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Advice on UK visa for wife now we are retiring


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I have suddenly started worrying about my wife's UK visa application. Never worried about any visa application before but have realised our circumstances might look dodgy if the wrong person views the application. Basically, we have just been complacent. I was originally going to apply for a 5-year visa (because now we are semi-retired we'll visit more) but now I am worried about any visa at all. Am I thinking too much here? Probably but how do I approach this. A visa refusal could really mess up our life.

 

I'm giving too much information in case anybody sees anything that might help. Apologies for that. The main points are in bold. And yes, if I had thought for 10 minutes about it when we first decided to go we wouldn't be in this situation. It would have been easy to work around. 

 

The situation is:

Married and living together here for nearly 25 years

 

Wife has no income and little apparent money available, even though she is actually well off

Long story #1 but although my wife is not short of funds she was involuntarily early-retired last year and right now the funds are all tied up. So she doesn't have much available cash right now (honestly, I was shocked by how little, but I should know her have = spend ways better by now). She's living off regular transfers from me until some fixed-term deposits mature, starting next year. Our money is mixed up/shared and we never really pay attention to who has what - as long as she has enough stashed away she tends to give me the rest so she won't spend it and I transfer to her on request. For that reason, we don't have a joint account.

 

So I thought I'd just be her sponsor and end of problem, but I retire here the week before we travel.

I have a well-paid job in Thailand but I am retiring just before we go to the UK. Now I suddenly realise I don't have any apparent reason to return and I can't ask HR to say I have. I could just get them to say I am currently employed with them without mentioning the retirement. I've been here for over 30 years.

 

She doesn't have proof of ownership of our home.

We built our home of nearly 25 years on her family's land here in Nonthaburi and the land has been subdivided so that she can be assigned ownership of our portion. However, (long story #2) that process hasn't yet been completed. So it seems complicated to make our house evidence of a reason to return. 

 

I have plenty of available funds including some of hers. I know I shouldn't resolve this by transferring funds to her. Is funds alone enough to be a sponsor.

 

Although I know I shouldn't resolve this by transferring funds to her I thoughtlessly transferred THB 150,000 to her last week. This is from a much larger sum I got from work and is genuinely for her for the trip to the UK... but I realise now it just looks suspicious.

 

She has a currently valid 5-year Schengen visa and frequent travel to Europe, Japan and Africa, mostly pre-covid but two trips to Europe in the last year fortunately.

 

She has not visited the UK for over 10 years because we always meet my family here in Thailand or somewhere in Europe and the UK visa has been a PITA for a while now.

Prior to that she visited quite a few times and we were married there long ago (didn't stay) but circumstances have obviously changed.

 

We'll stay with my Mum (visiting her as many times as possible before she loses her faculties is the real reason for travel) and she'll write a letter to state that (not the bit about losing her faculties) but she's pretty old now and she will be 'wintering' in Spain with my sister when the application is being processed. I really don't want to use her as sponsor - it'll stress her.

One brother is still in Australia - back in January but currently doesn't have a home in UK (although he owns a house it is rented out). Other brother and sister are too far away/ abroad. We could lie and say we are staying with brother in Norfolk but then why are we flying into Edinburgh? Plenty of nephews and nieces but they don't meet the family test - complicated to prove relationship if asked and a bit awkward (but doable) to ask them to act as sponsors.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, brewsterbudgen said:

Is your wife applying for a (5-year) Visit Visa or a Settlement visa?

5-year but we are thinking maybe just a normal visa now. Apply for longer one next time when we have things in order. 

Edited by Nonthaburi Boy
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You're probably aware that the longer term visas, those with a two, five or ten year validity, are designed for those who can demonstrate a need to travel to the UK regularly but still have ties to their home country, these visa still only allow the holder to remain in the UK for up to six months, subject to satisfying the Border Force Officer on arrival in the UK, that their visit is genuine, and they are not using the visa to make the UK their home.

 

You seem to have strong ties to Thailand, and your wife would need to demonstrate those ties in her application, keep in mind that if she applied for a longer term visa and the Entry Clearance Officer had concerns, they could issue a six month visa, and there would be no refund in the extra fees charged.

 

I would be totally honest in the application, and whilst you're correct in saying that it would be unwise to pad her bank account, there not really an issue in indicating that you will be funding the trip.

 

My wife rarely has large sums in her account, I'm well into my retirement, and she's never had a problem getting visas approved - touch wood. 

