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  1. #1
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    MODERATOR NOTE:

    The law contained in this topic is only good until 8th July 2012.

    Please read the Family migration changes from 9 July 2012 topic for details of some very important changes to the Immigration Rules.

    Kind regards
    Tobias



    The following is a collation of advice and information given in both official embassy documentation and by a large number of forum members with experience of being party to applications for Settlement Visas to the UK. This posting does not constitute 'the work' of the poster beyond being a collation of advice and information from elsewhere. The groundwork has been done by many others who have been credited where possible. Usually credit is given in cases where specific gems of advice and information have been found in specific posts. The second section dealing with an interpretation of a possible 'best' approach to building a folder of supporting evidence is based on a large variety of threads and individual posts many feeding off prior advice and information offered up on the forum so it is difficult to ascertain original sources of ideas. As much as is possible in a process that can vary in tone and nature speculation is avoided and as much first hand advice and information as possible is made use of. Whilst not claiming to be exhaustive it is hoped that this post manages to identify the most important issues and save on a certain amount of searching through prior threads and posts on the matter.

    This posting consists of three key sections:

    Section One - What the Embassy says they require

    Section Two - Building a folder of supporting evidence the Forum way!

    Section Three - Specific items of useful advice and information


    Section One - What the Embassy says they require

    Information on the Embassy Web site:

    British Embassy Bangkok > Visas

    Application Forms & Guidance

    Whilst generally being very clear and helpful does not go so far as to provide a detailed and focussed breakdown of what might be required in terms of supporting evidence.

    Subsequent to submitting an application the Applicant can usually expect to be contacted within 5 days by the embassy, via telephone, with a follow up letter and standard information sheets. It is particularly useful to know the content of these information sheets before submitting the application, especially if you are hoping to be granted a 'short interview' and thus aim to submit all required supporting evidence along with the application form (to do so is not required - some people rightfully choose to take the folder of evidence along to an interview offered at a later date).

    Copies of visa interview slips have been lodged by Forum moderators in the Photo Album section of the Forum. Read these first:

    Visa Interview Slips

    The following is transcribed from a document sent to an Applicant June 2004 that appears to be updated in terms of formatting if not specific content. Notes added in [square parenthesis] are those of this post's author and generally indicate which party, Applicant or Sponsor, might typically be the one that needs to collate specific items of documentary evidence.

    British Embassy Settlement Visa Support Document Advice Check List

    To enable us to consider your application please provide those documents listed below. If you have already submitted any of the documents indicated, please regard this as a check list only. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and an Interviewing Entry Clearance Officer may request additional documents.

    Please provide original documents plus one photocopy of each document

    [In practice different Embassy employees offer different advice on whether copies are required or not, and a number of Forum members have had no problem submitting originals only. The above is what is stated on the Embassy�s check list for Applicants]

    1. Your previous passport(s) or a copy of the police report, if lost [APPLICANT]

    2. Full copy of your husband / wife or fiancé(e)'s passport showing all stamps and visas for UK and Thailand [SPONSOR]

    3. Evidence of your financial position (original bank book(s), wage slips, land & property deeds etc) [APPLICANT]

    4. Evidence of your employment (past and present) together with evidence of salary paid [APPLICANT]

    5. Evidence of contact between yourself and your husband / wife or fiancé(e) - eg: e-mails, letters, telephone bills, cards and/or photos [APPLICANT & SPONSOR]

    6. Birth / Marriage / Divorce / Death certificate(s) as appropriate to show you and your husband / wife or fiancé(e)'s marital status [APPLICANT & SPONSOR]

    7. Documents detailed on the attached sheet concerning your sponsor's ability to support and accommodate you in the UK [SPONSOR]

    8. Birth certificate(s) of all your children regardless of whether you intend to take them to the UK at this point [APPLICANT]

    9. Documents specified below [the embassy may or may not add an additional list of required documentation here but naturally you will not know what, if any, additional documentation might be required until the application has been made and the Applicant has been contacted by the embassy]

    Support and Accommodation

    As a sponsor you may be asked to provide evidence that you can support and/or accommodate the person whom you are sponsoring to enter the United Kingdom. The usual form of evidence that is acceptable to this office to support your claim to be able to provide financial support to someone would be:

    a. Wage/Salary slips for the last three months.

