UK Spouse Visa Extension
The Spouse Visa extension can be applied for before your Spouse Visa is due to expire. It enables a person to live in the UK for a further 30 months.
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The Spouse Visa extension is designed for non-EEA residents who have been living in the UK under a Spouse Visa.

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What is the UK Spouse Visa Extension

The Spouse Visa extension is designed for non-EEA residents who have been living in the UK under a Spouse Visa.

If you wish to stay in the UK when your initial Spouse Visa expires, you can apply for a Spouse Visa renewal or extension. The Spouse Visa extension, like the Spouse Visa, lasts for 30 months or 2.5 years. When the extension expires, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status, which can eventually lead to British citizenship.

The requirements for the extension are similar to the original Spouse Visa and include being able to prove that you have been in a genuine relationship with your spouse/partner, and intend to carry on living together in the UK.

Also, in most cases, an applicant will need to be able to show that they have a combined income with their spouse/partner of at least £18.600. Detailed below is all you need to know about the Spouse Visa extension after 2.5 years and beyond Spouse visa renewal.

Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

What are the Spouse Visa extension UK requirements after 2.5 years?

The Spouse Visa requirements you need to meet to be eligible for an extension vary depending on the individual’s personal circumstances, but a universal condition is proof of the relationship between you and your partner.

Your spouse/partner needs to be a British citizen or have settled status, such as Indefinite Leave to Remain, in order for you to be eligible for the extension. It is also possible to apply to extend your time in the UK if your partner has refugee status or humanitarian protection status in the UK.

You must be able to prove that the relationship between you and your partner is genuine and recognised in the UK, whether it is a marriage or civil partnership. Alternatively, you need to show that you have been in a relationship which is akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years.

In addition to the genuine relationship requirement, the majority of applicants will need to fulfil these eligibility criteria:

  • Have a combined income with your partner/spouse of at least £18,600
  • Have not breached any law or immigration condition
  • Ability to meet the English language requirements
  • Meet character suitability conditions

What do I need to know about the relationship requirement?

When you apply to extend your Spouse Visa, you will need to prove that you are in a genuine relationship. As part of this requirement, an applicant will need to include a civil partnership/marriage certificate, which is recognised in the UK, with their application. If the applicant is not in a marriage/civil partnership with their partner, they will need to provide information which shows they have been in a long-term relationship with their partner.

In addition to this, an applicant will need to provide further evidence to prove that they have been living with their partner for the duration of their residency in the UK.

If you provide correspondence addressed to the spouse and the applicant at the same address, this can be used as evidence of the relationship.

The Home Office may wish to see information such as council tax bills, utility bills and bank statements. Any evidence which you provide needs to be in its original form, dated and on headed paper.

Ultimately, you need to be able to demonstrate that you have been living with your partner during your UK residency, and that you intend to carry on living with your partner in the UK throughout the period of the extension and, potentially, beyond.

Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

What is the financial requirement for an extension?

Before you submit your application for a UK Spouse Visa, you need to:
  • Have all the required documents
  • Pass the ‘Genuine Relationship Test’
  • Meet the minimum income threshold and the financial requirement
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the English language
  • Have proof of suitable accommodation for you, your partner and any dependents
  • Get your biometrics taken to get leave to remain
  • To remain in the UK, you may also need to pass a medical test to show you don’t have Tuberculosis (TB), depending on the applicant’s country of residence
  • Financial requirement exemptions

    The UK Spouse Visa applicant needs to be able to prove they are in a genuine relationship, such as a civil partnership, with their British citizen partner. There are lots of different types of evidence you can send to the Home Office, such as:
  • A joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, either in the UK or outside the UK
  • Evidence of any children you have together, such as a birth certificate
  • Photographs that show you have spent time together frequently
  • A shared bank account or savings
  • Text messages or social media chat logs
  • Travel documents that prove you’ve visited each other at least once before you got married
  • Any documents which prove that you intend to live together in the UK
  • Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

    What is the Spouse Visa extension English test?

    The UK national of the relationship is known as the sponsor, and he or she is required to meet specific criteria.

    First, you will need to prove that you and your wife/husband/partner meet the financial requirement and have enough money to support yourselves without claiming public funds.

