If you’re married to a Thai and would like to stay in Thailand with them, then you could be eligible to apply for a Thai Marriage Visa. This visa will permit you to stay in Thailand for a year without having to leave the country and re-entering. It’s a renewable visa and the process can be done when you’re in Thailand. This visa also lets you work in Thailand. However, you’ll need to obtain a valid work permit along with the marriage visa to be able to start working.
Just being married to a Thai national is not enough to apply for the marriage visa. You’ll need to meet the following requirement of the Immigration Bureau as well.
- A completed and signed visa application form.
- Two recent photographs that are not older than six months.
- To prove that you’re married to a Thai national, you must submit a copy of your marriage certificate.
- You’ll also need a copy of an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry. This is not mandatory, but the processing immigration officer may ask. Hence, it’s recommended to keep this document with you. You can submit it if you’re asked to do so. You’ll need to visit the UK Embassy in Thailand to obtain this document.
- You need to meet the financial requirement as follows:
- A security deposit of 400,000 Baht, approximately £9,300 in a Thai bank account for a minimum of two months before applying for the visa, or
- Monthly income of 40,000 Baht, approximately £930. In order to verify this income, you’ll also need to submit a letter from your Embassy.
- If you decide to show a security deposit in your Thai account, then you’ll need to submit the following supporting documents to substantiate your claims:
- Passbook or updated bank book
- A letter from your bank in Thailand that clearly states that the money was deposited a minimum of two months prior from an overseas source.
- You may need to submit your police clearance as well as your medical certificates. While these are not mandatory, officials from the Thai Embassy or Consulate may ask for them. Hence, you may want to keep these documents handy to avoid any delays in getting your marriage visa.
Thai Marriage Visa Application Process
To ensure that your marriage visa is granted successfully, it’s important that you follow the basic process outlined below:
- Before you apply for your Thai Marriage visa, you’ll first need to apply for a One-Year Non-Immigrant, Category O or a 90-Day visa from your country of residence or home country. The 90-Day Non-Immigrant visa can be obtained from countries just outside Thailand.
- Once you’re granted the non-immigrant visa, you’ll need to enter Thailand to activate it.
- Now you need to prepare all your documents to convert your non-immigrant visa to marriage visa.
- You’ll then need to submit all your documents to the Immigration Office.
- The visa extension is usually granted during the last 30 days of your 90-day permit to stay in Thailand.
- The processing period may take a month before the visa is issued to you.
If you’re in Thailand on a visa exemption stamp or a tourist visa, you’re still eligible to apply for a marriage visa. But you need to meet all the requirement of the non-immigrant, category O visa as well as the one-year extension visa.
The 90-Day Reporting Rule
Once you’re granted the marriage visa, you’ll still need to adhere to the 90-day reporting rule. You’ll need to notify your current address with the nearest immigration office every 90 days. In case you’re not in Thailand when your 90-day reporting is due, then the counting of the 90-day period will begin once you re-enter Thailand.
The Re-Entry Permit
You’ll need a re-entry permit if you plan to travel in and out of Thailand during the one year of your visa validity. This is a necessity; otherwise your marriage visa can get cancelled. You don’t need to apply for a re-entry permit if you have no plans of travelling out of Thailand in the one year.
You need to apply for the re-entry permit before you leave the country. You can visit the nearest Immigration Office or apply at the international airport before you leave Thailand.
Renewing Your Marriage Visa
As you already know, the marriage visa is valid for only a year. If you’d like to stay for a longer time in Thailand, then you can renew your visa easily. All the documents that you submitted for your initial marriage visa will need to be presented again for the renewal visa too. You need to keep in mind that the required funds that you need to show in your bank account has to be in the account for not less than three months before you can apply to renew your visa.
What Happens to the Marriage Visa in the Event of a Divorce?
If you get divorced, then the marriage visa will no longer be valid. It will be forfeited and you’ll have to leave Thailand immediately. However, in some exceptional cases, you may be allowed to stay in Thailand until your marriage visa expires.