Blogs > Visas

Extending your UK Visit Visa

  • February 05, 2020

If you have acquired a visit visa in order to undertake a clinical attachment, or if a family member has come to visit you on a visit visa, there may be circumstances in which you want to extend your visa and stay in the country for a few extra months, perhaps in order to attend an ID check or exam, or for private medical treatment. In this article, we will be explaining how you can apply for an extension on your visitor visa, and the steps involved in this.

If you have not yet obtained a visitor visa, but would like more information regarding this, you can read our blog article about obtaining a visit visa to attend an ID check, or our article about obtaining a visit visa for family members.


The maximum period of time you can spend in the UK on a visit visa is 6 months, so you can only extend your visa by the amount of time that will take you up to that 6-month point. For example, if you currently have a three month visit visa, you may only extend your visa for an extra three months.

In order for your application to be considered valid, you will need to apply whilst you are still in the UK, before your current visa expires, and you may not leave the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man between the time of your application and the time you receive a decision, if you do leave the country during this time, your application will automatically be withdrawn.


What if I Want to Extend my Visit Visa Beyond 6 Months?

Generally speaking, you will not be permitted to extend a visit visa beyond six months. However, in exceptional circumstances, you may be able to apply. You may attempt to apply for an extension beyond six months if you are receiving private medical treatment in the UK and have already paid for the treatment/are able to and intend to pay for further costs of your treatment. Under these circumstances, you will need to provide documentation from a medical practitioner or NHS consultant registered in the UK, evidencing your consultations or treatments, they will also need to outline how long your treatment is likely to last, and details of your treatment progress, if it has already begun. You must also continue to meet the visit visa eligibility requirements. These are:

  • You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit.
  • You can support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your visit.
  • You are able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit.
  • You have proof of any business or other activities you wish to do in the UK – as allowed by the visitor rules.
  • You’ll only ever need to come to the UK to visit.

How to Apply for an Extension

You will need to apply for an extension online, here. It is important to note, that you are only able to add dependents to your application if you are in the UK on an academic visit visa, if not, your dependent will be required to submit their own extension application.

Upon applying for an extension, you will be required to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point, where you will need to provide fingerprints and a photo (biometric information), and where you may need to provide your supporting documentation as well.

Supporting Documents

During your application, you will be asked to provide some documents to support your application. You can either upload these documents online or have them scanned at your UKVCAS appointment.

The only document you are required to provide is a valid passport or travel document.

There are extra supporting documents that you may wish to provide if you feel that it may strengthen your application, but they are not mandatory. We would recommend that you provide them though. These documents are:

  • If you are taking PLAB or an OSCE, you may provide a letter from the GMC or NMC to confirm your test arrangements.
  • If you are undertaking a clinical attachment or observational post, you may provide a letter confirming your offer to take up this post, and that you have not previously done this before whilst in the UK.
  • Previous passports or travel documentation to evidence previous dates of travel
  • Financial documentation to prove that you have enough funds available to continue to support yourself during your stay, these can be:
    • Bank statements
    • Building society books
    • Proof of earnings – a confirmation letter from your employer outlining your start date, salary, role, and the contact details for the company.
    • If someone else will be providing financial support during your stay, whether this be a business, friend or family member, they will need to provide documents to prove they have sufficient resources to support you as well as themselves.
  • Proof of legal residence if this is not included in your passport.
  • Details of any employment or study you are undertaking, such as a letter from your company outlining the length and details of your employment, or a letter from your education provider stating your enrolment and leave of absence.
  • If you are self-employed back home, you should provide business registration documents outlining the business owner’s name and the date the business was set up.
  • If you are in the UK to complete activities related to your employment outside of the UK, you should provide documentation explaining what you will be doing whilst in the UK, including any invitation letters from organisations, such as a letter from your employer outlining the reason for your visit, who you will be meeting and any details pertaining to payments or expenses.

How Much will it Cost?

It will cost £993 to extend your visit visa and an additional £800 if you wish to use the super priority service to speed up the process. It will also cost £19.20 to have your biometric information taken at your UKVCAS appointment.

What will the UKVCAS consider?

When reviewing your application, UKVCAS will consider the following things:

  • Is your application valid?
  • Do you meet identity and suitability checks?
  • Do you have the right to extend your visit visa?
  • Are you breaching any immigration laws?
  • Are you a genuine visitor?
  • Are you intending to undertake permitted activities in the UK, after completion, are you intending to leave the country at the end of your stay?
  • Are they satisfied that you are not intending to live in the UK?
  • Are you going to be undertaking prohibited activities?
  • Do you have adequate finances to support yourself and maintain accommodation throughout your stay?

What if I Don’t Meet the Requirements?

If you apply for an extension despite not meeting the requirements, obviously, your application may simply be denied, however they may also give you a visa for a shorter period than you requested, and you will not be offered a refund for your application. The worst-case scenario would be that you may receive a long-term ban, and have your visa terminated if your previous travel history suggests that you are repeatedly living in the UK for extended periods on a visit visa.

How Long will I have to wait for a Response?

If you opt to use their standard service, you should receive a response within 8 weeks. If you opt for their super priority service, they will come to a decision by the end of the next working day following your UKVCAS appointment. If your appointment takes place on a weekend, they will come to a decision two working days after your UKVCAS appointment.

It’s important to note that the UKVCAS’ working days are Monday to Friday, and they also do not work bank holidays.

In certain occasions, your application may be delayed if they need to contact you to verify your supporting documents, if you are required to attend an interview, or if there are complex personal circumstances, for example, if you have a criminal conviction.

Once you have applied, you may stay in the UK until they have reached a decision, if your current visa is still valid.

Relocating to the UK

If you are an international doctor who would like to relocate to the UK, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.


Government Digital Service (2015). Standard Visitor visa. [Online] GOV.UK. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].

Visit Guidance. (n.d.). [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].

Government Digital Service (2015). Standard Visitor visa. [Online] GOV.UK. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].

UK Visas and Immigration (2019). Guide to supporting documents: visiting the UK. [Online]. GOV.UK. Available at: [Accessed 29 Jan. 2020].


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