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Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the application?

Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the application?

Old Jul 25th 2016, 2:17 am
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Default Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the application?

Hi

I am a British expat living in Hong Kong. I have two kids with British passports. My wife is Hong Kong born Chinese.

We plan to move back to the UK in July 2017

1. When do i need to start the application process?
2. Is there an extensive and simple list of documents needed?
3. Anybody can recommend a good and helpful agency?

Thank you
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Providing your wife meets the requirements for a UK spouse visa and you can meet the requirement to sponsor your wife (particularly the financial requirements) then the earliest your wife could apply would be three months before your proposed arrival date.

I suspect 'extensive and simple' is an oxymoron but there is a concise guide available on the wiki.

There are plenty of immigration advisers who will take your money but unless you are making an appeal or going to an immigration tribunal then it is usually a waste of money as all the information is freely available from the GOV.UK website and there are many people on this forum who are happy to help you with any questions for free.

I would add that if your wife holds or is entitled to a BN(O) passport then it would be preferable for her to use it for the immigration process as it would give her extra rights whilst in the UK on a visa and a cheaper route to naturalisation once she is eligible.
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Many thanks. What additional benefits would the BNO passport give her?
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by markandebony View Post
Many thanks. What additional benefits would the BNO passport give her?
The main benefits would be treated as a Commonwealth citizen which would mean she have the right to vote in all UK elections and be eligible to apply for almost all reserved civil service jobs. She would also be able to register as a British citizen rather than naturalise when the time comes which attracts a lower fee.
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 3:53 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Thank you. Not sure if BNO passports are still available or if so she need to give up her HK SAR passport. Will research but thanks for the help. Once the visa is granted, how long is it active for, or how soon after being granted must you return to the UK
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by markandebony View Post
Thank you. Not sure if BNO passports are still available or if so she need to give up her HK SAR passport. Will research but thanks for the help. Once the visa is granted, how long is it active for, or how soon after being granted must you return to the UK
You can hold a BN(O) and a HKSAR passport concurrently however she would have needed to have been registered as a BN(O) before the Handover.
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Old Jul 25th 2016, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Just a few non immigration related points you may wish to consider -

1) Open an UK bank account in Hong Kong before coming to the UK. Both HSBC and the Bank of East Asia offer this service.

https://www.hsbc.com.hk/personal/hsb...s-account.html

Services

2) Does she have a Hong Kong driving licence? If she does, she can exchange her Hong Kong driving licence to an UK one without the need for a driving test.

https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-...tain/hong-kong

3) It would be best if she applies for a National Insurance Number as soon as she arrives in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

4) Keep your family's (you, your wife and the children's) Hong Kong bank accounts even after the whole family moves to the UK.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 12:16 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by HKG3 View Post
Just a few non immigration related points you may wish to consider -

1) Open an UK bank account in Hong Kong before coming to the UK. Both HSBC and the Bank of East Asia offer this service.

https://www.hsbc.com.hk/personal/hsb...s-account.html

Services

2) Does she have a Hong Kong driving licence? If she does, she can exchange her Hong Kong driving licence to an UK one without the need for a driving test.

https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-...tain/hong-kong

3) It would be best if she applies for a National Insurance Number as soon as she arrives in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

4) Keep your family's (you, your wife and the children's) Hong Kong bank accounts even after the whole family moves to the UK.
Very useful information. 👍🏻
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

One question for the OP, is he a Hong Kong permanent resident?

If the OP is a Hong Kong permanent resident and not ethnic Chinese, he will lost his permanent resident status once he is away from Hong Kong for more than 3 years.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by HKG3 View Post
One question for the OP, is he a Hong Kong permanent resident?

If the OP is a Hong Kong permanent resident and not ethnic Chinese, he will lost his permanent resident status once he is away from Hong Kong for more than 3 years.
Good point. I have an ethnically Burmese friend who travels back to Hong Kong every two years for a holiday in order to keep her PR status active.
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by HKG3 View Post
Just a few non immigration related points you may wish to consider -

1) Open an UK bank account in Hong Kong before coming to the UK. Both HSBC and the Bank of East Asia offer this service.

https://www.hsbc.com.hk/personal/hsb...s-account.html

Services

2) Does she have a Hong Kong driving licence? If she does, she can exchange her Hong Kong driving licence to an UK one without the need for a driving test.

https://www.gov.uk/exchange-foreign-...tain/hong-kong

3) It would be best if she applies for a National Insurance Number as soon as she arrives in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

4) Keep your family's (you, your wife and the children's) Hong Kong bank accounts even after the whole family moves to the UK.
Thank you very much. Really useful.
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Regarding the driving licence I understood you need to be resident in the UK for 180 days before you can exchange your license. However you may drive on your HK license in the meantime. Am I correct? Or you can exchange as soon as you land in the UK
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

I am searching for a tick box style checklist for documents we need to collate for our spouse visa application. Any idea where I may find such a list. We are moving from HK to the UK.
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

I want to create an account on the visa4uk site. It is my wife who is applying for a spouse visa so should the account be in her name or it doesn't matter? can you complete part of the application and then save it as you go along?

Thanks
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Old Aug 3rd 2016, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Planning to return to the UK in July 2017 - When do I need to start the applicati

Originally Posted by markandebony View Post
Regarding the driving licence I understood you need to be resident in the UK for 180 days before you can exchange your license. However you may drive on your HK license in the meantime. Am I correct? Or you can exchange as soon as you land in the UK
Was the OP off work due to Typhoon Nida?

Your wife can drive in the UK using her Hong Kong driving licence or Hong Kong issued International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to a year. However, I would suggest your wife to get an International Driving Permit from the Hong Kong Transport Department before coming to the UK -

http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/com...lable_eng_.pdf

The cost of an IDP is low and it would make life a lot easier for driving in mainland Europe.
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