The "Married to a Thai" One Year Visa
The Thai Marriage Visa is one of the most common, and yet highly misunderstood, visas. It is also probably the most difficult to obtain in Thailand aside from the notoriously complex business visa. A marriage visa is normally sought by foreigners under the age of 50 years old, as before that age they cannot apply for their easier to obtain retirement visa.
The Thai marriage visa is just what it sounds like. It means you are legally married to a Thai national and have met certain documentary and financial prerequisites. Do not expect an easy ride from the Thai Immigration authority. For many years their attitude has been, “if you are not 50 years old or older, why are you not overseas and working instead of lazing in Thailand?” They are suspicious you might attempt working without a work permit or use your marriage as an ‘easy way in’ to the country.
Immigration may visit your home and ask your neighbours to confirm that they know you and your wife as a couple. This is to determine that it is not just a marriage of convenience in order for you to get a visa. Providing that you have a good relationship with your neighbours this should be a fairly straight forward procedure.
Check out the financial and documentary requirements below.
Financial Criteria for the marriage extension.
- You can deposit 400,000 Thai baht in a savings or a fixed deposit account in a Thai bank and leave it there for 2 months before you apply for your first visa and three months before applying for each consecutive visa.
- You can show an income of 40,000 Thai baht per month by obtaining a letter of confirmation from your associated Embassy,
- This must be the foreign man’s own income, it cannot be a joint income or the wife’s income. It should not be paid into a joint account.
- If you are a foreign lady married to a Thai man then there is no financial requirement for your extension of stay.
A Visa Is Needed to Start The Process.
Before you apply for a marriage visa, you must make sure that before you come to Thailand you apply for a non immigrant 90 day visa from a Thai consulate in your home country.
This visa is getting more difficult to obtain so you must show your Thai marriage certificate and income or monies in a Thai bank account. If you have children together it is always advisable to show the birth certificates as well.
You must remember if the documents are only in Thai that you must get them translated to English before you apply for the 90 day visa whilst overseas.
If you are in Thailand and wish to apply for the visa you can travel to a Thai consulate in a neighboring country, i.e. Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc., using the same paperwork and return on a 90 day non immigrant visa.
Documents required at Thai Immigration.
- Your passport, your wife’s passport, and copies
- Husband/Wife’s ID card
- Husband/Wife’s household registration AKA tabian baan
- Children’s birth certificates if available
- Your legal marriage certificate
- Bankbook in Thailand showing funds of 400,000 Thai baht or a letter from your Embassy showing income of 40,000 Thai baht per month.
7. Letter from your Thai bank confirming your funds
8. Drawn location map of your residence
9. Proof of where you reside with your husband/wife, if you rent you need a copy of the ID card and the household registration of the owner
10. 2 photographs together inside your home
11. 2 photographs outside the home showing the house or condo number
You must provide two sets of photocopies for all the above and also the original documents to the Thai Immigration bureau for their perusal.
What happens when the documents are given.
When you have collated both copies of the documents you will then submit them to the Thai Immigration in your home area. They will check your documents and, if the Immigration officer verifies the documents are satisfactory, you will be granted a one month ‘under due consideration period’. Within that month your documents will be sent to the Thai Immigration office in Bangkok for verification and you may find that you will get a visit from your local Thai Immigration officers to verify your home address and to confirm you are in a legitimate relationship. When the month is ready to finish you will go back to the Thai Immigration who will stamp you for the rest of the year if they feel the documents are fine.
Once I have the marriage visa is there anything I must do?
There are important steps that must take place when you have this visa to make sure you do not overstay in Thailand and also to make sure that you do not lose the visa in your passport:
If we were married in a foreign country can we still apply?
The answer is yes, but there are extra steps you must take, including:
- You must take the original marriage certificate to the embassy in Bangkok who will stamp the certificate as an original and verify it is real.
- You then must get it translated into the Thai language
- You then must take it to the Ministry of foreign affairs in Bangkok and get it stamped and verified.
- You then take it to your local amphur office or town hall who will then register the marriage certificate on the Thai system. It then can be used to apply for a ‘Thai Marriage Visa’.
The first application is a difficult process but once you have completed your first the rest will normally just flow.
For more info you can contact [email protected]