Increasing numbers of men and women from western countries are marrying Thai nationals and choosing to settle in Thailand. If you are in this situation then, from a legal perspective, there are two ways to proceed. The first is to apply for a non-immigrant ‘O’ visa prior to arrival in Thailand, which will allow you to stay for ninety days. The second approach is to enter Thailand on a sixty day tourist visa* and then change your status. Subject to meeting certain criteria, there is a procedure by which you can then extend your stay in twelve monthly increments on the basis of your marriage.
Interactive has experienced staff on hand to help you every step of the way. We ensure the process is completed correctly, smoothly and quickly – thus avoiding any unnecessary cost or delay. Our immigration specialist will complete the application forms and accompany you to immigration to represent you throughout the visa conversion/extension process. We will also help you compile the various items of supporting information that must be submitted as part of your application.
You must be legally married to a Thai national and have a valid marriage certificate which has been issued by the Thai government, or a foreign marriage certificate which has been translated and certified by the Thai government. A Thai ceremonial wedding is not considered sufficient for this purpose.
Asset and income requirements also apply, and these are simply to ensure that you can adequately support yourself and your spouse, and will not become a drain on the Thai community. You must be able to verify that you hold:
- A Thai bank account holding at least THB 400,000 or
- An ongoing source of income of at least THB 40,000 per month
The situation is a little different in the case of a foreign woman who marries a Thai, in which case the financial criteria are not applied. The Thai husband must, however, produce proof of payment of personal income tax.
Upon your arrival in Thailand a member of our staff will meet with you to discuss your situation, and where necessary accompany you to the Immigration Bureau. If you entered Thailand on a tourist visa then this must first be upgraded to a non-immigrant visa. This step will allow you to stay in Thailand for a further three months.
At this stage you will also need to establish a Thai bank account and transfer in sufficient funds to satisfy the requirements noted above. The regulations stipulate that these funds must have been held in your Thai bank account for at least two months before you apply for an extension of stay based on marriage. If your income is earned through employment in Thailand then you must also hold a valid work permit.
After two months have elapsed we will accompany you to the Immigration Bureau, this time to apply for a twelve month extension of stay on the basis of your married status. Please be aware that you are required to attend the office of the Thai Immigration Bureau which is closest to the area in which you reside.
*Note that a ‘free-on-arrival’ 30 day tourist visa is unsuitable as you will not be allowed to enter Thailand unless you are holding either a return ticket or an onward ticket to another country