Visit the UK as a Standard Visitor
When you can extend your stay
You may be able to extend your stay if you have permission to be in the UK for less than 6 months. You can extend your stay up to a total of 6 months.
You can only apply to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months if you’re:
- a patient receiving medical treatment
- an academic and you still meet the eligibility requirements
- a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment
You must apply to extend your stay and pay the £1000 fee regardless of your nationality.
You need to apply while you’re still in the UK and before your current visa or permission expires.
- £1000 to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor
- an extra £800 if you use the super priority service
You’ll also need to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken - there’s no fee for this.
If you have permission to be in the UK for less than 6 months
You may be able to extend your stay as long as the total time you spend in the UK is no more than 6 months. You must meet the eligibility requirements and pay the £1000 fee.
For example, if you have been in the UK for 3 months, you can apply to extend your stay for 3 more months. This applies if you needed a visa to visit the UK and also if you did not need one.
If you need to stay longer for medical treatment
If you’re already in the UK, you can apply to stay for a further 6 months if you:
- have paid for any treatment you’ve already had in the UK
- can and will pay the further costs of your treatment
- continue to meet the medical treatment eligibility requirements
There is no limit on how many times you can extend your stay. It costs £1000 each time you extend.
Documents you must provide
You must get a medical practitioner or NHS consultant who’s registered in the UK to provide details of your medical condition that needs further treatment.
If you’re having treatment at an NHS hospital under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement, you will need to provide another authorisation form from your country’s government saying they will pay for your treatment.
If you need to stay longer as an academic
If you’re already in the UK and have permission to visit for less than 12 months, you can apply to stay for up to 12 months in total.
Your partner and children can apply to stay for up to 12 months too. They must have their own application and each pay the £1000 fee.
You must prove you:
- are highly qualified in your field of expertise, for example you have a PhD or higher
- were working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas prior to your arrival in the UK
- are not filling a permanent teaching post
If you’re an academic, but not a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you’re visiting to do research or a formal exchange.
If you’re a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you’re visiting to do research, clinical practice, a formal exchange or to teach.
Before you extend your stay, check if you need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. You may need one if you’re researching certain subjects at postgraduate level or above.
If you need to stay longer to retake the PLAB test
If you’re already in the UK, you can apply to extend your stay for up to 6 months to retake the PLAB test.
You must provide written confirmation from the General Medical Council that you’re retaking the test.
If you want to do a clinical attachment or dental observer post
If you pass the PLAB test, you can apply to stay longer to do an unpaid clinical attachment or dental observer post.
You can stay in the UK for up to 18 months in total.
You must provide written confirmation:
- of your clinical attachment offer
- that you’ve not done a clinical attachment in the UK before
You must not treat patients.
Proving your identity and providing your documents
When you apply, you’ll be asked to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide your biometric information (your fingerprints and a photo).
You’ll also need to submit the supporting documents that prove your eligibility. You can:
- upload your documents into the online service
- have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment
You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.
Apply to extend your stay as a Standard Visitor
Once you’ve started your application you can save your form and complete it later.
Continue your application
You can sign back into your application if you’ve saved it. Check your email and follow the link to return to your application.
Get help to apply online
You can get help with completing the online form if you:
- do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
- do not have internet access
You can only use this service if you’re applying to extend your stay in the UK.
You cannot get immigration advice through this service.
How long it takes to get a decision
If you use the standard service, a decision will usually be made within 8 weeks of providing your supporting documents and proving your identity.
If you use the super priority service a decision will be made:
- by the end of the next working day after your UKVCAS appointment if your appointment is on a weekday
- 2 working days after your UKVCAS appointment if your appointment is at the weekend
Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
Once you’ve got your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.
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)
Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your permission to be in the UK ended.