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  1. #1
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    Movie New UK Settlement Visa Holders - What to do Now? What to Plan for the Future?

    Hello, Everyone - I married my Thai lady in Thailand in November 2014. My wife and her 17 year old daughter obtained their UK Settlement Visa's, 1st Stage (33 months) in June and they both arrive to live here in the UK in early September 2015.

    So, what do these Settlement Visa's mean for a. my wife, and b. my dependent daughter?

    1. Firstly, I would like to know what I should do either before or immediately after their arrival?

    2. Secondly, I would like to know what their Settlement Visa status allows them to do?

    3. Thirdly, I would like to know what their Settlement Visa status does NOT allow them to do?

    4. Fourth, what longer term plans should be now be considered?

    All the above will be different for various families but there will be a lot of common factors such as, register at GP surgery, find a new school, obtain a UK driving licence and insurance, register for local Council Tax payment, get a student bus pass, pay N.I. contributions for future State Pension, find a job, etc. etc. Also, how does a Settlement Visa status differ from a UK citizen? The most obvious being freedom to travel within E.U. but there are probably many, many other differences in status just living within the UK?

    The only positive thing I have personally done in preparation for my wife and step daughter to date is I have found a local state run Sixth Form College for my step daughter and been informed she is entitled to this 2 Year Course "free of any course fee's", which is fantastic news.

    With the recently imposed National Health Surcharge for Settlement Visa holders, except for dental and eye treatment (specifically excluded) are new settlers otherwise entitled to the same as me as a UK citizen? When will my wife and step daughter be entitled to N.H.S. dental and eye treatment?

    Will my wife benefit from eventually becoming a UK citizen in due time? How will this differ from her current Settlement Visa status?

    There are many, many other questions I am sure so this should be a useful Forum topic going forward where everyone can share their experiences to do with their newly Settled Visa spouse and any dependent children.

    Thanking you all in anticipation. Lipboy

  2. #2
    Premium Member Tom & Nok's Avatar
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    Hi Lipboy

    Great to hear that your wife and her daughter have received their UK settlement visas.

    As you say, there are certainly lots of things to sort out and I'm sure other members of the forum will add to this but I'll add my own experiences thus far.

    My wife arrived here in London in mid-May. Her spouse settlement visa does not allow her to access public funds such as JSA etc. but she is fully entitled to work in the UK and to make use of the NHS.

    One annoying downside is that my wife cannot access free TESOL English courses at our local college in Camden until she has been in the UK for one year on her spouse settlement visa. Until then she will pay fees at the "overseas" student rate. This seems to be down to the funding rules for publicly funded colleges.

    As your wife's daughter will be here in the UK on a settlement visa and as she is not yet 18, and as yor local Sixth Form college has rightly confirmed, she is entitled to state funded education (anyone born on or after 1 September 1997 must remain in education or recognised training until their 18th birthday).

    The first things that I did were:

    1. Get my wife's name on the Council Tax bill. I cannot stress how useful this has been as it's a recognised official proof of address which is needed to access so many different services;
    2. Get a National Insurance number. I 'phoned the National Insurance helpline and explained her status in the UK. The DWP sent a form and covering letter explaining which parts to complete/ignore along with a prepaid envelope. I completed the form with my wife which we sent back to the DWP with the requested photocopies of her Thai passport biometric details page and UK visa. The NI number was issued in the post within 10 days;
    3. Use the Council Tax Bill as proof of address to open a bank account - I bank with Nationwide and they couldn't have been more helpful. My wife had a standard current account opened for her on the spot and her Visa ATM/debit card arrived four days later;
    4. Use the Council Tax Bill as proof of address to register your wife and her daughter with your GP. My local practice here in north London were excellent, and my wife was able to get an appointment within five days. Her NHS number came by post just two weeks later;
    5. Get a SIM card;
    6. Get in some Thai food supplies "for a taste of home". We're lucky living in London as there are plenty of Asian and Thai supermarkets selling Thai foodstuffs but she also brought a lot of ingredients with her (mainly the ultra hot chilliis and various rather pungent smelling ones);
    7. Get a local public transport map/travelcard.

    My wife also visited the Kapook (Thai money transfer) office near King's Cross to open an account to allow her to send money home to Korat. They needed proof of address (yes, that Council Tax bill did the trick yet again) and her passport.

    My wife found a part time job very quickly and is now very independent in travelling around London by bus, tube and train by herself. Her employers checked her employment status and were pleased that she had been issued with a National Insurance number so quickly.

