A UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension is the process through which a civil partner who is already living in the UK applies to extend their stay under the same immigration category.
The extension allows individuals to continue their stay in the UK with their partner, typically for an additional period of 2 years and six months. It falls under the broader family visa category and is integral for civil partners looking to remain together in the UK without any interruption to their legal status.
The process can be complicated, with various financial requirements, English language tests, and supporting documents needed. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about the visa extension process, from the basic requirements to the finer details of applying for a UK civil partnership visa extension.
Who is Eligible for a UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension?
Eligibility for a civil partner visa extension depends on various factors, including your relationship with a British citizen or settled person, meeting the financial requirement, and adhering to other UK immigration rules.
A UK Civil Partner Visa Extension generally applies to those who are already residing in the United Kingdom with a companion who is a British national or has settled status. Extending your application successfully ensures that your relationship is strong and you can continue your life, study, or work in the UK.
Generally, you will only need to extend a civil partner one time. Once you complete a total of 5 years in the UK, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain and, shortly after, secure your British citizenship. Therefore, the extension application is vital in allowing a civil partner visa holder to continue staying in the UK.
Requirements for UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension
Understanding the requirements for a UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension is crucial in preparing your application. Here’s a detailed insight into all the aspects you need to consider:
You must provide evidence that your relationship with your UK partner continues and is still going well. This could include living together in the UK, civil partnership certificates recognized in the UK, communication history, and photographs. Remember, this is the initial requirement of the extension, and it must be met to proceed further.
The financial threshold is key to a successful partner visa extension application. You must demonstrate your ability to support yourself and any dependents financially.
The financial criteria for all family visas in the UK will be adjusted, increasing from £18,600 to £29,000 on April 11th 2024, with a further rise to £38,700 anticipated by early 2025. The UK government frequently updates these requirements. For the latest information and guidance on meeting these financial standards, read our dedicated page, or please reach out to us directly.
- If you wish to add children to your application, the fee is £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child.
Please note that if you have dependent children, you will also need to provide evidence of their financial support to be able to sustain them as well.
English Language Proficiency
This requirement is a critical part of the civil partnership visa extension requirements. You may need to show proof to demonstrate your English language skills through a test or college degree taught in English. To secure an extension successfully, you may have to demonstrate that your English has improved since your first visa application.
You must provide proof of appropriate housing according to the standards set by the UK government. This means you and your family have adequate space to live together in the UK without relying on public funds.
Compliance with UK Immigration Rules
It’s vital to comply with UK immigration rules, including not overstaying your current visa and meeting all the requirements for your particular visa category.
Supporting Documents for uK Civil Partnership Visa Extension
Ensuring you have all the necessary supporting documents is paramount to your application success. Here’s a detailed checklist:
- Evidence of Identity: National identity card, National Insurance number, valid passport, or travel document.
- Proof of Relationship: Marriage or civil partnership certificates, photographs, communication history.
- Financial Statements: Bank statements, pay slips, proof of savings or pensions.
- Proof of Accommodation: Tenancy contract or mortgage statement.
- English Language Test Results: IELTS certification or degree certificate that is taught in English (if applicable).
- Current Immigration Status: Copies of current visa or BRP.
Remember, the requirements may vary depending on your individual circumstances, and you may check UK immigration rules or seek legal assistance for more specific information.
UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension Application Process
Applying for a UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension requires a careful step-by-step approach. Here are the general steps of the process:
1. Gather all supporting documents. A detailed checklist is provided in the above section.
2. Then complete Form FLR(M) to apply to extend your partner visa.
3. The visa fee is £1,048 as of now. Ensure you pay the correct amount, including the Immigration Health Surcharge.
4. You must make an appointment at a UK Visas and Immigration service point and attend it. Here, you will provide biometric information and submit your supporting documents.
5. After the application has been presented, a conclusion usually arrives within eight weeks. You can go for priority service if you want a faster response.
If approved, you will get a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) confirming your two-year and six-month extension. If you face any challenges or need immigration advice, UK legal professionals like Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors are equipped to guide you.
What to Do if UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension is Refused
Unfortunately, not all visa extension applications are successful. If your application is denied, don’t lose your hope. There are still chances to get your visa extended. Here is what’s recommended to do in case of a refusal.
Understanding the Refusal Letter
The refusal letter will detail the grounds for the denial. It might be due to not meeting the financial requirement, failing the English language test, or missing supporting documents. Carefully understanding these reasons is crucial for your next steps. The refusal letter will also tell you what options are available for you to pursue.
Consider an Administrative Review
You might be eligible to apply for an administrative review within 28 days of acquiring the denial. This is a chance for the Home Office to reconsider your case, so you should present strong evidence to counter the refusal reasons.
Appeal the Decision
In some cases, you may have the privilege to appeal the judgment. This involves legal proceedings and can be complex, so it may be wise to seek legal assistance from immigration experts like Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.
Reapply for the Visa Extension
Depending on the reasons for refusal, reapplying for a visa extension might be the best course of action. You’ll need to apply again by addressing the issues outlined in the refusal letter and providing any missing information or documents.
Expert Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid
Navigating the UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension process can be challenging. Here are some expert tips to ensure success, along with common mistakes to avoid:
- Submit Accurate Information: Always provide truthful and accurate information. Inconsistencies can lead to delays or refusals.
- Provide All Required Documents: Missing even a single supporting document can result in refusal. Ensure that all mandated documents are attached and meet the requirements.
- Meet the Financial Requirement: Carefully calculate your income and savings to ensure you meet the financial threshold.
- Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute: Your visa extension application should be submitted well before your current visa expires. Late submissions can lead to complications.
- Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you are unsure about any aspect of the application, consult a legal professional experienced in UK visa applications.
- Avoid Common Mistakes, Such as not signing the application form, using outdated forms, or failing to pay the correct fees.
The UK civil partner and spouse visa extension process is a complex one, involving many steps and strict requirements. From understanding eligibility to gathering supporting documents and knowing how to handle refusals, each stage requires careful attention.
By adhering to the insights shared in this guide, you’ll be better positioned to extend your visa, remain in the UK, and continue living with your partner and any children you may have.
Whether you are a civil partner visa holder seeking to extend your permission to stay or a partner of a British citizen, this guide is intended to provide a thorough understanding of the process.
Need Help with UK Civil Partnership Visa Extension?
If you find the process overwhelming or need personalised assistance, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Our team at Spouse Visa Lawyers UK is well-versed in UK civil partner or spouse visa applications and can guide you through each step of the application, ensuring that you meet all the requirements.
Whether you are applying inside or outside the UK, our experienced team is here to help you settle in the UK with your spouse or partner.
Don’t let the complexities of the spouse visa extension process deter you from extending your stay in the UK. With professional help, you can ensure that you meet all the requirements, stay compliant with the latest UK immigration regulations, and focus on what really matters – your life and family in the UK.
Contact us today for an initial consultation, and let us guide you through the UK civil partnership Visa extension process with confidence and ease.
The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.
Dr Bernard Andonian has over four decades of experience as a London-based UK Immigration Solicitor and was also a former immigration Judge. He has been awarded a PhD in Law from the University of West London for his in-depth knowledge of UK immigration and nationality law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts whilst representing clients in the UK, and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.