Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15 2010


A Thai woman who won her case against the British Border Agency after being deported at the request of her Scots husband is being thwarted in her efforts to bring the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.

Kanokrat Booth, 42, says that despite winning her case against the British Border Agency, who locked her up, cancelled her residence permit, and deported her from Glasgow in May 2010, the Home Office will not re-instate her British Residency permit.

Further the British authorities were being obstructive in her attempts to return to file for divorce, take a civil case and bring the matter to attention of the European Court of Human Rights.

Mrs. Booth married Scots kilt maker Denis Booth after meeting on the internet. They first had a Buddhist wedding in Thailand and a formal wedding in Galashiels.  She lived with him in Scotland, but returned to Thailand to visit her children.

Due to her long absence Mr. Booth contacted the immigration authorities to let them know the marriage was over and also claimed she was having an affair with someone else.

Mrs.Booth strongly denied the affair but did admit there were problems with the marriage. Her husband had refused to pay her ticket back from Thailand and did not have time to pick her up at the airport.

On May 23rd Judge Gill confirmed a ruling that the British Border Agency had exceeded its powers.

Above - part of the judgment

'There is no evidence that the marriage had terminated...Accordingly the respondent's decision was contrary to Regulation (14)2 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.'

After the ruling Mrs. Booth sent her passport to the Home Office to be re-instated with her permit. She has been told the Home Office cannot re-instate it as the rules were changed last year requiring her to sit an English test.

Mr. Booth meanwhile says at 68 he cannot be bothered seeking a divorce as he has no intention of marrying again.

While the ruling at the Upper Tribunal safeguards foreign wives from being summarily deported on the instructions of their husbands, while they are still on temporary residence permits, Mrs. Booth is left with a major quandary.

 Currently she is an unofficial advisor to the Thai Labour Department on 'Marriage to Foreigners'.

But because she is still married and cannot go to the UK to file for divorce she says: 'I have lost my life, my family, my good reputation in Thai society and the respect of all Thai people who have been part of my former life.

 'According to Thai law, I, as a Thai am no longer able to buy, property, house or any other valuable item, because I need my husband's signature, which is obviously not available to me anymore.

'I cannot do any kind of business anymore in my home country, as well as in any other country, because of the missing counter signature of my husband.  I can't even get a bank loan for example.

'The UK Immigration officer in Britain confiscated my original marriage certificate and not returned it. Therefore I have problems in dealing with any authorities, due to the fact that those authorities need to see original documents.'

'Traveling internationally is not possible for me anymore, as it was in the past, due to the events at Glasgow Airport (cancellation of visa-stamps, resident permit in my passport).'

Following the UK decision to deport her she said she had been refused a European visa.

'What am I to do? I need to go to the UK to see my lawyer to file for divorce, file a civil case against the British Border Agency, and file a case with the European Court of Human Rights.

"If I am have to take my case to the European Court of Human Rights I have to be in Europe within six months of the date of the tribunal judgment, which the Border Agency have not appealed. But the Home Office have still not returned my passport and four months have passed already."

'Further the British Embassy in Bangkok says it cannot advise me which visa to apply for, had I had a passport!'

Mrs Booth, a journalist and former magazine editor has written a book called 'Miracle of Love - My husband came from the wrong button,".   She said that when her Scottish husband grumbled about her he would say he pushed the wrong button on the internet dating site.




Below is a letter from the British Border Agency to the Royal Thai Embassy in London. This letter was of course written be for the ruling were overturned in her favour.











  1. This is wrong. The appellant appealed under the EEA regulations 2006 and therefore one must assume that her residence permit was issued under the same provisions - this would only have occurred if her husband is either an EEA national ( other than British ) or had accrued EEA rights by virtue of a residence in another EEA country. Given the Judge determined the UKBA's decision to cancel her permit was unlawful it must now be reinstated. The change in Immigration rules relating to language testing do not apply to family members of those exercising treaty rights under the EEA 2006 regulations since such applications are not governed by the Immigration Act 1971. She is not required to take a test and there is no lawful ground on which the UKBA can refuse to re issue her residence permit.indeed, they are in breach of the determination of the appeal Judge.
    I don't understand why her lawyers have not pursued this in the UK.It is a simple matter and if the UKBA continue to delay then all they have to do is to lodge an action at the European court which cannot fail and where she will be entitled to damages.

  2. Well it certainly is unusual for the Thai bride to come off worse, in 25 years this is only the second time I have heard this outcome.
    It seems to me that the UK Border Agency is adopting similar tactics that the Thai authorities routinely use against my fellow countrymen who foolishly find themselves in similar circumstances.

