The spouses or partners can definitely extend their visa up to 2.5 years, approximately 30 months if they meet the requirements set by the Home Office. You will need to extend your visa at least once to complete your 5 year or approximately 60 months qualifying period for settlement as a partner or spouse. You may also need a spouse visa extension if you don’t fully meet the requirements for settlement after 5 years, for example, if you cannot yet speak English as it is required for settlement or if you fail the Life in the UK test.
Your spouse must be a British citizen or have settled status, like Indefinite Leave to Remain, to be eligible for the spouse visa extension. It may be possible to apply to extend your visa period in the UK if your partner has refugee or humanitarian protection status within the UK.
You must also be able to evidence the relationship between you and your partner is genuine and legally recognised in the UK, whether it is a marriage bond or civil partnership. Alternatively, you need to show that you have been in a relationship which is similar to a marriage bond or civil partnership for at least 2 years in the UK.
In addition to the relationship requirement, the majority of applicants may need to fulfil the following conditions:
- Have a combined income of at least £18,600 with your partner/spouse
- Have not been convicted by any law or immigration condition within the UK
- Ability to evidence a certain level of English
- A good character and no criminal history
The Home Office will ask to see information such as council tax bills, utility bills and bank statements. Any evidence which you present or submit needs to be in its original form and dated.
English Test proficiency test for UK spouse visa extension
The Home Office underwent major changes in 2017 in English language proficiency test for all applicants.
These changes suggest that every Spouse Visa applicant seeking a visa extension will need to provide proof of an A2 level of English proficiency in speaking and listening as set forth by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages(CEFR)
Some partners or spouses who had not taken the English language test when they applied for their Spouse Visa, may need to when applying for a spouse visa extension.
The test can be taken at UK registered test centres throughout the UK. Spouses must bear in mind that they will need to take the test at an approved Secure English Language Testing (SELT) Provider centre only.
Failing to undergo the test at a registered and accredited centre, the certificate will not be recognised and, eventually, the spouse visa extension application will be rejected.
There are certain exemptions to not take the English language test.
- Any individual aged under 18 years or over 65
- A citizen of an English-speaking country
- Individual with a long-term history of physical or mental condition
- Individual holding a higher qualification from an institution recognised by UK NARIC which was taught /researched in English
Conclusion: Ultimately, you should 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. One must fulfil financial and english proficiency requirements before they apply for spouse visa extension. The spouses must also remain abreast with the latest UK immigration news and updates. In cases where spouses are finding it difficult to comply with the Home Office. They can take help from immigration law firms. A Y & J Solicitors is a bespoke immigration law firm based out of London. They have been awarded the Best Immigration Law firm award.