    (To show that you have a regular income adequate to provide the level of support required.)

    b. If you have your own company in the United Kingdom you should provide attested copies of the company's annual accounts for the last two years.

    c. If you are self-employed you should submit attested copies of your last two years' Income Tax returns.

    d. Your last six months' bank statements.

    (To give an indication of your financial standing and level of continuing financial commitments.)

    If you are sponsoring someone who wishes to settle in the United Kingdom as your dependant (i.e. wife fiancé/e, child, etc.) you have to show that there will be adequate accommodation for them, and you, in accommodation of your own or which you and they will accommodate solely. Acceptable evidence of this would be:

    a. Full details of the accommodation availablei.e. number of rooms and their intended use e.g. bedroom, kitchen, living-room, etc.)

    b. Full details of all those people who will be occupying the accommodation, including details of their ages and sex.

    c. If you are buying the accommodation on a mortgage, we will need to see evidence of this from your mortgage company.

    d. If you will be renting property, we will need to see an attested copy of the Tenancy Agreement which should be for a minimum period of six months.

    This leaflet is for guidance only. Each visa application is considered on its own merits and, as such, the documents described above must not be considered the definitive list of documentary requirements required in support of visa applications.


    Section Two - Building a folder of supporting evidence the Forum way!


    There is certainly no fixed and sure format for a folder of supporting evidence. The most important thing to consider is making it as easy as possible for the ECO (Entry Clearance Officer) to quickly locate the information they are looking for. As well as helping to ensure the ECO does not inadvertently miss a critical item of evidence there is anecdotal evidence on the forum of the mood of ECOs being enhanced when presented with neatly laid out folders containing all the required evidence. With these factors in mind you may wish to consider ensuring there is a clearly presented table of contents at the start of the file, using clear markers to indicate sections, prefixing each section with a table of specific contents (section overview) and adding explanations for the relevance of each item to the application, etc. An A4 lever arch file using clear plastic A4 sleeves to collate related documentation might suit the purpose but there is no hard and fast rule on the best way to store and present all this information. Keep asking yourself "Were I the ECO would this make my job easier?"

    The following is a hybrid layout for a folder of supporting evidence based on a variety of threads and posts. Quite a number of items might be specific to the case of an individual Applicant and/or Sponsor or may be indicative of the wish of one or both parties to take all measures possible to avoid the embassy adding anything to Section 9 of the Visa Interview Slip : "Documents specified below" (see Section One of this post above). Whilst it is always better to be over prepared than to be under prepared (particularly if you're going to be 6000 miles from home when the folder is submitted) don't panic if you see an item listed below that you yourself would not have access to. The items listed in Section One above are the critical ones. Forum members having just submitted their folders of evidence often joke about having forgotten to submit the kitchen sink (or more esoteric variations on that sentiment) so treat the following as a guide of potential content whilst bearing in mind the critical items listed in Section One.

    Application for Settlement Visa to the UK

    Applicant - name of applicant

    Sponsor - name of sponsor

    CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION

    Section overview

    Cover letter from Applicant

    Cover letter from Sponsor

    [there is no specification of requirement from the Embassy for cover letters though many Forum members like to provide these - the nature of the cover letter is open to the parties concerned but might give a brief overview of the reasons for application and sum up key points being provided as supporting evidence, when and where you met, your current occupation, marriage plans, etc. etc.]

    Correspondence between Applicant/Sponsor and Embassy [in cases where correspondence has indeed taken place between both parties prior to submission]

    KEY DOCUMENTS � APPLICANT

    Section overview<br />Passport [photocopy of identification page and any pages containing prior visa stamps - the passport itself should be taken to the interview]

    ID Card [photocopy - a Thai national is required by law to carry their ID at all times]

    Original Divorce Certification [as appropriate, and with English translation in such cases]

    Marriage Certificate [with English translation as appropriate][for those submitting an application for a Settlement Visa as a spouse this can be supplied at interview stage - see Section Three below]

    Birth Certificate [with English translation]

    Employment History [with formal letters from employers where possible]

    Financial Details [see Section One above]

    KEY DOCUMENTS � SPONSOR

    Section overview

    Full Copy of Passport (identification page certified by a practicing UK solicitor) [see note below in Section Three - Advice from John on the Sponsor's passport]

    Original Divorce Certification [as appropriate]

    Birth Certificate

    FINANCIAL SUPPORT

    [Please pay attention to Support and Accommodation under Section One above]

    Section overview

    Correspondence from Employer [eg: confirmation of employment status, duration, current salary, contributions to pension scheme, etc.]