  3. She doesn't need to return to the UK to file for divorce. She can do it just as easily in Thailand. I was married in Bangkok in the late 60s and many years later was granted a divorce by a court in Hong Kong even though my Thai wife had failed to sign or even acknowledge the divorce papers.
    And anyway, why can't she get a Thai passport and travel on that?
    This story has a lot of holes in it.

  4. Jim - (1) She has a Thai passport.(2) Without her husbands co-operation in a divorce, which she does not have, she will have to wait until they are separated for the normal legal period. (3)The crucial matter is that she wants to take the matter to the European Court and there is a six month deadline. I do not know how easy that is to do from here (4) A lot of her belongings are still in the UK. In affect while she has won her appeal she still does not get her permit back not even for long enough to tie up her affairs.

  5. I rather think something is being lost here in translation. The woman has won her appeal and can return to the UK. The UKBA by law must endorse her passport with her previous residence permit. There is nothing further to add.Frankly, there is no need to go to the European Court since the UK court has already found in her favour under the 2006 EEA regulations. As I said before, the current situation is quite simply wrong and any halfway decent lawyer in the UK would resolve in a phone call.

  6. I concur with bob, and as jim says there are lots of holes in this story

  7. I have some experience in these matters: When my former wife decided that her interests were purely monetary and divorce ensued. It was a source of amazement to female friends of foreign persuasion that I did not inform the authorities and have her removed as there was sufficient printed evidence of her antics whilst her application for a settlement visa to the U.K. were being processed. (These only came to light once she had arrived here - hence I got rid of her. Hi-So also by the way).
    My attitude was, if she wants to live in Blighty then she was most welcome to it. The fact that I was merely a means to an end caused little long term discomfort perhaps having had a long association with Thailand and the cynicism that prevails at all strata of society there.

    However, as an advisor to some government department, she must be aware that it is an offence to post one's passport across international boundaries or did she hand it in to the Blighty Embassy?

    To finalise her divorce and good name, if I recollect correctly she had visited a brother in Holland or some such place and therefore could obtain a visa to there as an EU country and do the deed?

  8. I agree with Bob...tough titties. Maybe she can now do some goodwill tours taking up the cause for jaded foreigners that have been through the same runaround she is going through and she can comfort them being in the same boat now.

  9. A few clarifications:
    Her Temporary Reside Visa Expired shortly after she was deported.
    British Embassy official refer in all cases visa applicants to the relevant forms and advice provided. This ensure not wrong advice is given.
    It is not an offence to post one's passport across international borders. British passports are no longer issued in Thailand.

  10. Westerby. I dont understand why her lawyers have not pursued this in the UK.

    Because the summary judgement given, as shown above, is also fundamentaly flawed, for instance fraud and bigamy, google serial-bigamist-emily-horne, automatically terminates any marrage, and would just as easily or certainly quickly be overturned on appeal by the respondent.

    The appellant has a wide variety of options open to her to gain the divorce she touts as wanting so badly. However the course of action she, and her solicitors, have previously taken and are currently persueing is more about seeking some form of compensation and vitriolic criticism of the UK immigration system and her partner. As I have said previously, there is far more to this woman the meets the eye, only time will tell what that is.

  11. AD - indeed, a new British passport is obtained from Hong Kong or indeed from the U.K. itself. However, that is a replacement UK passport and the Thai authorites have due notice of that provisa from the UK Home Office some years ago.

    However, in this instance you have reported that she has sent a Thai passport to the UK for this ongoing (soap) opera. As you and I are well aware there were numerous visa run companies operating in Thailand in the past wherebye passports were transported across borders for a fee. As things are someone got too greedy and that was wound up as this was then and is still now determined as being very naughty indeed. Since 9/11 - my good god Arfur', don't even contemplate it without your own Government approval!.

    Just a point that I would welcome your clarification on.

  12. TOUGH - no free lawyers and EU Court of Human Rights to fight the cases of hundreds/thousands of foreign men that have been wronged in Thailand - striped of all wealth or feed to the tigers.
    Not a very good wife, leaving her husband and sleeping around (allegedly).
    And what's all this about needing a husbands' signature to do anything - if Thailand has 19th Century laws, not the UK or husbands' problem.

  13. Lloyd: What seems startlingly obvious is that this woman is upset because she was summarily imprisoned in Glasgow and then deported on the whim of an Immigration officer acting on unverified information supplied by her husband. I suspect there have been other uncontested cases. In this case the woman was a journalist, educated, had her own home and car etc, and decided to put up a stand. The Border Agency has not appealed the judgment and can no longer do so.
    The tribunal has decided in her favour. She believes she was treated like a prostitute and is duly upset.

