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Immigration Corner - Extension of stay

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am presently in the United Kingdom and my Tier 1 (General) visa is about to expire. I have met a very nice girl and I would like to stay for a while longer.

Do you think that I will be successful if I apply for an extension?

- Ian

Dear Ian,

You would like to extend your temporary permission to stay in the UK. This is also referred to as 'limited leave to remain'.

It may be possible for an extension if you went as a visitor. If you currently have temporary permission to stay in the UK, you may be able to extend your permission to stay as a visitor beyond six months, in most cases.

You have not told me much detail about your situation. Therefore, I am not able to tailor my response to your situation. In some circumstances, you may be able to switch to a different immigration category.

Liable for removal

It is important, if you want to extend your stay, you must apply for permission to do so before your existing permission ends. If your permission has already ended, you are required to leave the country - if not, you may be liable for removal.

However, before you apply for an extension, you should ensure that you meet the requirements in the immigration category that you received your visa. It would be possible for you to apply to extend your stay if you are already in the UK under the Tier 1 (General) category. However, if you could qualify under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme and wanted to extend your stay, you could to apply under that category.

An extension

If you are given permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') as a highly-skilled worker from inside the UK, you will be allowed to live and work there for a maximum period of three years. Towards the end of this period, you will need to apply for permission to extend your stay again.

In addition, extending your stay would be dependent on your meeting certain conditions. Some of the main conditions include that you will have no recourse to public funds. This means you will be unable to claim most of the benefits provided by the state. Also, you must register with the police, if this is needed to ensure that you are in compliance with Part 10 of the 'Registration With The Police' in the Immigration Rules under paragraph 326.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises in Jamaica. He is a Supreme Court-appointed mediator and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Email: or

Dear Reader

Jamaican-American Attorney Dahlia Walker-Huntington's column will not be appearing as she has a death in her family. Mrs Walker-Huntington lost her brother, Lloyd Chuck, who resides in Jamaica. Her column resumes next week.