Moving back to the UK with My Thai Wife What do I Need to Do?

Moving back to the UK with My Thai Wife What do I Need to Do?

With the strength of the Thai Baht and the apparent drop in the number of expats moving to Pattaya, many people are facing a tough decision regarding their futures in Thailand. For some, especially retirees, Thailand is no longer affordable and they are left with little option other than to return to the UK. Of course, many of these people have lived in the Kingdom for a number of years and have Thai wives and even families. It is therefore only natural that these people want to take their Thai partners back to live in the UK.


What visa will my Thai wife require?


In order for your Thai wife to move to the UK, the chances are that she would need a UK Spouse Visa, often referred to as a UK Marriage Visa or UK Settlement Visa. If you are engaged to your Thai girlfriend then it is possible to initially move to the UK on a UK Fiancée Visa so long as you get married within 6 months. Once you are married, this can then be converted to the UK Spouse Visa.


What are the criteria for a UK Settlement Visa?


The rules regarding obtaining a UK Spouse Visa are relatively straightforward. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that it will be granted. As a general insight, you must meet the following:


  • Both you and your Thai wife must be over the age of 18
  • You must be in a genuine “love” marriage and you and your Thai wife must intend to live together permanently
  • You will have no recourse to public funds and so you both need to be able to financially support yourselves. The sponsoring partner must earn a minimum of £18,600 p.a. or have sufficient savings. Where dependent children are concerned, this sum is higher
  • Appropriate accommodation is a must
  • Your Thai wife must pass a strictly English language test often referred to as the A1 English Test


How long is the UK Spouse Visa valid for?


If the application is made in the UK, the Spouse Visa will initially be granted for 30 months. If you apply in Thailand, it will be for 33 months. At the end of this period, the visa can be extended by a further 30 months if your circumstances remain the same. After the additional 30 months, your Thai wife will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which is the first stage in becoming a “naturalised British citizen”.


Can my Thai wife work in the UK?


With a UK Spouse Visa, your Thai wife will be legally allowed to work in the UK without restriction. In addition, she will also be entitled to receive NHS healthcare once she has paid the annual Immigration Health Surcharge.


We can help you!


It is always advisable to seek the assistance of experts when applying for UK Border Agency Spouse Visa. 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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