As an Australian, you will need to obtain a number of documents before they will issue you with a letter of Freedom to Marry, also known as, a Letter of Affirmation in order to get married in Thailand. The process may take a week if there are a number of documents needed.
If you are from Australia, then you will need to have your passport as well as your divorce decree, if you are divorced. You will also need a death certificate from Australia if your former wife had passed away. Note that if you got divorced in New Zealand then you can ask the New Zealand Embassy to assist you with this or contact the authorities in New Zealand for assistance directly.
The Freedom to Marry is normally called the “pro-forma Statutory Declaration” which states that you can get married in Thailand. You will need the original documents for this process as they will not accept photocopies. The process normally takes not more than a day, as the Affirmation of Freedom to Marry will be released right then. However, it is best to go at the beginning of the week to ensure no delays, should there be additional documents requested on your end.
Once the document is issued, you will need to obtain a certified translation of the said document, as well as, a certified translated copy of the divorce decree or the death certificate, if applicable. Once you have all the translated documents, you need to go to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department where they will verify the documents to ensure that these documents are authentic. It normally takes the whole day to get this done or even more. They will verify that the Embassy had issued the document and that it is correct. They will stamp the document and you will now have to take the document to the Amphur’s Office in Thailand for the marriage registration.
Once the marriage registration documents have been completed, you can also then apply for an Australian visa for your Thai wife at this point in time. You will need both marriage certificates issued by the District Office for this. They issue two marriage certificates, one is a single page document, while the other is a multipage document with all the details of the parties on it. If you want a prenuptial agreement then you will need to file the document during the marriage registration. Please know that this cannot be done afterwards.
Most foreigners tend to leave all the documents to a Thai law firm as it could be quite difficult where you do not or cannot read or speak the language. Note that the marriage laws, as well as, the divorce laws in Thailand are very different with the Australian legal system. It would be wise to take proper legal advice from a lawyer in Thailand to ensure that you understand these differences. This would also be very important when you consider property rights and buying a condo with your spouse in Thailand.
The marriage certificate now allows you to stay in Thailand on a marriage visa. You will need to speak to a lawyer about converting your current Thai visa to a 3-month visa and eventually an extended 12 month Thai Non-immigrant category “O” visa without the need to leave the country. Visa conversions are possible in the country.