I wish to apply for a visa for my Thai girlfriend (of 3 years) to accompany me on a business trip lasting 5-7 days to the United Kingdom. I am a UK national by birth, but have been resident in Hong Kong for the past 10 years.
She currently holds a 10 year US B1/B2 visa, and were able to use this to gain a 24 hour concessional entry to the UK on a previous trip that involved an 8 hour layover in London. She also has previously been granted an Australian tourist visa, but she was refused a visa for Canada.
The Canadian visa was disapproved on the grounds we provided insufficient evidence that she would return to Thailand after her visit. This came as quite a surprise considering she held a 10 year US B1/B2 visa and we had provided a fair amount of supplementary information.
We have travelled together extensively over the past 12 months, as my work frequently requires global travel.
We have a house and a car in Thailand (although both are formerly registered in her mother's name since we are not married, and she is unable to access sufficient credit). She has a 4 year old son that lives with us. I spend around 30% of my time co-habiting with her family in Thailand, 30% in Hong Kong (where I am separated from my wife but have 2 children), and 40% of my time on the road.
My girlfriend does not work, but I have been making regular payments over the past 30 months. She also has a credit card sponsored by me with a limit in excess of GBP 10k.
I have zero ties in the UK, and I can count the days I have spent in the UK over the past 10 years on my fingers. However, I am nervous that this application may be viewed as an attempt to circumvent the stricter fiancee / marriage visa formalities, even though I am still not legally divorced.
My questions are as follows:
- what to declare as the purpose of the trip - tourist, visiting friend, visiting family or business (we will be visiting friends and family on this trip)?
- what information to provide to avoid any possibility of being suspected of not returning at the end of the trip?
- will a copy of the credit card statement with the available limit qualify as adequate funds?
- as I will be sponsoring the trip and am also her principal source of income, what information should I provide about my personal circumstances?
I don't want to over-engineer the application with information that will be largely irrelevant, but equally, I don't want a refusal or a drawn out back and forth process. I have had no qualms about previous visa applications, but the Canadian refusal, and the fact that I am a UK Citizen have made me cautious about how to approach this one.
Over the course of previous applications, we have been asked to provide (and are able to provide again) the following:
Thai House book Car purchase documents Son's birth certificate Girlfriend's divorce certificate Girlfriend's passport and travel history Girlfriend's family details (Mother, Father, siblings) Joint boarding passes for previous trips Photos next to prominent landmarks Photos with Thai family with house, car, etc. Statement of all support payments made over past 2 years My employment verification My Thai Bank account (currently around GBP 6k) My Hong Kong bank account (showing monthly salary exceeding GBP 10k) My passport showing over 60 entries to Thailand in the past 3 years Provisional itinerary / hotel / flight bookings
Joint trip history over the past 12 months:
Japan (5 days) Singapore (3 days) Hong Kong (2 days) London (24 hour concession in transit to USA) USA (10 days) United Arab Emirates (4 days) Hong Kong (2 days) Macau (1 day) Hong Kong (2 days) USA (9 days) Hong Kong (3 days) Australia (5 days) Hong Kong (2 days)