Can my Thai girlfriend come to the UK?

Can my Thai girlfriend come to the UK?

Thailand is a magical country full of pristine beaches, a luxurious tourist lifestyle and a beautiful culture. It is a place that many Brits visit every year and not only fall in love with the country itself but also with the people. 

It often happens that true love is found in Thailand and relationship sprouts between a visiting Brit and local. The problem then arises on how to continue this relationship after your holiday is over and when you must return to the UK. You may have had such a strong connection with this person and you want to continue being with them and even maybe bring them to the UK to live with you long term.

Luckily there are a number of visa routes for this scenario and in fact, a very popular inquiry for many immigration law firms all over the UK is – Can my Thai girlfriend come to the UK? 

Well, the answer is yes, and there are a number of options that will allow you to get a UK visa for Thai girlfriend depending on how serious your relationship is and what your future motives are. 

The following visa applications that we explain below apply to both girlfriends and boyfriends from abroad and the process surrounding them is exactly the same and does not only apply to people coming from Thailand. We have referred to it as girlfriends in this article as we receive more inquiries in general about girlfriends from Thailand visiting the UK rather than boyfriends.

There are two possible ways that your Thai girlfriend can come to the UK.

  1. By applying for a standard UK tourist visa which will allow your girlfriend to come on holiday to the UK to visit you for a maximum period of 6 months. 
  2. By applying for a UK Fiancé visa, but this should only be done if your relationship is more serious and you plan on marrying your Thai girlfriend within six months of her coming to the UK. 

Applying for a Tourist Visa

A visa application can be made for your Thai girlfriend to come for a holiday to see you, assuming you are a British citizen or have permanent residence in the UK. 

What should the application contain?

With the visa application (which can be made in the UK by us for your Thai girlfriend), a letter of invitation addressed ‘to whom it may concern’ needs to be provided by you setting out details of when where and how you both met, and if you have been to Thailand before and have met her parents then such details will also be relevant to provide. Please note any documents that are not in English should be translated into English by a professional translator.

As to your immigration status in the UK, documentary evidence as to your ID documents certified as true copies of the originals, preferably by a solicitor, and including details of your income details should be provided, together with your accommodation where your Thai girlfriend will stay, and confirmation that there will be no overcrowding at the property, and if you rent it, that you have the landlord’s consent for your girlfriend to stay with you there for the duration of her holiday. A copy of the landlord’s consent should also be attached with the tenancy agreement.

A recent bank statement from you as to the state of your funds, dated not later than 28 days prior to the date of the application, showing your salary paid into your account and a letter from your employers confirming your employment and gross and net earnings as reflected in the bank statement should be provided. To learn more about what immigration services we provide, click here

What you should avoid doing

It is important not to give the visa officer any concerns that your Thai girlfriend will not leave the UK after her six-month visit visa comes to an end and will not, therefore, try to stay on in the UK based on a relationship with you. It may be that she cannot stay for six months anyway, and in our view it would be more credible to set a period of stay for less than six months, to show she has to return to work for example and thus has other commitments to attend to in Thailand. We say this because visa officers at the British Embassy in Thailand may suspect the nature of the visit visa application, thinking that she may not return, so it will be important for you to confirm in your invitation letter that during the period of her stay here she will not claim any public funds and that she will be fully maintained and accommodated by you. Furthermore, she will not seek any form of employment paid or unpaid.

Your Thai girlfriend, in turn, should confirm in her statement that she has no intention to overstay her visa, and will leave the UK before the end of her tourist visa. She should also show with evidence that she has strong connections with Thailand in terms of home, family, work (proof of employment) for example and that she has no intention to abandon these commitments and try to stay in the UK unlawfully. 

If there is any prospect of future marriage, it would be appropriate to make it clear as regards future intentions, but that, in any event, were you both to go down that route, you will deal with it correctly in accordance with the immigration rules, by your Thai girlfriend applying for a spouse visa from outside the UK, but that this visit to the UK is just a holiday and to see whether she likes Great Britain, it’s culture and the way of life of the British people.

How is the application made?

The application will be made online by us for your Thai girlfriend, and we shall advise on the uploading of the documents and when she will need to attend the Embassy compound to take her fingerprints (biometric fingerprints) and any original documents that may be required. The application fee is £1,846.

If the application is refused, other than a judicial review, there is no appeal, but a further application for entry clearance can be made. 

If you are a British citizen or permanent resident who is planning on marrying your Thai girlfriend, but before marriage you would like to see what it is like living together in the UK, then your Thai girlfriend can apply for a visa in Thailand or from abroad to enter the UK as a Fiancée. For this visa to be granted, it is of great importance to show that your relationship is genuine and that you both intend to live together permanently upon marriage, but it is not necessary to show that you both had been living together prior to making the application.

Applying for a UK Fiancé Visa 

The other scenario for bringing your Thai girlfriend to the UK is to apply for a UK Fiancé visa. However, this should only be done if your relationship is serious, and you plan to marry your Thai girlfriend within six months of her living in the UK. 

What are the main requirements for the UK Fiancé visa?

