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  1. #1
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    Default UK Settlement Visa for Thai partner - Help Please!

    Hi everybody, I'm very new to this forum so go easy on me please!
    I am British and have been living in Thailand for around 4 and a half years. I met my Thai girlfriend around this time a little over 4 years ago and we stated a clothing business together. We registered the company around 3 years ago, although our names appear together on lease agreements before then. We have 2 children together, one is 2 years and 2 months, the other 3 months. My eldest has her British passport, and the youngest's should arrive in a few weeks.
    We all wish to relocate to the UK for work and school.
    I have been reading into getting married then applying for a spouse visa for my Thai girlfriend, my first question is do you think this is worth while opposed to simply applying for an Unmarried partner visa?
    If we apply for a Fiance visa does this only have 6 months validity, or does it give you 6 months to get married, then 2 years of spouse visa? My reason for asking is because the Spouse visa is the same price as the fiance visa.
    The main thing I am worrying about is showing financial statements and pay slips etc as we have been running a business here we have both been self employed. Also I do not have a job waiting for me at home, I will be looking for work.
    We will have enough money to see ourselves out for a while, after selling our shops, stock and car we will have around 20-30,000 pounds, but I am not sure this will be enough to satisfy the application.
    We will be staying at my mothers house on arrival in the UK, but be moving into a rental as soon as we have found one.
    I do not own any property in the UK or have any assets.
    Any help will be much appreciated.
    Regards
    Dave

  2. #2
    R.I.P. ddwjg's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Dave.

    More knowledgeable people will follow on, but I'll start with the part of which I am sure.

    The fiancee and the spouse visa are both settlement visas.

    The fiancee visa is only a 6 month duration, and you must get married within that 6 months. Before the 6 months is finished you will need to apply for Further Leave to Remain (FLR) which will involve paying a large fee again. The FLR is of 2 years duration.

    The spouse visa has a validity of 2 years (plus 3 months from date of issue).



    After 2 years in the UK you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). So from this, you can gather it is less expensive in the long run, if you go for the spouse visa.

    I would think the Unmarried partner visa has the same duration as the spouse visa, and you have other options like ILE, which I'll leave for others with more knowledge to answer.

    Hope this helps in some small way.

    Dave.

  3. #3
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ the_link's Avatar
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    It would be much easier to pop down to the Amphur's office, dpasque, and get married for a bargain basement fee of a few hundred bhat.

    As Dave has stated, you are going to double-up your visa fees to a whopping 1600+ pound, and double-up your applications and paperwork. Why go to the hassle when you can just apply once for a settlement visa.

    Your lack of company accounts is not the end of the world. You appear to have sufficient funds to satisfy the requirement, but you will have to succinctly state your case and intentions in your support letter.

  4. #4
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    Seeing as you and your partner have been living together for more than four years, you might be able to apply under this rule If it's just under four years, maybe you could wait? I believe that this might be more suited to your circumstances.


    Biff
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  5. #5
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    thanks for your help. i think getting married may be the better option as im not sure we have proof of the start of our relationship if the unmarried partner option has a 4 year time frame.
    we have got accounts for our company, but i wasnt sure that this would be enough - or even relevant as we are selling to come to the uk?
    the main problem for me is the daunting scale of the application! could anyone recommend any good agents, or a guide on how to put the application together, as I am getting very confused with the whole thing. I had a quote from one guy in pattaya of 35k baht, which seemed a bit much to me.
    thanks again everyone, much appreciated

  6. #6
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    I thought about using an agent. Our circumstances had some apparent complications. I had read up about it and was convinced that ours wouldn't be 'the bog standard' application.

    However, a friend of mine told me to check this site out and ask specific questions.

    At first I was slightly intimidated by the whole process, it seemed as though there were no clear guidelines, especially from the UKBA.

    I persevered and, thanks to the helpful and well informed members of this site, became more confident of success. As I began to compile all the information required for the application, it began to take shape. When the time came to submit it, I was reasonably confident that we would either be successful, or that we would have a clear reason for a refusal which we could then address in a subsequent application.

    Now I'm of the opinion that an agent would not have been of any help at all. We would still have had to collate all our documentation ourselves, still have had to find all the evidence and give it to the agent. All they would have done is fill the form out. Filling the form out is easy once you have all the evidence in front of you.

    My advice is to get everything you think you need all in one place, keep reading this forum (use the 'search' function for specific answers to any questions you might have first) and if you need more help, just ask for it.

    You will I think, as time goes on, become more confident that you can do it yourselves.

