Learn about family visa extension process in the UK. Discover the process and requirements for extending your stay with your family.

UK Family Visa Extension Process

In the changing world of immigration, renewing your family visa in the UK is crucial for staying legally and continuing your life here. Whether you have a partner, child, or parent visa related to a UK-resident child, this guide helps you extend your family visa smoothly.

What is a Family Visa

There are different types of this visa:

Partner Visa: For spouses or civil partners of British citizens or settled individuals.

Child Visa: For dependent children with parents in the UK.

Parent Visa: For parents of children living in the U

Application Costs

Extending your family visa in the UK requires payment of an application fee, which is usually over £1,500. Plan for this expense when budgeting for your visa extension.

Visa Duration and Indefinite Leave to Remain

When you extend your family visa in the UK, it usually adds 2 years and 6 months to your stay. In some situations, you can apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain,’ which lets you live permanently in the UK


It’s important to apply for your Family visa extension within 28 days before your current visa expires to avoid problems, such as losing your right to work in the UK.

Consequences of Overstaying

If your visa expires before you apply for an extension, you may be considered as ‘overstaying.’ This can lead to serious consequences, impacting your ability to apply for visas in the future. If you’ve already overstayed, it’s important to carefully consider your options.

Route to Indefinite Leave to Remain

There are distinct routes to achieve indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.

The 5-Year Route: This option is available for individuals who have continuously held a partner or parent visa for five years, offering a path to long-term settlement in the UK.

The 10-Year Route: In unique cases where a partner or parent visa was obtained based on exceptional circumstances or private and family life, residing in the UK for ten consecutive years is necessary to qualify for indefinite leave to remain. If unsure about the applicable route, refer to the letter received from the Home Office when obtaining the visa.

For Children with Visas: If you have a child with a visa, you can apply for their indefinite leave to remain simultaneously with your application. The duration of your child’s stay in the UK does not affect their eligibility for ILR.

Meeting Visa Extension

Original Visa Rules: Typically, extending your visa requires following the same rules as when you initially obtained it. It’s crucial to maintain continued eligibility throughout the process.

Time Spent Outside the UK: The Home Office may scrutinize your application if you’ve spent more than half of your visa’s duration outside the UK. If you encounter this issue, consider seeking advice from a specialist adviser to address concerns effectively.

English Language Requirement

UK Family Visa extension often involve meeting specific English language requirements.

Extending your visa usually requires passing an English language test, but exemptions apply if:

Be a citizen of a country where English is an official or majority language (e.g., Jamaica or the USA).

Hold a university degree taught or researched in English.

Be under 18 or over 65 years old.

You are extending a child visa.

Be on the 10-year route to indefinite leave.

Medical Exemptions

If you have a health condition that prevents you from passing the English language test, you may qualify for an exemption. Your doctor’s confirmation of the condition’s permanence and its impact on your ability to learn languages is important for this exemption.

Choosing the Right English Language Test

You need to take an approved test at least at level ‘A2’ on the CEFR scale. This test evaluates your ability to speak and understand English. Approved providers offer this test, and the required level might vary based on your prior results.

Exceptional circumstances

If you don’t meet the usual visa extension requirements, there’s still a chance. This can justify an extension, especially if not getting a family visa would cause unfair difficulties for you, your partner, or a child under 18.

Right to private or family life

If being denied a visa would greatly impact your ability to live in your home country or elsewhere, you might still qualify for an extension. This could apply if you’ve lived in the UK for a long time or if you’re between 18 and 25 and have spent much of your life here.

Seeking Specialist Advice

If you find the UK family visa extension process challenging or have unique circumstances, seek advice from a specialist adviser. They can offer guidance to help you achieve the best outcome for your visa extension application.

In summary, extending your family visa is crucial for staying in the UK. This process includes meeting language requirements and considering exceptional circumstances. By following the guidelines in this guide, you can improve your chances of successfully extending your visa and continuing your journey in the United Kingdom.

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