The United Kingdom is the third most visited country in the world, behind France and Spain. Approximately 19 million people travel to the UK each year with many staying on after their visit as it’s so easy to do so. Many will work and live in the UK for several years without needing to leave, but visa regulations mean that many are required to apply for an extension every two years to remain in the country legally. If you’re thinking of applying for an extension, here’s how it works and how long you can stay.
What We Covered Under UK Visa Extension
- About UK Visa Extension
- What is the UK Leave to Remain?
- Which Visas Can be Extended?
- Required documents to apply for a Leave to Remain
- How to Apply for a UK Visa Extension?
- The Length of the Visa Extension
- How Long Until the Application is Processed?
About UK Visa Extension
A resident of the United Kingdom who is outside of the United Kingdom for more than 6 months, must return to the United Kingdom to activate his/her visa. Visitors to Singapore must enter Singapore within 3 months from the date of issue. Any visitor who fails to comply with these conditions will be deemed to have overstayed in Singapore.
If you plan on visiting any country other than Singapore after your visit here, please ensure that you possess a multiple-entry visa before departure. If not, it will be necessary for you to apply for a new passport stamp upon your next arrival at Changi Airport.
What is the UK Leave to Remain?
A Leave to Remain is a document issued by Her Majesty’s Immigration authorities in which an applicant may prove that they have a right to reside in Britain. When you renew your visa or extend your stay, you need to apply for leave to remain with your valid passport at your local United Kingdom visa office.
This document verifies that an individual has been given permission from Immigration services to reside in Britain for a certain amount of time. While you are required by law to hold one, without it you could be subject to legal repercussions for overstaying your welcome in Britain. You will also need one if you wish to travel outside of Britain during your period of residence.
Which Visas Can be Extended?
Work visas can be extended, but there are many other visas that must be renewed. For example, you may have a visa for 6 months at a time; however, that does not mean you will be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom for 6 months.
When your visa expires, you must leave the United Kingdom until it is renewed. Also, keep in mind that United States work visas do not automatically extend when you renew them; it’s up to you to extend your work visa if you want to remain in the United Kingdom after your initial expiration date.
Required documents to apply for a Leave to Remain
Required documents to apply for an extension are the following:
- A duly complete application form for the visa extension (of the particular visa you want to extend)
- Certificate of birth of the children (if a child is applying with you as your dependent)
- Certificate of marriage (if a family member applying with you as your dependent)
- Documents regarding your education
- Documents you have applied to get your leave to remain
- The existing passport
- Proof of having enough maintenance funds for yourself and any dependent
- The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (if required)
- The Police Registration Certificate (If required)
- Tuberculosis test results (if required)
- Two recently made photographs (check for UK photographs specifics)
- Paid healthcare surcharge (if required)
How to Apply for a UK Visa Extension?
You can both apply from inside or out of the UK when requiring your visa period to be extended.
When in the UK you can either:
- Apply online through standard, priority service
- Apply in person at the premium service Centre – to get the same-day decision on your application
When outside of the UK:
- Send the application dossier by the post office to the address written in the application form
The Length of the Visa Extension
The length of your visa extension will depend on a few factors. For example, how long was your original visa? If you came to The United Kingdom as a student, you will only be allowed a 6-month extension. However, if you are a work or family-based migrant, you can apply for an extension for up to five years after entering The United Kingdom.
You should also keep in mind that extensions must be applied for prior to the expiration of your current visa unless you have been granted an initial six-month leave outside of any time limits—this is known as discretionary leave. To see if you qualify for discretionary leave, speak with one of our advisers today!
This maximum period allowable for any visa type is presented as in the following:
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur – maximum 2 years
- Tier 1 Exceptional Talent – maximum 5 years
- Tier 2 Sportsperson – maximum 3 years and 14 days
- Tier 5 Temporary Worker – Charity Worker – maximum 1 year, or 2 weeks after the end of the period of the certificate of sponsorship (whichever is less)
- Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting)
- Creative worker: maximum 1 year, or 2 weeks after the end of the period of the certificate of sponsorship, the time required to extend the stay up to 2 years (whichever is less)
- Sportsperson: maximum 1 year, or 2 weeks after the end of the period of the certificate of sponsorship (whichever is less)
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorized Exchange)
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – International Agreement) – with some exceptions, this visa can be extended up to 6 years
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Religious Worker) – maximum 2 years, or 2 weeks following the end of the period of the certificate of sponsorship (whichever is less)
- For the UK work visa
- For researching, for participating in a training or overseas government language program: 2 years at the most, or, 2 weeks following the end of the certificate of sponsorship (whichever is less).
- A Turkish Businessperson Visa – maximum 3 years (if working in the same business) and if lacking to have the complete documents for extension up to 1 year, with a possibility to re-apply by the end of that year
- UK Ancestry Visa – maximum 5 other years
How Long Until the Application is Processed?
The processing time for visa renewal applications varies from country to country. It can take as little as a few days to as long as several months. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis, so there is no way to know exactly how long it will take for your application to be processed.
- 8 weeks – for an application done from within the UK
- 3 weeks – for an application done from out of the UK
- On the application day – if applying through premium services
But you can rest assured that we work diligently with our clients’ countries of citizenship. In order to provide them with these services in an efficient manner so that they may continue living, and working. Or traveling abroad without any undue complications or delays.
If you are looking for a United Kingdom visa renewal or UK visa extension then contact ATS Consultants now at 888-836-1051. Our experienced consultants can help you to apply for visa renewal in a quick and easy way. They will be with you from start to finish, guiding you through each step of your application. We handle visa applications for clients from all over the world including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, etc. Apply Now!
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