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Can Kazakhs apply for a UK visit visa and travel to the country right now due to the Covid situation, yes or no?

Reason for visit: I am a UK citizen, my wife is Kazakh - she's in Kazakhstan right now. I am currently working to fulfil the financial requirements for a spouse visa here in the UK, but we have been apart for six months and we'd like to arrange a visit for her. Is that permitted at the moment with the covid situation?

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    AFAIK, if your wife were granted a visa, from a UK perspective she can travel and would need a pre-flight test and to self-isolate on arrival. Kazakhstan isn’t on the proposed ‘red list’, requiring mandatory hotel quarantine at your expense bbc.com/news/explainers-52544307 but that may change. You on the other hand, probably cannot travel to the airport to meet her. If I were you, I’d wait until the Government announces the path out of lockdown before you apply, or apply with an intended travel date of 3 months’ hence (assuming your wife can meet the eligibility criteria).
    – Traveller
    Jan 29 at 19:17
  • If your intention is to have your wife come to the UK to live with you, you would be better off asking at our Expatriates site, which is for people who want to live in a different country. Jan 29 at 19:38
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    Rules and regulations change quite rapidly at the moment, and might change between her getting a visa (if she gets one) and her travel. So while I understand your desire to see each other, it's going to be risky at the moment, and the easy answer is: wait. Jan 29 at 21:20
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It will be very difficult or perhaps impossible for her to secure a UK Standard Visitor's Visa. The reason is: she's your wife.

A successful visa application convinces UKVI that the applicant will leave the UK before visa expiration, presumably to return to the home country. The reasons for returning to the home country are commonly called "strong ties." The usual things presented are family members (parents, children, spouse, etc.) remaining in the home country; a good and permanent job where the employer agrees in writing that the applicant may take this time off to travel and will have the job waiting upon return; ownership of a home or business in the home country; and anything else that would draw the applicant to return to the home country, rather than overstaying in the UK.

Use the search box at the top of any "Travel.SE" page, and you can easily find many questions and answers addressing "Strong ties" and "return to home country."

Even if strong ties exist and are presented in the application, I am not convinced UKVI will allow her to visit. UKVI will assess that a married couple will or should or is invariably aiming at living together. They will believe that the real agenda is to come to the UK and live there with you. In their view, your marriage weighs heavily in increasing the liklihood she will overstay.

All in all, I think her chances of securing a UK visa are very slight. Your best course of action would be, before a visa application is filed, to consult in the UK with a solicitor well-versed in visas and immigration. A solicitor can advise you how to best present the info, or, perhaps, suggest another course of action if a visitor visa is truly not in the cards.

Finally: this Answer does not address Covid-related travel issues, which may also affect travel to and entry into the UK.

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  • thanks, I do have a solicitor who has advised much the same things. I wanted to know specifically how the Covid situation affects things.
    – marc
    Jan 29 at 19:04
  • Had you used the word "covid" in your question, I wouldn't have answered as I did. I'll suggest you amend your title and question text (use the "edit" button below your post) to reflect what you want to know, or, in the alternative, post another question instead. Jan 29 at 19:09
  • My apologies. Edited accordingly. However, in regards to what you said: she has a clean record of having been granted visit visas to the UK and left the country in accordance with her visa terms on three separate occasions. Might that have any weight at all on her future application?
    – marc
    Jan 29 at 19:14
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    @marc Previous UK visas, complied-with, would be a significant positive, IMO. Were you two married at those times? Jan 29 at 20:24
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    @marc Since this is still related to visa's I would strongly urge to pay and run it by the solicitor. While I appreciate that it's not free, anything you do on-the-side may be putting the spouse visa in jeopardy, so it will have to go to the solicitor anyway. Jan 29 at 20:42
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The UK borders aren't closed to foreigners (except if having spent the past 10 days in certain countries, NOT including Kazakhstan), so she's perfectly free to travel. Only the usual visa conditions need to be fulfilled, and then registering at https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk 48 hours before departure AND having a negative PCR, LAMP or Antigen test taken max 3 days before departure.

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