  14. Thaities: My son will have to get his first passport from the UK. In the future British passports could be well travelled before we receive them.
    Paul England & Co: She does not get free lawyers. While some people may get perverse satisfaction comparing her case to the fate which befalls foreign husbands in Thailand, which could also make a long book, this is really not relevant.
    There was no evidence of adultery and that is exactly the major point here. She was deported without the husband's claims being verified.
    Finally while Thailand may have outdated and discriminatory laws against women I think we are above that. We do have a reputation for fair play although some people may argue that in many immigration cases the UK can be too fair.

  15. Andrew, the woman was not summarily imprisoned as implied she was simply detained inline with UKBA policy for persons entering the UK whom for whatever reason are subject to a review of the status of their visa and right of entry into the UK. She was placed in a cell because other facilities were not available at the time of her review. By default the crown as a respondent in the matter would not automatically appeal the matter, under current UK immigration law the appellant must still prove her marrage status meets the requirements for entry, which it does not, hence she has not automatically been granted right of entry to the UK. Your statement that Mrs. Booth was deported at the request of her Scots husband is misleading, Mr. Booth and Mrs. Booth both had a legal obligation to advise the UKBA of the failure of his marrage under the terms of the visa application for the spousal visa granted to Mrs. Booth, by her own admission Mrs. Booths actions in on themselves raised enough concern for her visa to be subject to a review.

  16. Furthermore, your headline is misleading and factually wrong.
    If a Thai national is admitted under the immigration rules within the provisions of the Immigration Act 1971(and not EEA legislation)as a spouse of a person settled in the UK they are subject to a 2 year probationary period before they can apply for indefinite leave to remain. If the marriage founders within that period ( for reasons other than those associated with domestic violence and there are no children of the marriage resident in the UK ) then there is no basis for them to remain in the UK. Their leave to enter the UK can therefore be curtailed and their removal directed although they would have the right to appeal that decision exercisable in country.
    Thus an inconvenient wife can be removed before any divorce and in truth many are although it would be fair to say some choose to remain illegally and lose themselves within the community.

  17. Oh dear, Andrew.Sometimes one does grow weary. I understand why you have written the blog the way you have.After all, it's in the tradition of tabloid journalism to report human interest at the expense of facts.But, if anyone is interested this is quite simply the wrong story.
    The UKBA did not deport the woman on a whim, nor was she in fact deported, nor was she imprisoned and treated like a prostitute.
    The UKBA cancelled her residence permit on the grounds that the marriage had broken down, a conclusion reached on evidence from the husband and an examination of her lifestyle in previous months and one that would have been authorised by a Chief Immigration Officer under the expressed consent of an Inspector.She was detained in secure accommodation and removed given she had no other basis on which to remain in the UK and lacked a visa to enter the UK, a mandatory requirement for Thai nationals.The detention at an approved site is normal for any immigration case where there are no other acceptable options for temporary admission and removal is imminent. Deported implies a deportation order has been signed against her barring a return to the UK which patently isn't the case here. If she were to apply under the immigration rules for any other visa that application would be considered on its own merits.
    The point is, and one seemingly overlooked by all here, is that the UKBA screwed up in that they cancelled her residence permit on the wrong criterion.Under the regulations the spouse remains a spouse until the marriage has been terminated by order of a court in divorce proceedings UNLESS it can be demonstrated the relationship was a sham from the outset and designed to facilitate her entry into the UK.
    Since there was no evidence of the latter adduced by the UKBA and given the fact there are no divorce proceedings pending her appeal was allowed and there is therefore no bar to her return to the UK as the family member of a qualified person exercising their EEA treaty rights in the UK.
    The UKBA must restore her residence permit by order of the court.
    Talk of European Court of Human Rights is just plain silly in the context of this case and quite misleading. All the woman needs to do is to DHL her passport back to her solicitors in the UK who in turn should send it to a resolution team in the UKBA with a copy of the jusge's determination. Once she returns to the UK she can do whatever she likes and divorce her husband if she wishes. However, her right to remain would be reconsidered and if the marriage was less than 3 years then this may be doubtful.

  18. Lloyd you are wrong.The woman is not required to prove anything of the sort. Under the EEA regulations her marriage is substantive until it is terminated by divorce proceedings.Might seem daft and contrary to common sense but that's the law for you, something the UKBA and the first tier of the Appeals court also failed to appreciate.

  19. Westerby: I am not disagreeing with much of what you are saying. Had the husband and the Border Agency gone about this the right way they could have possibly provided a stronger case that the marriage did not really exist.
    However the state of marriage had still to be discussed between husband and wife.
    The allegations by the husband, particularly of adultery, were not substantiated. The court ruled there was no evidence that the marriage had been terminated.
    She has indicated that the Home Office have said they have returned her passport and her residence permit has NOT been authorised, though she has not received her passport yet.
    I presume this is a matter the lawyer does want to refer to the European Court.
    The UK Embassy has said she needs to re-apply for a visa. Which one would this be?