    Regarding her current status and the future journey to UK citizenship, a major difference for us would be that UK citizenship will make travel to the Schengen area and beyond so much easier. UK citizenship also brings with it the right to vote, the right to work without restriction in other EU member states and to be called up for jury service.

    For me, it's still a learning experience but a fun one!

    Enjoy!

  3. #3
    Furniture เฟอร์นิเจอร์ ian1208's Avatar
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    and to be called up for jury service
    Yes indeed. My wife has been called up SEVEN years in a row. I would be worried to be a genuine innocent man faced with a Thai person on a jury.........................................................

    Ditto everything Tom said.

    Note; I would hate to have to go through what 'newbies' have to do now. 15+ years ago it was all so simple.
    Judging others before you have met isn't a wise option.

  4. #4
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    Hello, Tom, thank you for your comprehensive reply, very interesting. You mentioned Kapook, do they offer anything different from what I do at present, i.e. send money from UK bank to Thai bank account either using my own bank (Lloyds) or a private currencies company (Currencies Direct) who are certainly cheaper than Lloyds and just as easy to use on-line in a similar manner, once you have Registered? The Council Tax registration is a very useful tip.

    Hello, Ian, seven years Jury Service on the trot must be a record, very unusual. Did she find anyone Not Guilty?

    Any more Contributors who can advise please?

  5. #5
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    My wife and her 17 year old daughter obtained their UK Settlement Visa's, 1st Stage (33 months) in June and they both arrive to live here in the UK in early September 2015.
    Did they not receive a vignette that said they must travel within 30 days of the issue of the visa?
    If they did they will need to renew it if it has run out.
    If not then I'm confused why some on here have reported they were issued with this.

    Make sure they arrive in the UK so that they will be in the UK for 30 months before the need for the next visa, otherwise you will find yourself "topping up" her visa.

    Personally one of the things I would do is download the next visa application form to see just what sort of things you need to start collecting/doing.
    It's never too early to do this but it can be too late.

    One other thing I can think of is set up something like LocalPhone for cheap phone calls back to LOS.
    I'm ONE of the 52%

  6. #6
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    Hello, Gary, "Vignette"? Is a word I have not heard of before except on this Forum. I think you are confusing "date of visa Issue" and "date stated on visa application of planned travel and entry to the UK". The 30 days I think you will find refers to the latter date NOT the Visa Issue Date.

    I presume the "next visa application form" is for "next stage of 5 year Settlement Process" or "further leave to remain" that will apply to 2nd 30 month time period of settlement in the UK? Is this so? I have not looked at this but will do so if you recommend but surely anything stated on such application form would equally apply to 1st Stage Settlement?

    I use a "Tesco International Phone Card" that allows mobile to mobile international call from the UK to Thailand for 4 pence per minute and between landlines at 2 pence per minute, which I find cheap enough. However, Skype is free and I use this if possible. My wife's family live at a fairly remote rural location and Skype worked OK to my wife staying there recently just using a SIM card in her mobile phone. Next week my wife is re-visiting her Parents at this same remote place and will investigate the possibility of installing WiFi there so that she can stay in visual/speaking contact using this method rather than possibly more expensive SIM card methods? I suppose it depends if there is a nearby landline telephone that enables this WiFi installation?

    - - - - - - - u p d a t e d - - - - - - -

    [QUOTE=Tom & Nok;248140]Hi Lipboy
    2. Get a National Insurance number. I 'phoned the National Insurance helpline and explained her status in the UK. The DWP sent a form and covering letter explaining which parts to complete/ignore along with a prepaid envelope. I completed the form with my wife which we sent back to the DWP with the requested photocopies of her Thai passport biometric details page and UK visa. The NI number was issued in the post within 10 days;

    hello, Tom, on your wife's N.I. Card does it state it excludes dental and eye treatment? If no then what stops the dentist or optician accepting your wife for dental or eye free N.H.S. Treatment?

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    Dental treatment and eye tests and glasses are only free to UK residents if they are receiving pension credits,job seekers allowance and other similar benefits..otherwise you have to pay ..

  8. #8
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    I think you are confusing "date of visa Issue" and "date stated on visa application of planned travel and entry to the UK". The 30 days I think you will find refers to the latter date NOT the Visa Issue Date.
    The date requested on the application for travel and entry to the UK is not always the same as the date of issue of the visa. The visa starts from the date of issue (or a future date) which is NOT always the date you have requested to travel on the application.

