VisaGuide » Europe » UK Visa » Leave to Remain
Information about the UK visa extensionprocess, requirements, what visas can you extend and more.

What is a UK Leave to Remain?

Having been granted a UK visa simply means that your entry and your stay for a specific time in the UK are guaranteed. This also entails that your return into your home country should happen early enough before your existing entry visa period expires. In other cases than that, you must make an additional visa application, through which you will require remaining in the UK for a longer period, beyond that given by your current visa.

Typically the additional period of stay must come as a need for the same purpose you required to enter the country of the UK. Yet, there are exceptions since some UK entry visa types allow the holder to switch into other visa types – because the reason for requiring further leave (additional period of visa) might change from the reason you came to the UK. But yet, this entails additional requirements and procedures.

When you want to stay longer in the UK, beyond the existing entry visa period, you will be asked to make an application to get a temporary visa known as a leave to remain.

Yet again, being so lucky to get granted with a leave to remain, your permanent stay in the UK will not be decided, as even this visa can only offer a temporary period of stay for the holder.

With a leave to remain, as opposed to an entry visa, you are allowed to require an additional period of stay in the UK. This process is known as applying for further leave to remain or visa extension.

Which Visas Can be Extended?

Nearly all the UK visa types have an option for extension. However, the person has to make sure not to fail complying with specific conditions and of requirements.

The rule excludes Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa, as this visa type cannot be extended further. The greatest period one can stay in the UK with an entry visa in this category is 2 years, and if they wish to stay longer in the UK, they must return to their home country and reapply.

Also, a Turkish Worker period of visa cannot be extended further. The holders of this visa, therefore, must return home at the end of the visa period.

What are the requirements for extension of a Leave to Remain?

When you decide to apply for an extension you must make sure you comply with several situations:

  • You must require extension in the same visa type you currently have
  • You should apply for an extension at least 8 weeks before the existing visa period exceeds
  • You must have not been part of any criminal activity or you must have not brake any UK law or Immigration law during the entire period of stay in the UK
  • You have to provide the biometric information – such as the fingerprints and recent photographs for yourself and any depended when applying for the extension
  • You must have not been in breach of immigration laws while having a valid UK visa

You can stay in the UK until the decision about extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.

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 for 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 post office to the address written in the application form

The Length of the Visa Extension

You will be allowed to get an extension of your leave to remain for staying longer in the UK based on your personal circumstances and your ability to cope with the application requirements.

Yet, there is a boundary as regards of the maximum period a visa extension can be offered.

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 period of the certificate of sponsorship (whichever is less)
  • For a UK work visa
  • For researching, for participating in a training or overseas government language program: 2 years 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 decision on your visa extension application is usually announced within the following timetable:

  • 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

This period can be longer in some exceptional cases, such as: your application dossier needs for further verification; there is a case of applicant’s involvement in criminal; or the applicant is required to attend an interview regarding their application, and so on.

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