A UK spouse visa is a legal document which allows non-UK individuals to immigrate to the UK because they are married to somebody who is settled in the UK. This partner must be a British citizen, or resident in the UK, with no immigration restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK.
Before you read about how to extend spouse visa in UK, you need to understand exactly what a spouse visa is, and what the rules and requirements are.
In this blog article, we will answer the question ‘how to extend spouse visa in UK’ and outline additional points you need to know if you are applying to bring your spouse to the UK.
How do you apply for a spouse visa?
You can get help with filling in the online application if you do not feel confident using a computer/mobile device or if you do not have internet access.
How long can someone stay in the UK on a spouse visa?
Your spouse will be able to stay up to 2 years and 9 months in the UK, and they can apply to extend their stay in the UK.
What are the requirements for applying for a spouse visa?
If you and your partner are applying for a spouse visa, there are certain conditions you will have to meet.
You and your partner must be 18 or over. You should both also intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply for a spouse visa.
Also, your partner must be either:
- A British or Irish citizen
- Have settled in the UK
- Be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
- Have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish worker visa
- Have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
What financial requirements are there for a spouse visa?
Both you and your partner must be able to demonstrate that you can financially support yourselves in the UK, without relying on public funds (benefits).
Your spouse must prove they have an annual income of at least £18,600, plus extra money if you have children who are not permanently settled in the UK.
You will have to prove that you have £3,800 for your first child, and £2,400 a year for each child you have after your first child.
To submit this financial evidence, you must provide proof of your income with your application. This could be bank statements showing your or your partner’s income, 6 months of payslips, or a letter from an employer, dated and on headed paper.
What other requirements are there for a spouse visa?
You and your partner must meet these requirements:
- You must be in a genuine relationship and you must have lived together for at least 2 years. You can prove this by submitting your marriage certificate, or a joint bank account statement that shows you live at the same address.
- You and your partner must not be related (e.g. a half-brother or sister).
- You and your partner must have met in person- an online relationship would not suffice.
- If you and your spouse are married, you must have been at least 18 years old (in England and Wales) or 16 years old in Scotland and Northern Ireland on the date you were married.
- Any previous relationships that you and your partner were in, must have permanently ended. If you or your partner has been previously married, you will have to provide proof that this marriage has ended (e.g. by submitting divorce papers).
What supporting documents will I need to apply for a spouse visa?
You and your partner must provide the following supporting evidence to go with your application for a spouse visa:
- Your names
- Your dates of birth
- your current passport or other valid travel ID
- Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in your previous passports
- A copy of your biometric residence permit, if you have one
- Details of any previous immigration applications you’ve made
- Details of any criminal convictions
- Your national insurance number, if you have one
- Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you are applying from outside the UK
- Your tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
- A certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh
You will also need:
How much does a spouse visa cost?
If you are applying from outside of the UK, it costs £1,538 to apply for a spouse visa.
If you are applying from within the UK, it costs £1,048 to apply for a spouse visa.
You may also need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
Your application form will tell you what your fees are.
You may be able to pay to get a faster decision on your spouse visa application.
How to extend spouse visa in UK
Remember that the spouse visa allows your spouse to stay up to 2 years and 9 months in the UK.
After your spouse visa expires, you can apply to extend it by 2 years and 6 months.
To extend your spouse visa, you must apply online by filling out the form FLR (M).
To extend your spouse’s stay in the UK, you must qualify for the following conditions:
- a British citizen
- or someone who is settled In the UK with either indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- person with pre-settled status under the EUSS in the UK
- person who has refugee leave or humanitarian protection in the UK
- person who has leave as a Turkish ECAA worker or business person in the UK
What supporting documents do my partner and I need to extend our spouse visa?
You and your partner will be asked to provide documents confirming your identity, nationality and proof of accommodation. You will also have to submit proof of your English language skills.
You must also provide evidence that you are in a legally recognised marriage or civil partnership. If you are not married, you must prove that you have been in a relationship for at least two years.
You must also submit evidence that you have been living with your spouse throughout your stay in the UK and that you will continue living with them. (E.g. by supplying joint bank statements which show that you are both living at the same address.)
Additionally, to extend your spouse visa, you must prove that you and your partner have a combined annual income of at least £18,600.
If you apply to bring any child dependents with you to the UK, you will have to prove that you have at least £3,800 for your first child and £2,400 for every child after that.
You must provide evidence of your relationship with your children (e.g. by supplying the children’s birth certificates.)
You may have to provide additional supporting documents if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requests this.
Can you be denied a spouse visa?
Your spouse visa application can be rejected. Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for rejection and tell you your next steps.
If your spouse visa application has been rejected, you can:
- Appeal the decision
- Make a new visa application
If you make a new application, you will have to pay the full application fee again.
If you decide to appeal, you will need to appeal within 14 days if you are in the UK, or 28 days if you are outside the UK.
What if my spouse visa expires and I haven’t applied to extend it?
You will be in breach of UK immigration laws, which means you will be classed as an overstayer.
You will have 30 days to leave the country voluntarily. If you don’t leave in this time, you could be deported and this may be held against you on future visa applications.
We hope you now have the answer to the question ‘how to extend spouse visa in UK’.
Read more articles about visas and immigration-related enquiries on our blog here.