All You Need to Know About Applying for a UK Visa Extension.

As one of the most popular destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that plenty of people want to move to the UK and stay there long-term. Unfortunately, the UK government has set strict rules regarding how long you can stay in the country on your visa, so if you’re planning on staying beyond your allotted time frame, you’ll need to apply for an extension or make other arrangements. Here’s what you need to know about using a UK visa extension and some alternative options if an extension isn’t possible in your case.

All You Need to Know About Applying for a UK Visa Extension.

If you’re currently living in the UK and your current visa expires soon, you need to apply for an extension, or you’ll have to leave the country within two weeks and not be able to return until you have your visa reissued. This can have serious repercussions not only on your career but also on your life as a whole, and you mustn’t procrastinate applying for your visa extension before it’s too late. Read on to learn all about using an extension so that you can be prepared if the time comes.

Whether you can extend your visa depends on your visa type and if you continue to meet the visa eligibility requirements.

For most extension applications made within the UK, processing will be through the new UKVCAS. Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the new system and its impact on application processing.

In any event, you will need to make your application ahead of your current visa’s expiry to avoid overstaying and pay all the fees, such as the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Here are some critical pointers for extending some of the more common UK visas:

What is Visa Extension

Applying for an extension is easy. To start, you need the proper documentation, including your current biometric residence permit (BRP) and any recent travel documents in your name. If you applied for your visa extension at the same time as your BRP, all of this information would be on the visa extension form. Otherwise, you'll need to provide it when you apply.

About Uk Visa Extension

If you're not quite ready to head back home, but your current UK visa is about to expire, don't worry. There are plenty of ways to extend it, and most won't break the bank. Here's how to apply for a UK visa extension.

Extending a Standard Visitor Visa

You may be able to extend your visitor visa, provided the total time you spend in the UK is less than six months. If, for example, you hold a 3-month key, you can apply to extend it for three months.

As part of your application, you will need to prove your eligibility in respect of:

    Your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit
    Financial means to fund your outbound travel from the UK
    Financial means to support yourself and any dependants for the duration of your trip
    Your planned activity during your stay in the UK, and specifically that this complies with the conditions of your visa, e.g., you will not be carrying out gainful employment.

Specific rules apply if you visit as an academic, organ donor, or for private medical treatment. Take advice on your circumstances to ensure continued lawful leave to remain.

Why should you apply for a visa extension?

Knowing how to apply for a visa extension is important because you never know when something might happen, and you will need more time in the UK. An extension makes life easier, so you don't have to worry about your visa expiring. Plus, applying doesn't take long and can be done through regular mail or over the phone - no need to leave your home! With all of these benefits, it would be worth taking the time to learn how.

Tips on filling in the visa extension form

One of the ways you can extend your time in the UK is by applying for an extension on your visa. To be eligible, you'll need to have already completed six months as an overstayer, not been an illegal resident during this time, and have at least £1,900 in savings. To apply, complete form VAF4A and send it with proof of funds, passport photographs, and any supporting documents to the Home Office. The fee is £200 per person plus any additional charges for dependents who are also applying for an extension (this includes children).

Getting your application ready

Applying for a visa extension can seem like an overwhelming, tedious task, mainly if you’ve never used it before and don’t know where to start. To help, we've created this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a UK visa extension.

Tier 1 (investor) Visa In the UK

Applicants who have successfully applied for a visa after 6 November 2020 may extend their visa if they have at least £2 million under their control in the UK. Those funds must have been invested in UK government bonds, shares, or loan capital, which must have been done within three months of your investor start date.

You must have invested the total amount, and the funds must be made up of your or your partner’s money.

If you apply for your Tier 1 (investor) visa extension from inside the UK, you may apply online or use the super premium service. You will need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

However, you should apply online if you are applying for your visa extension outside the UK.

Tier 2 (General) visa In Uk 

To extend your Tier 2 (General) visa, you must first be in the UK with valid leave to remain.

To be eligible for a visa extension, you must have current permission to enter or stay on Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should still be employed by the same sponsor that allocated your initial Certificate of Sponsorship, working in the same role and earning a salary above the prevailing minimum threshold.