    The UK spouse needs an income of at least £18,600 before tax if there are no dependent children.

    If you have one dependent child, you will need an extra £3,800 before tax to meet the financial requirement. For any other children, the sponsor will need an extra £2,400 for each subsequent child.

    What if I don’t meet the financial requirement?

    If you don’t have enough money from all the listed sources of income to meet the mandatory Partner/Spouse Visa financial requirement, or you are unsure about your income, seek the advice of our specialist immigration lawyers, as exceptional circumstances may apply.

    What is the Spouse Visa extension form?

    Making sure you have all the correct documents to support your UK Spouse Visa application will help to ensure it is successful and prevent delays. These are the documents you will need to send to the Home Office to get the right to remain in the UK:
  • Your original marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Proof that you and your partner have been living together for at least the past two years
  • A valid passport to get leave to remain in the UK
  • A valid certificate to meet the English language requirement
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof that the relationship is genuine
  • Proof that you meet the income threshold and the financial requirement
  • Proof that you are married to a British citizen or settled person (for example, UK citizens can submit a copy of their passport)
  • Please note that any documents that are not in English need to be accompanied by a translated version from a professional translator. All evidence must be in the exact format required by the Home Office.

    Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

    What is the Spouse Visa extension fee?

    To meet the minimum income requirement for your UK Spouse Visa application, you can use:
  • Savings over £16,000
  • Earnings from employment or self-employment
  • Maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay
  • Pensions
  • Other income such as that generated from rent or shares
  • If your partner is applying from outside the UK, they can use their savings to contribute towards the total income amount – but not their earnings. Nevertheless, if your partner is working in the UK, their earnings can count towards the total amount. You can also use a combination of savings and earnings to help you meet the minimum income threshold. However, you will need to prove you have enough financial support for the entire length of the permit. To see how much you will need in savings, first subtract any other eligible income from your minimum requirement. Then, multiply this figure by 2.5 and add 16,000.

    What is the Spouse visa renewal application process?

    There are cases where you won’t need to meet the mandatory eligibility criteria, such as if you are claiming any one of the following benefits:
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Career’s Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
  • Police Injury Pension
  • You will, however, need to prove that you have enough money to support your dependents. This is called ‘adequate maintenance’, and the exact amount you need will depend on your individual circumstances. Typically, you will need at least £120 per week after you have paid for housing. If you have a child or children, this amount will increase.

    Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

    What can I do if I receive a rejection?

    Applicants who wish to live in the UK, need to be able to prove that they can speak English. Once you have passed an English Language Test, it will be valid for two years. You must sit an English test in speaking and listening to get the right to remain in the UK with your UK spouse. Your qualification will be valid only if your English exam is taken through an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Provider. Currently, SELT tests for immigration purposes are only available through the Trinity College London or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Consortium. You do not need an English Language test if you:
  • Are a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Are aged under 18 or over 65
  • Have a long-term physical or mental condition
  • Hold a degree or any educational establishment that was taught or researched in English. Your qualification will only be valid if confirmed by UK NARIC.

    What are the next steps after a Spouse Visa extension?

    To qualify, your property needs enough rooms to accommodate the couple and any dependents. Each person needs an individual room, however:
  • Couples can share the same bedroom
  • Living rooms can be included when counting bedrooms
  • Children under 1 do not need their own room
  • Children aged 1-9 years old count as half a person
  • Children aged 10 years or over count as an adult
  • Children aged 10 years or over of the opposite sex cannot share a room
  • This means that two children aged under 10 years can share one room, and babies under one year old can live in the same room as the couple.

