Despite the climate of 'hostility' goring numbers of UK men, including both middle aged and younger Brits, are opting to
look to Thailand for love. Many are searching for a deeper and more meaningful relationship involving a cultural exchange.
The millions of UK men that have formed an attachment to Thailand in the last two decades is one of the drivers of the surge.
'In Thailand they have experienced the unique culture and appeal of Thai women,' says Carla Boonkong, a sociologist.
However the biggest challenge that UK men and Thai women encounter is an increasing antipathy from the Home Office of
the United Kingdom and increasingly stringent visa requirements. Despite all this, thousands of UK Thai couples persist and
overcome. The keys are research, patience, honesty and determination. It also requires money and income but it works out
as a good investment in no time at all.
UK man petitions the U.K. PM over visa over visa for Thai wife
A UK man launched a petition on change.org when a visa application for his Thai wife of over twenty years was rejected
by the British Home Office. The incident occured in 2014 and the UK man launched an online campaign aimed at the British
Prime Minister through the website. Mike Bates, who stated that had formerly been a member of the British Armed Forces
had been working in Saudi Arabia since 1989 on a what he described as the 'largest contract the British government has ever
had'. Mike was working for British Aerospace Systems and had previously worked for British Aerospace.
British citizen 'born and bred' forced to plead for his Thai wife
Mike who is 'British born and bred' wrote that a visa for his Thai wife had been rejected on the 18th May 2014. The couple
had lived together in Saudi Arabia since 1993 having been been married in Thailand in 1992. They met in Thailand in 1990.
Their first child was born in 2000 and attended university while a second child was in secondary level education. Mike
wanted to bring his family back to the UK so that his children had the best possible education and support.
Thai wife of twenty five years had her settlement visa rejected
He also applied through the British government's appointed agency VFS Global in Saudi Arabia who also operate the
same service for Thailand. Mike was asked to submit paperwork and documentation but he complained of receiving no
guidance. He claimed that he was told by officials that it was 'up to you'. He was subsequently startled when his Thai wife had
her visa application rejected. He was told by the the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia did not believe that the couple were
living together. Mike was incredulous and pointed out that he had submitted every document required by the company and
that his Thai wife's passport showed Saudi residence stamps. He complained that there was no personal contact and that no
one reached out to him to clarify his position before rejecting his wife's application. He had paid Stg 1,200 as an application
fee which was non refundable. It left Mike in a position where he was forced to make plans to live in the UK with his two
children without their mother. His youngest child suffered from autism and they did not speak Thai so that his children could
no return to Thailand with their mother. Mike surmised that the predicament he was landed in was a beach of is human
Citizens of the UK are losing their rights in new visa regime
Luckily for Mike his persistence and pursuit of the matter paid off and his wife was granted her visa. But many UK men
and their Thai wives including many relationships of long standing are being split up. The reason for it is a change in the visa
and citizenship laws across nearly all western states in the last forty years which deny western citizens any automatic visas
and rights of residence for their wives in favour of a residency approach which minimizes any privilege of being a citizen of the
western country of origin. This has recently been aggravated by a tightening of immigration rules in all western countries in
particular Europe where anti immigrant sentiment is on the rise.
The situation is further complicated in the case of Thai women and Thai wives by a universal stereotype that places an
automatic question mark over such relationships. There is unfortunately good reason and justification for this as many Thai
women are victims of human and sex trafficking. Authorities must apply a strict screening regime to all applications. It can be
argued that western men and Thai wives are treated the same as any international interracial couple but there are many UK
Thai couples who do not agree.
