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  1. #1
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    Default UK Right to abode

    Hi to everyone,

    Firstly this is my first post on the forum so please be gentle, secondly apologies if this is in the wrong section on the forums.

    I am posting this query on behalf of a friend whom seems to be in a bit of a quandary. He like myself is married to a Thai lady whom has recently gained British Citizenship through Naturalisation after the typical initial fiancé visa, FLR x2 and ILR route.

    His wife's ceremony was in May 2018 but she has not applied for a British passport as it was there intention to travel to LOS on her Thai passport and whilst there renew/change all her documents to her married name rather than the current family name. Once she had all new docs in married name the intention was to apply for her first British Passport on her return to the UK again to be in her married name and all documentation would then match. There may have been a simpler way to do that but that was/is there plan.

    One she received her Citizenship certificate she surrendered her ILR BRP as intstructed by the Home Office.

    As of writing this they are currently in flight to the LOS for a 3 week holiday but she has exited the U.K. with no current BRP, only her certificate of naturalisation and her Thai passport which only has her very first fiancé visa affixed as proof of entry clearance.

    It was brought to there attention whilst leaving the UK that his wife would struggle to board the flight in BKK and return to the UK with her current documents and would need either a British Passport or a right of abode affixed to her current Thai passport.

    After a bit of research today options seems limited and it appears this is not a path well trodden so to speak, so could they apply for her first British Passport whilst in Thailand which would solve the problem?, or should they apply for a right of abode in the U.K. for her current Thai passport (seems expensive as it would cost £388 currently and would only be needed for one entrance to the UK), or do they chance it at the airport and use her certificate of naturalisation?

    Also has anyone any information on recent processing times for a right of abode application in LOS as it doesn't seem a common occurrence with information a tad scarce.

    Any and all comments are welcome on what they should do next and please just let me know if anyone needs any further clarification or information. I drove them to Manchester airport this morning at 03:00 so my eyes and head are a little hazy right now and may have missed something or rambled on.

    Kindest Regards
    ChangNoi

  2. #2
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Welcome to Thailand-UK.

    This shouldn't be a problem, her Thai passport is fine together with her Certificate of Naturalisation as a British Citizen. Her biometrics will be in the system and so easy enough to establish her right of abode.

    She should really get herself a British Passport ASAP, this will avoid difficulties in the future.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

  3. #3
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    Good Evening Tobias,

    Many Thanks for your prompt response, it is very much appreciated.

    Just to clarify she will have no problems returning to the UK with her current documents, and not refused the flight in BKK?

    Whilst they will be over the moon with that confirmation they will also be a little confused they have been told otherwise. . .

    I will also pass on your advise regarding her British Passport application.

    Kindest Regards
    ChangNoi

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    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    It's impossible to say what the airline check-in staff might say, but as far as the UK Immigration Officer is concerned she has everything she needs to return home to the UK.

    If the check-in agent raises an issue ask the agent to have the airline contact the UK Border Force to ask them to confirm they are happy. Airlines have the relevant phone numbers to verify if an individual is allowed to travel to the UK. At check in best to say nothing about it unless the check-in agent raises it as a 'problem'.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    Many Thanks again Tobias,

    I will pass on that information, I am sure that will brighten their mood, they will have been travelling for nearly 20 hours assuming the worst!

    I will post an update on the post and let everyone know how they got on when they return.

    Kindest Regards
    ChangNoi

  6. #6
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    This may seem obvious but tell them to be waiting at check in when it opens. It could take a while and they wouldn't want to miss their flight home because of the checks she might have to go through.

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    As of writing this they are currently in flight to the LOS for a 3 week holiday but she has exited the U.K. with no current BRP, only her certificate of naturalisation and her Thai passport which only has her very first fiancé visa affixed as proof of entry clearance.
    THIS SHOULD HAVE EXPIRED NOW Thail passport

  8. #8
    Moderator Tobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samsung View Post
    As of writing this they are currently in flight to the LOS for a 3 week holiday but she has exited the U.K. with no current BRP, only her certificate of naturalisation and her Thai passport which only has her very first fiancé visa affixed as proof of entry clearance.
    THIS SHOULD HAVE EXPIRED NOW Thail passport
    A British citizen does not need a visa, the naturalisation certificate is proof of that, and her Thai passport is a valid travel document. She does not need any further proof to show her entitlement to return to the UK.
    Tobias - โทเบียส

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    Hi everyone.
    It's actually us that's travelled without right to abode. We also forgot the citizenship cert which is the reason I looked it up online. Changnoi is sending it to us thankfully just hope it does not get lost on the way. I believed she could travel to eu with citizenship cert so never considered needing anything extra.
    We also have a 1 year old baby and a 4 year old with us that complicates things. They are both British citizens so only have 28 days here like myself.
    I've spoken to British embassy in bangkok that could not advise much and passport number in UK advised to apply for right to abode as also not sure if ok. But 400 pound and having to tow 2 little ones to and around bangkok will be a nightmare (currently in Chiang Rai).

