As the saying goes, love knows no boundaries. Years ago, it would’ve been taken a stretch of imagination for someone from one country to fall in love with somebody located from across the ocean. Distance can be a barrier, after all, but no longer, with the Internet.
The point is – it’s very likely a foreign national will fall in love with a local, much as foreigners fall in love with The Land of Smiles every time they step foot on its shores. When one marries a local and decides to settle down with him or her in Thailand, they will need the appropriate documentation to make their stay legal.
This document in question is the Non-Immigrant “O” Visa. In most publications, it is referred to either as a Marriage Visa, or the Spouse Visa.
Applying for a Spousal Visa
Before you apply for the Non-Immigrant O Visa, you will need to apply for an initial 90-day single entry visa.
This is the standard visa for those who are seeking to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days. Initially, you’ll be allowed only a 60-day entry. After that, you can either renew for another 30 days to bring the total of days to 90, or you can leave the country.
Of course, your goal is to stay in Thailand for the long-term with your spouse. After acquiring the 90-day single entry visa, which you will need to travel to Thailand, you can then work at upgrading the non-immigrant visa to the O Visa with a one-year stay in the Kingdom.
Take note that you can apply for the initial 90-day visa from the Thai Embassy or Consulate in your home country. It needs to be activated by traveling to Thailand. It is only after the visa is activated that you can apply for the Spousal Visa.
Qualifications for the Visa
Here are the qualifications for filing for a Spouse Visa:
- Documentation for registration of marriage, i.e. marriage certificate
- Proof of financial capacity, i.e. proof of security deposit and monthly income
In some cases, the immigration officer could request clearance certificates, specifically the medical and police clearances.
In addition, the spousal visa also has its own set of financial capability requirements. These are:
- Security deposit in a local bank, in local currency, of THB400,000. This deposit must be made two months or more prior to applying for the non-immigrant O Visa.
- Proof of monthly income of THB40,000. You must also obtain a letter from your embassy that verifies your monthly income from your sources in your home country.
- Updated bank statement or passbook.
- A letter as proof from the local bank in which you’ve made the THB400,000 security deposit.
Once all documents have been furnished, you can submit the requirements to the Immigration Office. You must make your application within the first 60 days. After submission, your application will take at least a month to be approved by the Office, after which you can then receive the one-year extension of stay in the Kingdom.