American Thai couple run the UK immigration gauntlet
It is worth noting that sometimes you may require a UK visa to transit through the United Kingdom if traveling to another
country. It is a technical requirement but most travelers are exempted if they are there for connecting flights once the flight
leaves the UK by midnight on the day after they first arrive.John Goodall is an international accountant based in Thailand. He
now lives with his Thai wife Namaoy outside Bangkok. He is an American originally from upstate New York. He is married to
Namaoy for fifteen years. She now runs a gym in Bangkok but before she met her husband she dated other foreigners in
Bangkok. One was a UK man and she was unsuccessful in an attempted application to secure a visa to visit the United
Kingdom in 2002. After she married her American husband she was successful in obtaining visa to visit his family in the
United States. While passing through London on two occasions she was threatened with arrest since the UK authorities had a
record of her failed visa application on some database.
UK Immigration had discretionary powers to arrest Thai woman
On her way to New York she was told by one UK official that only that they were satisfied that they were a bona fide couple,
they would have arrested her. He said that there was some note and tick on her passport that would alert any other officials.
On her way home from New York, another UK immigration official waved her on quickly and again told her that she was lucky
she wasn't detained by Immigration. He also said that there was some note and tick on her passport that would alert other
officials. The story illustrates the strife and wall of fear that is presented to Western Thai couples by immigration authorities
most particularly in the United Kingdom where authorities seemed to have discretionary powers to arrest the Thai woman first
and ask questions later. 'I do not like to visit the U.K. anymore. It has made be a bit paranoid, so that I make doubly sure that
my visa to the United States is always ok, that everything is right and checks out. But we do not travel through London anymore
you see,' she says.
American man: Lip reader studied his conversation with his Thai wife
John Morris, a commentator in bangkok doesn't agree and thinks we must be understanding towards UK immigration
authorities. 'Recent events have shown that for some reason there has been an uptick in sex trafficking of Thai women. The
authorities in the UK must do everything possible to root out the scourge of human trafficking and the best thing people can
do is get the visa application right and by 100% honest about all answers right down the line.' John Goodall is not sure. 'On
both those occasions I was so exciting about bringing Nam home to New York and then later back to Bangkok that I didn't
register how serious it all was. We were told by another lady immigration officer that they had a lip reader watch our
conversation while we were sitting at the desk waiting for their decision on whether they were going to let Nam travel on or
whether they were going to arrest her. Maybe they thought she was too attractive to be with a odd looking guy like me,' he
laughs. 'But it all worked out in the end.'
Thai wife's settlement visa rejected over unpaid bill
The tightening of visa requirements and the capricious nature of immigration enforcement in the UK when it comes to
Thai women impacted another UK man and his Thai wife out of the blue. The settlement visa application for his Thai wife
was rejected over an outstanding bill to the NHS or Britain's National Health Service. In August 2015, Duangchai Chaisum,
the Thai wife of UK man Jason Middlemiss gave birth to their child in the UK under the expert care of the NHS. Duangchai,
also know as Zia, gave birth to her baby girl, Maisie, at Warrington Hospital in Cheshire. The Thai woman was legally in the
UK with a valid marriage visa. It was her second trip to the UK having already visited for a holiday with Jason at the end of
2014 on a standard visitors visa. Mr Middlemiss had met Zia in 2013 while travelling in Thailand. The couple had married in
July 2015 and Zia later returned to Thailand after the birth of the couple's daughter to apply for a settlement visa allowing her
to live and work in the United Kingdom with the possibility of an extension and thereafter permanent residency. The couple
were later stunned to receive a letter from the UK Immigration Office denying her the visa on the basis of an unpaid NHS bill. 'I
was shocked because I did not know we had to pay money to the hospital,' the disconsolate wife and mother said from
Thai wife already granted two UK visas before being refused
Zia and Jason had fallen in love when Jason returned to Thailand in 2014 and the couple went travelling together. Zia
visited the United Kingdom at the end of 2014 on a tourist visa or standard visitors visa. She returned to Thailand in
accordance with its terms. Zia received a 6 month visa to enter the UK in 2015 to marry her UK fiance. She arrived in June
and the couple were married in July 2015. In March 2015 she had discovered she was pregnant and the couple's baby
daughter was born on August 7th 2015. She returned to Thailand at the end of 2015 with high hopes that her third visa
application would be successful having complied with the terms of the previous two. The couple first found out about the visa
rejection and also the existence of the NHS bill from the letter sent to Zia from the Home Office in the UK.
