If you are married to a Thai national, then you can stay in Thailand on an extended basis. You will first need to register your marriage in Thailand at the local Amphurs office in the area where you live. The District Office will then give you a marriage certificate which you will need to produce when applying for the marriage visa at the Thai Embassy.
Thai Marriage Visa Extension
The marriage visa extension has become more difficult over the last few years as there have been a number of criminal cases in Thailand where marriage certificates had been faked. The Phuket News website had the headline, “Thai women ‘married’ by Indian gangsters”. They had created 300 fake marriage certificates in order to get a marriage visa extension. Since then Thai Immigration has made a number of changes:
- 1. You will now need fingerprints before the visa is issued;
- 2. You will need to bring your Thai wife to immigration for a joint photo;
- 3. You must now also take a photo in front of your apartment with the house number;
- 4. You now have to have 5+ photos of you and your wife outside together.
The restrictions are mainly due to fraud as the 300 women who had been married without their knowledge police thought was only the tip of the iceberg. Speak to an immigration lawyer in Thailand for more information about the requirements as each year they have made the extensions more difficult. You will need to show 400,000 THB in your bank account when extending your visa and this needs to be in your account for at least 3 months prior to the extension. You will also need to have all the relevant documents such as your marriage certificate, passport, your Thai wife’s ID as well as photos as explained above. You will also need to have a drawing of where you live on a map as well as the original “bank book” to show the money in the account. The fingerprint sheet will also be needed by some people which needs to be obtained from Special Branch Police in Bangkok. If you live outside of Bangkok, then consider this before you apply for the extension as it takes 10-14 days to obtain the finger print sheet.
Thai Marriage Visa (Multiple Entry)
It has become very difficult to obtain a multiple entry visa for Thailand. There has been a slow decline of this type of visa over the past 10 years. You will need to obtain a single entry Thai marriage visa at a Thai embassy or Consulate and then extend this in Thailand once you return. Note that you will have 3 months to extend this visa and most times the Embassy will want to see the “Bank Book” with 400,000THB in it to issue the single entry visa.
If you are going to live in Thailand, then you will need to obtain the correct Thai visa and you will also need to ensure that you report your stay every 90 days while in Thailand. Note also that the Thai marriage visa does not allow you to work in Thailand and you would need a Thai work permit for this.