All You Need To Know About Thai Marriage Visa
Marrying a Thai lady does not automatically make you a Thai national or allow you to enjoy all the privileges of Thai citizens. There are many legal requirements you need to meet in order to avoid problems with authorities. And one important document you need to secure is a Thai Marriage Visa.
It is important to note that there is actually no direct application for a Thai marriage visa. So initially, you need to get a non-immigrant “O” visa, a permit issued to American married to a Thai national. This permit allows you to stay in the country for only 90 days (equivalent to three months), so you have to apply for an “extension of stay” (of one year) once you entered Thailand.
The extension will take place in the last 30 days of your 90-day permit and is renewable every year within the country. This means that you are not required to leave Thailand as long as you meet the requirements. Also, this visa allows you to work in the country provided that you have a working permit to go along with it, unlike the retirement visa which does not allow employment.
1. You must be married to a Thai national and must be able to present a Marriage Certificate. In some cases, a copy of the Affirmation of Freedom to Marry will also be required, depending on the immigration office. (You can obtain this certification from the American embassy in Thailand.)
2. You must meet the following financial requirements:
• A Thai bank account with a balance of THB 400,000. This must be opened at least two months before the marriage visa application.
• A monthly income not lower than THB 40,000 verified with a letter from the American embassy.
• A combination of a yearly income and a Thai bank account summing to at least THB 400,000.
Note: If you cannot provide a proof of income or Social Security Benefit, you need to secure a Thai work permit.
Registering Your Marriage in Thailand
As mentioned above, a marriage certificate is required for American guys planning to get a Thai marriage visa. So if you are yet to tie the knot, you need to arrange the prerequisites of your marriage first. The legal registration can be done at any district office. You can go there anytime between 8 AM and 3 PM during business days, and present these two important requirements: original passport and a proof of your civilstatus as a SINGLE.
If you are divorced or widowed, you need to show the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs a “non-attachment” statutory statement notarized by your home embassy. Prepare your divorced certificate or the death certificate of your spouse for this as your embassy will require solid proof.
How much does the statutory statement cost?
This usually costs around THB 1,000 each. Your embassy will also charge a fee for the notarization, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also charge a minor amount for the registration and issuance of a certificate that allows you to marry at any place in Thailand. In addition to these, you will also be required to pay for the translation of your marriage certificate in the official Thai language after the ceremony.
Even though it sounds like you are going to get ripped off, but accomplishing all these one at a time will make the process easier for you and will spare you from future trouble with the Thai immigration office and other authorities. Once you accomplish these prerequisites, then you can set to enjoy being married to your Thai lady to the fullest.
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