How to get a UK Visa
You must apply online and at the end it will allow you to book an appointment - go to VFS Global to book an appointment. Or easier still, tell your girlfriend to call them and make an appointment.
Write a covering letter outlining who and how you met and what is included in your application.
Write a reference sheet outlining where the evidence to support your statements can be found because if you want your visa processed quickly then make it easy for the VSO to find answers quickly.
The evidence you need is:
• Proof that you are a British Citizen, Passport and Birth Certificate are the minimum.
• Proof that you are a UK resident, a recent Utility Bill Telephone Bill and Council Tax.
• Proof that you can support her, Floor plan and description of your property. Your Tenancy Agreement or Title Deeds or a statement from your building society. Your last six months payslips (not any six months). Your last six bank statements and an up to date mini statement showing your current balance. If you use Internet banking get your branch to stamp each sheet and add a compliment slip to validate their authenticity. A reference from your employer. Your last P60, if you do not have it ask your employer for one or ask them for your tax office reference and ask them for one. note: there is now a minimum requirement for income of £18600.
• Proof that you did meet previously, 4 or 5 photographs with you both in the picture and write on the back where and when they were taken. If you travelled with a friend to Thailand get them to write a witness statement.
• Proof that you have maintained regular contact, your phone bills (use a premium service to keep the cost down, try 0844 869 9900).
• Get her to go to an Internet cafe and get an email address, print out some of your emails both sent and received.
• Proof that you have been supporting her, receipts for money transfers and highlight her account number on your bank statements.
• Proof that you are available to marry, Decree Absolute or a witness statement that you have never been married.
• Ask your local registry office for a reservation and ask them to write to confirm the date.
Send this in your pack to show you intend to marry.
• Your lady will have to provide a birth certificate (bai gert or suu dti baat) she may not have one and she can get it from the District Office (Amphur). She has to prove she is single and can get that from the District Office as well. If she has changed her name at any time she also needs a certificate for that.
• She needs a passport which she can get from Passport Office Passport Division, Department of Consular Affairs, 123 Chaengwattana Rd, Laksi, BKK 10210, Tel: 02981-7171-99. Last time I had to get one it was 1200 Baht.
• She will need 4 passport photos' but get 6 to be on the safe side and she will have to get a chest x-ray certificate to show she is clear of T.B.. This can be obtained by going to the International Organization for Migration (I.O.M.), 8th Floor, Kasemkij Building, 120 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500, tel: Tel: 0066 2234 7950. The fee was 2600 Baht but may have gone up recently. This x-ray must be done at the same time as the Visa application but you have to make an appointment before you go. This is supposed to be 24 hours beforehand but I have several times obtained it on the same day.
• There is a choice of hospitals that you must use; 1) Phyathai 2 in Samsennai or 2) Bumrungrad in Sukhumvit 3. Phyathai is the nearest but I think Bumrungrad is nicer. Both are very quick because paying customers are given priority. Once you have your x-ray, you have to go back to the IOM for your certificate of health.
• She has to take the a1 Level English test and obtain a certificate to send with her application (this does not apply to tourist visas). You can review details of the requirement at Pearson PTE. There is some confusion about the English test being scrapped. This is not the case and is a requirement. There are some useful links and practice material on my blog at Waitresses and English tests.
• Do not send alternatives such as ten photos' and no Utility bills. Do not send copies, scanned images or bits of notepaper, and a letter from your mum is not sufficient.
Lastly and most importantly:
• Do not forge any documents. Any document the ECO thinks is a forgery he will pass to the Police and your spouse WILL be arrested.
• You will need photocopies of relevant documents to send with the originals. Also official translations of Thai documents. If any documents are copies (such as your passport which you need) you must sign it yourself and print your name below.
• If you are missing any of the above documentation do not proceed with your application and do not assume using a Visa service will be easier, they will need exactly the same information to make your application.
• Take your application pack to the VFS Office in person at The Trendy Office Building, 28th Floor, Sukhumvit Soi 13, Klongtoey-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110.
• If you do not have a tenancy agreement you can download this one and get your landlord to sign it. Can't help homeowners, that would be counterfeiting.
• If you are not sure how to layout a covering letter? There is an example here.
How long will the decision take?
• All visas should take 5 to 10 working days. Settlement takes up to 30 days VFS Global Thailand
• The decision is often subject to an interview which can be held in Thai or English so get your girlfriend to practice and make sure she knows you. The questions are unpredictable but they are usually like these. Most girls fail the interview because they do not know the answers to simple questions or they get caught out lying.
They feel expensive but really they are not. The visa for spouse fee is currently $1700 (today's exchange rate is about £1140.00). There is also a NHS health insurance premium of £600.00
Warning: and some things in Thailand never change - if anybody inside or outside the Trendy Building is not wearing a uniform, you are not interested in talking to them. VFS security, staff, and reception clerks wear uniforms, the rest are vultures looking for an earner.
Visa success is individual. You are not necessarily entitled under your circumstances and anachak is not responsible for your success. Do not assume following the above means you will succeed. If you are unsure please email me with your concern. Most of all, do not ask me a question then ask a second opinion. I am happy to help because this is a stressful experience but I am not interested in an argument.