How Can I Get a UK Visa Extension
If you already have a UK Visa but want to stay in the country longer, or your circumstances have changed and you need to extend your stay, you may be able to do so. Visa extensions depend on your visa type (and therefore your reason for travel). In some instances, you can’t get an extension but you can switch to another visa if you fulfil the requirements. In others, you must leave the country and apply for another UK Visa from home. Failure to meet the requirements of your visa in the UK can result in you being barred from entering the UK in the future, so it is essential that you understand the rules surrounding your visa and that you abide by them.
In some cases UK visa extensions may be applied for by the candidate themselves, as with Tier 1. However, in other cases for example applying for a UK work permit extension, the application procedure is an employer led one.
Tier 1 Extensions
If you have a Tier 1 Visa, you will need to meet the criteria for further leave to remain in the UK in order to extend your current visa.
You will also need to demonstrate proficiency in the English Language by providing either an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score at above band 6, or documentary evidence of a Bachelors’ degree taught in English.
In addition, you will need to reach a points threshold on a points based system similar to that used in your original application.
In terms of education, the points system is the same as that for original applications. However, age is weighted differently to take account of the time elapsed between the original visa application and the new one. Previous earnings will also be considered, based on the length of the original visa granted and will differ as to whether the visa was granted for less or more than 12 months.
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme Extensions
The term 'extension' can be misleading with regard to a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme (also known as UK Working Holiday).
A Youth Mobility Scheme Visa may be granted for up to 2 years. In cases where an applicant was granted less than this, an extension may be applied for. However, this type of visa is only granted once and if you have already had the full 2-year visa you can’t extend it or apply for another Youth Mobility Visa again.
Staying in the United Kingdom beyond this period will require a UK Visit Visa application (often known as a Travel Visa or Tourist Visa) which does not allow you to work in the UK. To find out which is the best pathway for you, you should speak to one of our trained advisors so that we can provide personal advice based on your specific circumstances.
A Work Permit can be extended for a maximum period of 5 years, although it is worth remembering that if you have already spent 5 years in the UK on a Work Permit, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
However, if your Work Permit or Intra Company Transfer (ICT) are due to expire soon you can apply for an extension.
As with the original permit, the responsibility for submitting the request lies with your employer rather than you (the employee) and must be lodged before the current permit expires.
The position in question does not have to be re-advertised in order for an extension to be granted. Holders of Work Permits may also be granted a new Work Permit for up to 5 years in cases where they have changed jobs. However, holders of multiple entry visas will not be eligible for either a change of employment or a Work Permit extension.
Graduate and Training Schemes
International student schemes are not intended as a means to settle in the UK permanently, and do not provide a pathway to Indefinite Leave to Remain without being eligible for other visas in the interim period. However, once you finish studying you may be able to switch to another visa such as the Tier 1 if you are eligible. In most cases, you will need an offer of employment or a UK family member/partner to stay in the UK.
The Training and Work Experience Scheme or TWES, does not however, offer the same ability to switch from one UK immigration service to another. It awards work experience or training visas for a set period, extending this time only in exceptional circumstances.
Since both sides of this immigration route are intended to provide an applicant with experience or training which will be put to use on their return to their home country, candidates must spend a period outside the United Kingdom before they can apply to return under a UK Work Permit. This period will be 12 or 24 months depending upon whether the TWES visa was issued for less than or more than 12 months.
A Tier 4 Student Visa may be extended by applying for Further Leave to Remain. In order to do so, you must demonstrate that you want to stay in the UK to continue your studies, that you have successfully completed your original course of study, and that you will be able to support yourself financially throughout your time in Britain. You will need to apply for an extension well before your original visa expires to ensure you can remain in the UK.
Permission for your spouse and/or dependents to remain in Britain will vary according to the UK immigration route in question. People coming to the United Kingdom through a Marriage Visa an Unmarried Partner Visa will be granted a 2-year period in the country.
The extension of visa duration in these categories is unnecessary since applicants will qualify to apply for ILR once their visa has expired. In the case of a fiancé visa, no extension is available – these 6 month visas are issued solely on the proviso that the parties involved will marry in the UK within the stated period and once you marry you will need to change to the Spouse Visa and continue your stay in the UK that way.