Many foreigners choose to marry their Thai partner in the ‘Land of Smiles’. There are some stand-out benefits in doing this. Not least being the fact that the actual ceremony takes place in an idyllic setting of your choice and that the rousing wedding reception with a difference will stay long in the memory.

Understandably, others prefer to tie the knot either in their country of origin or one that is foreign to them and their prospective Thai wife/husband.

Marrying your Thai partner outside of Thailand is certainly an accepted and valid way of performing that special marriage ceremony, but to ensure this is legally recognised it is necessary to follow the rules and regulations relevant to the country you are marrying in.

Getting married abroad – Follow the rules and regulations

The regulations and required documentation vary from country to country and must be met before the ceremony can go ahead. Details of statutory requirements can be found on the government website of the country you are being married in.

Make sure you check and re-check this information to ensure you have everything necessary to allow the ceremony to proceed.

Pay a visit to the Thai Embassy in the country you are married in:

Once the relevant documentation and proof of identity of you and your partner are accepted and a marriage certificate is issued you should visit the Thai embassy in the country you are married in to have the marriage certificates authenticated and/or certified.

The Thai government will then accept the marriage certificate as being valid proof that you are man and wife and there is no requirement for the foreigner to register the marriage again in Thailand unless you intend to seek a Thai Marriage Visa.

Your Thai partner must obtain a ‘Kor Por 22’

There is one more step the Thai national must take. Upon return to their home country they need to visit their district office in the hometown in which they are legally registered. This is to allow an update of status from being a single person to being married.

Providing the relevant proof of marriage will result in the document ‘Kor Por 22’ being obtained. This document will then be proof of the Thai national’s legal marriage registration.

If you do not intend to apply for a Thai marriage visa then no further action is necessary, but in the event that this visa is wanted and the marriage ceremony took place outside of Thailand, you will need to provide certain documentation to obtain this visa.

Marriage visa requirements when married outside of Thailand:

A foreigner who has married a Thai national in a country other than Thailand, and who wishes to apply for a marriage visa will need to take the following steps:

  1. Visit their countries Embassy in Bangkok with the original marriage certificate. This will be verified by Embassy staff as real and valid and will then be officially stamped.
  2. Have the marriage certificate translated into Thai.
  3. The translated version of the marriage certificate should then be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. They will then verify its legality and stamp it.
  4. Take the translated wedding certificate to your local amphur office or town hall in the location you intend to make your Thai home. This office then has the responsibility to register the marriage into the relevant system. Such registration will allow cross-referencing and can be used when applying for the actual Thai marriage visa.
  5. To secure a marriage visa the above registration reference, required documentation and proof of income as per Thai government regulations pertaining to marriage visa applications then need to be processed.

Comply with individual country legislation:

While the process of marrying a Thai national in a country outside of Thailand is straight-forward, it is important that you adhere to the rules and regulations of the country in question and that you also visit the Thai Embassy to have the wedding certificate ratified and legalized.

It is also important that your Thai partner visits their local amphur office once they return to their home country in order to have their status upgraded from a single person to a married one.

Those foreigners intending to live in Thailand on a marriage visa should understand that the process is more straight-forward if the marriage ceremony takes place in Thailand, but that it is also eminently achievable if their marriage takes place outside of the country.