Spouse Visa Renewal Rules In 2023

Spouse Visa Renewal Rules In 2023

If you hold a UK spouse visa and your period of leave is about to expire, you can apply for a spouse extension to allow you to stay in the country. Your spouse visa extension application may be as demanding and rigorous as your original visa application. Once again, you will be asked to prove that your finances and relationship are still eligible for a visa.

If your spouse visa extension request is approved, you will be granted an additional 30 months to stay in the UK. You should have earned five years’ qualifying residency in the UK at the end of this period. You then become eligible for indefinite Leave to Remain.

So, how can you prepare your extension application when so much is at stake?


When To Apply for a Spouse Visa Renewal?

You might be considered an overstayer if your spouse’s visa has expired and you live in the UK. If you are convicted — as overstaying in the UK is illegal — you could be deported. You must therefore ensure that you apply for a visa extension before your visa expires to prevent becoming an overstayer.

The Home Office will not remind you that your visa is ending. However, you are responsible for checking the validity of your visa. You can apply for an extension if you fail to apply on time. However, you must show convincing evidence for why you are late.

We recommend taking legal advice at least six months before your visa expires to ensure you are on track to meet the rules. If you meet the rules then we suggest starting an application for a renewal three months prior to the expiry of your visa to ensure the highest quality of application.


Spouse Visa Renewal Requirements

You must meet the following eligibility requirements to extend your Spouse visa.

  • You must still be in a real relationship with your spouse/partner (see the requirements for a relationship).
  • You must meet the financial requirements.
  • You must meet a higher level of English than before.
  • You have not violated any immigration or law conditions.
  • Good character is essential as it’s also a requirement.


Visa Renewal Relationship Requirements

You must show that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your spouse to be eligible for the spouse visa extension. In addition, your spouse must be:

  • A British citizen.
  • Someone who is legally present in the UK and has either indefinite Leave to Remain or proof that they are a permanent resident.
  • A person who is a refugee or has been granted humanitarian protection in Britain.

If you are not married, you must prove that you have been living together for the duration of your UK residency.


Visa Renewal Financial Requirements

Simply put, to meet the financial requirements for spouse visa extensions, your spouse or partner must have an annual income of a minimum of £18,600. The minimum requirement if you are applying with a non-British child is an income of £22,400. For each additional child, an additional £2,400 will be required.

A child is, for this purposes, someone who is not British, under 18 years old and dependent on you or your partner. Your child can remain as a dependent on your application over the age of 18, as long they were dependent on your last grant of leave and they have not entered into a marriage or civil partnership.

You can meet this minimum income threshold by either your spouse’s or partner’s self-employed or salaried income or your income if you are allowed to work in the UK.

Income from multiple sources, such as pension income and maternity allowances, can be combined. Cash savings exceeding £16,000 can also be used as income. In addition, if your spouse or civil partner receives a specific benefit or assistance, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independent Payment (PIP) or Carer’s Allowance, you will not need to meet the minimum income threshold.

This is a complicated area, and there are other possible funding sources. It is best to seek professional guidance regarding your particular circumstances.


Visa Renewal English Language Requirements

Spouse visa renewal applicants must prove they have an A2 level of English speaking and listening proficiency, as required by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

An approved English language test can be used to prove your English proficiency in both speaking and listening.

If you are a citizen of an English-speaking country (such as the USA or New Zealand), over 65 years old, or if a physical or mental condition prevents you from meeting this requirement, you will be exempted from the English language requirement.


Visa Renewal Good Character Requirements

The good character requirement will also be have to be met. This test determines whether there are grounds for refusing your application because of issues such as criminal convictions or immigration violations while you were in the UK.


Additional Visa Renewal Circumstances

You may be eligible to extend your permission to stay in the UK, even if you don’t meet the requirements of a spouse visa extension — in certain circumstances:

  • Living together outside the UK before moving here would cause significant problems for you and your partner.
  • If you have a child living in the UK that is either a British citizen or has lived there for seven years. It would not be reasonable for them to leave the UK.
  • It would violate your human rights to force you out of the UK.


How to Apply for a Spouse Visa Renewal?

Online applications for spouse visa extensions should be made before your current UK spouse visa expires. You should ensure that you have all the required supporting documents together and all information at your disposal.

You must give details about your spouse or partner as part of the application process. This includes the nature of your relationship. However, you may be invited to interview if you cannot provide the Home Office with all evidence.

Before submitting your application, you must pay the application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.


Need Legal Help?

The Spouse visa renewal is a complicated legal matter that leaves much on the line. The outcome of your renewal might significantly influence your life and the lives of your spouse/family. While you can try to resolve these matters on your own, we highly recommend that you hire the services of a professional immigration solicitor.

Cromwell Wilkes, a law firm based in London specialising in UK immigration, will guide you through your visa renewal process. We assist individuals with UK immigration issues and can help you navigate and support any Home Office process and other immigration services.

To obtain your free consultation, please complete this form. Please provide as much information as possible to enable your appointed Cromwell Wilkes lawyer to give you the best service. You should receive a response within 24 to 48 hours.