How to extend/renew your visa in the UK

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice. 24 November 2023

The first thing one has to bear in mind is that not all visas can be extended or renewed. For example, one cannot extend or renew a UK graduate visa or UK youth mobility visa or a startup visa. In addition, if you hold a visa that is now closed to new applicants, such as the investor visa, you cannot apply for it, you can only apply to extend it or apply for indefinite leave to remain if you meet the eligibility criteria. While some visas cannot be extended, you can definitely consider switching it to a different type of visa in the UK and we will be very happy to assist you in the process of switching.

When can I apply for a visa extension?

You must make an application for the extension before your visa expires. In order to extend your visa you need to complete several steps:

  1. You need to make sure that you understand the process and complete the relevant forms and have the fees that you need to pay available to you.
  2. You need to book and attend a biometric appointment.
  3. You need to provide and upload the documents in support of your application.

What happens if I did not extend my visa before its expiry?

You have permission to submit an application within 14 days of your visa expiring, but no more than 14 days after your visa has expired and only if you have a valid reason. You will need to provide an explanation and illustrate the exceptional circumstances which prevented you from being able to apply in time. You must provide the evidence within the 14 days of your visa expiry date and if this application for extension is refused you will have a right of appeal where a human rights claim has been made or be eligible for administrative review if you feel that the UKVA made a mistake when they refused your application. On rare occasions, you will be meeting the criteria for a judicial review. It is important to seek legal advice before you renew your application to make sure you satisfy the criteria.

How can I stay in the UK after my visa expires?

If you made an application before your leave expires, you will be able to remain in the UK whilst this application is being considered.