Note that changes in job role and employer will ordinarily require a new Tier 2 visa application at the time of the change in circumstances. Take advice if you are unsure about whether this applies to you.

You can extend your visa for up to 5 years, but your total stay cannot exceed six years.

The processing time for a standard application is around eight weeks unless you pay for priority processing.

You should include any dependants on your original visa application, including children who turned 18 during your stay, who will also have to submit a separate application in addition to your form. Using standard and priority services, you may apply online as an individual or family.

UK visa extension: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa & Tier 1 (Investor) Visa 

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur & Investor visas can be extended for two years, after which you may become eligible to apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain.

You will need to evidence your continued eligibility under the visa category for an extension.

The eligibility requirements for entrepreneurs state that you must have invested in one or more UK businesses to the sum of £200,000 or £50,000 in cash if your initial application was granted with funds from another approved funding source.

You must be registered as a director or self-employed within six months of being granted permission to stay in the UK on the visa. You will need to prove that you have been a member of a partnership or working as a director or have been self-employed three months before you apply for the visa extension. You will also need to have created at least two full-time jobs for a minimum of 12 months before your extension application. 

For investors, you may apply to extend your Tier 1 (Investor) visa for a further two years if you have at least £2,000,000 under your control in the UK and have invested those funds in UK government bonds, share capital, or loan capital in active UK companies and invested this sum within three months of your ‘investor start date.

The extension application is often more complex and demanding than the initial visa application. You will need to produce documents to verify your activity and continued eligibility throughout the visa period.

You may also need to attend an interview.

You must apply for a new Tier 1 visa online to extend your access outside the UK.

You will be required to stay in the UK while processing your application.

UK visa extension: Tier 4 Visa

You may be able to extend your Tier 4 visa to continue your studies, or start a new course, if you are in the UK, have a sponsor, and meet the visa's eligibility requirements.

Any dependents on your original visa application should be included on your extension application, including any children who turned 18 during your recent stay.

You must apply within six months of receiving a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) and before your current visa expires. It would help if you did not use it more than three months before the start date of your CAS course. However, you may remain in the UK until you decide.

You must be inside the UK to apply for the Tier 4 visa extension. You apply online and can opt for either standard or one of the premium services.

UK visa extension: Tier 5 Visa

There are different categories of Tier 5 workers, and different rules apply for extensions.

As a creative worker, you may extend your visa for the shortest of either up to 12 months, the time on your current certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or the time needed to extend your stay up to a maximum of 24 months. You can only raise your visa if you stay with the same sponsor.

A sports person may extend their visa for whichever is the shorter, up to 12 months, or the time on their current certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days.

You must be present in the UK to apply to extend your Tier 5 visa.

What happens after I send my application?

If you succeed, you will get an email telling you your visa has been extended. However, don't head out the door just yet! You'll also need to have the following ready before leaving: your exit-entry permit, Chinese passport, and two passport-sized photos.

Other ways of extending your stay

Are you having just arrived in the United Kingdom and need an extension on your stay? Here are some other ways you can extend your visa or work permit. Speak with a qualified solicitor if you want advice tailored to your needs. The solicitor will be able to help you navigate the complexities of British immigration law and may also be able to help find alternatives that don't involve formally applying for an extension.

What if my application isn’t approved?

Applying for your visa extension is the first step of a lengthy process. While it might seem like the worst thing if your application isn’t approved, many more things can go wrong as you work through the process. For example, even if your application is accepted, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get an appointment at the British Embassy or Consulate in time. When this happens, it may take years before they reschedule you again!

Final Thought

Applying for an extension of your UK visa is an easy process. Before starting, you will need to understand the type of extension you are using, who is eligible, and the required documents. Make sure to start early to avoid any unnecessary stress!

The process should not take more than three months on average. It is important to note that only six extensions can be granted consecutively before leaving the country for at least one month.

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What type of extension do I need? You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. For example, if your visa expires on 1 December, you must apply for a new visa before 1 December. Your new course must begin by 29 December.