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  1. #1
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    Default Visa for wife's daughter

    Posted anonymously on behalf of a Thailand-UK member:

    We are looking to bring the wife's daughter over to the UK The wife says she turned 15 in June (she needs an ID card anyway, that's at 15 I think). She was bought up by her father's mother in Bangkok until she was 13. The wife gave them money when she had any to spare. For the last couple of years we sent regular payments to pay for her schooling.

    She fell in with a bad crowd at school and started skipping lessons and wandering around the shopping malls until late at night so it was decided to send her to the village to be looked after by the wife's mother. Her friends from Bangkok got in touch with her and came to visit. She went off with them, the story gets hazy here but she ended up down south with the offer of a job. The grandmother then had a couple of phone calls from her where she was crying and being held down there. Next we heard was that she was arrested in possession of some pills and sent to a juvenile detention centre for 6 months. She has been beaten, drugged, and held against her will while down there by a group of people, one of whom is a police officer.

    Her sentence is coming to an end and we are really concerned that she will end up in the same situation. We really want to get her over to the UK, preferably on a settlement visa but otherwise on a visitors visa for as long as possible.

    I realise the criteria for sole custody and sole responsibility aren't really met here as there is little concrete evidence of financial support or contact, even though it has been happening. The wife has been in the UK for 6 years now as well.

    Any suggestions where we go from here? I feel that there is very little chance of any sort of visa at all, but she was a lovely quiet, shy, polite little kid when I last saw her and we really want to try and get her out of this mess.

  2. #2
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    Mr recommendation is that you see a decent immigration lawyer on this one - one that is prepared to give you an opinion rather than simply submit an application. I think the chances are very slim and a settlement visa application is very expensive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thailand-UK View Post
    She was bought up by her father's mother in Bangkok until she was 13.
    Is the child's father still living?
    We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

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    In the absence of being able to demonstrate sole responsibility and the other parent being dead, perhaps there are serious and compelling factors that could justify the issuance of a settlement visa for your step-daughter. However, if you were to go down that route, be prepared for a battle, as in the first instance, the ECO is likely to refuse, and you're then going to have a legal fight on your hands: you'd have to argue that you're saving her from herself.

    The fact that would strike me if I were the ECO, is that your step-daughter is 15 and has "voluntarily" travelled to another part of the country with her pals, thereby indicating that she has an "independent life"; the absence of which is a prerequisite for obtaining a child settlement visa. You would have to show that she did so either through naivety or duress.

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    I've just noticed that the OP mentioned either a SV or a VV for as long as possible. Both Mike and myself have answered looking at it from a SV point of view.

    Mike, how is the prison sentence for a drugs offence likely to be viewed in terms of a VV application? Would the fact that she's a juvenile have any bearing on the criminal record - i.e. not viewed so badly?

  6. #6
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    In this instance, I would wager that a settlement visa application is preferable over a visit visa application that is for "as long as is possible", as if that is stated, a visit visa is highly unlikely to be issued. That said, and from the circumstances described, the chances of a settlement visa aren't that great either. If I recall correctly, the age of criminal responsibility in the UK (or England and Wales) is 10.

    Strictly in terms of the criminal record, I would argue that not only does the "infringement" have to be an offence in Thailand, but also in the UK. If the offence were to have taken place in the UK, it should have been potentially punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more. Additionally, it is possible to call in to question the "due process". If the individual was found guilty without being formally charged, tried and convicted, then it should not constitute a criminal record for the purposes of UK immigration law.

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