Things you need to know about the Thai marriage visa:
- Thailand marriage visa is the popular term for "1-Year Extension of Stay Based on Marriage".
- This is a long term Thai visa issued to a foreign national who is married to a Thai and meets the other requirements of the immigration bureau.
- The Thai marriage visa holder is entitled permission to stay for a full year in Thailand without the need to exit the country.
- The visa is renewable every year and the renewal process can be done inside Thailand (requirements for the visa renewal still apply).
- The Thailand Marriage Visa also allows the holder to work in Thailand when the visa holder is able to obtain a valid Thai Work Permit to go along with the visa.
This is considered an advantage to prospective foreigner employees as the employer would only have to be concerned about the procurement of work permit.
- Must be married to a Thai national
This is substantiated through a Marriage Certificate. There are instances (depending on the processing immigration office) when a copy of an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry is also required. This affirmation is obtained by the foreigner from his embassy in Thailand.
- Must meet the financial requirement
- Security deposit of THB 400,000 in a Thai Bank Account for at least 2 months prior to the visa application; or
- Monthly income of at least THB 40,000. A letter from the foreigner embassy has to be shown to verify this income
Supporting documents as proof of the security deposit in a Thai bank are as follows:
- Updated bank book or passbook
- Bank letter stating that the money had been deposited to the account from an overseas source for not less than 2 months.
- Other documents that may be required to be presented:*
- Police Clearance
- Medical Certificate
* These are not required if the visa application is submitted inside Thailand, though there are rare occasions, however, when an official from the Thai embassy or consulate may ask for these documents before issuance of the visa.
THAILAND MARRIAGE VISA APPLICATION PROCESS
Please note that there is no direct application for the Thailand marriage visa. It is important that you give proper attention to the requirements and other factors surrounding the entire procedure to eliminate possibility of unsuccessful visa application. The basic guidelines when applying for a marriage visa are as follows:
- You must obtain a 90-day visa or a 1-Year Non-Immigrant O visa from your home country or country of residence prior to your application for the Thai marriage visa. (The 90-day Non-Immigrant visa may be obtained from nearby countries in Thailand.)
- Once the non-immigrant visa is obtained, you must travel to Thailand to activate the visa.
- You must prepare all needed documents for the conversion of your non-immigrant O visa to marriage visa.
- The extension will take place on the last 30 days of the 90-day permit to stay.
- The visa extension application is submitted to the Immigration Office with all the necessary documents for the visa application. The processing period may take about a month before issuance of the Thai marriage visa.
Additionally, the foreigner on a Visa Exemption stamp or a tourist visa can still apply for a marriage visa given that the foreigner has already met the requirements for the non-immigrant O visa and for the one year extension visa applications. This can be done at the immigration office in Thailand.
REMINDERS TO THE THAILAND MARRIAGE VISA HOLDERS:
- 90-day Reporting
This is needed once you obtain a marriage visa. Notification with the nearest Immigration office about your current address or residence is required every 90 days.
If you are not in the country when the report is due, the counting of 90-day period before your next reporting will start again after upon re-entry to Thailand.
- Re-entry Permit
If you plan to travel in and out of Thailand during the year of your visa validity, you will need a multiple re-entry permit to do so and to avoid your visa from getting cancelled. Otherwise, you need not apply if you plan to stay in Thailand the whole time.
In case you find the need to leave the country for whatever reason, you can apply for a re-entry permit at the nearest Immigration Office or at the international airport before leaving the country.
- Bank Account
The marriage visa is valid for a year and can be renewed by presenting the same requirements during the initial application. Please note that the required amount of funds in your bank account must be at least 3 months old before your can renew your visa.
In the event of divorce, the validity of your marriage visa will be forfeited and you will have to leave the country immediately. In some cases though, you may be allowed to stay in the country until your current marriage visa expires.