Thai citizens aiming to visit the UK say that it is becoming more difficult to obtain UK visas, according to reports.
The UK has denied that it has moved the goalposts since last June’s Brexit referendum. However, Pattaya Today reported that numerous readers had contacted it to complain about the difficulty they had faced obtaining a UK visa when they had successfully done so before.
The majority of UK visas issued to Thai citizens are for the purposes of visiting or settlement with family members in Britain. Applicants who spoke to the paper claimed there had been a ‘toughening up’ of the criteria, although this was denied by the UK authorities in Thailand.
One woman, whose boyfriend lives in the UK, had been hoping to stay with him over Christmas 2016 following a three-month visit in 2015. Despite having proof of their ongoing relationship and the relevant financial information, the visa application was rejected. The letter said the woman had failed to show evidence of how she supports herself on a daily basis. The woman said she did not face this level of scrutiny when she made her successful UK visa application in 2015.
The paper said it had seen several other rejection letters from people who had previously successfully applied for UK visas. They also asked for more financial information, even when information about the UK sponsor’s cash transfers was provided. One man was refused a visa because money sent to him was not in his partner’s name because the transfer had been made by a neighbour on their behalf.
A London-based entry clearance officer said: “There is comprehensive information on the Government websites. But what is most important is for applicants and sponsors to back up all their claims with up-to-date paperwork.
“Nowadays the paperwork is what counts, perhaps supplemented by a short telephone interview.”