A Visitor Visa permits you to remain in the UK for a maximum period of six months. With this type of visa, you can go to the UK for a leisurely trip, attend to important business-related matters, see your family or friends, and do other permitted activities allowed on a Visitor Visa.
However, there might be an instance where you’ll need to stay longer in the country. Depending on your situation, your Visitor Visa might not be enough, and you’ll have to follow the procedures to extend your stay in the UK properly.
If you need to extend your stay, this article will supply you with the essential information you need to take note of. Meanwhile, if you want to try a Visitor Visa, you can reach out to reliable UK Lawyers for immigration to know more about the application process.
How Long Can I Extend My Visitor Visa?
Generally, you can extend your Visitor Visa for a maximum of six months. This is granted as long as your duration of stay in the UK doesn’t exceed six months. For instance, if you’ve already been in the UK for two months, you can extend your stay for four more months.
Unfortunately, you can no longer further extend your Visitor Visa than the provided limit. But if you do have a valid reason to stay longer in the country, you can apply for an extension and provide the necessary documentation to the corresponding authorities.
Who Are Qualified to Extend their Stay in the UK?
Unfortunately, not everyone is qualified to extend their stay in the UK. You can only extend your stay in the UK if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You are a patient receiving medical care in the country and continue to satisfy the conditions to stay in the country.
- You are an academic who still fulfills the conditions to stay in the country.
- You are a graduate who intends to retake the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) exam or conduct a clinical attachment.
What to Prepare When Extending Your Stay in the UK
If you are part of any of the mentioned categories above, you can file an application to prolong your stay in the UK before the expiry of your Visitor Visa. Do note that you will have to set an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) provider near you. This is where you will submit your biometrics.
Aside from preparing your biometrics, you will also have to prepare an extension fee amounting to £1000. You may pay an additional £800 to get the Super Priority Service. Availing of this service allows you to receive a faster decision regarding your visa status.
Here are the specific requirements you need to prepare depending on your category below:
Needed Requirements for Patients Receiving Medical Care
If you’re receiving private medical care, you must turn in a letter from a doctor/healthcare practitioner that contains the following information:
- Your condition that requires medical care or consultation in the UK
- A rough calculation of the expenses and length of your treatment/s
- The location where you will receive medical care
On the other hand, if you’re getting treated at an NHS hospital, you must submit the following:
- A letter from your government stating that they will shoulder all your medical fees
If you need to extend your stay as a patient in the country, you can stay in the UK for six more months. This is granted as long as you have paid for the medical care you already received and can still cover your additional medical expenses. You’re allowed to do multiple extensions if needed. Each extension will still cost £1000.
Needed Requirements for Academics
If you’re staying as an academic, you must show evidence of the following:
- You are extremely knowledgeable in your field (e.g., have a doctorate degree)
- Have a job in your field at an academic institution abroad before arriving in the UK
- Do not intend to fill a permanent teaching job
You can get to stay in the country for a total of twelve months if your extension is approved. If you’re staying with your spouse and children, they can also stay with you for the same duration. However, you will have to pay an extra £1000 extension fee per family member.
Needed Requirements for Graduates Retaking the PLAB Exam
- A letter written by the General Medical Council confirming your PLAB Exam retake
You will also get an extra six months if you need to retake the PLAB examination. Once you pass the exam, you can further extend your stay if you need to conduct a free clinical attachment or need to fill a dental observer post.
If you intend to do this, you must submit details regarding the clinical attachment offered to you. Finally, you must also submit proof that you haven’t conducted a clinical attachment in the UK.
If you simply need to stay in the UK for a maximum of six months, your Visitor Visa will be enough. But if you need to stay longer than that, you must have a valid reason that is recognized by the UKVCAS. And if you do meet the qualifications, make sure to prepare the necessary documents to ensure that your extension application goes well.