Residence in Thailand
I intend to marry a Thai woman in the near future in Thailand. What will be my residency status? Will I be allowed to live in Thailand with my wife? What documentation will I need?
Asked on Monday, April 23, 2001 | 04:16 AM
David Ward, Leeds, England.
Before entering Thailand, you must obtain a non-immigrant “O” visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate. This visa will ensure that you will be able to stay in the Kingdom for 90 days. Then, once you have arrived in Thailand, you will need to apply at your local immigration office for a “one year visa for a foreigner who supports a Thai national wife or a wife who has residence in Thailand”. If approved, this visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for one year from the date you first entered the Kingdom. When you submit with your application, you must bring with you two 2-inch (5 cm) photos of yourself and the original and a copy of the following: - your passport, - your bank statement, - your spouse’s identification card and house registration document, and - your marriage certificate. The application fee is 500 baht and the visa must be renewed every year. If and when you and your wife have children, you must bring copies of the children’s birth certificates when you renew your visa. You will have to prove that you are able to financially support yourself and your wife. If you are younger than 50 years old, you are expected to be employed in Thailand and hence have a work permit, which must also be presented when you renew your visa. However, when you apply for your first one-year visa, it will be sufficient to show your bank statement, a copy of your bankbook and a certified letter from your bank proving that you have at least 200,000 baht in your bank account. You must also have a witness to confirm that you and your wife live together as man and wife. Your application will then be considered by the Immigration Division 3 committee in Bangkok. This should take about six weeks and the decision will be faxed to the immigration office where the application was lodged. If your application takes longer, the immigration office where you applied for the visa will grant you another month’s stay.