    Salary Slips

    P60 End of Year Certificate

    Bank Statements

    Details of any savings schemes, pension schemes, investments, etc.

    Attested copies of company's annual accounts for last two years [for business owners only]

    Attested copies of last two years' Income Tax returns [for self-employed only]

    ACCOMMODATION

    [Please pay attention to Support and Accommodation under Section One above]

    Section overview

    Brief Description of Accommodation (including photographs) [pay close attention to items a and b of the second part of Support and Accommodation under Section One above]

    Mortgage documents, deeds, etc.

    Tenancy Agreement [for those renting their home]

    Correspondence with Owner/Agency [for those renting their home, including written approval from the owner/agent for the Applicant to take up residence]

    Council Tax Bill

    Utility Bills [a sample of recent bills]

    EVIDENCE OF CONTACT

    Section overview

    Record of visits [any flight stubs and other travel receipts available, hotel receipts where possible with names of both Applicant and Sponsor detailed, photographs of both parties together - a few from each visit spent together will suffice � some Forum members have suggested it can be useful to present photographs of the Applicant and Sponsor with other family members though on balance do not worry if you do not have access to such photographs]

    Itemised Phone Statements

    Used International Calling Cards

    Letters

    Receipts for gifts sent (flowers, etc.) for birthdays, Valentine's Day, etc.

    Email Correspondence [see notes in Section Three below]

    Transcripts of Real Time Online Communications [see notes in Section Three below]
    Section Three - Specific items of useful advice and information

    Advice from John on submitting a Settlement Visa application for a spouse, prior to actual marriage

    My wife, as she would become, submitted the application for spouse visa before we were married. The covering letter should give an idea of the date the marriage will be registered at an Amphur and ask for an interview date on or after then.
    [Effectively if you're applying for a Settlement Visa for a spouse but you're yet to actually legally marry, you can still submit the application for a spouse visa and supply the marriage certificate at interview].

    Advice from John on the Sponsor's passport

    A number of forum members have handed in application form and evidence together and because the sponsor was present at the time of the handing in, his (or her) passport was included and the embassy was invited to check the real passport against an uncertified photocopy that had been included. Then the embassy would hand back the real British passport, leaving them with a photocopy that they themselves have certified for accuracy.
    [Following the above course of action would preclude the additional expense of certification by a practicing UK solicitor. Otherwise the certification process is a simple matter of walking in to any high street solicitor's practice in the UK with your passport. As of May 2004 this poster paid UKP 7.50 for such a service and whilst there is no set rate for said service it should cost no more than UKP 10.00]

    Advice from Tobias on the Sponsor's financial status

    There are no set rules for how much money you need to demonstrate you have available to show that there would be no recourse to public funds. However, what I know for certain is that ECOs and adjudicators at appeals take the figures for Income Support as a guideline for how much is needed for someone to live on. I believe UKP 54.65 is the current jobseekers� allowance rate for a single person.

    So, by way of example, if you are able to show that you have in excess of UKP 50 or so available each week (after all your outgoings and living expenses are taken care of) then you should have no problem meeting the �no recourse to public funds� criteria.
    Advice from BigRed on the Sponsor�s financial status
    For those of us of more advanced years it would be worth including the annual statement from your pension scheme showing expected income when you retire.
    Look here for information sourced by Mark W on how many people are allowed to occupy accommodation on a permanent basis

    Look here for advice from Tobias for tenants in a quandary with regards to proving the Applicant will be allowed to take residence in the Sponsor's rented accommodation

    Advice from Turbo on itemised phone bills
    In my folder I put in my itemised mobile bills with all the calls to the discount numbers highlighted with a luminous pen. As well as nomi-call I have also used superline, easy dial & 18866 for calling LOS . They all allow you to print off itemised bills showing the actual number you call in LOS & I included these in my folder along with a note explaining what it all meant.
    Advice on electronic communications collated from a variety of posts

