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Moving older Thai children to the UK


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Hi, does anyone have experience of moving older Thai children to school in the UK? My soon to be wife has two children, both currently attending a Thai government school in Bangkok. The elder is 16, and in the age group to start A levels, and the younger is 13, in the year prior to GCSEs. Both speak a good level of English. I'm wondering how they would cope in the UK system, especially the elder.

 

Another option we are considering is sending them to an international school in Bangkok the teaches the UK curriculum for 6/12 months before moving to the UK.

 

Opinions appreciated, thanks.

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No experience of.... 

 

But I'm also considering doing something similar.....     part of the reason is UK Uni fees...  they need to be domiciled in the UK for 3 years to be eligible for UK Uni fees... and the 3 years is awkward as it doesn't fit the two year A-Levels interval.

i.e. Fees to be a medical student are about £45,000 per year for overseas students / for a UK student its about £9,250

 

So.. we are considering moving our Son at the Start of GCSE's to a private school... then moving on to A-Levels there.

(The cost of a decent private school in the UK is similar to International School here).

 

Its a difficult balancing act to play out.

 

 

The only input I have for your specific case if to ensure they are doing British Curriculum rather than IB if you are planning a move...  as schools which do IB in the UK are quite limited.

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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Stick with the international schools in Thailand.

 

From what I've seen, the level of education at most Thai schools is nowhere near that of the UK. Unless you are confident their's is better, you could be putting your future wife's kids at a real disadvantage sending them to the UK.

Edited by MangoKorat
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32 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

But I'm also considering doing something similar.....     part of the reason is UK Uni fees... 

Good point, I hadn't thought about that. One more thing to consider

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7 minutes ago, MangoKorat said:

you could be putting your future wife's kids at a real disadvantage sending them to the UK.

That's my concern. I don't doubt they would get a better education in the UK but I don't want to drop them in at the deep end if they won't be able to cope. It would be simpler if they were younger

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3 minutes ago, soi3eddie said:

Move them to the UK ASAP and apply. If there is push back, claim discrimination (brown faces - make sure they soak up as much Thai sun as possible) and they will be admitted immediately. Don't dither or delay. Do it now!

 

He will find it impossible to move Thai kids to the UK without an accepted and paid up course.

 

Even if he was to try and move his wife and kids to the UK, he would have a very hard time getting a visa for the 16 year old.  Even the 13 year old wouldn't be so easy.  UK Immigration don't give a hoot about splitting families up. The older kids are, the harder it gets.

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20 minutes ago, MangoKorat said:

He will find it impossible to move Thai kids to the UK without an accepted and paid up course.

 

Even if he was to try and move his wife and kids to the UK, he would have a very hard time getting a visa for the 16 year old.  Even the 13 year old wouldn't be so easy.  UK Immigration don't give a hoot about splitting families up. The older kids are, the harder it gets.

 

Whatever happened to adopted European law of "right to family life"? That's why I said do it ASAP!

 

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2 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Given the measure of your socio-phonetics it could be suggested that you are not best placed to comment on the quality education !!!  :giggle:

Ya missed out the comma between clauses u wordy person 🤣

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1 hour ago, MangoKorat said:

the UK, he would have a very hard time getting a visa for the 16 year old.  Even the 13 year old wouldn't be so easy.  UK Immigration don't give a hoot about splitting families up. The older kids are, the harder it gets.

The plan is to get married and then apply for a family visa for the wife and children. I meet the financial requirements, and understood this is the main factor, is that not correct?

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38 minutes ago, Rich888 said:

The plan is to get married and then apply for a family visa for the wife and children. I meet the financial requirements, and understood this is the main factor, is that not correct?

Well of course you have to meet the financial requirements but as far as the family goes - its like I've already said.  I used to be a member of another forum who's members were mainly Brits with Thai wives, I read a lot on there about people having serious problems gettig older kids a settlement visa for the UK.

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2 hours ago, soi3eddie said:

 

Whatever happened to adopted European law of "right to family life"? That's why I said do it ASAP!

 

As you've already been told - its most likely they have that in Thailand already. With a 16 year old, they would have to prove that the kid had some special need to be with its mother.  I've seen them ask if there's any close relatives in Thailand and if there is - with no special needs, there's no chance.

 

For years and years a different (Asian) section of UK society has brought their aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma's etc. into the UK without it seems, much problem. That has now (virtually) been stopped.

