You can apply to extend or renew your spouse visa for a further 2.5 years, once you have completed the initial 2.5 years under the 5-year Spouse visa route.
To be eligible to apply for a Spouse visa extension after 2.5 years, you must still be in a genuine relationship with your British citizen or settled partner.
As a result of a successful application for an extension of your Spouse visa under 5 years route, you will be granted further leave to remain for 30 months (2.5 years) to be able to complete 5 years in the UK and thus apply for settlement (ILR) as a spouse under 5 years route if meet the eligibility requirements.
Whether you want to apply, extend or switch to a UK Spouse visa, our experienced immigration lawyer can provide legal advice and help with your visa application.
Table of Contents
- How to extend a spouse visa after 2.5 years?
- Eligibility requirements for spouse visa extension
- Documents required to extend a spouse visa
- UK Spouse visa financial requirement
- Genuine & subsisting relationship
- Adequate accommodation requirement
- English language requirement
- Spouse visa to settlement (ILR)
- UK spouse visa processing time
- UK spouse visa application fees
- How can an immigration lawyer help you?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
How to extend a spouse visa after 2.5 years?
You can apply for a Spouse visa extension after 2.5 years (30 months) under 5 years route from inside the UK to extend your Spouse visa by using form FLR (M).
To extend a spouse visa after 2.5 years, you will need to follow these steps:
- Check the eligibility criteria
- Gather supporting documents
- Complete the online application form (FLR(M))
- Book & attend your biometric appointment
- Wait for a decision
1. Check the eligibility criteria
Before applying for an extension, make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements as per the UK government guidelines.
2. Gather supporting documents
You will need to provide supporting documents that demonstrate your relationship with your spouse is genuine and subsisting, as well as evidence that you meet the financial, accommodation, and English language requirements. You should gather all the necessary documents before starting your application.
3. Complete the online application form
You will need to complete the online application form FLR (M) and pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee.
4. Book & attend your biometric appointment
Once you have completed the application, you will need to book an appointment at a UK visa application centre to provide your biometric information and submit your documents.
On the day of your appointment, you will need to attend the visa application centre and provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph), along with your supporting documents.
5. Wait for a decision
After your application is submitted, you will need to wait for a decision. The processing time for a spouse visa extension can vary depending on the circumstances, but you can check the current processing times on the UK government's website.
Once a decision has been made, you will receive a letter informing you of the outcome. If your visa extension is approved, you will receive a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) with your new visa details. If your application is refused, you will be given reasons for the refusal and information on how to appeal the decision.
What are the requirements for a Spouse visa extension after 2.5 years?
To apply for a spouse visa extension in the UK after 2.5 years, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must still be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your spouse or partner who is settled in the UK.
- You must have lived together continuously in the UK during your most recent period of leave.
- You must not have breached any immigration laws while in the UK.
- You must meet the financial requirement of earning at least £18,600 per year or have sufficient savings or a combination of both.
- You must provide evidence that you have suitable accommodation for you and your spouse.
- You must pass the English language requirement by either taking a Home Office-approved English language test or by providing evidence that you are exempt from this requirement.
In addition to the above, you will also need to provide updated evidence of your relationship with your spouse, such as photographs, correspondence, and joint bank statements.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
What documents are required for a spouse visa extension?
If you are currently in the UK on a spouse visa and you wish to extend your visa, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Passport: You will need to provide a valid passport or travel document. Your passport must have at least one blank page for the visa.
- Financial evidence: You will need to provide evidence that you and your spouse have a combined income of at least £18,600 per year. You can provide evidence of your income from employment, self-employment, savings, or other sources. You may also need to provide evidence of your spouse's income.
- Accommodation: You will need to provide evidence that you have suitable accommodation for you and your spouse. This can be a rental agreement, mortgage statement, or a letter from your landlord.
- English language: You will need to provide evidence that you meet the English language requirement. This can be a certificate from an approved English language test, a degree taught in English, or a letter from your employer confirming your English language ability.
- Relationship evidence: You will need to provide evidence that your relationship with your spouse is genuine and subsisting. This can include photographs, joint bank statements, and correspondence.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
What are the financial requirements to renew a spouse visa?
The financial requirements for a UK spouse visa are as follows:
- Income requirement: If your partner is employed in the UK, they must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600. If you have children who will also be applying for the visa, the income requirement will be higher.
