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UK Spouse Visa Extension After 2.5 Years in 2022

Last updated: 27th May 2022

If you have lived in the UK on a spouse visa for a certain period of time (usually 2.5 years) and your visa is about to expire, you can apply to have your spouse visa extended for another 2.5 years. It is important to know that applicants must apply for a spouse visa extension / renewal before their current visa expires. The earliest spouse visa extension / renewal application can be submitted is 28 days before the expiry date of the current visa. It is also important not to wait until the Spouse Visa expires as this may result in being classed as an overstayer.

A UK Spouse Visa extension / renewal enables those eligible to remain in the UK for a further 30 months (2.5 years). After this period, they will have spent 5 years in the UK on a Spouse Visa and will be eligible to apply for ILR. In this article, we explain the eligibility criteria for a Spouse Visa extension, the application process, and other useful information to ensure you have the best chance of making a successful application.

Spouse Visa Extension Requirements 2022

The eligibility requirements for a Spouse Visa extension state that you must:

  • Still be in a genuine relationship with your spouse/partner (the relationship requirements)
  • Meet the financial requirements
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Not have breached any law or immigration conditions
  • Be of good character

Spouse Visa extension relationship requirements

Applicants must meet the Spouse Visa relationship requirements to be granted an extension, as follows:

  • You must still be in the same eligible and genuine relationship (i.e. with the same person) you were in when you were granted your initial Spouse Visa.
  • Your partner or spouse must be either a British national, a person who has settled in the UK (i.e. EU Pre-Settled or Settled Status, or Indefinite Leave to Remain), or a person who has received refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
  • You must still be married or in a civil partnership with your partner or have been together in a relationship for at least 2 years.

Financial requirements

Spouse Visa extension applicants need to show they still meet the Spouse visa financial requirements, as follows:

  • Have a combined income (with their British or settled partner) of at least £18,600
  • If the applicant has any dependent children, they must have an additional combined income of £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. A child is classed as dependant if they are under 18 years and financially reliant on the visa applicant.

It is important to note that the financial requirement can be met in a number of ways, including income from employment or self-employment, cash savings of £16,000 or more, pensions, or non-work income (e.g. rental property income).

In some circumstances, you may be able to make a successful Spouse Visa extension application, and you wish to settle in the UK after 5 years if your partner receives benefits such as the Disability Living Allowance or Carer’s Allowance.

In addition, you may be able to apply based on your human rights if you don’t meet all of the requirements and there are exceptional circumstances. This might include if you can prove:

  • You would experience significant difficulties if you and your partner had to live as a couple outside the UK, and these cannot be overcome.
  • Your child in the UK is a British citizen (or they have resided in the UK for 7 years or more), and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK.

English language requirement

There are three main ways to meet the English language requirement:

  • Be from an eligible English-speaking country; these are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA.
  • Have a degree or other academic qualification that was taught in English
  • Pass an approved English language test – It is important to note if you previously passed a CEFR level at A1 level, you will now need to pass at level A2 in speaking and listening when extending your visa.

Good character requirement

To meet the good character requirement, the Home Office will want to be assured that there are no reasons to refuse your application, such as:

  • Breaches of the immigration rules
  • Criminal convictions
  • Evidence of deception and dishonesty
  • Involvement in or association with war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, terrorism, or other actions that are not conducive to the public good.

Spouse Visa extension documents checklist

With your spouse visa extension application, you will be expected to submit a number of documents to support your application, including (please note this list of documents is not exhaustive as they will be based on individual circumstances):

  • Proof of your identity, such as your valid passport
  • Proof of your subsisting relationship – e.g. marriage certificate, evidence of living with your partner/spouse in the last 2.5 years such as joint bills, rental agreements etc.
  • Proof of your spouse’s UK status, e.g. proof of indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship
  • Provide evidence of meeting the financial requirement, such as payslips to show your savings, income or bank statements.
  • Proof of your knowledge of the English Language, if applicable, e.g. a degree certificate or an English language test certificate at CEFR level A2.

Your documents can either be uploaded with your online application or provided when you attend your UKVCAS biometric appointment. If you provide your documents to UKVCAS, they will scan and upload them and return the originals straight back to you.

Spouse visa extension fees

Application fee to renew a Spouse Visa UK is £1,048 for each person applying.

Other costs include Health Surcharge: £624 per person per year (£470 per year for those under 18).

How long does a spouse visa extension take?

To renew a Spouse Visa takes up to 8 weeks to process. If you need a faster decision when extending a spouse visa, you may be able to pay an extra £800 to use the super-priority service for a decision by the end of the next working day or £500 to use the priority service for a decision within 5 working days.

Spouse Visa extension after 2.5 years refused

Your Spouse Visa renewal can be refused for a number of reasons, including if you:

  • Do not meet the English language test requirement
  • Do not meet the minimum income threshold
  • Cannot prove you are still in a genuine subsisting relationship
  • The Home Office has concerns about your character or past criminal convictions
  • Have not provided the correct information in your application
  • Have not provided all of the information required to support your application

If your extension of spouse visa application is unsuccessful, you will receive a spouse visa extension refusal letter and be required to leave the UK within the time shown.

What happens next if your Spouse Visa renewal is refused?

Your options in the event of refusal may include:

  • Leaving the country by the deadline provided
  • Requesting an Administrative Review if you believe a mistake was made when the decision was made
  • Submitting a Spouse Visa appeal if your application was made on Human Rights grounds
  • Submitting a fresh application
  • Applying for a different type of visa
  • Requesting a Judicial Review to challenge the legal basis for the decision.

For more information, please see our article Spouse Visa Refusal Common Reasons and Appeal Process If you need assistance with your Spouse Visa extension refusal, contact our immigration lawyers on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all areas of immigration law, including Spouse Visa extension applications. Our immigration lawyers can:

  • Prepare and submit your Spouse Visa extension UK application on your behalf and of your family members
  • Collate, check, and upload all documents required to support your application for a Spouse Visa extension application
  • Handle any queries from the Home Office
  • Advise on any other suitable visa routes available to you and your dependants
  • Assist if staying in the UK after divorce
  • Assist with ILR following the death of partner spouse visa

Contact our immigration lawyers on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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