  20. Personally,I would argue the UKBA visa section are wrong in their advice. The residence permit was unlawfully cancelled and should be reissued. This can easily be endorsed on a letter by the UKBA, if her passport is not to hand, and forwarded to her solicitors in the UK who in turn can DHL it to the woman here in Thailand.
    The woman does not need a visa in her circumstances to enter the UK. Family members of EEA nationals or those exercising EEA conferred rights who may be visa nationals only need a family permit which is simply a document facilitating international travel. As I said before, folk in her case are not considered within the Immigration Rules but the EEA Regulations 2006. Once she is receipt of her residence permit she is free to take wing.

  21. I have now included a fuller account of the BBA's point of view.
    Westerby: My comments saying she was deported on the whim of immig officers and her husband was not included in the main body of the story, and is a reflection her view

  22. Oh dear. Now I've seen more of the papers I think I know what's happened.
    I have made a mistake in assuming from the earlier posts the woman had gained admission under EEA regulations and that her Brit husband had qualified for that avenue for his wife by working or living elsewhere in the EU.
    This is much more interesting.
    Essentially, the Tribunal has now decided to apply a principle laid out in the 2006 EEA regulations to ALL applications including those previously granted under the Immigration Rules which I now see was how the wife gained her residence permit.
    Well there it is. That 2 year probationary period cannot now be curtailed nor can the spouse be refused entry even if the marriage has fondered beyond redemption unless the marriage was annulled or terminated by divorce which within a 2 year period is extremely unlikely. I suppose it brings it into line with the EEA regulations and there now isn't the unfair bias against spouses of British citizens.
    But from a practical point of view I have no idea how the UKBA could sensibly resolve this particular case.
    Everyone is in agreement that the marriage has broken down so there would be no point in submitting an application for indefinite leave which would be the only avenue open to her to have remained in the UK on the basis of the residence permit issued to her in May 2008. That would have been refused in any event for obvious reasons although she would have had the opportunity to submit an in time appeal giving her a few more months but in the end that too would have failed and she would have had to leave the UK.
    Although her leave to remain expired in May 2010 she was refused entry before its expiry and has now won her appeal to the Tribunal. Theoretically, the UKBA could grant an extension of her erstwhile residence permit for a limited period to take into account the time she was denied by the refusal of entry. But that was in effect only a couple of weeks but it would give her time to submit a spurious application for leave to remain attracting a right of appeal. No wonder the UKBA don't want to go down that road.
    The only visa she might wish to apply for would be a visit visa to tie up loose ends etc but frankly that it isn't a runner.
    Divorce by negotiation is the only way or wait another 4 years or so and go for separation without consent.

  23. Yes. That's what I mean. She needs to get into the UK for all this legal action, but circumstances make it pretty impossible. If the court procedure is liable to take longer than a normal 6 months visa (tourist or business I do not know) then I presume it is unlikely they will grant it.

  24. The woman does not, nor did she ever, need to enter the UK to commence divorce proceedings, or collect her personal belongings left in the UK. She simply needs to grant an appropriate power of attorney to someone to act on her behalf and commence legal and civil proceedings as required. Had she done this in the first instance instead of adopting her attack stance she would most likely have obtained a more favorable outcome overall. BTW, why dont you use the DISQUS comment system, it is far cleaner and easier to use.

  25. In the article it says, 'currently she is an unofficial advisor to the Thai Labour Department on 'Marriage to Foreigners'.'

    It seems to me to be quite shocking that there is an advisor working officialy or otherwise with the Labour Department, on Marriage to Foreigners.

    Does the Thai government regard this as a type of labour?

  26. Jamie says; Does the Thai government regard this as a type of labour?

    Obviously it is work but she is Thai so there is no problem with that, if that is what you are getting at

    More importantly her actions are showing her true agenda. She is taking advantage of a system in the UK and europe where she can pursue her demands while no such opportunity would be allowed a farang here

  27. In the article it says, 'currently she is an unofficial advisor to the Thai Labour Department on 'Marriage to Foreigners'.......

    My point is that having a Marriage to Foreigners advisor in the labour department means to me that the Thai government recognises marriage to foreigners as a type of labour - work for money or financial advantage. Certainly being married to some people might be hard work but if these are not genuine love relationships and there is even government acknowledgement of this, should visas for Thai women married to foreign men be scrutinised more?

  28. I had not taken that interpretation, Jamie; but I can see where you are coming from now. My Thai lawyer believes there is evidence suggesting there are small groups of people (really confidence tricksters) who organise the entrapment of a farang into a 'loveless' marriage with the purpose of financial enrichment. It is probably common knowledge in the thai judiciary but they must keep to the letter of the law. They do sometimes judge in favour of the farang.