After you have decided to relocate back to the UK with your Thai wife, her ultimate objective will be to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which will mean that she is a permanent resident in the UK. She will no longer be subjected to a time limit such as the five years with a UK Spouse Visa or six months with a UK Tourist Visa.
How Do I Obtain ILR?
There are several ways in which you can obtain ILR, but the most common is after the applicant has been living in the UK for five years, and we will focus on this area. However, if your Thai wife has spent a considerable amount of time back in Thailand during the initial five years, this may affect her eligibility to apply. Sustained absences can also be an obstacle if your Thai wife wishes to apply for British Nationality. It is something that she will be able to do as soon as she has been granted ILR.
Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
Once she has been granted ILR, her BRP will have “Indefinite Leave to Remain” or “No Time Limit” added to it, proving to the authorities that she has permanent residence status in the UK. It is worth noting that your BRP will be valid for ten years, much like a British Passport, and she will need to apply for a new one at the end of this period.
The Home Office suggests that she shouldn’t wait too long before applying for a replacement, and indeed, it should be done three months before the card expires. Always remember to take she BRP with her when travelling abroad to avoid complications at immigration when re-entering the UK.
Some people and maybe your Thai wife is one of them, hold ILR but do not hold a BRP. If this is the case, she can apply to obtain a BRP so that she can prove her status within the UK. It is known as a “No Time Limit” application.
If your BRP card is lost or stolen, this must be reported to the nearest police station as well as informing the Home Office so as the card can be cancelled. An application must then be made for a replacement BRP card.
Is it Possible to Lose ILR?
The simple answer to this is “yes”. If your Thai wife ceases to reside in the UK, her ILR will be cancelled. In most cases, this means that your Thai wife has not lived in the UK for a continuous period of two years or more. However, if she has gained citizenship, this cannot be cancelled even if she does not live continuously in the UK.
We Can Help
If you would like more information about Indefinite Leave to Remain or any other UK visa issue, you can call us on +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively contact us via our website.