    This is really ruining our break, all because couldn't get British passport with married name, can't even change thai passport either now. Really want to try getting out with just the certificate but don't want wife and baby stuck here.

    Do you guys really think it will be ok going to the airport as we are? Can't express how stressful this all is. Feel like an idiot too for not keeping up on the visa rules.

    Kind regards
    Dave and Jay

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddave View Post
    Hi everyone.Do you guys really think it will be ok going to the airport as we are? Can't express how stressful this all is. Feel like an idiot too for not keeping up on the visa rules.
    Please take note of what Tobias has advised - you may not be aware of this but he is a lawyer. The airline will be your biggest problem if any so get to the airport early and be there waiting for check in to open. Say nothing unless you are asked.

  11. #11
    Member สมาชิก ddave's Avatar
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    Thanks Flip, just worried it won't work out then we'll be stuck in bangkok in the evening with 2 kids and no hotel.
    We also have a stop in Abu Dhabi, will they want to check too?

    The letter that came with the citizenship explains about needing right of abode, can't believe I missed it

  12. #12
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Once you have 'squared it' with check in at Bangkok make sure they notify Abi Dhabi. Etihad use a third party company for their check in services but there are usually Etihad staff at the office at the end of check in - can't remember what its called. Make sure its Etihad staff that notify Abu Dhabi - not a promise from the third party contractor.

    You will be issued with a boarding pass for each leg of the flight at Bangkok so you are officially checked in already at Abu Dhabi - but neither I nor anyone other than the airline can guarantee that. Although checked in, boarding passes and passports are required again at boarding but I doubt visas.

    If you're going to be in Bangkok the day before your flight home, why not go to the airport the day before and explain the position? That way, they have time to contact UK Immigration if they so wish. I would go to the airport not visit Etihad's office in Bangkok and go within 3 hours of one of their flights departing to ensure there are staff available.

    Having said all of that, you could just end up creating a problem that wouldn't otherwise have happened. If it was me, I'd be at the airport waiting for check in to open and simply try to check in as normal - handing over the Thai passport and naturalisation certificate. That way, if they do flag anything up, they have time to contact UK Border Agency - if they don't, you're good to go.

    Please let us know how you get on - I'm sure this issue will come up again some time.
    Last edited by Flip; 3rd Jan 2019 at 14:14.

  13. #13
    Member สมาชิก ddave's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Flip you're awesome. I'm in two minds about what to do. We fly home 20th but travel to bangkok 16th for a few days, if we see them on 16th we have time to move flights if needed to sort other options with embassy etc. But also want to risk it as I think they'll be sympathetic having 2 British kids with us, maybe not though.
    Apparently no problem uk end just depends on the check in staff if they want to be mean or not.
    Got to get cert too first, just been sent today.
    Wish I'd got the passport sorted so much.
    Is there any option for one day travel pass from the embassy, e.g. if I lost my passport. My wife should be entitled to similar being uk citizen?

    Regards
    Dave and Jay

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    You shouldn't need to make any changes to your flights - Tobias advised that the airline has the number to call UK Border Agency, all you need to do is make sure there is time for the airline to do that.

    There is such a thing as an emergency travel document but I believe its only for those who's passport has been lost or stolen. I don't think it would apply to someone who's never had one.

    One thing that I believe may be very important - what name is on your wife's citizenship certificate? Her married name or her old name. Ditto for her Thai passport - married or still old name?

    I wish I'd picked up on this earlier - I'm arriving in Bangkok on 16 Jan and could have guaranteed delivery of the citizenship certificate.

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    Member สมาชิก ddave's Avatar
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    We did plan to change her name on the thai passport whilst here but given the circumstances were going to leave the passport in her maiden name to match the certificate. This whole changing name thing is a nightmare. We tried last time but needed translation, commonwealth and embassy stamps. Got all that so went to change ID card only and need another stamp now. Hopefully can change name/passport in UK with new ID card if and when we get it.

    Can't believe we missed that would of felt more relaxed if you had the cert.

    The reason I mentioned seeing them on the16th and having time to move flights if needed is so we don't lose all the flights if they do refuse her to travel. But again maybe just worrying too much. And maybe shouldn't bring it to their attention. Mai roo
    Last edited by ddave; 4th Jan 2019 at 02:57. Reason: Adding something extra

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    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddave View Post
    We did plan to change her name on the thai passport whilst here but given the circumstances were going to leave the passport in her maiden name to match the certificate.
    Good, much better not to complicate things further, given the circumstances.

    Others may be able to confirm this but I think it may be possible to do the name change at the Thai Embassy in London and if so her new passport could be issued in that name too - ID card, doubtfull but who knows? It may be better to start a new thread asking that question.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    A British citizen does not need a visa, the naturalisation certificate is proof of that, and her Thai passport is a valid travel document. She does not need any further proof to show her entitlement to return to the UK.
    Correct mr tobias your the man ,

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