    There's enough expense and stress involved with the visa you will be applying for without adding the additional cost of an agent.

    Also, if you do everything yourselves, you will be in control and will not submit your application until you are completely satisfied that you have everything you need.

    If you are reasonably literate, can compile documentation in a presentable way and write a decent letter, there's absolutely no reason at all why you should pay someone a large amount of money to do it for you.

    Think of it from the point of view of the person who will be looking at your application. They have certain things that they need to be reasonably certain of in order to approve your application. All they will have to base that decision on is the evidence that you present them with.

    Once you can be objective in that regard, I think you will start to put together a successful application.

    Good luck, and I'm sure that 'the fog' will begin to clear once you begin in earnest.

    Cheers,

    Biff

    Oh, by the way, we were successful! We were 'only' applying for a Visit Visa, but it was approved two days after submission.
    "You're so unapproachable!"
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  7. #7
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ JohnSwansea's Avatar
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    I totally agree with biff. It is all about collecting evidence:
    Evidence of your association over the last 4 years - all with certified English translations. Accounts, children's birth certificates, rents, bills, letters to your address in Thailand. If you don't have something, then just explain why that is the case. Do not lie or make things up.
    Evidence of where you will live in the uk. The house has to have enough rooms available or your family use to meet the requirements. There is plenty about this on this forum.
    Evidence of your assets.
    You will have to show sufficient assets so that your gf does not have to seek access to public funds. This does not apply to the children, so you can factor in child benefits into your uk financial plan. If your parents are going to support you, you will beef evidence of their ability to do so.
    Because this is not a typical application, I believe you will have to be meticulous and obviously timing of the application is imprtant.

  8. #8
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    Also, another reason I think you should avoid an agent is that your application might not be 'the bog standard'

    I initially thought the opposite, but a few emails from agents lead me to believe that they weren't interested in the details of our application or our circumstances, they just wanted the deposit!

    Every question I had they just replied with "don't worry, we'll take care of everything, send the deposit"
    "You're so unapproachable!"
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  9. #9
    R.I.P. colin244's Avatar
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    Agree with Biff and John above you can do the same as an agent yourself and avoid a hefty fee plus if there are questions or in the case of a refusal who is best to answer the queries you direct or an agent who just sorts paperwork which you supply anyway

    My advice is do it yourself and save the money. In our case we went the f/v route and were sucessful.

    Good luck.

    colin 244

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your advice. I'm starting to understand things a bit more now, and I agree that the agent thing is not needed. I read somewhere that you should be able to show that you can support yourself for the entire 2 years, be it in work or in savings. As we dont have any jobs lined up, and going on around 200 quid a week which i think is the living rate with children, will I need to show around 20k in savings?
    We will initally be staying at my mothers house until we find a rental, so should I include her deeds or something from the land registry, some kind of plan to show how many rooms the house has, and something from the electoral roll to show how many people are currently living in the house? any more suggestions will be greatly appreciated
    regards
    dave

  11. #11
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    I don't know enough about the financial side of things to comment on that.

    As for the accommodation, you will need to show that there is enough space to accommodate you and your wife and that the owners of the property are in agreement that you and your wife can live there. So, in your case, that would mean proof that your parents own the property, deeds, land registry, council tax bill etc. a floorplan would be good, photos of the rooms will also help, and a letter from them saying that you and your wife can live there indefinitely.

    The key phrases are, I believe, bedroom for your exclusive use, shared use of other facilities (bathroom, kitchen etc.)

    Basically, everything you need to show as being true, you will need evidence for.

    If you plan to move into your own place after you, hopefully, get some work, then do mention it in your covering letter, outline your skills, type of employment you will be seeking etc. but the application will succeed on the evidence of what will actually be the case once you arrive in the UK.

    You should allow for the 'worst case' scenario, that you will have to survive on your savings and live with your parents as that is all you can actually demonstrate at the moment.

    I'm not up to speed with settlement visas but I think I'm right in saying that, should you be successful, your wife will also be able to work as soon as she arrives in the UK, so her job prospects can also be mentioned.

    Describe the plans you have for your permanent settlement in the UK (not just for two years) and back up any statements of fact with evidence.
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  12. #12
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bifftastic View Post
    I think I'm right in saying that, should you be successful, your wife will also be able to work as soon as she arrives in the UK
    Yes she will.
    Independence Day 31st January 2020

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    Unlike the f/v where you have to wait until married under FLR so despite us not doing this it seems more logical in you circumstances.

