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UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2452
Experience:  I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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Wife on first 30 month settlement visa, and first arrived march

Customer Question

Wife on first 30 month settlement visa, and first arrived march this year in UK.
I am UK settled Citizen.
We will have baby born soon in UK. ( so assume will be UK citizen at birth)
(securing the Settlement visa was straightforward, but massive task and took over 3 months to secure decision, and becoming unbelievably difficult when abroad to secure a visa to come to UK.)

My Wife's current 30 month visa conditions look near impossible to comply with, restricting her to be out of UK for just 90 days a year ongoing.
It looks very doubtful if my wife can stay in UK each year, for the 5-6 years to secure nationality , whilst complying with the 90 day absence restriction per year.
( just too home sick, plus trying to establish a business online in Thailand, and sick parents in Thailand)

Is there any options we could consider to increase travel frequency abroad, without being detrimental to her current visa. ( bearing in mind that every trip would be with me, and UK passport baby)
I worry that if she travels in/out of UK for the next 30 months as we suggested, then automatically UK Borders agency will not renew this visa for second 30 month period.
In addition they may see that we have abused the visa they supplied, therefore making it harder to apply for a more suitable travel visa.

Secondly my preference would be to stay in UK most of year, but travel abroad for 90 days, and then later in the year another 90 days. ( to ensure I do not loose NHS entitlement etc)
In also plan to buy a house in UK soon for us to stay when we in UK (primarily the 6 summer mths)

Do not want to compromise her visa.
But in retrospect maybe we should have applied for some other type of multiple entry visa that would be easy ongoing to secure and use.

If we decided to go back and live in Thailand, how easily would it be ( and what type of visa could we ongoing easily secure) so that quick and frequent visits for my wife to come to the UK accompanying me ( and our son ( both UK settled citizens).
Would be totally impractical to have to apply every time she wants to travel with me to UK ( along with her UK passported son). and mountains of documents required my make it impractical
( for example my mum is very old, and lives in UK, and if she unwell we would need to travel very soon after notification, and impossible to wait for visa approval)

If you recommend we apply for a different visa for my wife, then do we apply now, or use ( and abuse) the 30 month settlement visa she currently holds.?
At worst case we want to avoid the arduous task of applying abroad via local Embassy's to secure visa.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 3 years ago.

Hi thank you for your question. Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE so I can get credited for my time


Yes this does seem to be a bit of an issue for your wife. The fact is that she does have leave to remain in the UK on a settlement visa which is issued for 30 months, now during those 30 months she would not breach her visa conditions if she was to remain outside of the UK for longer than the 90 days indicated.

In respect of your first concern, yes if you continue using the visa for a spouse and are not present in the UK the home office would prefer it if you informed that this visa is not appropriate and you would require a different type of visa. Now in terms of applying for further leave to remain, there is no requirement that you would have to be in the UK for 90 days prior to applying for an extension, but as you correctly mentioned if you have not used the visa for the purpose it was issued for ie settlement then the home office will get suspicious and may question you intent, but would not be a strong grounds of refusal provided that sufficient evidence ie business, family health can be provided for her having to travel outside of the UK.


The only visa she would be able to apply for is a visit visa which would be granted for 6 months and thereafter she would need to apply again every time she enters the UK it would basically be everything you have mentioned in your question and would not be ideal in your situation.


Should she wish to travel in and out of the UK on a spouse visa, although it is not necessarily a breach of her visa conditions, what it may mean is that next time she applies for an extension the home office may scrutinise the application/applicant's intention more. The fact is that if she does abuse this visa then , it would be difficult for her to obtain further leave to remain (but not impossible), but if she switches to a different visa it would definitely be a case of applying every time she wishes to enter the UK.


If over the 60 months she does not meet the residential requirements to apply for indefinite leave to remain then what this would mean is that she would need to keep on applying for further leave to remain until she is able to meet the requirements for indefinite leave to remain. The home office will not grant indefinite leave to remain to individuals whom cannot demonstrate an intention to remain and settle in the UK indefinitely.


I hope the information given above helps you to make up your own mind as to what the best route for you to follow is. I know this is a a lot of information to take in and I would be happy to clarify and issues with you. I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively. If however, you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question, please DO NOT rate my answer negatively, I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regard



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Thanks for the response.

still waiting for reply to the following sent a few days ago




Still digesting the information, so please give me more time.

However I understand the 90 day rule works like this
1 max 90 days outside country in calendar year, i.e. 2013
2 max 90 days out of country in all subsequent years ( years 2-6) until ILR/Citizenship secured
3 max 90 days outside country in the last 12 months before you
(A- re apply for second 30 month visa- u already replied no need provided 90 max in all previous calendar years?)
B apply at end of the second visa ( 5 years ) for ILR/
C same applies in year 6 assuming no delays, once ILR secured, and before you secure citizenship.

( appreciate this is simplistic timeline, as dependant on when you secure ILR will then depend when you can start applying ( and passing all tests ) prior to applying for citizenship) if that makes sense

Citizenship perhaps is not achievable, or may not be desirable for my wife, as after 5/6 years my preference would be to live abroad, and only reason for wife to travel will be to visit friends and family in UK and finalise/complete my estate in the fullness of time...

Is there no other family type multiple visa that we should consider, bearing in mind she will be travelling to UK to see me ( husband) or to see her son?

With regard to informing home office that current visa is inappropriate, and can we apply for a more appropriate visa.
Assume we just write to them, ( ensuring we send by registed post ) ,Also assume that maybe we do not need to do now ( as we are only 2 months into the 30 month visa). but certainly contact them before last 12 remaining months of this visa commences.( at least that should give us some flexibility in next 16 months )

Presume the visit visa you are talking about is the same as tourist visa? as I remember in some circumstances they can be applied as multiple entry within a 12 month period?

clearly if we careful with travel within the first 30 month visa, (and secure its renewal) then that is probably the first milestone. If then subsequently she was out of the country for more than 90 days in the years before ( this second visa ) expires, then at least she will be in UK, and they will not be sending her home, but clarify situation and provide her another visa ( further leave to remain) for a period ( maybe 1 year ?) to allow her to meet the conditions required.

Assume also that even visisting EU country counts towards the maximum 90 day criteria

( from our experience securing visa from abroad is the most arduous and time consuming task, and I am sure it will only get worse. bearing in mind our intentions are honourable the process is clearly designed to ensure its made as hard as possible to travel to UK.) our dream of quick and frequent visits looks doomed, unless you have any other suggestions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

still awaiting last reply.will rate when question fully answered if thats ok

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