 

OP, don't take it from me. There will be others on this forum that have tried or know someone who has.  I'm presuming that you are fairly new to Thai/UK relationships and matters relating to them?  It can be both hard for you to settle in Thailand and to bring a Thai family to the UK.  If your circumstances were different, i.e. you were the kids father, there would be no problem at all as they'd be entitled to a UK passport.

 

I can't say that adoption would make it any easier but I did have a mate who adopted his wife's son when he was about 10-12. Although they never had any plans to move to the UK, his adopted son got a UK passport so the adoption may give the same rights. However, I doubt the Thai adoption process is fast so its likely that the 16 year old will be classed as an adult before you get through the process - then you really have no chance.

 

Basically, the rules state that a dependant child under 18 can be added to a family visa application subject to certain criteria.  However, in practice, the closer a child is to 18, the harder it gets.

 

I can't give you details or specifics but I can tell you its problematic with older kids.  Hopefully someone else will come along who's had direct experience.  You could also try talking to a specialist UK Immigration lawyer. They's give you the exact script.

 

There's some information here but its also confusing:

 

https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/child

Edited by MangoKorat
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12 minutes ago, MangoKorat said:

OP, don't take it from me. There will be others on this forum that have tried or know someone who has.  I'm presuming that you are fairly new to Thai/UK relationships and matters relating to them

No, I appreciate the input. It's new territory for me. The first priority is to keep mum and kids together, and if they can't come to the UK it will be a long distance relationship for a few years. If it isn't possible I'll look at getting them into a better school in Bangkok.

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21 minutes ago, Rich888 said:

No, I appreciate the input. It's new territory for me. The first priority is to keep mum and kids together, and if they can't come to the UK it will be a long distance relationship for a few years. If it isn't possible I'll look at getting them into a better school in Bangkok.

You're welcome.  I was faced with similar problems many years ago.  When the practical realities of Thai/UK relationships sets in, its often the case that plans have to change.

 

Probably the best advice I can give you is to slow down a bit. Many things can and do change.

 

You'll find that International Schools in Thailand are very expensive. However, there is another system that I don't quite understand - others will know though.  In Thailand school is not free after I think 14/15.  There is an option to pay for kids to finish schooling and/or go to better schools in the area.  They're not private in what we would consider the accepted meaning but they are better run, have better teachers and better equipment.

 

Some schools also have special streams for paying pupils but they may have to pass exams to enter them.

 

As I say, I don't know much about it but I do know that my girlfriend is currently considering where to send her child to in 2 years when she reaches 15. I can assure you that I won't be paying for that, whatever she chooses.

Edited by MangoKorat
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They're already in a good government school in Bangkok. My fiancée is keen for them to get some experience in the UK at least. The other benefit from them going to school/uni here is they will have a chance to qualify for British citizenship (unless the Govt moves the goalposts again). It won't be cheap but they are bright kids and will do really well, I think.

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5 hours ago, Rich888 said:

Hi, does anyone have experience of moving older Thai children to school in the UK? My soon to be wife has two children, both currently attending a Thai government school in Bangkok. The elder is 16, and in the age group to start A levels, and the younger is 13, in the year prior to GCSEs. Both speak a good level of English. I'm wondering how they would cope in the UK system, especially the elder.

 

Another option we are considering is sending them to an international school in Bangkok the teaches the UK curriculum for 6/12 months before moving to the UK.

 

Opinions appreciated, thanks.

The son came over March 2020 (all plans initiated and tickets booked end of 2019) to School in Scotland, at the completion of Primary, however they enrolled him in Second year at Secondary, though Academical he could cope, socially maybe not best.

If on the border line opt for the lower study year if the option is available.

 

The sons experience has been less than ideal, as he arrived at the period of COVID lockdown(s) and was not actually at school for 5 months, cadet and other groups he had planned to join were not open till the following year.

 

Other wise I think it would be successful and the high school have been very helpful (no idea about the English schools).

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The issues to consider are immigration, education admission requirements, fees, academic performance (school and student), and social issues. All of these contribute towards some future life plans that the OP has not elaborated. That life plan may include the current family of OP, wife-to-be, and children (currently 13 and 16) remaining as a family unit, for 5 years or perhaps for 10 or more years while undertaking higher education.

Teenage years are a time when peers start to become more important than parents. In my experience, this is universal. A child who is moved between countries before their teen years will likely easily make new friends. During teen years this becomes more problematic, and even more when moved to a different cultural and language setting.

