UK Visit Visa Extension- Can I Extend My UK Visitor Visa?

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. 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 UK. 

Extension of Stay Visitor Visa UK

UK Visit Visa Extension- Can I Extend My UK Visitor Visa?

An extension is not possible if a visitor is on a Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visa or is a transit visitor. However, other types of visitors can potentially apply for an extension during their stay if they are able to meet the following criteria:

  • Suitability and Eligibility 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 prescribed in the Immigration Rules;
  • Not in Breach of the UK Immigration Rules – applicant must not be in violation of the UK Immigration Rules. The only exception to this is overstaying of twenty-eight (28) days or less;
  • Private Medical Treatment –  Standard Visitor Visa applicants, travelling to the UK for Private Medical Treatment, are obligated to meet the following couple of additional requirements if a visitor intends to apply for an extension application:
    • Payment of the Medical Treatment –  the applicant has been able to meet the costs of the medical treatment, which he/she has received during the stay in the UK.
    • Letter/Medical Certificate from a Registered Medical Practitioner – the applicant needs to furnish a letter – detailing medical condition(s) requiring further treatment in the UK – from a registered medical practitioner, either at a private practice or working at NHS hospital. The Registered Medical Practioner should either hold an NHS consultant’s post or enrolled in Specialist Register of General Medical Council.

Following are the allowable extensions for visitors under the UK Immigration Rules:

Standard Visitor Visa Extension

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 for UK family visitor visa extension, UK general visitor visa extension, UK business visitor visa extension, UK Marriage Visa Extension. However, a visitor is not allowed to remain inside the UK (during the original grant plus the extension of stay) for more than six (6) months.

UK Medical Visa Extension

A further extension of leave to remain for six (6) months can be granted to a visitor visiting the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa for Private Medical Treatment. However, such an extension is only granted for the purpose of continuing the medical treatment inside the UK.

UK Academic Visitor Visa Extension

A visitor visiting the UK on a Standard Visitor Visa as an Academic on Sabbatical Leave for undertaking research, or is a dependant (spouse, partner or child) accompanying such an academic, is allowed under the Rules to apply for an extension of stay as a Standard Visitor. However, cumulative period of such a stay inside the UK (original grant plus the extension of stay) should not be for more than twelve (12) months.

PLAB Visa Extension

If a visitor is on a standard visitor visa for undertaking a Professional & Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test then for re-sitting in the PLAB Test an extension up to six (6) months may be allowed. However, the applicant is required to meet the stipulations of Paragraph 22(b)(i) of Appendix 3 of the Immigration Rules.

Professional & Linguistic Assessment Board Test

If a visitor on a Standard Visitor Visa has passed the Professional & Linguistic Assessment Board Test successfully, then an extension of stay can be granted to such a visitor for undertaking a clinical attachment. However,  such an applicant is required to meet the conditions enumerated in Paragraph 22(a) of Appendix 3 of Immigration Rules, so as to ensure that the total period the applicant remains in the UK (original grant plus the extension of stay) should not exceed more than eighteen (18) months.

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

Immigration Rules Appendix V

Who can apply for an extension of stay as a visitor

V 8.1 It is not possible to switch to become a visitor while in the UK where a person is in the UK in breach of immigration laws or has entry clearance or leave to enter or remain for another purpose.

Making an application for an extension of stay as a visitor in the UK

V 8.2 An application for an extension of stay as a visitor must comply with the requirements in paragraphs 34 – 34C of Part 1 of these Rules.

Eligibility requirements for an extension of stay in the UK as a visitor

V 8.3 The applicant must be in the UK as a visitor. Visitors for permitted paid engagements and transit visitors may not apply for an extension of stay as a visitor.

V 8.4 An application for an extension of stay as a visitor must satisfy the decision maker that they continue to meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements for a visit visa.

V 8.5 The applicant must not be in the UK in breach of immigration laws, except that where paragraph 39E of these Rules applies, any current period of overstaying will be disregarded.

V 8.6 If the applicant is applying for an extension of stay as a visitor for the purpose of receiving private medical treatment they must also satisfy the decision maker they:
(a) have met the costs of any medical treatment received so far; and
(b) provide a letter from a registered medical practitioner, at a private practice or NHS hospital, who holds an NHS consultant post or who appears in the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council, detailing the medical condition requiring further treatment.

How long can a visitor extend their stay in the UK

V 8.7 A visitor (standard) and a visitor for marriage or civil partnership, who was granted a visit visa or leave to enter for less than 6 months may be granted an extension of stay as a visitor so that the total period they can remain the UK (including both the original grant and the extension of stay) does not exceed 6 months.

V 8.8 A visitor (standard) who is in the UK for private medical treatment may be granted an extension of stay as a visitor for a further 6 months, provided this is for private medical treatment.

V 8.9 A visitor (standard) who is an academic on sabbatical leave and is in the UK undertaking their own research, or the spouse, partner or child accompanying such an academic, can be granted an extension of stay as a visitor so that the total period they can remain in the UK (including both the original grant and the extension of stay) does not exceed 12 months.

V 8.10 A visitor (standard) may be granted an extension of stay as a visitor for up to 6 months in order to resit the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test, provided they meet the requirements at Appendix 3, paragraph 22(b)(i).

V 8.11 A visitor (standard) who is successful in the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board Test may be granted an extension of stay as a visitor to undertake an unpaid clinical attachment, provided they meet the requirements of Appendix 3, paragraph 22(a) so that the total period they can remain in the UK (including both the original grant and the extension of stay) does not exceed 18 months.

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Related:  Standard Visitor VisaMarriage Visa UK, Medical Visa UK, and Processing Times.

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