Foreigners who are married to Thai Nationals may avail a Thai Marriage Visa as their best option for long term stay in the Kingdom of Thailand. Note that when we say ‘married’, it means the marriage was legally registered at the district office whether outside or inside of Thailand. Religious marriage ceremonies or common law marriages don’t qualify as legal marriage under Thai law and therefore are not qualified for the Thai Marriage Visa privilege.
Thai Marriage Visa Application
In particular, a foreign spouse of a Thai national is entitled to apply for a Thai marriage visa aka Non Immigrant Category O visa. This visa allows the foreign spouse a yearly renewable stay in Thailand provided that he/she remains married with the Thai spouse and meets the financial requirement.
Below is a rundown of the visa requirements and application process.
The Visa applicant should be:
- Married to a Thai to be proven through a marriage certificate
- Be able to meet the financial requirement through any of the following means:
- Depositing THB 400,000 in a Thai Bank Account for 2 months before the visa application
- Monthly income of at least THB 40,000.
- Collect all required documents
- Deposit the required funds in your Thai Bank account or secure letter of employment certifying your monthly income. This has to be verified by your embassy in Thailand.
- Apply for the initial visa at the Thai embassy or Consulate Overseas. The initial visa is called Non O valid for 90 days. This can be extended in Thailand at the Immigration office 21 days before it expires.
- If you have satisfied the requirements for the marriage visa, the visa can be extended into one year. If not, you would only get a three-month extension.
Issues after Obtaining your Marriage Visa
In case of Divorce. As your Marriage Visa was issued on the basis of your being married to a Thai, the formal dissolution of your marriage through divorce heralds the expiration of your marriage visa. Following your divorce, you will be given 7-day grace period to leave the country and come back with another visa or in some cases you will be allowed to stay in the country until the expiration of your current marriage visa.
90- Day Report. You would need to notify the nearest Immigration office concerning your residence every 90 days. However, if you are not in the country when the report is due, then you wouldn’t need to.
Re-entry Permit.If you constantly travel outside of Thailand, you would need to apply for multiple entry permits to keep your visa from being cancelled whilst you leave the country. This can be done simultaneously with the extension of your Marriage Visa into One year.