Staggering fees increase for UK settlement visa for Thai wife or partner
Obtaining a settlement visa is quite a process. The fee has increased at a staggering rate in recent years and now stands
at over $2,217. There is no refund in the event of a refusal. In addition there are course fees for an English language test, fees
for the test itself and optional premium charges that are on offer through the immigration partner of the United Kingdom
government in Thailand. This is a firm called VFS Global. These range from 715 baht up to 46,000 baht or $23 up to $1,460.
These are fees simply to apply for a visa plus the costs of putting together the submission including translation fees etc.
Obtaining a UK visa for a Thai wife, spouse or girlfriend is onerous
Obtaining a visa to travel or live in the UK is not something to be complacent about. It is a serious business which requires
candour and meticulous attention to detail to get right. For two people in love who simply want to be together, it appears so
unfair and leaves many UK men, as with other western nationals, lamenting the new approach to immigration which denies
automatic privileges to spouses.
Climate of hostility towards UK men and Thai love partners
Recent exposes into the activities of the Home Office in the United Kingdom have revealed that a 'climate of hostility' was
created into certain groups. The Windrush scandal into the harsh treatment of immigrants from the West Indies caused the
resignation of then Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP at the end of April 2018. 'I have seen a similar attitude towards Thai
women,' says Carla Boonkong. The Thai researcher and foreign relationship expert contends that the plethora of stories of
harsh and demeaning treatment handed out to couples involving parties from the UK and Thailand has caused great
hardship and anguish to some of the most upright UK citizens imaginable and their spouses from Thailand. One farmer from
Northern Ireland lost his Thai wife forever over a trifling technicality to do with the income requirement while a UK based Thai
wife was deported from sitting the wrong English exam. There are stories on an a weekly basis of UK immigration officials
targeting Asian women living in the UK with western men. One recently featured in the UK's Daily Mail told the story of a 6am
raid by immigration officers on the home of a UK man and Chinese woman which was aborted as a mistake leaving the
woman and her British fiance in a state of shock. The officers were armed with handcuffs. The story of Zia and Jason is
another example of many.
UK government franchises out visa processing in Thailand
The British government has franchised out its visa processing operations to a private firm which has admittedly produced
new steamline systems which apply to all applications made from Bangkok. It even offers different levels of service and
assistance with it calls Premium offering which vary from 715 baht right up 46,000 baht.
Obtaining a UK visa for a Thai wife, girlfriend or partner
Obtaining any type of visa for the for a Thai woman to emigrate most western countries has become a more burdensome
process. There is increased screening and requirements notably language requirements. An inability to speak English or the
native language of the western country has been identified as a critical factor for Thai women in their efforts to adapt to
married life or a being able to find employment or secure income. At the same time, most western government have
modernised the process often, such as in Australia and the United Kingdom, contracting the process out to third party partner
UK visa options for Thai women or men seeking to travel to the UK
The key visa for UK men married to Thai women on a long term basis is a settlement visa. This is also the eventual goal
for most UK Thai marriage partnerships. This visa leads on after two and half years to permission to stray in the UK definitely
or residence which can in turn lead on to full UK citizenship. For the UK there are 3 types of visas which involve UK men with
the their girlfriends, fiances or marriage partners. These are:
- The UK Standard Visitors visa: This is the standard visa for traveling to the UK for a personal or business reason. It
can be granted for up to 6 months or can be extended if required from the initial visa period to a maximum of 6 months. The
requirements are onerous and include documents supporting your visit and showing that the applicant has the financial
capacity to travel to the UK without relying on public funds. For information on visa requirements, it is essential to study the
website of the UK government. The following is a list of requirements for the Visitors Visa. Please note that these requirements
may be updated and there may be additional documentation required depending on your circumstances. There is a
comprehensive PDF file available from the website of the UK government and you should both download this and print for a
- A valid passport.
