Jump to content
BANGKOK 23 January 2019 23:24
Bountyhuntr

Travelling with Thai partner to UK, which immigration line?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

When travelling to the UK with your Thai partner, do you stay together and go through the UK passport holder line, the foreigners line, or separate lines? I thought if you are sponsoring your partner you should be with them in the same line going through immigration?

 

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s useful to the Border Force Officer if you present yourselves together, then they can ask either one of you clarification questions.

My wife and I present ourselves together, as we did when she was my girlfriend, I stand slightly behind her and say we’re traveling together, never had an issue.

We normally use whichever queue is shorter, usually the non EU line, but thar may change next year.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year when I travelled back to the UK with my Thai wife we both went through the UK Passport holder line.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

 

One quick question, how often do they ask for return tickets, and if we do not have one, is that a problem? We are not 100% on the exact day to come back(could be any day around week in Jan) and instead of having to pay money to change a flight return date, be nice to book it separately.

Edited by Bountyhuntr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our last to visits to the UK ( 2016, 2018 ) we approached an immigration officer and asked if we could go through the UK line together. Both officers then immediatly opened a third lane for us to go through together !! There was no queue at all in this lane and we went straight to the immigration counter together and were both through in 10 minutes !!  The first time was at terminal 2 the second time at terminal 3. Amazing England !

 

Tried the same thing when we returned to Thailand with the same result although there was a small queue of 10 people in front of us.

 

" ask an ye shall recieve , knock and it shall be opened unto you "

Edited by Denim
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One quick question, how often do they ask for return tickets, and if we do not have one, is that a problem? We are not 100% on the exact day to come back(could be any day around week in Jan) and instead of having to pay money to change a flight return date, be nice to book it separately.
There’s no actual requirement to have a return ticket, though Border Force Officers will sometimes ask for one, and whilst it makes their job easier they will be aware that possession of a return ticket doesn’t necessarily mean you will do so.
There is a requirement that you should actually be able to demonstrate that the means to return, a return ticket would cover that requirement, as would cash or a credit card.
My good lady has been asked twice, on one occasion the IO got shirty but backed down when I politely reminded of the rules and on the other occasion she just said thanks, and stamped the passport.
In short there is no requirement to produce one, but if you’re asked, and don’t have one, have an answer ready and be prepared to back it up with evidence.
Keep in mind that a visa is actually entry clearance, if the visa wasn’t obtained fraudulently and there has been no material change in circumstances, she will be landed.
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told by a jobsworth at Manchester Airport we needed to be in seperate lines so I put my wife in the long queue and went to find a border officer...the lady officer took me back to the queue my wife was in and put me next to my wife who was by that time close to the desk.... she was very helpful not like the twot who told me separate lines 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it’s worth I remember my wife being asked for proof of a  TB shot, couldn’t prove so was sent off to see a couple of nice lady doctors/nurses who gave her a shot. Welcome to England, delayed us for about an hour. The immigration officer wasn’t very polite and decided she needed to check her visa, every dot and t.

That was at Gatwick many years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a bad experience at Heathrow once. First time we travelled together to the UK. I asked the lady directing people if we should queue at the EC line or the foreign line as we had one passport of each. She directed us to the EC line. Having queued together the IO looked at my wifes' passport and said she had to be in the foreign line. I did mention that one of his colleagues directing people told us to come here. He abruptly told me that the people directing the flow of passengers were not his colleagues they just directed people.

I asked to see his supervisor which he was not keen on so begrudgingly he took her passport and mine (British) and without another word processed them both.

The following trip we saw a lady IO and she couldn't have been more pleasant.

Long story but I think it depends who you get and what mood they are in. Anyway my recommendation would be to go to the EC counters. Doesn't make any sense to split up a couple traveling together particularly as the number of IO officers in Heathrow that speak Thai is probably close to zero.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in UK July 18 with my Thai wife. Went to non eu line together. He asked me where we were staying and that was it. No questions for my wife.

I agree it is luck of the draw if you get someone nice or a ***t

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take her to the UK entry.

All of five minutes. 