    I cannot find it at the moment (will keep looking) but only recently someone posted that their application was accepted and they were given 30 days to leave Thailand and enter the UK, otherwise another stamp in the passport (vignette or whatever it is called) will need to be applied for.

    Anyone else read this recently, I'm sure I was not dreaming it.

    I presume the "next visa application form" is for "next stage of 5 year Settlement Process" or "further leave to remain" that will apply to 2nd 30 month time period of settlement in the UK? Is this so?
    Yes

    I have not looked at this but will do so if you recommend but surely anything stated on such application form would equally apply to 1st Stage Settlement?
    The second one will need you to have items addressed to both of you to show ongoing relationship or living together gathered over that 30 month period. There is (or was) a requirement to have 2 people that know her that can vouch for her good nature. English language requirements. etc. etc. 74 pages of stuff to fill in

    It's just me being me, I would just want to know what is to come so there are no surprises down the road when it is too late to do anything about it.
    I'm ONE of the 52%

  9. #9
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    hello, Tudorowen 1 - is it not true that with N.H.S. dental treatment (eye treatment?) you receive "discounted" cost treatment compared to Private Dental Treatment? Can a Settlement Visa holder receive this discounted treatment (refer to my question about N.I. Card issued to Tom's wife asked yesterday to which I hope Tom answers?)? My wife and especially her daughter (teeth straightening) need dental treatment immediately they arrive in September.

    Over the the last two years I visited "Dental World in Chiang Mai" on 4 separate occasions for 7 teeth extractions and 5 implants replacements. This cost me about £8,000 (about 400,000 Thai baht) but compared to UK I estimate I saved about 40% (£5,000). "Dental World" is a top class dental surgery where nearly all the dentists teach at the local university where there are over 500 students doing 6 year studies before graduating. I was treated by Dental World owner, a fantastic dental surgeon. For all of you living in Chiangmai Mai I recommend you use "Dental World".

    hello, Gary - for Tourist Visa's , in my 3 previous experiences, the 6 month valid visa term ALWAYS starts on the "Visa Issue Date" even if the applicant does not want to travel until a much later date and stay for 6 months in the UK? For Settlement Visa's in my 1 experience you need to firstly correctly estimate how long it will take to process the application (which can be anything from 7 to 90 days), then make sure your spouse has sufficient time to arrange their affairs in Thailand (my wife is taking 9 weeks) before the 30 day time limit expires. I have suggested this before but why oh why do the British Immigration not allow the applicant to travel (commencement of 30 day time limit) anytime between 0 and 180 days from "date of visa application" with the 30 month Settlement time period commencing the date of arrival of the applicant into the UK? As the system is now if you have not guessed the visa application processing time correctly your spouse will have to travel within 30 days of finding their application has been successful? Is there a financial penalty for non-compliance? It is stated you can apply for a delay but how much does this cost?

    Can an you download the 74 page "further leave to remain" application forms? I ask this as my wife has dealt with all previous visa applications and not me and she told me this was all done "on-line" not printed off and posted?

  10. #10
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    All I know is my wife pays the same as me for dental treatment and eye tests..People on certain benefits receive totally free treatment. ..The present £18600 financial rules mean that any spouse coming to the UK will have to pay for dental treatment etc..
    If you have any money I would get the dental treatment sorted out in CM before you come to the UK for your family..It will perhaps be much cheaper..

  11. #11
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    It appears free dental treatment is not covered by the NHS surcharge. Using the NHS, if you can find one that hasn't a full list, or even just find one, should be cheaper than going private. However, the rules might mean you don't qualify for the cheaper rates provided by the NHS? And when I last used an NHS dentist, I paid for 'better' fillings than would have been provided by the NHS, or maybe I was just conned (they're probably the one's I'm having treated now)?

    https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigr...ation/overview
    Last edited by caller; 23rd Jul 2015 at 12:27.
    'Tis me

  12. #12
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    Can an you download the 74 page "further leave to remain" application forms?
    There is a PDF here that you can print.
    I am not sure if the process is done on-line in the UK or if a print out and filled in form is acceptable. (long time since I have done it).
    I'm ONE of the 52%

  13. #13
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    N.H.S. dental, eye tests (and prescriptions) non-entitlement it appears depend on the Settlement Visa holder being honest as it would appear very easy to obtain a N.H.S. number (and/or card) OR does the card stipulate certain N.H.S. Treatment exclusions?
    Gary - thank you for supplying the 74 pages, I have some reading now to do.

