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Many British men meet their future wives while working in Thailand, particularly in the major cities and industrial areas, and moving back to the UK might not be an option.

Many Thai women have commitments to elderly parents, and might be reluctant to leave them.

A Thai bride is not automatically granted a UK visa simply because her new husband is British.

It should be stressed that these regulations do not apply only to Thai-UK marriages, but to all marriages between British and foreign nationals.

The experience of Eugene Mc Elroy and his wife Saowanit indicates the extent to which the UK government is prepared to go to restrict such immigration.

Saowanit had lived with her husband in Northern Ireland for two and half years when her mother died in Thailand.

Photographs of the marriage ceremony will likely be requested and perhaps even photographic evidence of the engagement ceremony if there was one.

Documentation proving the marital relationship, or at least of cohabitation of the couple, may be required.

Thanit Chomphra, the Thai wife of a Manchester building contractor, states that'the British people have always been fair minded and willing to give a chance to those who work hard.' Many others feel the same.

The UK, particularly England, is now the most popular foreign source of husbands for young Thai women often seeking a way out of poverty, degrading jobs or simply a new cultural experience.

The internet has opened up a whole new world to young women in Thailand seeking dating opportunities and ultimately husbands outside their own country.

Eugene said'I am heartbroken - I have no money problems and have no mortgage'.

He went on to complain that this'silly bureaucratic law' was separating him from his wife.

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