If you see the foreign gates it's up to 2 hours and claustrophobic for a thai new arrival. 

 

They like to keep families together. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2018 at 6:52 PM, theoldgit said:

There’s no actual requirement to have a return ticket, though Border Force Officers will sometimes ask for one, and whilst it makes their job easier they will be aware that possession of a return ticket doesn’t necessarily mean you will do so.
There is a requirement that you should actually be able to demonstrate that the means to return, a return ticket would cover that requirement, as would cash or a credit card.
My good lady has been asked twice, on one occasion the IO got shirty but backed down when I politely reminded of the rules and on the other occasion she just said thanks, and stamped the passport.
In short there is no requirement to produce one, but if you’re asked, and don’t have one, have an answer ready and be prepared to back it up with evidence.
Keep in mind that a visa is actually entry clearance, if the visa wasn’t obtained fraudulently and there has been no material change in circumstances, she will be landed.

I'm not disagreeing, but without a return ticket you face the possibility of refused boarding from Thailand depending on the carrier. 

Border security officials can reject the entry if you do not have a return ticket. 

The UK Visa has an entry date on it.

Cannot enter before...

It's still at the discretion of the security officer regarding allowing entry.

Biometric print will be matched with the passport. 

The Visa and application are all visible on the officers screen.

 

I've seen it, after a friend was detained two hours because nobody was meeting her.

They brought me back to immigration to assist them with her entry.

 

So I would always have a return ticket, just to make it easier. 

 

Many people say you need.

Its not black and white. 

Well it is dependent upon the country you leave from. 

I know it says you don't need. 

But the last thing you want is disagreements with your partner on the first day of your big adventure. 😕

Edited by dallen52

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly off topic but related,last July my Thai wife and our young daughter visited the UK via Manchester, we arrived late in the evening and our arrival coincided with the arrival of a flight from Pakistan.

As we all travel on Aus passports we had to join the non EU line, where we had a delightful experience,

We were surrounded by a large group of young males who obviously had no experience in personal hygiene and who thought it entertaining to swear and shout profanities.

After tolerating this for what seemed an age and telling them to cut it out on several occasions only to receive further abuse I approached a man who seemed to be an Immigration supervisor.

After telling him of our experirience within a few minutes a group of armed police officers arrived who corralled the group and took them out of the queue.

We were immediately processed and given assistance to the baggage area and to the exit area.

Might be good Northern hospitalty but I think an airport to avoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2018 at 10:21 AM, JamesH said:

Last year when I travelled back to the UK with my Thai wife we both went through the UK Passport holder line.

I was told by an IO at Heathrow that as we were married we could use the EU line. On the next arrival, Manchester I think, there was no way to approach the desks, just EU gates. As I am looking a woman came over and asked what was the problem and I said my wife has a foreign passport so she said we must go to foreign passports. I said that I had been told married couples could use the EU desks so she reluctantly opened the line they use for people that fail the gates.

When we got to the desk the IO took one look at my wife's passport and pulled a face, he looked round and called someone over, a supervisor. This guy said to the IO 'haven't you been trained on foreign passports' and he just shook his head. The guy looked through my wife's passport and said to me that he could see she had been a few times so no problem, and then proceeded to talk the IO through it. 

There were only 2 desks for gate problems and I suspect that had there been more in the queue, particularly UK families with children, then we would have been sent to the foreign line.

I would suggest the OP just go to foreign line with partner rather than risk being sent there later.

 

On a similar note I would advise people to be cautious about going through Heathrow with BA on domestic transit. There are no gate failure desks and failures are sent to the front of the foreign line, possibly a bad day but we were over 2 hours in the queue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Legally there is no requirement to possess a return ticket. Entry should not be refused on that alone.

There is a need to be able to demonstrate the ability to pay for such a ticket.

It is (was?) easy to add a foreign partner to a credit card account and we did this (carried card and a statement confirming the credit limit). Much, much harder to get added to a bank account!

We always went to the shortest queue which often was the non-EU one as it was better staffed and quite fast moving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sponsors
×