Family visas: extend your stay in the UK

1. Overview

You need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you want to stay (‘remain’) with a family member or partner (for example, spouse) who’s living in the UK permanently and you’re:

You can apply if you’re eligible and you need to:

  • extend your existing ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • switch to a ‘family of a settled person’ visa

Your family member or partner can:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK
  • be your partner who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they’ve lived in the UK for at least 7 years.


You may need to apply in a different way if:

  • you’re outside the UK
  • your partner’s from the EEA or Switzerland
  • your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker
  • you’re the victim of domestic violence or your partner has died
  • you applied for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa before 9 July 2012
  • you want to reunite with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

How long it will take

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks if you apply online or by post
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, for example, if you have a criminal conviction


How much it costs will depend on how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Online or by post In person (premium service)
You £993 £1,583
Family members £993 each £1,583 each

You must also pay the healthcare charge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

You might not have to pay any fees if you’re destitute and applying on the basis of your human rights. If you’re eligible, you must apply by post.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 2 years and 6 months. You’ll be able to apply to extend again towards the end of that.

You can also apply to settle permanently in the UK once you’re eligible.

What you can and can’t do

You can use your ‘family of a settled person’ visa to:

You can’t usually get benefits or other public funds.