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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Dear just answer, I have a friend of chinese origin visiting

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Dear just answer,
I have a friend of chinese origin visiting me on visitor's visa here in Edinburgh UK. The visa was obtained in Cyprus where my friend is a permanent resident. We are thinking of the best way to extend the stay for another 3 (or however possible) months.
what is the best option, if it is possible at all:
i. to apply for extension (if yes which reasons would qualify?)
ii. to try change visa type to studying type (is this allowed/possible?)
iii. to apply for a sponsored visa type (I could sponsor the stay but is this change allowed? and more important does my friend need to go back to Cyprus for these options to obtain that visa as a new visa and not as an update/extension here?

I appreciate any help on the matter,
with kind regards
Antonis, Edinburgh, UK
I presume a standard 6-month visit visa was issued to your friend.

A visit visa does not allow the holder to switch status within the UK. The terms of the visa being issued were that the individual would leave within the period granted. It can also count against a person in future applications to have applied for a visit visa for a 2-week holiday and then stay 6 months as it indicates that the original basis of the application was possibly false.

1. Extension are only possible on compassionate grounds - extreme ill health, etc.

2. Switching would not be possible.

3. If a sponsored visa was to be applied for then it would have to be done from outside the UK.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, your answer was thorough and i understand your points.

Can you possibly comment on the last point, would it be adequate to apply from Cyprus as a resident or would my friend need to go back to China to apply? (Cypriot resident Chinese citizen).

How long would it take to process a sponsored visa application in general?


many thanks


Sorry about that. Your friend should be able to apply in Cyprus.


Time taken for a sponsored visa varies. I presume you mean a sponsored work visa under Tier 2 General. Time taken will depend on whether or not the employer needs to become registered as a sponsor and if the role requires a Restricted CoS. Applications for the Tier 2 General visa in Cyprus will generally take up to 3 weeks (98% decided in that time).

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was thinking of a sponsored visa not from a company but sponsored stay by me or friend in general; would that be possible and take similar time as the above (i.e. ~3 weeks) from Cyprus?

You could support an application - you would simply be stating the reason for the visit and that you will provide accommodation, etc. This might help the application - primary concerns for visit visas are the ability of the applicant to support him or her self without work and the probability that the applicant will return home. Anything that can be provided to support these two concerns will be of benefit.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So a financial support to the applicant is part of the same visa application and not a new type of visa? i.e. still need to go back to Cyprus apply for an extension of the visitor's visa with an added statement of support or is it a new type of visa to apply for? (if it is a new one is this in conflict with having had the visitor's visa granted already for 6 months?)

There is no conflict - one visa expires and a new visa is requested - not an extension and no conflict, simply a new application for a new visit visa. An application can be supported by a letter and evidence of the address and funds if you are offering someone to stay and funding. You might say that you are going to pick the person up and take them back to the airport, that you will be providing accommodation and confirm the purpose of the visit. This all helps to support the application in terms of being able to afford the visit. It is a good idea if the applicant also can show commitments back in Cyprus to demonstrate that there is a probability of return, although having had a visa and returning home within the period of the visa will help as there is a history of not breaching terms of the visa. This obviously has to be balanced with the overall time in the UK - the purpose of 6-month visit visas is not to spend 11 out of every 12 months living in the UK.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To link this answer to the the beginning of this discussion would you confirm that applying again from Cyprus is a better way (more likely to be successful) than try to apply from within UK while she is here on her current visitor's visa?

It is not simply that it is better - the application CANNOT be made from within the UK and MUST be made from outside the UK (in this case from Cyprus).
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