Marriage is one of the reasons why foreigners come to Thailand. Whether you’re marrying a local, or another citizen from your country, there is a specific procedure to follow. This procedure makes sure that the marriage is legal, not only in Thailand, but also to your home nation.
Let’s take a look at the procedure in as much detail as we could in this article.
First Step – Fly to Thailand
Of course, you’re going to have to fly to Thailand first. The reason we mentioned getting married to a local or another foreigner is that your circumstances here will depend on where you might want to get a Tourist Visa, or a Non-Immigrant O visa.
If you plan to just get married in Thailand and stay on for a honeymoon that lasts less than 60 days, you’ll be fine without a tourist visa. However, if you and your foreigner spouse intend to marry and tour the island for at least 60 days, both of you should apply for the single-entry tourist visa.
The single entry tourist visa allows you to stay up to 90 days in Thailand – you’ll have 30 days minimum, which you can extend for 30 more days each for a total of 90 days.
If you’ll be marrying a local, then you definitely should apply for the latter. Having a Non-Immigrant O visa will allow you to stay in Thailand up to one year at a time, which is definitely superior to a Tourist Visa and saves you from a lot of hassle relating to stay extensions.
Find out more about the Non-Immigrant O visa by reading our previous article on the topic here.
Getting married in Thailand requires the service of an Amphur, which is the equivalent of a district office or a country office, in the case of American citizens.
The Amphur will require these documents from you and your spouse:
- Affirmation of Freedom to Marry, which you can obtain from your respective Embassies
- Passport, certified by your Embassy
- Parental consent if one or both of the parties are below 20 years old
- Certified Thai translations of the above documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Thai ID card (for locals)
After the marriage ceremony (which you have all the freedom to organize according to your preferences), you will need to bring the abovementioned documents to the Amphur to get your marriage registered and duly recognized by the Royal Thai Kingdom, and your own government.
After being certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you can then receive your marriage certificate, which is written in Thai. You’ll need an English translation to register your marriage with your respective governments.
Please remember that it takes some time to obtain these documents. Give it a week or two – don’t rush, because you might end up omitting certain documents, and have the biggest frustration of your life!
Thailand is one of the best countries in the world for various purposes. You can have an unforgettable holiday here in the Land of Smiles, a memorable wedding ceremony in one of the prime beach attractions in the country, or retire to a life of comfort surrounded by friendly locals.