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! 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".

Amir Sandeep

"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".

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