    Our experienced UK immigration lawyers can help you through each step of the immigration process. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    UK Visas & Immigration requires the following requirements in order to grant you a SPOUSE VISA:

    • If your partner is a British national, holds indefinite or limited leave to remain under the Appendix EU or be entitled to limited leave under the Appendix ECA;
    • both of you are over 18 years of age;
    • the two of you have met in person and are legally married;
    • You intend to live together permanently; Your relationship is genuine;
    • Any previous relationships have ended permanently;
    • No public funds are required to support you in the UK;
    • You and anyone with you in the UK has adequate accommodation;
    • The level of English that you understand and speak is sufficient.
    • Depending on your circumstances, you may need to satisfy different requirements so it is strongly advisable to confirm your eligibility  in advance of making an application.
    You will need to meet a financial requirement in order to demonstrate that you can properly maintain yourself in the UK without using public funds. If your Spouse (or both of you if you have legal residence in the UK) is applying for a Spouse visa, you will be required to demonstrate that they have a gross annual income of at least:
    • £18,600; plus
    • £3,800 for a first child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national); plus
    • £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national).
    The following are ways to meet the financial requirement for the UK Spouse visa:
    • salaried and non-salaried income
    • self-employed income
    • salary and/or dividends from a company of which you are a Director
    • property rental income
    • dividends
    • An income from investments, stocks, bonds, or trust funds, pensions, insurance payments, and maintenance payments.
    • At least six months’ worth of cash savings above £16,000* (unless they can be proven to be from the sale of property or investments within the last six months).
    • In some cases, it is possible to satisfy the financial need by combining the above sources of income.
    When your Spouse receives certain benefits, there will be different considerations.

    If you are successful in your application for a UK Spouse Visa, your visa will initially last for 33 months. Once this period comes to an end, and subject to you being able to demonstrate that you still meet all of the requirements and there have been no changes in your circumstances e.g. a breakdown in your relationship, you are required to extend your leave as a spouse. In the case of a spouse applying for leave to remain in the UK, you will be granted 30 months’ leave if your extension application is successful. In the real world, we understand that things don’t always go to plan. It’s important to understand that whilst the Spouse Visa is an immigration pathway to settlement, this is subject to ongoing compliance with the immigration rules. There are many considerations such as: is the relationship subsisting and genuine?? has there been any breakdown in relationship? Have there been any changes in income? Are there any criminal convictions? You may apply for indefinite leave to remain if you are married to a British citizen or a settled person for five years and have met the immigration rules along this journey. UK Immigration Solicitors are experts in this area and our team are able to ensure that you remain compliant with the rules throughout your immigration journey.

    If you are successful in your application for a UK Spouse Visa, your visa will initially last for 33 months. Once this period comes to an end, and subject to you being able to demonstrate that you still meet all of the requirements and there have been no changes in your circumstances e.g. a breakdown in your relationship, you are required to extend your leave as a spouse. In the case of a spouse applying for leave to remain in the UK, you will be granted 30 months’ leave if your extension application is successful. In the real world, we understand that things don’t always go to plan. It’s important to understand that whilst the Spouse Visa is an immigration pathway to settlement, this is subject to ongoing compliance with the immigration rules. There are many considerations such as: is the relationship subsisting and genuine?? has there been any breakdown in relationship? Have there been any changes in income? Are there any criminal convictions? You may apply for indefinite leave to remain if you are married to a British citizen or a settled person for five years and have met the immigration rules along this journey. UK Immigration Solicitors are experts in this area and our team are able to ensure that you remain compliant with the rules throughout your immigration journey.
    You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. When you do not need to prove it You do not need to prove your knowledge of English or take a test if one of the following is true:
    • you’re applying as a child
    • you’re applying as an adult coming to be cared for by a relative
    • you’ve been in the UK on a family visa for 5 years and you’re extending it as a partner or parent
    • you’re over 65
    • you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirement
    You also will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA How to prove your knowledge of English You can prove it with an academic qualification, or by taking a test. Academic qualifications You can prove your knowledge of English if you have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English. If your qualification is from a UK university or college, you only need your degree certificate. If your qualification is from a university or college outside the UK You’ll need to provide a certificate from Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to show that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher and that it was taught in English. There are 2 kinds of certificate:
    • a statement of comparability
    • a visa and nationality statement
    You need a statement of comparability if you got your qualification from a university or college in one of these countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA If you got your qualification from a university or college in any other country, you need a visa and nationality statement. Take an approved English language test You can prove your knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test. You must pass at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale for your first visa application. You can choose to take a higher level test. If you pass level B1 or higher, you can use your test result again when you apply for settlement after 5 years. Your test still needs to be on the approved list of qualifications and your test certificate must not have been withdrawn by the test provider.
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