- Travel documents and itinerary of trip to the UK.
- Bank statements.
- Proof of earnings (if any) This may include 6 months of bank statements or a letter from an employer if applicable.
- Any authoritative third party information indicating sufficient resources.
- Confirmation of legal residence in Thailand. This may include a copy and certified translation of the family house book
showing where the applicant lives. It may also include a translated copy of ownership of the property or utility bills showing the
- Letter from your employer (if any) confirming the length of employment, salary, character reference and endorsement of
your proposed trip.
- Similar letter as above if the applicant is in education. This letter from your education institution should confirm your
enrolment, length of enrolment and an explanation for any leave of absence granted for your trip.
- If you are self employed, it is advisable to have translated and certified copies made of business registration documents
issued by the Thai government or authorities. This can include tax registration and even tax receipts. The business
registration document should show the date of registration and the length of time your business has been in existence.
- If you are employed, in education or self employed you should consider obtaining a letter from someone in authority
confirming your circumstances and your relationship if possible. This letter may also be issued from someone in authority or
respected in the community. This simply offers more evidence and supports your position.
- The UK Marriage Visitor visa: This is a visa which also can be extended to a maximum of 6 months. The
document requirements aim to demonstrate the bona fides of the relationship and financial capacity of the sponsor, more
often than not, the UK man or future husband to the bride from Thailand. You must apply for the Marriage Visa or any other UK
visa at least 3 months before the Thai woman is due to visit. Again, it is absolutely essential to study the requirements in detail
from the website of the UK government's Visa Department. It is also good advice to be absolutely frank and candid with all the
information you are asked to provide. The dangers of human trafficking and abuses are foremost in the minds of the those in
the UK vetting applications. This is very unfortunate and frustrating for genuine people in love and that is understandable.
Therefore, it is even more incumbent on the sponsor or UK partner to make sure that all facts and details surrounding the visit
and background to the relationship are clear, straightforward and with as much supporting documentation as possible. Here
is an outline checklist:
- Current and valid passport.
- Proof of the ability to support yourself on your trip to the UK. In many cases, the UK sponsor, life or love partner of
the Thai woman or man will be relied on to provide this information but if it is possible that the Thai partner may be able to
show independent means. This, of course, strengthens the application. However, if such means are negligible or borderline,
then it is best to keep it simple and rely solely on the evidence adduced by the UK partner. If provided, this information would
include bank statement for the previous 6 months and any official documents (certified and translated) which show that the
Thai partner has resources in Thailand, is in good standing,has responsibilities, consistent income and financial means.
- Proof of future plans for the relationship between the UK man or woman and the Thai partner. This could include
documents or evidence showing arrangements for stays or planned activity after the wedding such as a honeymoon. It should
certainly include evidence of where the couple plan to live including rights of residence, permissions and the circumstances.
This may include details of the property held by the UK sponsor or permission from family relatives to allow the couple to
reside in the family home etc. The UK Visa Department are looking for proof that the relationship is bona fide and that the
couple, once married, have plans to continue and sustain the relationship for the limited period of the marriage visa which
can be for a maximum period of 6 months from arrival of the proposed Thai bride or marriage partner to departure.
- Details of the proposed marriage between the UK resident or partner and the Thai woman or man. This would
include booking and arrangements for a wedding celebration or reception in the UK including any payments or deposits
Proof that the UK sponsor and the Thai marriage partner are planning to get married in the United Kingdom. This would
include, for instance, a booking at a marriage registry or arrangements to conduct the marriage at a religious ceremony with
subsequent registration. This is proof that an official marriage is taking place in the eyes of the UK State. Evidence here
would includes fees or deposits paid as well as communications with officials of the UK marriage registration agency or
- Proof that you are free to marry. A document confirming that the Thai marriage partner is single or is not already
in an existing marriage from the appropriate Thai authorities. These must be notarized and translated in addition to Thai
documents, again notarised and translated, showing the status of the Thai marriage partner if divorced or widowed. Such
documents would include a death certificate or divorce decree(s) showing a chain of evidence from the Thai national's birth
certificate name to that on a currbet ID card. A notarised and translated Thai birth certificate and current Thai national ID
card should be included in all visa application packages.