- Savings requirement: If your partner is not able to meet the income requirement, you may be able to use your own savings to meet the financial requirement. You must have at least £62,500 in savings, which must have been held for at least six months prior to the visa application.
- Combination of income and savings: If you and your partner cannot meet either the income or savings requirement individually, you may be able to combine your income and savings to meet the financial requirement. For example, if your partner earns £16,000 per year, you would need to have at least £46,000 in savings to meet the financial requirement.
What is the genuine & subsisting relationship requirement?
The UK Spouse visa applicant needs to be able to prove they are in a genuine relationship, such as a civil partnership, with their British citizen or settled partner. There are lots of different types of evidence you can send to the Home Office depending upon your personal circumstances, most common documents which you can provide to meet the genuine relationship test are:
- A joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, either in the UK or outside the UK.
- Evidence of any children you have together, such as a birth certificate.
- Photographs that show you have spent time together frequently.
- A shared bank account or savings.
- Text messages or social media chat logs.
- Travel documents that prove you have visited each other at least once before you got married or have met in person.
- Any documents which prove that you intend to live together in the UK.
What is the adequate accommodation requirement?
As part of your UK Spouse Visa application, you will need to provide proof of accommodation that meets UK living standards.
Your UK national partner, who acts as your sponsor, will need to show that he or she can provide adequate accommodation for themselves, the applicant, and any dependents who intend to live in the UK.
What is the English language requirement for a spouse visa extension?
To apply for a spouse visa extension, you must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
If the applicant has completed a degree-level course that was taught in English, they may be exempt from the English language test requirement.
If an applicant is a citizen of a country where English is the majority language, they will automatically meet the English language requirement.
Spouse visa to settlement (ILR)
As a spouse visa holder, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you have spent 5 continuous years in the UK on a spouse visa.
Once you are granted ILR as a skilled worker, you can stay in the UK indefinitely and work in any job or industry without the need for a work permit. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after a certain period of time.
Read this guide about how to apply for ILR as a Spouse and the eligibility requirements.
UK spouse visa extension processing time
Once you have applied online and attended your biometrics appointment, you'll usually get a decision on spouse visa extension application within the:
- 8 weeks, if applying using standard service
- 5 working days, if applying using priority service
- 24 hours, if applying using super priority service
Super Priority Service
You may be eligible to use the 'super priority service' to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay £1,000 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
You may be able to choose the 'priority service' when you apply for a UK visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay £500 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
When you apply, you might be eligible to choose the 'super priority service' or 'priority service' to get your visa faster depending on the type of application and what country you're in.
Applicants are advised to check the latest information about UK visa application processing time on the official UK government website.
UK spouse visa extension application fees
The spouse visa application fee is £1,048 if you're applying to extend or switch to a spouse visa from inside the UK by using standard service.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of service such as 'standard service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK visa:
- Spouse visa application fee
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
- Biometrics fee (if applying from inside the UK)
- £1,000 in addition to the visa fee if using the super priority service
- £500 in addition to the visa fee if using the priority service
- English language test fee (if required)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the spouse visa extension application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your Spouse visa extension application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can an immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK visa application or any other immigration matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can apply for a Spouse Visa extension (also known as FLR(M) - Further Leave to Remain as a Partner) after completing 2.5 years on your initial Spouse Visa.
It is essential to apply for the extension before your current Spouse Visa expires. You can usually apply to extend your spouse visa within 28 days of the expiry date.
To be eligible for a Spouse Visa extension, you must continue to meet the financial, accommodation, and relationship requirements. You should also prove that your marriage or civil partnership is still subsisting and genuine.
Yes, you need to meet the minimum income requirement, which depends on your specific circumstances, including whether you have any dependent children. The income threshold may change, so it's crucial to seek legal advice from an expert immigration lawyer.
Yes, you can include any dependent children you have on your Spouse Visa extension application. Each child must meet the specific eligibility criteria.
If you previously submitted an English language test as part of your initial Spouse Visa application, you will not need to retake the test for the extension. However, if you have not met the language requirement before, you may need to do so now.
You will need to submit various documents to support your application, such as proof of continuing relationship, accommodation details, financial evidence, and any other relevant documents required by the Home Office.
Yes, you can continue to work and study in the UK while your Spouse Visa extension application is being processed, provided you meet the conditions of your initial visa.
Once your extension is granted, you will receive further leave to remain in the UK as a partner for a specific period, usually 2.5 years. After completing a total of five years on a Spouse Visa, you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).