If you’re currently living in the UK and have a spouse visa, you needn’t overlook that it is due to expire. On that note, if you don’t follow the required steps to renew it, you risk being sent back to your home country, and, thus, be separated from your partner.
Nonetheless, you shouldn’t worry; if you’re thinking of extending your UK spouse visa, we have comprised a guide for you. This aims at answering the most frequently asked questions on the topic. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the basic things that shouldn’t miss your attention, shall we?
Being Prepared Is Compulsory
Originally, the UK spouse visa is facilitated for a fixed timeframe of two years and six months. After this timeframe expires, you’ll be required to extend your visa, if you intend to remain in the country.
One of the main things you should bear in mind is that you have to file your application before your visa expires.
Concurrently, you may apply for an extension only after having held a visa for two years and six months, or for six months only, if you’ve applied as a fiancée or proposed civil partner.
In other words, you have a limited time at your disposal to get your documents sorted out. If you don’t have the time to DIY, you might consider looking for the assistance of a visa consultant. This way, you can rest assured that everything’s taken care of within the designated time.
Make Sure You Meet the Financial Requirements
It’s true that the financial requirements for extending your UK spouse visa are strict. Still, if you fail to meet them, you can say goodbye to having your application approved.
So, when you file your documents for receiving an extension, you must prove that you meet the specifications. To be more precise, your partner’s annual gross income should be of 18,600 pounds.
Nevertheless, in the scenario in which you are sponsoring a child as well, the income should be of 22,400 pounds, at the very least. In the same respect, for each child sponsored, you ought to present an additional 2,400 pounds.
Bear in mind that the documents required to back up these claims are extensive. In other words, preparing them requires plenty of time and attention to detail. So, know what to expect and start prepping them as soon as possible, so that nothing important misses your attention.
Still, are there any exemptions to these conditions? Yes. You will be excepted from these specifications if your sponsor has career’s allowance or a particular disability-related benefit. In this case, however, you must indicate that your sponsor may accommodate you in the UK, without having access to those public funds.
Proof of Your Relationship
If you’re applying as a partner or spouse, then you will be expected to offer comprehensive information about your relationship, and details such as how you’ve met, for how long you’ve been living together, and other private aspects of your life. On top of that, you might also be asked to supply documents such as utility bills, tax bills, and bank statements.
What is more, you must indicate that you have made plans with your partner about living together in the UK.
At the same time, it’s worth considering that the documents should be addressed to you and your partner, as well. Plus, they ought to cover the two-year period foregoing your extension application.
However, in the event of an arranged marriage, both partners should consent to the marriage and concur with the plans made by their families.
In the simplest terms, you should prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. That is why you have to supply plenty of documentation. Don’t worry, though, you won’t be asked to send WhatsApp messages or anything of the sort if that was on your mind.
When Can I Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Spouse?
According to the Immigration Rules, you may apply for ILR 28 days after having completed your five-year residence in the UK.
How Long Will It Take?
Generally speaking, the amount of time it takes until you are communicated the final decision depends on some factors. For example, if you applied outside the UK, a decision will be made in a matter of 12 weeks or so.
If you applied in the UK online or by post, you’ll be given a response sooner – in approximately 8 weeks. Nevertheless, if your application is more complex, the entire process might be delayed. For example, this happens when you don’t meet the minimum income requirements, or you were unable to demonstrate your knowledge of English.
When Can You Settle Permanently?
If your spouse has been dwelling in the UK for a while now, the odds are you intend to settle there so that the family is reunited. That being said, the earliest you can apply for ILR is after having lived in the country for five years straight. During this time, you should have had the permission to stay visa. Nevertheless, bear in mind that these rules are not applicable if you apply for Visa in the UK as a fiancée, fiancé or a proposed civil partner.
Although extending your UK spouse visa isn’t the easiest of tasks, it is doable. As long as you take into consideration the legal requirements, things will move along smoothly. Still, comprehending the UK immigration system is a challenge, so you could do with some professional assistance.
The guidance of an immigration consultant is priceless. A consultant will ensure that all the documentation is in order and that you meet the specified requirements. Considering that the application process is extensive and tiring, missing out on things is a possibility. Having your application rejected and doing the whole thing from scratch isn’t the best scenario.
So, consider getting some help if you want to secure the path to getting your spouse visa extension application approved.