    BTW in case you are wondering my other half wanted a UK wedding despite the visa expense so thats what we did

    colin 244

  14. #14
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    dpasque, the sales of your assets in thailand should accumulate you enough funds for your visa, however with all four of you moving in with your parents, the accommodation you'll be moving into may be deemed inadequate. How many of you will be living in the property when you've moved in and how many bedrooms are available? If it's just the six of you, then ideally the property will be required to have a minimum of three bedrooms. 1 for your parents, 1 for the two children and 1 for you and your wife. If there are any more people living in the property, it may become difficult.

    In addition to the earlier comments about finances, the minimum income that one requires to successfully qualify for a settlement visa is about £165 per week for a couple with one child - i do not have a figure for a couple with two children, but for arguments sake let's say it's roughly an extra £60. Now, this equates to £225 for all four of you to get by on at a reasonable standard. The monthly requirement would therefore be £900.00, equating to roughly £21.5k for the two year probationary period that you will be entitled to. I would look to having this amount in my bank account prior to applying for a settlement visa. The home office wants to chance of the couple claiming benefits in any shape or form during the probationary period and as a result you will be required to have sufficient funds. It would be even more advantageous if you already had a job to come back to but i understand how difficult this can be. Please don't regard my comments as final, every application is assessed on its own merits and everyone's situation is different.

  15. #15
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    thanks for your replies,
    the house is 4 bedroom, with my mother and my sister living there. my mother has said that she will be giving us exclusive use of 2 bedrooms rent free, and shared use of all of the rest of the house. she will be supplying plans to the house, certified copy of title deed, council tax bills, electoral roll from 192.com showing how many voters in house, pictures of everywhere, a pdf file downloaded from the land registry. is this enough documentation?
    i was going to wait until after i had sold everything before making the application, and my mother has said she will also supply her bank statements and state that she will help us if needed - do you think this is necessary?
    the visa we are going to apply for is the unmarried partner visa - i dont really want to get married just for making a visa, and i dont want to be tied to a time scale to be married in england.
    about the job situation, i do not have work to go back to but i am going to do an hgv course, so i was going to include emails between me and various driving schools asking for details and quotes, along with printouts from job seeking websites showing the number of jobs in my area and what i will expect to be earning - do you think this will be adequate?
    in the requirements for the visa is says we have to have lived together akin to a married couple for 2 years to get the 2 year visa, and 4 years to get indefinate leave to remain. but for this she will need to pass a life in the uk test - is this available to take in bkk? does anyone know any details of this?
    any more input will be much appreciated
    thanks again
    dave

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    dpasque63,

    A nosey question for you if you have lived with your other half for 4 years why don't you want to marry?

    It would help the visa IMHO if you were but others may think different

    Understand the f/v answer and ours was wifey's preference and I was happy with this so my mother could attend.

    LITUKT is taken in UK but first your other half will have to pass the English speaking test which can be done in LOS mainly BKK although Chiang Mai and Pattaya do as well I believe.

    Good luck mate but this is the place for questions

    colin 244

  17. #17
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    hi colin,
    i think both of us arent really ready for marriage, it not out of the question if it will help for the visa but i'd rather do it when we are ready financially. also running a business is alot of stress, so is applying for this visa and moving to england, getting married at this time just seems like another chore, which isnt really the point. i have been looking around and i think we meet the criteria for the unmarried visa, although i havent heard from anyone who has successfully been granted this visa!
    thanks
    dave

  18. #18
    Forum Antiquity ของโบราณ bifftastic's Avatar
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    I am of the opinion that people should live their lives as they wish to and then, if possible, apply for the visa that suits their life choice rather than the other way round
    "You're so unapproachable!"
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  19. #19
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    i came across a few useful documents if anyone else is doing the same visa as me...
    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/IDIs/idischapter8/section9/annexz.pdf?view=Binary
    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/IDIs/idischapter8/section9/section9.pdf?view=Binary

    i
    t seems like my girlfriend should be ok coming on this visa, as we meet all the criteria. so marriage shouldnt be necessary just yet, which to be honest is a bit of a relief. i wasnt really happy with the idea of being forced into a quick wedding for the sake of a visa, which ironically is exactly the kind of thing they are trying to stop!

  20. #20
    R.I.P. colin244's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpasque63 View Post
    i wasnt really happy with the idea of being forced into a quick wedding for the sake of a visa, which ironically is exactly the kind of thing they are trying to stop!
    Very true although as I said I was just being nosey.

    Good luck

    colin 244

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