UK visit visa extension: can I extend my visa beyond 6 months?

UK Visit Visa Extension Applications and Refusal Rate 2015-17In the light of the Immigration Rules, this relates to the UK visit visa extension or renewal from inside the UK. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:

  • Can I extend or renew my visa from inside the UK?
    • Requirements for visitor visa extension in the UK
    • Is switching possible?
    • Is extending visitor visa beyond 6 months possible?
  • UK visit visa extension applications and refusal rate 2016-18

Can I extend or renew my visitor visa from inside the UK?

Perhaps, an extension or renewal of a visitor visa depends on the type of visit visa. And also the purpose of the extension. Certainly, a person on a standard or marriage visit visa can apply for an extension in the UK. However, a visitor on a Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) or a transit visa cannot apply for an extension.

Requirements for visitor visa extension in the UK

An applicant needs to make a valid application for a UK visitor visa extension or renewal. And the visitor should not be in breach of the immigration rules. Moreover, continue to meet the UK visit visa requirements.

The meaning of a valid application

In terms of Paragraph V 8.2 of the Immigration Rules for Visitors, an extension of stay as a visitor needs to comply with the requirements in paragraphs 34 – 34C of Part 1 of Immigration Rules. The paragraphs 34-34C relates to the requirements for making a valid leave to remain application in the UK.

The applicant is not in breach of immigration rules

In terms with paragraph V 8.5 of the Immigration Rules for visitors, the applicant must not be in violation of the UK Immigration Rules. The only exception to this is overstaying for up to 14 days as per paragraph 39E of the Immigration Rules relating to Exceptions for Overstayers.

A visitor continue to meet requirements

An extension application to stay as a visitor in the UK must satisfy that the visitor will continue to meet the requisite requirements relating to suitability and eligibility as per paragraph V 8.4 of the Immigration Rules.

Application fee and processing time

The UK visit visa extension fee for the main applicant and dependants is £993/- per applicant. Moreover, UKVI’s service standard is to process a UK visit visa extension application within 8 weeks.

Is switching possible?

No, switching from and to visitor visa is not possible in the UK.

Is extending visitor visa beyond 6 months possible?

Yes, in exceptional circumstances, a person visiting the UK might contemplate furnishing an application outside the Immigration Rules so as to extend his/her stay beyond six 6 months. However, in a limited number of circumstances, it is possible to submit a request for an extension of a visitor visa under the rules for extending visitor visa beyond 6 months.

Medical visa extension

In terms of paragraph V 8.8 of Appendix V, a visitor can get an extension for Private Medical Treatment. However, such an extension is only granted for the purpose of continuing medical treatment inside the UK. Accordingly, for the extension of medical visitor visa UK, an applicant needs to meet the additional requirements for an extension of stay in the UK. And in terms of paragraph V 8.6, an applicant needs to provide evidence of payment for medical treatment in the UK and medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner.

Marriage visitor visa extension

As per paragraph V 8.7 of Appendix V for visitors, if the initial duration granted is for less than six (6) months to a standard or marriage or civil partnership visitors, then an extension of such a visa might be allowed. However, a person on a marriage visitor visa cannot remain in the UK for more than 6 months. Certainly, the 6 months period means original grant plus the extension.

UK academic visitor visa extension

As per paragraph V 8.9 of Appendix A, an academic visitor on sabbatical leave for research in the UK is allowed under the Rules to apply for an extension of stay. Moreover, the dependant spouse, partner or child accompanying an academic visitor can also extend their leave in the UK. However, the cumulative period of such a stay inside the UK should not exceed more than twelve (12) months. Certainly, the cumulative period means original grant plus the extension of stay.

Extension for PLAB Test

Furthermore, in terms of paragraph V 8.10 of Appendix A, a visitor undertaking a Professional & Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test can get an extension up to six (6) months to re-sit in the PLAB Test. However, the applicant needs to meet the stipulations of Paragraph 22(b)(i) of Appendix 3 of the Immigration Rules. Accordingly, the applicant needs to provide written confirmation to re-sit in the PLAB Test from the General Medical Council.

UK visa extension for clinical attachment

As per paragraph V 8.11 of Appendix A, a visitor passing the PLAB Test successfully can get an extension of stay for undertaking an unpaid clinical attachment {as per paragraph 22(a) of Appendix 3 of Appendix V for Visitors}. However, the total period the applicant can remain in the UK should not exceed more than 18 months. Certainly, the total period means the original grant plus the extension of stay.

Please note: in the Immigration Rules there is no provision for extensions of stay beyond these limits.

UK visit visa extension applications and refusal rate 2016-18

The Table below provides the details of the decisions, grants, refusals and refusal rate of UK visit visa extensions from 2016 to 2018.

Accordingly, this indicates that applying for UK visit visa extension is not a norm but an exception. Therefore, a visitor may only apply for an extension of stay as a visitor if there are some pressing reason and real need of doing so. Otherwise, it is better to return home and come back within the validity period of the UK visitor visa. And also apply for a fresh visitor visa if the validity of the visitor visa is either expired or about to expire in the very near future.

YearApplicant typeDecisionsGrantsUK visitor visa extension success rate
2016Main applicant88475985.86%
Dependant6116.67%
Total UK Visit Visa Extensions 201689076085.39%
2017Main applicant72966190.67%
Dependant6350.00%
Total UK Visit Visa Extensions 201773566490.34%
2018Main applicant71165291.70%
Dependant10660.00%
Total UK Visit Visa Extensions 201872165891.26%

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