If your Thai wife has lived legally in the UK previously and plans to return, she will need a Returning Residents Visa assuming that she had been given “indefinite leave to remain” before. This is the case if she has been out of the UK for a greater period than 2 years.
The Requirements for a Returning Residents Visa
The requirements are quite similar to those that you would have had to meet when you applied for a UK Spouse Visa. Firstly, your plan must be to live in the UK permanently and that you must have been settled in the country previously. Your Thai wife will once again have ‘no recourse to public funds’ and when she exited the UK previously she must have done so on her own free will and using her own or her sponsor’s finances.
If you have been away from the UK for more than two years your Thai partner will need to prove that she has strong connections to the UK. This will include being married but greater evidence may be required. It is to be expected that your Thai wife will need to explain your current circumstances and why she or both of you had lived outside of the UK for a sustained period.
Many Thai wives are married to UK servicemen and, as such, have joined their partner on overseas deployments. If this is the case, your Thai wife will not lose her indefinite leave to remain even though she has been out of the country for more than two years. There are other circumstances where this would also be the case and these include:
- Being a permanent member of the Diplomatic Service
- A UK-based British Council employee working outside the UK
- An employee of the Department for International Development (DFID)
- Home Office Employee
If you have dependent children, those under the age of 18, they or you on their behalf, would need to apply separately for a Returning Residents Visa.
The visa application usually takes less than 30 days if you are applying at the British Embassy in Bangkok. Thai Visa Express can help you with this process as we deal with the British Embassy on a daily basis and have developed a strong professional working relationship.
How long can you stay in the UK with a Returning Residents visa?
Once you have been granted the visa you will be eligible to live in the UK permanently.
What documents are required?
The documentation that is required is quite straightforward. You will need to supply your original passport or other travel documents along with your previous passport(s) that have contained your original residency visa (UK Spouse Visa). A passport-sized colour photo is also required as too are documents that prove you have ties to the UK, for example proof you’ve earned income, or rented or owned property, in the UK. Individual circumstances may lead to more information being requested.
If you require help applying for a Returning Residents Visa we will be more than happy to assist you. Here at Thai Visa Express, we can have several years’ experience in dealing with such applications. You can call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively contact us via our website.