UK visa extensions

Applying for a UK visa extension can be complicated. Make sure you know what process you must follow so you’re properly prepared.

UK visa extensions

keep your family together and extend your UK spouse visa

UK Spouse visa extensions

The UK spouse visa, partner visa, fiancé or fiancée visa are all names used to refer to a family visa.

This visa is usually valid for two-and-a-half years, or six months for a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.

You must apply to extend your family visa before the current one expires.

Ancestry visa extension processing time

If you opt for a standard service, you can expect a decision within eight weeks. For an additional charge, you can use the “super priority service” to get a decision within one to two days.

Tier 2 visa extension application

You can apply to extend your Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re still in the same job and with the same employer when your initial work visa was granted. You must be in the UK when you extend your visa.

You’re allowed to extend your Tier 2 visa for up to five years, but your total time in the country on this visa must not exceed six years. Make sure you include any dependants as part of your extension application.

If you want to change jobs and work for a different employer, you can’t apply to extend your current visa. You’ll need to apply for a new Tier 2 visa.

Tier 2 visa extension processing time

The standard Tier 2 visa extension service takes eight weeks from when you apply. If you want a faster decision, priority service takes five working days from your visa appointment. There’s also a super priority service for a decision within one to two days.

General student visa (Tier 4) extension application

Students wishing to continue their studies in the UK can apply to extend their Tier 4 visa. To be eligible for an extension, you must be in the UK and meet the requirements. You must have an offer of a place on the course and hold a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS). The extension process is similar for students on a child student visa.

Tier 4 visa extension application processing time

The standard Tier 4 extension application decision takes up to eight weeks, but you can pay extra for the priority service for a decision to be made within five working days. If you need a decision to be made even faster, the super priority service takes only one to two working days.

UK visa extension after graduation

After completing your studies, you won’t be able to extend your student visa, but there are other visa options that will allow you to stay in the UK.

You would be eligible for a Tier 2 work visa if you can find work with an employer willing to sponsor you. This can be quite tricky if you haven’t worked part-time during your studies or don’t have contacts in your field.

If your job is on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List, you could potentially find it easier to get a job.

Another option is the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa. If you’re between the age of 18 and 30 and from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea or Taiwan, you can apply for the Tier 5 visa. This visa allows you to work in the UK for up to two years.

Can you track your UK visa extension application?

Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to track your extension application online. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) offers a tool to check estimated processing times, and there’s also a contact centre to call regarding your UK visa.