- The UK Settlement Visa: This is the big one. Many UK Thai couples will have spent time together in the UK, in
Thailand or another country prior to applying for this. The couple will have lived together and can demonstrate this. In nearly
all cases the UK Thai couple will be married often for an extended period or if not being married, will be able to show that
there exists a long term relationship. This is difficult and problematic. Therefore a key part of supporting the application is to
make sure that the record of the UK sponsor's relationship with a Thai woman is documented and easy to prove. Where a
couple have previously travelled to the United Kingdom, this would make respect shown for prior visas an impeccable source
of evidence. It will be primary evidence that the relationship is genuine. Similarly, any interaction with the UK sponsor's
extended family. Photos and video can be included as evidence but not DVDs or video packages. In quite a few cases lately
there are UK men who, after long years spent living in exile, wish to return to the UK with their Thai spouse or Thai wife. The
ability to prove the validity of such relationships rests very much on showing evidence of marriage and that the couple have
lived together. Obviously, if married, certification is critical but it is not enough. Evidence of living together must be presented
such as travel stamps on passports, joint bank accounts, bills or official documents which show the couple engaged in
Background of the sponsor of the UK Settlement Visa
The background to the sponsor will be examined in detail. Therefore having all affairs in order and presented in a
straightforward manner is key. This visa is valid for two and half years and allows a Thai wife to live and work in the UK, very
much like any UK citizen. It must be extended after two and half years and at that point it is essential for the Thai women to
pass a more demanding language examination in English and demonstrate grasp of British culture. If she fails to do this
successfully then she faces the real prospect of deportation. There is a comprehensive set of PDFs available for the UK
government's visa website which you should download, print and scrutinises in detail before pulling together a visa
application which will be expensives and fateful. It is a very cruel circumstance to have two people in love whose life together
depends on a decision of a government department or official.
Settlement visa application is very expensive and impactful
We are detailing the process here which is similar to that required, in some respects, for the Visitor and Marriage visa.
However the Settlement visa is far more expensive to apply for. The requirements are therefore, understandably, more
demanding. It will be very important again that you study the UK government visa website as well as downloading, printing and
reading the the PDF schedules and publications within the website. For many UK men there will be some experience of
dealing with the UK government, it's visa office and the visa administration partner in Thailand and worldwide, VFS Global.
Here is an outline of what the visa applicant will be required to provide:
- A valid passport for the Thai applicant, spouse, life or marriage partner.
- Previous passports if applicable showing past visas from the UK.
- Copy of Thai ID card.
- Health certificates required such as Tuberculosis or T.B. certificate showing good health.
- Copy of certification for ability to communicate in English. This will be a certification by an accredited institution in
Thailand or elsewhere showing that the applicant has passed the A1 level as prescribed by the Common European
Framework of Reference. You should make sure that the name on this certificate is the exact same as that on the applicant's
passport and ID card. Also take care to ensure that the certificate is issued by an accredited institution to meet the exact
- Documents showing the applicant's marital status. This will include Thai documents translated and certified showing that
the Thai applicant, spouse or marriage partner is married to the UK sponsor. This may also include any official evidence that
shows the existence of a genuine and if applicable, long standing relationship.
- Copy of Thai man or woman's birth certificate. This must be a fully translated and certified copy.
- Evidence to show any name change where the name on the birth certificate is different from the name on the applicant's
passport. This may include details of previous marriages and divorces. All official documents must be fully translated and
certified. This will be required for a full chain of evidence.
