Extensions, switching and varying existing applications
Extensions, switching and varying existing applications

The following Immigration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Extensions, switching and varying existing applications
  • Leave to remain application submitted to the Home Office when the applicant is outside the UK
  • When should the application be made?
  • Applications for leave to remain by overstayers
  • Issues that may arise in leave to remain applications
  • Varying the purpose of a pending application

A person with leave to enter or remain in the UK, who wishes and is permitted to apply to stay beyond the date their current leave expires, or who wishes to change immigration category is generally required to make an application when in the UK to the Home Office to vary their leave. Applying in the UK—overview provides a summary of the different types of in-country leave application, ie applications submitted in the UK.

A person’s leave may be varied:

  1. by restricting, enlarging or removing the limit on its duration, or

  2. by adding, varying or revoking conditions attached to a person's leave. See Practice Note: Conditions of leave for further details

A person with leave can ask an immigration officer to vary it on arrival in the UK; see Applying in the UK—overview. An immigration officer is not obliged to consider an application for variation on arrival in the UK and in practice will rarely do so. The vast majority of variation of leave applications are made to the Home Office after arrival.

This Practice Note covers the following types of application submitted in the UK:

  1. extensions of leave, ie to extend leave in the applicant’s current immigration category

  2. indefinite leave to remain, ie leave without a time limit

  3. switching immigration category, ie an application to change from one immigration category to another