With an increasing number of UK Expats making the decision to return to the UK, many wish to take their Thai wives and families with them. For a Thai fiancée, Thai wife or Thai partner wishing to live in the UK, the applicant would need to demonstrate that have a sufficient understanding standing of the English language both in terms of speaking and listening. This effectively means that your Thai wife would need to pass an English exam approved by UKBA at level A1 or above.
This standard is defined as:
‘Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.’
It should be understood that your Thai partner must have passed the appropriate exam prior to applying for their visa. In Thailand, the approved test providers are both in Bangkok and are the British Council or IDP Education. Their contact details are below:
- British Council, 254 Soi Chula 64, Siam Square, Pathum Wan, Bangkok. Telephone 02 657 5678, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IDP Education, 4th Floor, CP Tower, 313 Silom Road, Bangkok. Telephone 02 638 3111, email email@example.com.
As of 1 May 2017, if your Thai wife wishes to apply for Further Leave to Remain (FLR), she would be required to pass the level A2 examination. For further information regarding this, we would recommend that you visit www.iets.org. Of course, here at Thai Visa Express, we would be more than happy to offer you any additional assistance that you may require.
There are a couple of groups that are exempt from needing to take the A1 English Test and these Thai nationals who have undertaken a Bachelor’s degree that was taught in the English language or Thai wives who are over the age of 65. In very rare circumstances where the applicant has a physical or mental disability, the Secretary of State may exercise a certain degree of discretion and waive the requirement. In addition, it could also be waived on compassionate grounds although again, this is only in exceptional circumstances.