    For many people this section of the folder can become somewhat cumbersome, with so many emails and instant messaging archives that might be printed out. Bear in mind however that the ECO will be looking for evidence of ongoing contact between Applicant and Sponsor and not every last detail of the nature of that communication (cf: itemised phone bills constitute evidence of contact but the ECO will not be privy to the actual content of telephone conversations - though they may sometimes ask in interview what the couple talk about on the phone but this will be a general question, not a request for any specifics). A number of members have had no problems simply providing a number of printed screen grabs of packages used (eg: a Hotmail folder set up to store mails between the couple, the Yahoo Messenger Archive window, etc.) showing contact over a period of time, plus maybe a sample full print out of an email on a monthly basis (do be careful which emails you select for this purpose however - if you think there's anything in the content of an email that may give cause for concern then choose another).

    To execute a screen grab on a PC select the window you wish to grab and press the key combination Ctrl-Alt-Print Screen, then using any paint package open a new window and paste (Ctrl-V) the grabbed image into this window prior to printing. You may have to fiddle a little with orientation and scale to fit onto an A4 printout.

    Okay that was a super big one but just by way of thanks for all the help received here, in the hope that future seekers of help can gain some benefit from this post. Feel free to point out any errors or flaws in thinking, add any additional suggestions, or anything else : )
    Last edited by Tobias; 16th Jun 2012 at 11:43. Reason: Embassy links updated.
    ~~~ Don't fight for a revolution the leaders of which would hang you were they to win ~~~

  2. #2
    Founder Member Lee's Avatar
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    Translated guidance notes regarding evidence collation for a settlement visa.
    Many thanks to Siam Steve.


    1. Your current and previous passport(s) or a copy of the police report, if lost
    2. Evidence of your financial position (original bank book(s), wage slips, land & property deeds etc)
    3. Evidence of your employment (past and present) together with evidence of salary paid
    4. Evidence of contact between yourself and your husband / wife or fiancé(e) - eg: e-mails, letters including envelope, telephone bills, cards and/or photos
    5. Birth Certificate / Marriage Certificate / as appropriate to show you and your husband / wife marital status(translated in English)
    6. Birth certificate(s) of all your children regardless of whether you intend to take them to the UK at this point(Translated in English)
    7. ID Card [photocopy - a Thai national is required by law to carry their ID at all times]
    8. The names of your Parents and sisters and brothers(translated in English)


    หลักฐานประกอบการยื่นขอวีซ่า
    1. หนังสือเดินทางเล่มปัจจุบันและเล่มเก่า หรือ หากสูญหาย ต้องนำเอกสารแจ้งความจากสถานีตำรวจมายื่นประกอบ
    2. เอกสารหลักฐานทางด้านการเงิน สมุดบัญชีธนาคาร ใบรับเงินเดือน โฉนดที่ดินต่าง ๆ
    3. หนังสือเอกสารรับรองการทำงาน /เอกสารหลักฐานการจ้างงาน/การทำงาน/ (ปัจจุบันหรืออดีต) พร้อมกับเอกสารหลักฐานหนังสือรับรองเงินเดือน
    4. เอกสารหลักฐานเกี่ยวกับการติดต่อระหว่างกันและกัน เช่น จดหมาย ซองจดหมาย กล่องพัสดุ บิลค่าโทรศัพท์ระหว่างประเทศ หรือภายในประเทศที่เป็นเบอร์โทรศัพท์ที่โทรหาสตีฟ บัตรหรือรูปถ่ายร่วมกัน เป็นต้น
    5. หนังสือจดทะเบียนสมรส ฉบับแปลเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ
    6. เอกสารใบเกิดบุตร / เอกสารการยินยอมหรือแสดงการเป็นผู้ปกครองบุตร ถ้าหากต้องการพาลูกและบุตรที่อยู่ในความปกครองไปประเทศอังกฤษด้วย
    7. บัตรประชาชน
    8. ชื่อบิดา มารดา และพี่ชาย/สาว น้องชาย/สาว ที่แปลเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ

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