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I thoroughly recommend a Visa service in the UK called

" Orchid of Siam "

They are one of only 2 recognized Visa agents in the UK o deal directly with the Home office, and will be able to give you the latest and correct information or your needs.

Its been some years now since I used their services, and I hope Tony and Lek, and their Beautiful Family are all well, 

Lovely people, and a great service.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cake Monster said:

They are one of only 2 recognized Visa agents in the UK o deal directly with the Home office, and will be able to give you the latest and correct information or your needs.


For the avoidance of doubt there are many Visa Agents in the UK, probably hundreds, who are registered with the OISC to provide advice on Visa Applications and other Immigration matters, it’s a legal requirement in the UK for agents to be so registered.

 

Whilst I have no doubt that the company you recommend are properly registered and come highly recommended, the OP and his wife are located here in Thailand, and if they feel that the use of an agent is necessary, they may be better using an OISC registered agent here, where the applicant needs to submit her bio details and passport.

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5 hours ago, theoldgit said:


For the avoidance of doubt there are many Visa Agents in the UK, probably hundreds, who are registered with the OISC to provide advice on Visa Applications and other Immigration matters, it’s a legal requirement in the UK for agents to be so registered.

 

Whilst I have no doubt that the company you recommend are properly registered and come highly recommended, the OP and his wife are located here in Thailand, and if they feel that the use of an agent is necessary, they may be better using an OISC registered agent here, where the applicant needs to submit her bio details and passport.

The reason that I recommended a UK based company , is that the mans wife has no proof of income or wealth.

The Home office will need to see a " willingness " to return back to Thailand 

This is usually in the form of Land deeds and/or bank Accounts, so the lady does not do a runner as soon as she alights the plane .

A UK agent will help with this issue, and an Agent in Thailand is a total waste of both time and money

Maybe the Immigration laws have been relaxed since I last used them many Years ago, but back then the Visas were more about Financials than any other issue.

Both Partners financials

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49 minutes ago, Cake Monster said:

A UK agent will help with this issue, and an Agent in Thailand is a total waste of both time and money


I beg to differ, I’m fully aware of the proof required to satisfy the decision maker, and that there are a number of highly qualified, and respected agents here in Thailand, who could assist with the application.

Did you read the OP’s comment that he has “plenty of available funds available”?

I’m sure the OP’s wife could satisfy the ECO that on the balance of probabilities she would return to her home country after their visits, where she and her husband have lived for 25 years or more without resorting to enlisting the help of an agent halfway around the globe.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, theoldgit said:


I beg to differ, I’m fully aware of the proof required to satisfy the decision maker, and that there are a number of highly qualified, and respected agents here in Thailand, who could assist with the application.

Did you read the OP’s comment that he has “plenty of available funds available”?

I’m sure the OP’s wife could satisfy the ECO that on the balance of probabilities she would return to her home country after their visits, where she and her husband have lived for 25 years or more without resorting to enlisting the help of an agent halfway around the globe.

 

 

 

I did read that the Husband has " plenty of funds available "

However, I also read that the Wife cannot demonstrate to the Home Office any Bank Balances, No joint accounts, Lives off transfers from the Husband Etc.

No proof of Home ownership

Starting to get iffy right there.

The Lady may be very rich indeed, but for an Immigration Officer to see the above, what is he to think ?

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This discussion gave me an idea that we can show proof of my wife’s funds even if they are not available to her now. She cannot access these from outside Thailand - although whether someone reviewing the application would consider that is another issue. I doubt they would, although they would surely feel somewhat reassured about her financial position.

 

Cake Monster expresses my fears - that it looks dodgy even though it really isn’t. One thing missing from that list Cookie Monster gives is that I am retiring just before we leave so even friends assume we might not be coming back! 

 

I think a multi-year visitor visa request is too risky this time around and we’ll apply for a normal visitor visa this time, and get the land ownership and arrangement of funds sorted before applying for a longer-term visa next time. 

 

I doubt we’ll use an agent this time. I think we have what we can produce and hope that, as with Old Git, it’s enough. It’s just a perfect storm and to some extent we have to just hope for the best. It’s my own fault for being complacent - my wife was telling me not to take the visa for granted months ago. I’ll be in the ‘why don’t you listen’ doghouse for a while if I was wrong and the visa is rejected! 

 

Thanks all for you advice and thoughts.

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