Can my Thai wife work in the UK?

Can my Thai wife work in the UK?

If you have a Thai wife and you are planning on bringing her to the UK then it is quite reasonable for her to wish to work. Your Thai wife can work in the UK but it depends very much on the visa that she has. If she is visiting the UK for a period of less than six months and she is on a UK Tourist Visa, she would not be able to seek employment. However, if she is planning to live permanently in the UK she would require a UK Spouse Visa which does allow for her to pursue employment.


The UK Spouse Visa often referred to as a UK Settlement Visa, will mean that your Thai wife is entitled to a National Insurance (NI) number. This NI number means that your Thai partner can legally work in the UK. In addition, she will also be entitled to NHS care (although a small fee is involved) and do everything that that an English national would be able to do and indeed, this is how she would be treated.


With all this being said, it is important to understand that your Thai wife will not be entitled to any UK Government benefits and this includes Job Seekers Allowance. When the visa is issued, this will be clearly stated with a stamp saying “no recourse to any public funds”. This means that you would need to be able to financially support your wife in the UK whilst she seeks employment and this is a major factor during the application process.


It is possible to apply for UK Spouse Visa if you and your Thai partner are legally married and plan to live together permanently. Your Thai wife will also need to pass a strict English Language test which is known as the A1 test and both you and your Thai spouse must be over 18 years of age. As we touched upon previously, the financial capacity to support your Thai wife is a must so you must earn a minimum of £18,600 p.a. or have sufficient savings. Naturally, appropriate housing is also essential.


It is not a foregone conclusion that the visa will be granted but with the help of a professional visa company such as ourselves, your chances are greatly increased. If and when your application is accepted the Spouse Visa will be valid for 30 months if issued in the UK and 33 months if the application was made overseas. After this time has elapsed, your spouse can apply for “Indefinite Leave to Remain” (ILR). If your Thai wife qualifies for this visa, you can later apply to become a “naturalised British Citizen”.


Applying for a UK Spouse Visa can be stressful and complex and this is why we recommend that you use the services of a professional company. 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: or alternatively contact us via our website.

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