Obtain a Spouse Settlement Visa for the UK - Part 5
by, 13th Jan 2012 at 16:58 (7406 Views)
Visa Application Process
Once you have collected all the information you will want (or more correctly) your wife will want to apply for a Settlement Visa.
In Thailand, the UKBA outsource the handling of the Settlement Visa applications to a company called VFS Global, they initially collect the application from your spouse and forward it to the UKBA at the British Embassy for processing.
Your visa application will be processed and decided by UK Border Agency staff. VFS Global staff does not, play any part in or influence the outcome of your visa application.
The first step in this process is to complete the online application form this can be done in stages, and may be saved at various points, so if you need to you can save it and come back and complete it later. The system holds your application for 1 week, but you can revisit it and save it again if needed.
A point to note here is - entering the date you want the visa to run from. If you want to be able to use it as soon as you get it, put a date just a few weeks ahead, some people, thinking it will take 12 weeks to process, have put a date 12 weeks ahead, only to get the Visa in a 2 weeks, but with a “can be used from date” still 10 weeks in the future, so they have to wait.
When you have completed the application you will be directed to print it out and make an appointment for your spouse to hand in the application, this is also completed online Book an Appointment Here.
You (or your spouse) will be able to make an appointment to present the application with supporting information up to one week ahead. You can if required cancel or change the appointment times by re visiting the booking system.
It’s a good idea to print off the appointment letter and another copy of the application for later reference.
Presenting the Application
When the time comes your spouse will need to attend the appointment at the VFS Global Office in Bangkok:-
The VFS Global office is located here:-
Regent House 2nd Floor
183 Rajdamri Road
At the same time VFS staff will collect Biometric Data from your spouse, i.e. fingerprint scans etc.
I would advise that you / your spouse arrive in good time, and be prepared to fend off any over zealous visa agents who also work in the same building and try and influence you to have your application reviewed.
It would appear that one change from when we went through the process is the ability to pay online, I can not comment on this, as we used the bank on the ground floor of the building to get a Cashiers Check for the application fee, and included this in the application.
Only the applicant is allowed to enter the Office at the appointed time, so if you are with them you will have about an hour and a quater to kick your heels, there is a coffee shop downstairs that does a reasonable toasted sandwich.
Your spouse will, at the appropriate time be allowed into the office and will have her documents and application form checked double checked and accepted.
There has been talk that the VFS remove items from supporting document folders to save on space when forwarding the applications to the UKBA at the Embassy. I instructed my wife, not to let them take out items from the original folder and tell them everything was referenced with a contents list and in a particular order. They listened to her and forwarded both folders intact, when she got the original folder back, nothing had been removed.
Your spouse will need to have the following:-
- Appointment letter
- A cheque for 40,500 Baht application fee (or pre payment)
- Copy of completed application form
- 2 x photos, signed on back as a true likeness
- Supporting documents folder as suggested above with original documents attached (Passport, TB Xray Report, English Language Pass, etc)
- A copy of the supporting documents folder with photocopies of all required documents for retention by the UKBA
Your spouse will also have the option of paying some additional baht to (a) be kept informed of the application progress by SMS and (b) having all documents returned to an address by courier rather than have to collect them from the VFS Office in Bangkok.
In a nutshell, that’s it…… now sit back and wait, it can take up to 12 weeks but it is usually done before that. At best settlement applications have been processed in just a few days when the demand is low… Ours took about 4 to 5 weeks, but was during the floods and that delayed things.
This will not have answered all your questions, but hopefully will have helped with a lot of them, and given you a better overview as to the requirements and the process.
The forum is a brilliant source of knowledge and information, without it I would not be sitting here with my wife at my side in sunny (not) England.
I would like to thank all those who helped me on my journey, I am sure some of them will still be there to help you.
Good Luck in all that you do.
This is my way of giving a little back..............