6 months of bank statements for the applicant where the applicant has independent means and if employed, a letter from
the applicant's employer stating the salary level, job responsibilities, commencement and date and character reference. If the
applicant is self employment, evidence of registration of the business, start date and tax receipts showing income are
required. In this instance, a character reference from someone in authority or credibility would also be helpful.
- If the applicant is a student the evidence of enrolment, details of studies and terms as well as a character reference
would also be of use. Also if the applicant has an existing education awards such as degrees or qualifications. These should
- If the applicant has a bank account then a bank statement showing the account balance, date opened and confirming the
account holders name is required. This is evidence of the financial standing of the applicant. In many cases, the applicant
may not have a bank account or have very limited financial resources. In such cases the visa authorities will rely on the
financial standing of the UK sponsor.
- If the applicant is in employment or in business as self employed then payslips or tax returns for the previous 6 months
- Evidence to show where the Thai applicant will live or reside while in the UK. This may be a letter from the UK sponsor
with confirming documents showing ownership or property rights. It may also be a letter from family relations of the sponsor
confirming available accomodation. More detailed information on this is required such as information on the living space and
supporting documentation in relation to the address being proposed. This will include ownership and whether the
accommodation is appropriate. If there are other occupants in addition to the sponsor then evidence of such other occupants
- The sponsor is required to provide clear and authoritative information on his/her employment status such as a letter from
the sponsor's employer confirming the job or position, the date of commencement and the nature of the contract with the
sponsor. This also needs to be supported by UK tax returns or a P60 showing the UK sponsor's annual earnings. In addition 6
months of payslips are required in addition to bank statements showing receipt of income. All UK sponsors must satisfy a UK
minimum requirement which currently stands at just blow 19,000 sterling. It is recommended that the income requirement is
exceeded somewhat as there have been borderline cases where visa applications and renewals have been refused on
technical grounds relating not only the amount of income confirmed in evidence but also the nature of such income. Also
please note that where there are a children or dependents than the income requirement goes up as do application fees.
- The UK sponsor must show that he or she is entitled to be resident in the United Kingdom. In most cases the sponsor will
already be a UK citizen and this will not be an issue but if the sponsor is not, then proof of residence in the UK will be
- Evidence showing the genuine nature of the relationship between the sponsor and the Thai love, life or marriage partner
is required. This includes marriage certificate or evidence of marriage. This may also be supported by photos including
family photos of special events etc. It is important to show genuine evidence that the relationship is one of long standing and
is one where a marital relationship exists. This can include bills in joint names, phone records for communications between
the parties attesting to both the sincerity and the long standing nature of the relationship. Obviously evidence is required of
marriage and other official interactions between the parties.
- If the UK sponsor is in receipt of additional income, then evidence of this including banks statements, contracts or
receipts should be included. The evidence must also show declaration of tax on such income.
- The UK sponsor can also include evidence of personal circumstances which may have a bearing on the application.
This may include information such as for elderly or disabled individuals, evidence that they are in receipt of care. Where the
applicant is divorced or widowed or suffers from a health conditions then certification of the above should be included.
- If the UK sponsor is a veteran or in military service in the United Kingdom's Armed Forces then evidence of this should be
presented for consideration.
Steps to obtaining a Settlement visa for a Thai wife or spouse
- The first step in the process is to consult with the UK government's website and do some research. You must decide on
the type of visa you require. If you are already married for a long time then you may be applying directly for a Settlement Visa. If
you wish to marry in the UK then you will applying for a Marriage Visa. If you wish to simply visit the UK with your girlfriend to
meet your family then it will be a Visitors Visa.
- Prepare you own individual checklist of all the documents and supporting information required is the next key step. For
Thai documents notarised translation copies will be required and you will have to set about organising this. Please see our
documents checklist above but remember that this is only an outline. This shows the documents and information required for
the visitor, marriage and settlement visa. Your own personal circumstances will warrant your own individual checklist built on
these outlines. You should, in fact, assemble a dossier of any documents that may be required or may be helpful.
