maandag 30 november 2015

Thailand Marriage Process

If you are considering a marriage in Thailand then you should know that there are actually two types of Thai weddings. The first is the traditional Thai wedding ceremony which is done for religious, cultural and traditional reasons. This type of marriage ceremony is the most common even though it does not lead to a legally recognized marriage. Still it is a necessary ceremony if you are marrying a Thai girl (or guy) and is how the girls’ family and village recognize that you are married.

The second type of marriage is the legal marriage which is performed in a local Thai Amphur and will get you a legal Thai marriage certificate. If you are planning on bringing your wife back to your home country you will likely have both types of marriages.

When you decide to have your legal marriage in Thailand please make sure you allow enough time, otherwise you will make yourself crazy. Golf and I got the whole process done in 2 days, but it was quite a whirlwind and I recommend allowing at least three days for the legal Thai marriage.

The requirements for eligibility to be married (for both parties) in Thailand are as follows:
Both parties must be at least 17 years of age. If one party is under 17 a marriage can still take place if there is a court order.
Neither party should be insane.
There should be no blood relation between either party either through the maternal or paternal line.
Both parties should not have the same adoptive parents.
Neither party should have a legal spouse at the time of the marriage.
Those should all be pretty easy requirements for both you and your Thai girl to meet so let’s move on to the documents you will both need.

The Thai partner will need the following documents:
His/Her Identification Cards
Their house registration certificates (Tabien Baan)
If previously married then proof of divorce or in the case of spousal death, proof of death must be made available.

The foreigner will need the following documents:
A copy of your passport including the arrival card and visa for entry into Thailand.
Affirmation of eligibility to marry from your countries Embassy.
Copies (2) of the affirmation of eligibility to marry translated into Thai and certified by an approved Foreign Ministry translator.
If previously married the original proof of divorce or in the case of spousal death, proof of death must be made available.

Once you have all the required documents you will need to follow this procedure to legal be married.
Go to your Embassy and obtain and complete the affirmation of eligibility to marry. There will be a fee for this and it varies for each embassy. You will need the following to complete the affirmation: Provide an income statement (this is usually a simple notarized statement that the Embassy does for you proclaiming that your income is $x amount). A copy of your divorce decree or death certificate for previous spouse(s). A list of your children and their ages. The names and contact information for two citizens of your home country. Depending on the embassy you can collect the signed affirmation of eligibility to marry either the same day or the next day. When I did this at the U.S. embassy it took about 4 hours total.
Take your signed affirmation document and have it translated into Thai. If your embassy is on Wireless Road you’ll find many translation services available. Time for translation can vary so you may need to shop around. Mine took 2 hours. You may also want to get your divorce decree or death certificate translated if you will be getting married at a small Amphur. This is not technically a requirement, but I’ve heard stories of this being requested at the Amphur. If you’re adding up the time required you know that just getting the affirmation document will require a minimum of 1 full day.
Take your affirmation of eligibility to marry and all documents together with the translations and copies (2) of your passport to the Legalization Division of Consular Affairs Department.

The Legalization and Naturalization Division, Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (

123 Chaeng Wattana Road, Laksi District, Bangkok 11120
Tel. 0–2575 1056–59, 0–2981 7171
Hours Mon-Fri 08.30–11.30 and 13.00–15.30

I recommend going early and arriving when they open if you want to make this process faster. Lines can get long later in the day. This is where you will get the Consular Official’s signature authenticated. Same day service costs 800 baht and next day service costs 400 baht. I recommend same day service since the Consular Affairs Department is a fair distance from the Bangkok city center and you really don’t want to make 2 trips out there if it’s not necessary. Even with same day service it will take several hours for the documents to be ready. Fortunately they have a pretty decent cafeteria where you can get lunch.

Take all your completed documents to the local Amphur (District Registrar) to have the marriage registered and the marriage certificate issued. Please take note that they issue two copies of the marriage certificate and they will not issue new ones later. Take good care of your marriage certificates. The process at the Amphur can take anywhere from 1-4 hours so be prepared. Again I recommend getting there early in the day.
After receiving your certificate you will want to have it translated to English or your home countries language before leaving Thailand as it will be much cheaper to have it done in Thailand. You will need the translated copies for visa or immigration purposes and you will also want to check your own countries immigration laws as some will require the translation to be certified by the Thai government.

So there you have the necessary steps for getting married in Thailand. It really isn’t too difficult, it just takes time. As I said, Golf and I completed the process in 2 days, but it was grueling and I recommend allowing at least 3 days to allow for any delays and to keep your sanity.

7 reacties:

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