Marrying an exotic Thai lady is a dream come true for many Western men. For many of them, this also means starting a new and exciting life with their bride in Thailand. Fortunately, the country extends immigration privileges to foreigners married to Thai nationals by issuing the Thailand Marriage Visa which can be easily obtained as long as the Thailand marriage registration is complete.
The foreign spouse in Thailand only needs to get a 90-day Non Immigrant “O” visa right after the marriage and then have it converted to a one year Marriage Visa which in turn, allows him to work and establish a business.
To be eligible for a Thai Marriage Visa:
1. You must be married to a Thai national.
Part of the process is a meeting with a visa officer at the Thai Immigration who will interview you and your wife about your marital relationship. Showing your original marriage certificate serves as a good proof. Further, if you are applying for the Thai Marriage Visa in Thailand, you do not have to submit a medical record or police clearance.
2. You or your Thai spouse must have the financial means to support your stay in Thailand.
You have two ways to do this. Your first option is to present a bank account that contains 400,000 THB. Because the requirement calls for an account that has been in existence for two (2) months, you can either open one and deposit the money two (2) months prior to your visa application or wait for two (2) months after opening it before applying for your visa.
Your other option is to show proof of your monthly pension or income which should be at least 40,000 THB. The supporting document you need is either a pension letter or employment letter that indicates the amount of money you receive monthly as well as its source. You may also be asked to show your income tax return and your latest bank statements.
If your Thai spouse will be the one to take care of the financial responsibilities, then she must show proof that she is either employed or has her own business. The 40,000 THB minimum income requirement likewise applies to her. If she works, she should present an employment letter and an income tax return. If she is a business owner, she needs to show a business registration certificate, balance sheet and business tax forms.
After submitting all the requirements and going through the interview at the immigration office, you have to wait for one to four (1-4) weeks for the results. If successful, you can pick up your passport which will be stamped with the one year Thai Marriage Visa.
If you are not yet married to your Thai fiance, be aware that in order to be considered eligible for the marriage visa, your marriage should be registered with the Civil Registry in Thailand. Even before you get married, there are important requirements that you have to submit such as the Affirmation of Freedom to Marry issued by the embassy of your home country. It is advisable that you do your research on the laws and procedures pertaining to marriage in Thailand before taking that proverbial plunge. Consulting with a legal professional who specializes in this area is your best option.
In Thailand, there are several established and highly reputable law firms that can help you better deal with these legal concerns. With their professional expertise, you will be able to easily settle all the legalities and get started on the exciting business of living happily ever after in Thailand.