- The third step is to fill out the application form for the visa you require on the UK government's visa website service. This
will also alert you to any additional documents or information required again particular to your circumstances. To submit your
application the applicant (Thai woman or man) is required to make an appointment with the visa application centre (in
Bangkok or Chiang Mai). You can make this appointment by phone or by email. You may use this opportunity to clarify any
information or document requirements that comes to mind with the official you are in contact with.
- Assemble all the documents and supporting information step by step in preparation for ther in the interview. Remember
that this must also include the non refundable fee which you will be required to pay. Check the payment facilities, you will be
required to make a credit card payment in most instances. The fee is $125 approx for the Visitor and Marriage visa and
$2,220 for the Settlement visa. Please not that these fees are increasing annually so please confirm the exact amount when
making your appointment. There are two UK visa application centres in Thailand, one in Chiang Mai and the other in
Bangkok. The Bangkok facility will be the venue for most UK Thai couples.
- For the interview, the applicant should arrive at least 15 minutes early. Appointments are valuable. Once you arrive at the
visa application centre your interview will be called on the basis of a token. It is very important that you bring to the interview all
documents that may be required and consult with the visa centre official. Most of the documents will be scanned. They must
be originals when presented for interview. You can also still opt to post the documents yourself but you must send the
originals. The applicant should have the full dossier file of all documents that may be required including multiple forms or at
least a second form of ID. Once the application is submitted, no further documents can be added and the decision in the UK
will be made purely on the documents submitted and finalised at the interview.
Visa application documents - scanned instead of posted to the UK
Prior to 2017 all documentation for the application was posted on by the applicant to a UK Visa office in Sheffield in the
United Kingdom to be later returned to the applicant. This service is still in place. The UK Visa office, through its global
administrative partner VFS Global, in 2017 introduced a new service where document originals are scanned and transmitted
to the UK for ease and convenience. Please note that the rule that no further documents can be introduced once the
application is submitted still supplies.
UK insists on biometric profiles for all visa applications
A new development is the requirement that the applicant supply fingerprints and photograph at the interview to assist with
the provision of biometric information. All ten finger digits will be scanned electronically. The visa applicant should make sure
that the hands and fingers are clean and not discoloured or do not have abrasions that may interfere with the biometric
profile. The photograph will be also be digital. The applicant should be able to provide a full facial photograph without tinted
glasses or head gear which interferes with the profile. The visa application cannot be processed without a full and clear
Time for a new visa regime for wives or partners of UK citizens
Despite all the red tape and the challenges of marrying and actually living together, the number of UK men marrying Thai
women continuous to grow. It is direct testimony to the strength of these relationships and the enormous personal
commitment of the two people genuinely in love that this is the case. All evidence shows that this channel of immigration is
fruitful and healthy one for the United Kingdom and other western countries. Maybe its time to take seriously the idea of
reverting the visa requirements and allowing the marriage partners well established citizens of European countries automatic
visas and rights to settle in their partner's home country.
Visa regime penalises the wives and spouses of UK citizens
The UK, like other western countries in the last fifty years, moved away from such an arrangement to a system based on
naturalisation. This favours immigrants from other countries with no family relationship to existing UK citizens. In 2012,
Theresa May, then UK Home Secretary, introduced drastic changes requiring a minimum income and allowing visas only on
the present probationary basis. The present situation is both unfair, unreasonable and short sighted. There are press reports
of UK expats all over the world and in Thailand being forced to live outside the UK for fear of losing their spouse and family.
The situation is unsustainable and is a source of growing resentment towards government policies that are out of touch with
what is happening on the ground. The same debate is taking place among Irish, Danish and other citizens of Europeans
countries with Thai wives or marriage partners. However the UK is by far the most restrictive country. The growth of internet
dating, interracial relationships and the increasing desire to find partners from across the world would have been fair better
served by the old visa regime for spouses of citizens from western countries.