  1. Intention to Marry: The Thai candidate and his or her British partner must plan to get married within six months of the applicant’s arrival in the UK.
  2. Evidence of Genuine Relationship: Both partners must have met in person and intend to live together permanently. Documentation to prove the relationship is genuine may include photographs, correspondence, travel records, etc.
  3. Financial Requirement: The sponsor has to satisfy the financial requirements to show that they can support their Thai partner without using public funds. 

    The UK government has increased the spouse visa financial threshold to £29,000 as of April 11th 2024, and will further escalate to £38,700 by the beginning of 2025. For the latest information regarding family visa financial requirements, kindly refer to our dedicated page on financial requirements or contact our team.

  4. Adequate Accommodation: Proof must be provided that there is suitable accommodation available in the UK for both the applicant and the sponsor. This might involve rental agreements or proof of property ownership.
  5. English Language Requirement: In accordance with the circumstances, the Thai candidate may need to pass an English test from an institution that is accepted in the UK.

How long does the Fiancé Visa last?

Successful applicants are granted a six-month visa to come to the UK and marry their British partner. The visa can be extended for another six months from within the UK if reasonable grounds can be shown that the marriage could not take place within the first six months. 

What happens after the marriage takes place?

Once you are married, your Thai wife can remain in the UK based on marriage. Whilst the fiancé/ fiancée visa can only be applied for by way of entry clearance from abroad, the marriage/ spouse visa following the grant of the fiancé/ fiancée visa can be applied for whilst the applicant is in the UK.

Once your Thai wife has been granted leave to remain in the UK on the basis of marriage, then the grant of leave should be for 2.5 years followed by a further grant of the same amount of time (2.5 years), and after a five-year period of living in the UK, an application can be made for indefinite leave to remain.

Can I bring my Thai wife to the UK?

Certainly! If you’re a British citizen or a person with permanent residence in the UK and you wish to bring your Thai wife to live with you in the UK, you will need to comply with several legal requirements and follow specific procedures.

UK Spouse Visa

If you are a British national married to a Thai citizen, the UK Spouse Visa is a key option to get your partner over to the UK. This visa permits foreign spouses of British citizens to come and live in the UK for a particular duration.

The application process for a UK Spouse Visa involves several stages and specific requirements that must be met. The visa requirement includes the following:

  • Proof of a Genuine Relationship: You need to prove that your relationship with your Thai wife is genuine and that you both intend to live together permanently in the UK. Documents that may support this include marriage certificates translated into English, photographs, and correspondence.
  • Financial Requirement: There are certain financial requirements that must be met. 

    As per the latest updates from the UK government, the financial threshold for all family visas is £29,000 as  of April 11th 2024, with a further increase to £34,500 later in 2024 and then to 38,700 by the start of 2025. Ensure you’re up-to-date with these changes by visiting our family visa financial requirements page or by contacting our office directly.

  • Accommodation: Adequate accommodation must be arranged where your Thai wife will stay. Documents to verify ownership or the landlord’s consent, along with the tenancy agreement, may be needed.
  • English Language Test: Depending on your Thai partner’s circumstances, an English language test may be needed to fulfil the language requirement.

To apply for the Spouse visa, start the application online, filling out all the required information about your relationship and financial status. After completing the form, pay the necessary fees online. The Thai partner will then need to make a reservation at a Visa Application Centre in Thailand to give fingerprints and a picture.

Submit all the needed documents, which would include your marriage certificate, evidence of a genuine relationship, financial proof, and others. After attending the biometric appointment and providing all necessary documents, wait for the application’s decision. Once approved, your spouse can then travel to the UK. 

After living in the UK for a specific period, usually five years on a Spouse Visa, your Thai wife can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This allows her to live in the UK without time restrictions.

FAQs

The cost for a UK Fiancé visa or a UK visitor visa for a Thai girlfriend varies based on the visa type and application centre. Generally, the fiance visa application fee is £1,846, which comes with the Immigration immigration health surcharge fee of £1035 (each year). There can be other fees like the biometric fee, English language test fee, etc. These fees are subject to change so make sure you contact us for the latest fee brackets if you are unsure. 

Yes, you can marry your Thai girlfriend in the UK if she is granted a UK Fiancé visa. This visa is specifically designed for partners intending to come to the UK and marry their partner within six months of entry.

On a visitor visa, your Thai girlfriend can typically remain in the UK for up to 6 months. If she has a fiancée visa, it will also last for 6 months and can be converted to a spouse visa after marriage. The spouse visa allows 2.5 years of residence in the UK with the possibility of extension for the same period of time.

A Thai national on a visitor or fiancée visa is not privileged to work in the UK. Once married and on a spouse visa, she is typically allowed to work in the UK. Working conditions should be confirmed with the specific terms of the visa.

The £18,600 can be made up of income from employment, self-employment, pension, or savings. It may also include non-work income, such as rental income, depending on the specific rules and requirements at the time of application. Please note that this threshold will raise to £38,700 by spring 2024.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.

    Share This Post

    WhatsApp
    Telegram
    Email
    Facebook
    Twitter
    LinkedIn

    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. This site uses reCAPTCHA and is protected by the Google privacy policy and terms of service.