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How to Become a Thai Citizen

Everything you need to know about Thai Citizenship application.

Thai Citizenship

Obtaining Thai Citizenship is a long and tiring process. It requires you to submit mountains of paperwork and a complex bureaucratic system. However, those who have chosen to call Thailand their home will find that it’s worth the effort. Thai citizenship comes with perks of owning any type of business, buying any time of property, and applying for any kind of job. In addition, you can also fast-track through the airport.

So, if you’re thinking of obtaining Thai Citizenship, here’s what you need to know.

Key Points

  • The process of obtaining Thai Citizenship is not easy, but it’s worth the effort.
  • There’s a points-based system to decide whether you are fit to receive Thai Citizenship.
  • Your personality matters when it comes to deciding whether you are fit to receive Thai Citizenship.

Thai Citizenship Qualifications

You can apply for Thai Citizenship if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You have a clean criminal record and no history of trouble with the police.
  • You have lived in Thailand as a Permanent Residence for at least five years.
  • You are employed in Thailand.
  • You can speak and write Thai.
  • You can sing the Thai National Anthem.
  • You acquired at lest 50 points (out of 100) on the Points Based System (more on this later).

However, some of the above qualifications will not be required if:

  • You are the husband of a Thai wife.
  • You are the spouse or child of someone who received Thai Citizenship through naturalization.
  • You at one time held Thai Citizenship
  • You have performed a duty that’s benefitted Thailand.

In these cases, you should be able to get Thai Citizenship after three years of living on visa extensions without having to obtain a Permanent Residency.

Thai Citizenship Scoring Criteria

As we mentioned above, there’s a points-based system to decide whether you are fit to receive Thai Citizenship. Here are the criteria of the scoring system:

  • Age: Those between 40 and 50 years old will receive the maximum number of points in this category.
  • Education: Ph.D. holders will receive the maximum points in this category.
  • Monthly income.
  • The type and duration of residence: Those who have been a resident for a long time and hold a House Registration Book will receive maximum points.
  • Thai language knowledge level.
  • Knowledge of Thailand.
  • Personality: The officers in charge of handling your application will asses how you talk, act, and dress.

Prepare the documents well in advance to make the process faster and smoother.

Documents Required to Apply For Thai Citizenship

The documents you need to submit for Thai Citizenship can change for every situation. The authorities at the Police Headquarters where you apply will provide you with a checklist. In general, the required documents to apply for Thai Citizenship include:

  • Copies of your passport.
  • Copies of your Residence Certificate.
  • Copies of your Alien Book.
  • Copies of your House Registration.
  • Copies of your Work Permit.
  • Certificate of legal age, translated into Thai and certified by your embassy.
  • 12 pictures (2×2.5 inches) of yourself. Men must be dressed in a suit with a necktie, while women must be dressed politely.
  • Proof your education and any of your children. Overseas certificates/degrees have to be certified by the relevant authority in your home country.
  • Letter that confirms employment, which includes your position, salary information, and length of time you’re employed.
  • Proof of employment or company ownership.
  • Proof of personal income tax return for the past 3 years.
  • Proof of corporate tax reture for the past 3 years.
  • Marriage and/or birth certificates if you are married/have children.
  • Copies of the identity documents of two Thai citizen (your guarantors).
  • Any additional documents you are required to bring.

Note that this is just the general requirement. There might be some documents not listed here because the required documents are subject to change. Even after you submit the documents, the officers in charge of handling your application can ask for any additional documents as they see fit.

How to Submit Thai Citizenship Application

You have to apply for Thai Citizenship at a Special Division of the Police Headquarters in Bangkok or where you live.

Here’s what the process generally looks like:

    • Approach the Police Headquarters when you want to apply for Thai Citizenship and receive the checklist of the documents you need to submit.
    • Submit the required documents. Remember always to be polite and respectable when submitting the documents because the outcome of your citizenship does count on the officer that handles your application.
    • If everything is not in order, you may need to submit additional documents.
    • If everything is in order, your Thai Citizenship application will be accepted. You will then have to pay the processing fee and get your fingerprints taken.
    • You will be given an appointment to visit the Ministry of Interior, where you have to attend an interview conducted in Thai. If you pass the interview, you will be requested to come back again and sing the Thai National Anthem.
    • Wait for your application to be processed. Thai immigration officers will come to your home to ascertain that the details you have provided are correct during this time.
    • If your Thai Citizenship application is approved, you will have to take the Citizenship Oath at the Police Headquarters. You will have to swear allegiance to the King and Thailand.

Although the application process is daunting, Thai Citizenship comes with a host of benefits.

The Cost of Thai Citizenship

The cost of the Thai Citizenship application process is very reasonable, especially when compared to obtaining the US or British Citizenship. Here are the application costs:

  • 10,000 THB per application for applicants who over the age of 18.
  • 5,000 THB per application for the children of applicants (per child).
  • 1,000 THB for the Certificate of Naturalization.
  • 2,000 THB per application for Recovery of Thai Nationality.

The Benefits of Thai Citizenship

Although obtaining Thai Citizenship is not an easy process, it comes with numerous benefits. These include (but are not limited to):

  • You can buy and own property under your name.
  • You don’t need to renew your visa.
  • You can apply for any kind of job.
  • You don’t need to apply for a Work Permit.
  • You can hold over 49% of the shares in a Thai company.
  • You don’t have to apply for a Re-Entry Permit every time you leave and come back to Thailand.