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How to Extend Your UK Visitor Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

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UK Visitor Visa Extension Requirements

Are you enjoying your stay in the UK and wish to extend your visitor visa? Extending your UK visitor visa can be a straightforward process when you know the right steps to follow. This comprehensive guide provides essential information, tips, and expert advice to help you navigate the process seamlessly and maximize your chances of a successful visa extension.

1. Understanding the Basics of UK Visitor Visa Extension

Eligibility Criteria

Before initiating the extension process, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are currently in the UK on a valid visitor visa.
  2. You have not breached any of the visa conditions during your stay.
  3. You can prove that you can financially support yourself during the extension period.
  4. You can demonstrate a genuine reason for extending your stay.

Duration of Extension

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to extend your visitor visa for up to 6 months.

Extending Visitor Visa Beyond 6 Months

In exceptional circumstances, visitors may apply outside the Immigration Rules to extend their stay beyond six months. However, under the Immigration Rules, only a limited number of situations allow for visitor visa extensions beyond six months.

2. Types of UK Visitor Visas and Their Extension Options

Understanding the extension possibilities for different types of UK visitor visas is crucial to ensure a smooth application process. In this section, we delve into the specific visa categories and their respective extension requirements.

Standard Visit Visa Extensions

Extending your UK visitor visa depends on the type of visa and the purpose of the extension. A visitor on a standard visit visa can apply for an extension in the UK. However, visitors on Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) or transit visas cannot apply for an extension. Additionally, switching from or to a visitor visa is not possible within the UK.

Medical Treatment Visitor Visa Extension

Visitors on a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa can apply for an extension to continue their medical treatment in the UK, according to Paragraph V 8.8 of Appendix V. To be eligible for this extension, applicants must provide evidence of payment for medical treatment in the UK and a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, as per Paragraph V 8.6.

Marriage Visitor Visa Extension

As stated in Paragraph V 8.7 of Appendix V for visitors, if the initial duration granted is less than six months for a standard, marriage, or civil partnership visitor visa, an extension might be allowed. However, visitors on a Marriage Visitor Visa cannot remain in the UK for more than six months, including the original grant and the extension.

Academic Visit Extensions

Academic visitors on sabbatical leave for research in the UK can apply for an extension under Paragraph V 8.9 of Appendix A. Dependent spouses, partners, or children accompanying academic visitors are also eligible for extensions. The cumulative period of such stays in the UK, including the original grant and the extension, should not exceed 12 months.

PLAB Test Extensions

Visitors undertaking a Professional & Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test can apply for a six-month extension to re-sit the PLAB Test, as per Paragraph V 8.10 of Appendix A. Applicants must meet the requirements of Paragraph 22(b)(i) of Appendix 3 of the Immigration Rules and provide written confirmation from the General Medical Council to re-sit the PLAB Test.

Clinical Attachment Extensions

As specified in Paragraph V 8.11 of Appendix A, visitors who have successfully passed the PLAB Test can apply for an extension to undertake an unpaid clinical attachment (per Paragraph 22(a) of Appendix 3 of Appendix V for Visitors). The total duration of the stay in the UK, including the original grant and extension, should not exceed 18 months.

3. Step-by-Step Guide to Extending Your UK Visitor Visa

Step 1: Collect the Necessary Documents

Gather the following documents before starting the application process:

  1. A valid passport or travel document
  2. Evidence of your financial means, such as bank statements or payslips
  3. Proof of accommodation in the UK
  4. A letter explaining the reasons for your visa extension
  5. Any additional documents related to your specific circumstances, such as medical records or event invitations

Step 2: Complete the Online Application Form

Visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website to access and complete the online application form for a visitor visa extension (Form FLR(IR)).

Step 3: Pay the Application Fee

You will need to pay a non-refundable application fee, currently set at £1,000/-. Payment can be made online during the application process.

Step 4: Attend a Biometric Appointment

After submitting your application and paying the fee, you will receive instructions on booking a biometric appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) center. Attend the appointment to provide your fingerprints and a digital photo.

Step 5: Submit Supporting Documents

At your biometric appointment, submit the supporting documents you gathered in Step 1. You can either upload them digitally or bring physical copies to the appointment.

Step 6: Await the Decision

After completing the steps above, you can expect a decision on your visitor visa extension within 8 weeks. However, processing times may vary depending on individual circumstances and the volume of applications.

Applicants can opt for the 5-day priority or 24-hour (next working day) Super Priority Service for an additional fee of £500 and £800, respectively.

4. Tips for a Successful UK Visitor Visa Extension

  1. Apply well before your current visa expires to avoid overstaying.
  2. Ensure that all the documents you submit are clear, complete, and up-to-date.
  3. Attend the biometric appointment as scheduled and provide accurate information.
  4. If you have any doubts or require further guidance, consider consulting an immigration expert.

5. Conclusion

Extending your UK visitor visa can be a smooth and stress-free process when you follow the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide. By understanding the eligibility criteria, collecting the necessary documents, and completing the application process, you can continue enjoying your stay in the UK with peace of mind.

For more information, consider visiting UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

6. Get in Touch

UK Visa and Immigration Advice
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    What Happens Next?

    Our multilingual, qualified London-based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, the UK-based law firm may ask for relevant case-specific documents such as refusal letters, deportation orders, application forms, etc. After reviewing the documents and information, the legal advisor may suggest a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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