As your UK visa approaches its expiration, you may be considering the ways in which you can extend it.

Here at IAS, our expert lawyers can help you with your visa extension application depending on which route you are eligible to take. Below you can find a detailed explanation of the extension processes for three of the most popular UK visa systems.  

Spouse or Unmarried Partner Visa Extensions 

A Spouse/Unmarried Partner Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 30 months and can be extended for a further 30 months after this. To extend your Partner Visa, you can submit an FLR (M) form application to the Home Office.  

The requirements for a Spouse/Partner Visa extension are as follows: 

  • You continue to meet the financial requirements (for a partner applying under Appendix FM who has no dependents, the income threshold is a gross annual salary of at least £18,600). 
  • English language requirements – any applicant whose ‘leave to remain as a partner’ expired on or after 1st May 2017 must satisfy the new English language requirements. You will be tested on your writing, reading, listening and speaking abilities. 
  • You are in a genuine relationship and will continue living together permanently  
  • You meet suitability requirements – this relates to your character, conduct and previous immigration history 
  • You have the required immigration status i.e. you are in the UK lawfully  

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Tier 2 Visa Extensions  

The total amount of time you can stay in the UK with a Tier 2 Visa is up to 6 years including any extensions. 

If you are still employed by the same company as in your initial Tier 2 Visa application and if you continue to meet the same eligibility requirements then you can apply for an extension of your Tier 2 Visa.  

Your employer must apply for an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) as soon as they have agreed to extend your contract. Once the new CoS has been assigned, you have three months to apply for your Tier 2 Visa extension or 60 days before your current visa expires – whichever occurs sooner.  

To be granted an extension of your Tier 2 Visa, you must: 

  • Earn an appropriate salary for your role – this cannot be a lower salary than in your initial Tier 2 Visa application 
  • Have a new Certificate of Sponsorship (as outlined above) 

  • Provide biometric evidence – includes your fingerprints and a photograph of yourself  
  • Provide proof of maintenance funds  
  • Provide proof of your English Language ability (you may be required to complete a higher level English qualification than the test for your first application) 
  • Be in the UK to extend your visa  

If you extend your stay to more than 3 years, you must pay £1,408 for yourself and additional £1,408 for each individual dependent. These fees may be lower if your role is on the Shortage Occupation List. An additional charge of £19.20 will be incurred to have your biometric information taken.  

It is important to note that, if you no longer work for the same employer as when you applied for your initial Tier 2 Visa, you will not be eligible for an extension. Having a new employer requires a new Tier 2 Visa application.  

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Tier 1 Visa Extensions 

Innovator Visa Extension (formerly known as ‘Entrepreneur Visa’) 

With an Innovator Visa, you can stay in the UK for three years. When your visa is due to expire, you can apply to extend it for another three years and there is no limit on the number of times you can extend this visa. To be eligible for an Innovator Visa extension, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires. As long as you still meet the eligibility requirements and are either currently running a business in the UK or want to set up a new one, you are eligible to apply for an extension of your visa.  

The eligibility requirements for an Innovator Visa extension are as follows: 

  • You must meet the ‘new business’ endorsement criteria if you are applying for a visa extension that is based on a different business venture than in your initial Tier 1 Innovator Visa application. As with your initial application for the Tier 1 Innovator Visa, this new business must show innovation, viability and scalability. You must also show evidence of the required investment funds of at least £50,000.  
  • If you are applying for a visa extension based on the same business venture that was initially assessed in your Tier 1 Innovator Visa application, the criteria is as follows:  
  • You have shown significant achievements in line with the business plan assessed in your previous endorsement 
  • Your business is registered with Companies House and you are listed as a director/member of that business 

  • The business is active and trading 
  • The business appears to be sustainable for at least the following 12 months 
  • You have shown an active role in the management and development of the business 

If you meet all of the relevant eligibility criteria outlined above, you must have your business/business idea assessed by an approved body when extending your visa. One of our lawyers can help and advise you with your application for an extension as this can be a difficult and complex process.

Please note that if you are in the UK on a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, you can no longer extend it. Instead, you must switch onto a Start-Up Visa instead.

However, if you are in the UK with a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you will be able to apply for an extension until 5th April 2023. From this route, you will also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) until 5th April 2025.

Start-Up Visa Extension (formerly known as ‘Graduate Entrepreneur Visa’) 

On a Start-Up visa, you are permitted to stay in the UK for a total of two years. Unfortunately, this visa cannot be extended. However, you can transfer from this visa to the Innovator Visa.  

Investor Visa 

With an Investor Visa, you are able to stay in the UK for 3 years and 4 months. You can apply to extend this visa for up to an additional 2 years. Your extension application must be made before your current Investor Visa expires. The criteria for Investor Visa extensions is as follows: 

If you were granted your Tier 1 Investor Visa before 6th November 2014 and wish to extend it: 

  • You must have at least £1 million of accessible funds in your name 
  • You must have invested at least £750,000 in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK companies 
  • You must have invested this sum into the UK within the first three months of being granted your initial Tier 1 Investor Visa  

If you were granted your Tier 1 Investor Visa on or after 6th November 2014 and wish to extend it: 

  • You must have at least £2 million of accessible funds in your name 
  • You have invested these funds into UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in UK companies 
  • You must have invested this sum into the UK within the first three months of being granted your initial Tier 1 Investor Visa  

To extend this visa, you must pay £1,623 per person. An additional charge of £19.20 will be incurred to have your biometric information (photograph & fingerprints) taken. You must apply online to extend this visa and must include any dependants who are on your current visa.   

 

IAS can help with all of your visa extension applications to the Home Office. We can check your documents to ensure that they are adequate, prepare a Letter of Representation, liaise with the Home Office on your behalf and complete your application form to the highest standard. We also offer you a free 10-minute consultation with one of our expert lawyers to establish your needs.  

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