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    There is nothing difficult to understand about the NHS charges for your wife..They are the same for everyone else in the UK unless they are in receipt of certain benefits..Dental treatment has not been free for years and neither have eye tests and glasses..My 85 year old friend has to pay for everything apart from prescriptions....My 76 year old friend on pension credit pays nothing..
    I have to pay for everything apart from prescriptions and eye tests because I am over 60..My wife has to pay for everything..because she is not in receipt of state benefits..I do believe pregnant women and children also get some medical/dental/ eyewear free..

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    My wife pays same as I would for NHS dental treatment (do they still use the 3 pay bands depending on what work is required). But as above when my wife was pregnant her dental treatment was free & that continued until our baby's 1st birthday. Now she had to pay again


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  16. #16
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    non-entitlement it appears depend on the Settlement Visa holder being honest as it would appear very easy to obtain a N.H.S. number (and/or card) OR does the card stipulate certain N.H.S. Treatment exclusions?
    An NHS card is not an entitlement to free treatment. Everyone (bar the subject) who has contributed to this thread will have an NHS card or number. The only way to get around this is to commit fraud.
    'Tis me

  17. #17
    Premium Member Tom & Nok's Avatar
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    I've just had a quick look at my lovely wife's newly issued NHS Medical Card. The card was received in the post just after she was accepted by my NHS GP practice. They checked her eligibility for registration by looking at her entry visa and our council tax bill (to confirm that we are within the practice catchment area).

    The NHS medical card gives her name, her NHS number, date of birth, the GP Practice name and GP practice phone number. The rubric at the bottom of the card states, "Please show this card when you go for any NHS treatment".

    There are no exclusions from using any NHS services whatsoever.

    Like myself, she has no exemptions from any applicable NHS fees or charges as she is not in receipt of public funds such as JSA and so on under the terms of her visa. We would both have to pay the appropriate NHS band fees for NHS dental treatment and for the dispensing of NHS prescriptions issued by our GP (except for family planning). Having said that, I have always had to pay privately for dentistry here in north London, and my GP gave me a free private prescription for anti-malarial tablets for an extended overseas trip as she said that it was cheaper to buy them from the pharmacy rather than to pay for the prescription charge.

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    Hi. Tom, I think your reply above has cleared up any confusion (I might have had) regarding use of N.H.S. and when the Settlement Visa holder would have to pay? It's not any different (I think) from the general UK citizen? I was interpretating that possibly the visa holder would NOT BE entitled to DISCOUNTED N.H.S. dental or eye treatment but this appears not to be the case? Fortunately, where I live there are dentists advertising for new N.H.S. patients so this will be good enough for continuing "teeth brace treatment" (a monthly trip to her dentist in Thailand) that my step daughter requires for about two more years and will possibly be a lot cheaper than alternative similar Private dental treatment? Hopefully, some good pay-back for me regarding the N.H.S. surcharge I paid with her visa application?

  19. #19
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary & Nok View Post
    The date requested on the application for travel and entry to the UK is not always the same as the date of issue of the visa. The visa starts from the date of issue (or a future date) which is NOT always the date you have requested to travel on the application.

    I cannot find it at the moment (will keep looking) but only recently someone posted that their application was accepted and they were given 30 days to leave Thailand and enter the UK, otherwise another stamp in the passport (vignette or whatever it is called) will need to be applied for.
    Found it. This is the info I was referring to and as Tudorown1 refers to in Post #18.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipboy View Post
    Hi. Tom, I think your reply above has cleared up any confusion (I might have had) regarding use of N.H.S. and when the Settlement Visa holder would have to pay? It's not any different (I think) from the general UK citizen? I was interpretating that possibly the visa holder would NOT BE entitled to DISCOUNTED N.H.S. dental or eye treatment but this appears not to be the case? Fortunately, where I live there are dentists advertising for new N.H.S. patients so this will be good enough for continuing "teeth brace treatment" (a monthly trip to her dentist in Thailand) that my step daughter requires for about two more years and will possibly be a lot cheaper than alternative similar Private dental treatment? Hopefully, some good pay-back for me regarding the N.H.S. surcharge I paid with her visa application?
    Your wife (and any dependants) if she is in the UK on a settlement visa will be entitled to exactly the same NHS treatments a British Citizen is entitled and at exactly the same rates.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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