What are the visa requirements if my Thai wife is planning to move to the UK?

It is becoming an increasingly common trend for many western expats in Thailand to return to their home countries and indeed British nationals are no different. If you are planning to leave Thailand it is important that you understand the UK visa requirements for your Thai wife. Assuming that the move is intended to be permanent, and once again assuming that you are legally married, your Thai wife will require a UK Spouse Visa.

The UK Spouse Visa allows your Thai wife to “settle in the UK” and is different to many other visas in the respect that it allows her to remain in the country long-term and also seek employment or carry out studies – something that will help both of you to settle. Obtaining the correct visa is essential if you are going to make moving to the UK both legal and a success.

Naturally, there are strict criteria that must be met in order for the visa to be issued and the mere fact that you are married is not sufficient. These criteria include that both parties are over the age of 18 and that you both plan to live together in the same household in the UK. Having a suitable level of English is also a must and strict language test, known as the A1 Test, must be taken and passed. Financially, the supporting or sponsoring partner must earn a minimum of £18,600 p.a. or have sufficient savings to support them. Your Thai wife will have no recourse to public funds.

With so much riding on the outcome, the application process for the UK Spouse Visa can be a stressful time for both parties when she is planning to move to the UK. For this reason, it is always advisable to use the services of a professional company who can guide you through the process. The visa can be applied for when you are in Thailand and in some cases, whilst you are in the UK. Once the application has been submitted and all the documentation is correct, you can expect a decision in between two and twelve weeks.

After your Thai wife has been granted her UK Spouse Visa it will be valid for 30 months if the application was made in the UK and 33 months if the application was made in Thailand. After this period and if your circumstances haven’t changed the visa can be extended to up to a five-year visa. After this time period has elapsed, your Thai spouse will need to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” which in due course can lead to them being able to apply to become a naturalised British Citizen.

Here at Thai Visa Express, we regularly assist with getting Thai wives a UK Spouse Visa. If you would like more information on this service, you can call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: info@thaivisaexpress.com or alternatively contact us via our website.