Thankyou British Embassy

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
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115
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Trip End Mar 29, 2011


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Flag of Thailand  , Roi Et,
Monday, November 22, 2010

Off to Phon Thong on the bike this morning and catch a local bus to Roi Et about 1 hour away.  Bus is really busy and I end up standing for most of the trip.  Conveniently the office where Jai's documents have been couriered to is right next to the bus station so we are soon opening the letter from the British Embassy.  We are both stunned to see that this year, after 5 years of granting a visa without a problem, they have decided to refuse a visa for Jai to come to England next year.
Take bus back to Phon Thong and I dont think that I spoke all of the way back.  Grab some lunch, run Jai out to the farm then I come back into Phon Thong to try and get in touch with the Embassy.  I have studied the documents, the application process and the Embassy's reply especially there reasons for refusal and it looks as though it was probably my fault although I believe that they have over reacted.
I was fed up with having to get a 6 month visa every year so this time we had applied for a 5 year visa.  I had read that this was a 'long stay' visa and thus didnt envisage that there was any restrictions upon the length of stay each year.  When asked in the application form when we intended to come to the UK and when we intended to leave I had just put March - October 2011, flights yet to be booked.
The reply from the Embassy points to this single response and states that as we have said we would be in England for 7 months we obvioulsy had no intentions of returning to Thailand within the 6 months permitted by the visa and therefore they had to refuse.  OK, if there is a 6 month restriction on the visa then they have acted according to the letter of the law.  Alternatively they could have granted the visa and pointed out that there was a six month restriction, they could have phoned us up to query our travel dates, or any number of other options.  To refuse with no right of appeal seems to me to be a little over the top.  Re-reading the visa definitions indicates that the 5 year visa still has a 6 month per visit restriction but alows multiple entries throughout the period of the 5 years.  Where I read 'long stay' it actually says 'long term'.  Whoops !!!
I searched the British Embassy website but they are not interested in visa correspondence at all and it referred me to a visa helpline at the offices of the agency who deals with their visa appliocations.  I have e-mailed them explaining the situation, stating that I appear to have made a mstake in reading the regulations and that we have no intention of overstaying a visa and as we do not yet have travel dates it is no problem to conform to the 6 months restriction.  They must have thought that I was totally bonkers to be applying for a 6 month visa then stating that we would be staying for 7 months on the application form.
The Embassy is usually completely intransigent about these things and in the end I will probably have to reapply for a fresh visa - and pay again of course !!  If I do reapply it will only be for a 6 month visitor visa and not trhe 5 year option.  That can wait till next year and we will try again.
Watch this space ...
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