Marriage visa in Thailand: A guide to love and legalities
Embarking on a new life with your Thai spouse can be made possible through a Marriage Visa in Thailand. This type of visa allows the foreign spouse to live in Thailand, as well as enjoy the rich culture and lifestyle that the country has to offer. Obtaining a marriage visa in Thailand can be a complex process, requiring various documents, such as proof of marriage and financial support. However, with the right guidance and perseverance, one can successfully navigate the Thai immigration system and embark on a new life with their spouse in the Land of Smiles.
What is a marriage visa in Thailand?
A Marriage Visa in Thailand, commonly referred to as a Non-immigrant O Visa, is granted on the basis of being married to a Thai national. To obtain this visa, you must first apply for a Non-Immigrant “O” Visa at a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand. Upon approval, you will receive a 90-day visa that allows you to travel to Thailand. Once you arrive in the country with the Thai Marriage Visa, you can then apply to extend it for one year at the Thai Immigration Department.
It’s important to note that not only spouses of Thai citizens can apply for a Non-Immigrant O Visa, as there are other eligibility criteria as well.
Who can apply for a Thai marriage visa?
In addition to spouses of Thai citizens, the following categories of individuals should also apply for a Thailand Non-Immigrant O Visa:
1. Dependents (spouse and children under 20) of foreigners working or studying full-time in Thailand
2. Volunteers engaged with an NGO
3. Foreigners aged 50 and above who wish to retire in Thailand, with options for either a one-year “O-A” retirement visa or a five-year “O-X” retirement visa
4. Foreigners seeking medical treatment in Thailand
The distinguishing feature of the Marriage Visa is that, upon arrival in Thailand, you must extend your Non-Immigrant O Visa based on your marriage to a Thai citizen.
How do I get a Thai marriage visa?
You can apply for a Thai Spouse Visa if you are lawfully married to a Thai native, which means that the marriage has been recognized by the Thai government at your partner’s Amphur. There are primarily two methods for requesting a Thai Marriage Visa. The first step is to apply for a Non-Immigrant O Thai Spouse Visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country. You will then be issued a visa that allows you to enter Thailand for a maximum of 90 days either once or many times. As an alternative, you could apply for a visa at a Thai Immigration Department once you are already inside the Kingdom, like at Chaeng Wattana in Bangkok.
Obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa in Thailand is relatively simple for passport holders from one of the 21 countries eligible for a Visa on Arrival or a 30-day exempt stamp provided that they have the necessary documents. In fact, applying for a Marriage Visa in Thailand is among the easiest visas to acquire, as long as the requirements are met. It is highly recommended to start the application process for a Thai Wife Visa as soon as possible if you have entered the country on a Tourist Visa or an exempt stamp to avoid any issues.
Assuming that you possess a Tourist Visa rather than another type of Non-Immigrant visa, the initial step involves submitting a TM. 86 Form, which serves as an application to change to a Non-Immigrant O Visa. If you have an exempt stamp, you will need to fill out a TM. 87 Form in order to acquire your Non-Immigrant O Visa (Thai Wife). You may download the necessary forms here.
When applying for a Thai Spouse Visa, you’ll need to submit several documents in addition to the application form:
To apply for a Thailand Non-Immigrant O Visa, you will need the following documents:
1. A valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity and at least two blank visa pages (18 months if applying for a one-year visa)
2. A photocopy of your passport
3. A filled-out and signed visa application form
4. Passport-sized photos of yourself
5. A legalized or notarized copy of your marriage certificate with your spouse’s signature
6. A copy of your Thai spouse’s passport and identity card also signed by them
7. A proof of your Thai spouse’s financial status through bank statements demonstrating at least 400,000 Thai Baht in total or a monthly income of 40,000 Thai Baht
8. The visa processing fee payment
9. Your residence address in Thailand
10. Your spouse’s house registration documents
11. Pictures of you and your spouse together (including inside and outside your home)
12. A copy of your Thai spouse’s passport and identity card
Immigration authorities may ask for additional documents at their discretion. Ensure that all submitted documents are in Thai or English. If not, have them translated by an authorized translator and provide both versions.
How much will a marriage visa in Thailand cost me?
The price of a Thailand Marriage Visa varies based on the embassy or consulate where you apply, due to fluctuations in local currency. Nonetheless, anticipate paying the following approximate amounts:
Cost for a single-entry visa: 2,000 Thai Baht
Cost for a multiple-entry visa: 5,000 Thai Baht
How long will my marriage visa in Thailand be valid?
Upon receiving a Non-Immigrant O Multiple Entry visa, it is generally valid for a year. In most cases, you must report your location to Thai Immigration using a procedure called 90-Day Reporting. You can do this by visiting the Immigration Department personally, sending a representative, or applying online or by mail. This process helps Thai authorities monitor who is in the country.
A Thailand Marriage Visa has a maximum validity of 90 days, allowing for single or multiple entries. With a single-entry visa, you can enter the country only once during the 90-day period, while a multiple-entry visa permits multiple entries within the visa’s duration.
If you plan to stay in Thailand for over 90 days, it is essential to apply for an extension of stay through the Thailand Department of Immigration before your visa expires. The Thai Marriage Visa must be renewed yearly, and the procedure is identical to the initial application. Since the process may change, it is advisable to consult a professional visa company at least a month before the renewal deadline.
Am I allowed to work in Thailand with a marriage visa?
A Thailand Marriage Visa alone does not grant the holder permission to work. To work in Thailand, one must obtain a Thai Work Permit from the Ministry of Labour. While some suggest that obtaining a Thai Work Permit is possible with an O Visa, it may be necessary to convert the existing visa into a Thai Work Visa before applying for the work permit. With a marriage visa, you can legally work in Thailand and obtain a work permit through a Thai-registered company. There is no need to apply for a separate work visa, as your employer will be responsible for providing it.
Top facts to keep in mind with a marriage visa
90 Day Reporting
Holders of a Marriage Visa are required to report their address to Thai Immigration every 90 days, either in person, by mail, online, or through a representative.
If you have a single-entry Marriage Visa and wish to leave and re-enter Thailand during the visa’s validity, you must obtain a re-entry permit to avoid your visa being voided.
You must continue to meet the financial requirements (400,000 Thai Baht in a Thai bank account or a monthly income of 40,000 Thai Baht) throughout the visa’s validity.
If you wish to stay in Thailand for more than 90 days, you must apply for a visa extension at the Thailand Department of Immigration before your visa expires. The Marriage Visa must be renewed annually, and the renewal process is similar to the initial application.
Marital status change
If your marital status changes (e.g., divorce or death of a spouse), you must inform Thai Immigration immediately, as this could affect your visa status.
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