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After over 10 years living here I feel it’s time to return to the UK with my family. I’m looking for advice from people who have made the move back with their family.  
I am completely out of the system in the UK. I don’t have any property or family or even a bank account anymore. How hard would it be to rent a property without any references? How hard is it to get a bank account these days?  How do I get back into the system and get my 2 kids also into the system so they can go to school there. My wife is a production engineer here. Could she work as an engineer in the UK? She will obviously have the spouse visa which allows her to do any job, but I don’t want her wasting her time on a minimum wage job. 

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Thanks for the replies.  Some information you have shared I was already aware of, but some of it has been extremely valuable. What’s good to know is I’m on the right track and some of the hurdles are not game changers. 

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you will need to have a lot of cash, make sure to have at least 50K GBP to relocate safely

 

With Brexit, getting a job might be harder in Europe

 

not sure the job market in the UK is hot,

 

You might be moving back at the worst possible time, should have done it 3 years ago

 

moving back from Thailand to Europe is always a risky proposition when you have cut all the bridges

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14 hours ago, bigyin said:

I came back 6 years ago with my wife and then stepdaughter. Everything has been very well explained in the previous posts. You will I am sure realise that at the moment as Thailand is on the red list in the UK your wife will be unable to enter the UK. Hopefully that will be resolved in the not too distant future but no guarantees. I was lucky in that I retained my house, my bank account, my GP and was in receipt of a pension. So I was more or less able to seamlessly step back into UK life. I did organise my stepdaughter’s enrolment in the local school from Thailand so I know that is possible and not too difficult although complicated by the time difference. I assume that you have some income in the UK to enable you to meet the income requirement. The spouse visa is of course only the first step in what is a very long and very expensive process. My wife obtained UK citizenship two or three months ago at the end of 6.5 years in the UK and the cost of many thousands of pounds.

Not strictly correct.  Visitors from redlist countries cannot enter the UK at the moment. But people with "residence rights" can, and a settlement visa gives residence rights.  UKVI are not processing visit visa applications at the moment (although they do accept the application), but settlement visas are being processed as normal.

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8 hours ago, Tony M said:

Not strictly correct.  Visitors from redlist countries cannot enter the UK at the moment. But people with "residence rights" can, and a settlement visa gives residence rights.  UKVI are not processing visit visa applications at the moment (although they do accept the application), but settlement visas are being processed as normal.

I obviously bow to your superior knowledge here. I had thought only a foreign national from a red list country with ILR was exempt. I didn’t think a spouse visa gave residence rights. So I have learned something as well here.

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4 minutes ago, bigyin said:

I obviously bow to your superior knowledge here. I had thought only a foreign national from a red list country with ILR was exempt. I didn’t think a spouse visa gave residence rights. So I have learned something as well here.

It's not superior knowledge by any means. It's from the published guidance by UKVI, and the fact that a question to UKVI, asking for clarification of "residence rights" confirmed it. The guidance says :

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.

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My only question on this is that the government website does have a heading “when you do not have the right to reside“ and under this it says the following “you do not have the right to reside but can stay in the UK while you have one of the following

a visa

a family permit”

it also says that indefinite leave to remain does give the right to reside. Am I reading this wrong? Happy to be put right.

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9 hours ago, bigyin said:

My only question on this is that the government website does have a heading “when you do not have the right to reside“ and under this it says the following “you do not have the right to reside but can stay in the UK while you have one of the following

a visa

a family permit”

it also says that indefinite leave to remain does give the right to reside. Am I reading this wrong? Happy to be put right.

To be honest, I'm not sure what you are referring to ?   Is this about Thailand being on the red list ?  Where is your quote from ?

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On 9/24/2021 at 1:51 PM, Shimon said:

My wife is a production engineer here. Could she work as an engineer in the UK? She will obviously have the spouse visa which allows her to do any job, but I don’t want her wasting her time on a minimum wage job. 

 

These are jobs in demand pretty much worldwide. If she had any other job it would be back to minimum wage.

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To the OP I would add to what others have posted - be prepared for culture shock!

 

I am told it can take up to three years to feel fully-integrated back into UK society!

 

Good luck with your resettlement!

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3 hours ago, allanos said:

To the OP I would add to what others have posted - be prepared for culture shock!

 

I am told it can take up to three years to feel fully-integrated back into UK society!

 

Good luck with your resettlement!

I was in Thailand for 6 years and adapted back with no problems. It is fussy after the relative freedom of Thailand but there is a safety net. So pluses and minuses.

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Re banking the Metro Bank was mentioned above. It is worth noting that they have extended opening hours and also are/were open at weekends. Some branches eg the one at Holborn, London also rent out security boxes if you need somewhere safe for docs., cash etc. 

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I'm a landlord and am cautious after being burned a couple of times, so let the lettings agency do all the legal checks.

Unless you are "flying below the radar" it can be difficult to secure housing.

The rental market has gone bonkers in the last few months or so, prices have rocketted as supply is ridiculously tight.  I think this is largely down to people selling their property and moving temporarily into rented property until they find their next property.

So biding your time a bit might help, until the rental market resembles a more normal outlook.

You will need to satisfy the "right to rent" legal requirements and if no job etc, then a minimum 6 months rent up front.

 

Finding work is very easy at the moment, there are more jobs than people available.  I read that vegetable pickers are being advertised at £30/hour!!

 

Good luck if you make your move.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The red list has gone... Issue to me are: the grim weather, the grim life, and violence compared to Thailand. Food is very cheap..jobs are plentiful apparently..Clothes are cheap, high culture is cheap...galleries, parks etc..Eating out and entertainment is expensive..taxes taxes taxes!  TV, Council, Rd,... poor internet..no free streaming or torrenting..I would not move back at the start of winter...wait till May..

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