Sun | Jan 29, 2023

Immigration Corner | Who can extend a visa while in the UK?

Published:Tuesday | September 20, 2022 | 12:06 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Under what circumstances can a person extend their visa? I would appreciate any advice that you can give.

LF

Dear LF,

Persons may be able to extend their stay if they have permission to be in the United Kingdom (UK) for less than six months. They can extend their stay up to a total of six months.

Persons can only apply to stay in the UK for longer than six months if they are:

• Patients receiving medical treatment

• Academics and they still meet the eligibility requirements

• Graduates retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment

Persons must apply to extend their stay and pay the £1,000 fee regardless of their nationality.

They will need to apply while they are still in the UK and before their current visa or permission expires.

FEES

It costs:

• £1,000 to extend their stay as a standard visitor

• An extra £800 if they use the super-priority service

They will also need to have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken – there is no fee for this.

PERSONS WHO HAVE PERMISSION TO BE IN THE UK FOR LESS THAN SIX MONTHS

Persons may be able to extend their stay as long as the total time they spend in the UK is no more than six months. They must meet the eligibility requirements and pay the £1,000 fee.

For example, if persons have been in the UK for three months, they can apply to extend their stay for three more months. This applies if they needed a visa to visit the UK and also if they did not need one.

PERSONS WHO NEED TO STAY LONGER FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT

If already in the United Kingdom, persons can apply to stay for a further six months if they:

• Have paid for any treatment they have already had in the UK

• Can and will pay the further costs of their treatment

• Continue to meet the medical treatment eligibility requirements

There is no limit on how many times persons can extend their stay. It costs £1,000 each time they extend.

DOCUMENTS THAT MUST BE PROVIDED

Persons must get a medical practitioner or National Health Service (NHS) consultant who is registered in the UK to provide details of their medical condition that needs further treatment.

If they are having treatment at an NHS hospital under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement, they will need to provide another authorisation form from their country’s government saying they will pay for their treatment.

IF PERSONS NEED TO STAY LONGER AS AN ACADEMIC

If they are already in the UK and have permission to visit for less than 12 months, they can apply to stay for up to 12 months in total.

Their partner and children can apply to stay for up to 12 months, too. They must have their own application and each pay the £1,000 fee.

P ersons must prove they:

• Are highly qualified in their field of expertise, for example, they have a PhD or higher

• Were working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas prior to their arrival in the UK

• Are not filling a permanent teaching post

If they are an academic, but not a senior doctor or dentist, they must also prove that they are visiting to do research or a formal exchange.

If they are a senior doctor or dentist, they must also prove they are visiting to do research, clinical practice, a formal exchange or to teach.

Before persons extend their stay, they should check if they need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. They may need one if they are researching certain subjects at postgraduate level or above.

IF PERSONS NEED TO STAY LONGER TO RETAKE THE PLAB TEST

If persons are already in the UK, they can apply to extend their stay for up to six months to retake the PLAB test.

They must provide written confirmation from the General Medical Council that they are retaking the test.

IF PERSONS WANT TO DO A CLINICAL ATTACHMENT OR DENTAL OBSERVER POST

If persons pass the PLAB test, they can apply to stay longer to do an unpaid clinical attachment or dental observer post.

They can stay in the UK for up to 18 months in total. They must provide written confirmation:

• Of their clinical attachment offer

• That they have not done a clinical attachment in the UK before

Those persons are not permitted to treat patients.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, deputy global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com