In summary: consider the social issues very carefully as I think these will be the dominant matters, and discuss your planning and all the options with these teenagers before you decide anything. The outcome of your plans for their lives will be determined by the children, not necessarily through overt actions.

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16 hours ago, Rich888 said:

That's my concern. I don't doubt they would get a better education in the UK but I don't want to drop them in at the deep end if they won't be able to cope. It would be simpler if they were younger

What is their level of English ? 

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17 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

Given the measure of your socio-phonetics it could be suggested that you are not best placed to comment on the quality education !!!  :giggle:

So you don't think the UK is buggered?

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6 hours ago, Phuyai said:

The issues to consider are immigration, education admission requirements, fees, academic performance (school and student), and social issues. All of these contribute towards some future life plans that the OP has not elaborated. That life plan may include the current family of OP, wife-to-be, and children (currently 13 and 16) remaining as a family unit, for 5 years or perhaps for 10 or more years while undertaking higher education.

Teenage years are a time when peers start to become more important than parents. In my experience, this is universal. A child who is moved between countries before their teen years will likely easily make new friends. During teen years this becomes more problematic, and even more when moved to a different cultural and language setting.

In summary: consider the social issues very carefully as I think these will be the dominant matters, and discuss your planning and all the options with these teenagers before you decide anything. The outcome of your plans for their lives will be determined by the children, not necessarily through overt actions.

All good points. In an ideal world we want to live together as a family, but my job is specialised and I wouldn't be able to do it in Thailand. My fiancée is keen for her and the children to move to the UK for better educational opportunities. I think the younger child would flourish here, very outgoing and confident, but the older is more introverted and sensitive. If they do come I want to send them to a private school where they should get more support and hopefully meet other children in the same situation. They both seem very keen although I have a nagging doubt that some of that stems from not wanting to disappoint their mum. Ideally I want them to attend an international school in Bangkok for 6/12 months first to see if they can manage the British curriculum.

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6 hours ago, brianthainess said:

What is their level of English ? 

The younger is in a bilingual educational program and essentially fluent. The elder has a good standard, but not as strong.

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Yes, think you’re right , better to try the international school in Bangkok first to see how they manage. Just imagine taking them  abroad only to find out they are a bit disadvantaged ?  The whole procedure would be a mess and not a good experience for the kids. 

 

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1 hour ago, Rich888 said:

All good points. In an ideal world we want to live together as a family, but my job is specialised and I wouldn't be able to do it in Thailand. My fiancée is keen for her and the children to move to the UK for better educational opportunities. I think the younger child would flourish here, very outgoing and confident, but the older is more introverted and sensitive. If they do come I want to send them to a private school where they should get more support and hopefully meet other children in the same situation. They both seem very keen although I have a nagging doubt that some of that stems from not wanting to disappoint their mum. Ideally I want them to attend an international school in Bangkok for 6/12 months first to see if they can manage the British curriculum.

Not sure if you have a particular UK private school in mind but my experience of 'private schools' is that there can be quite an element of selection (I attended boarding school many many years ago and my three children - now late 20's early 30's attended private day school). Many schools are over-subscribed and there are likely to be entrance tests and admission criteria relating to previous schooling.

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On 4/21/2024 at 6:36 PM, MangoKorat said:

 

Even if he was to try and move his wife and kids to the UK, he would have a very hard time getting a visa for the 16 year old.  Even the 13 year old wouldn't be so easy.  UK Immigration don't give a hoot about splitting families up. The older kids are, the harder it gets.

 According to UK gov website no issue until age 18. Below 18, whether age 1 or 16, same same.

 

He will of course have to meet the financials, and wife and each child are a separate visa application.

 

In terms of the kids' adjustment, I would recommend settling in an area with a Thai population, there are a fair number of them.

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28 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

 According to UK gov website no issue until age 18. Below 18, whether age 1 or 16, same same.

 

He will of course have to meet the financials, and wife and each child are a separate visa application.

 

In terms of the kids' adjustment, I would recommend settling in an area with a Thai population, there are a fair number of them.

 

Do not, under any circumstances, seek an area with a "substantial Thai population." They are overrun with a demographic that any decent Thai family would avoid like the plague. 

 

"Thai rak Thai" is a nonsense in the UK. No decent Thai woman flies 6000 miles to consort with rotten-hearted hookers. 

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