The Thailand Marriage Non-Immigrant Visa allows foreigners married to Thai nationals to live and work in Thailand. Let's discuss the requirements, application process, and benefits of this visa so you can plan your move to Thailand with ease and start a new chapter in your life.
Marriage/ Non-Immigrant Visa “O”
If you are legally married to a Thai citizen, then you can apply for a one-year Non-immigrant visa type “O”, often referred to as “marriage visa”.
Many times initially you will have to apply for this type of visa at a Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate abroad, preferably in your respective home country. You will then receive a permission to enter Thailand for initially 90 days.
This visa can be extended to a maximum of a full year at a local Thai immigration office and may be renewed at any Thai immigration office but will be sent to the Thai immigration bureau in Bangkok every year.
Since I get asked this question a lot, let's also take about the Marriage visa vs the retirement extension.
In order to qualify for a 1-year extension, you’ll need to show a minimum deposit of 400,000 THB on a Thai bank account and/or proof a family income in Thailand of 40,000 Baht per month.
At the moment, it is only little transparent how “marriage visa” applications are proceeded. While some Thai embassies, such as the one on Penang in Malaysia (where you can easily apply for a multiple-entry Non-Immigrant visa “O”), may be happy with either a bank deposit of 400,000 Baht or the submission of an income letter stating a minimum income of 40,000 Baht a month, others might require both in order to issue your desired visa. There are even some embassies and consulates that don’t require any proof of the funds either on deposit or as income. Please consult your local Thai embassy in advance and inquire about the requirements and documents needed in your case.
The basic documents required for a successful visa application and the subsequent extension to a full one-year permission of stay include your marriage certificate, child’s birth certificate (if any) and “positive evidence” (=bank statement) of a 400,000-Baht deposit in a Thai bank, OR proof of income 40,000 Baht per month (pension statements or bank deposits).
Please note that you’ll actually have to live with your spouse (and prove this!), and must keep the 400,000 Baht on your account starting 90 days before applying or 60 days for the initial extension (seasoning period) until the full one-year length of the “marriage visa” is granted.
Documents required for the visa extension may include the wife’s house registration and ID card, pictures of the house and family, and in some cases even a recording interviewing the husband (visa applicant) and his Thai spouse to confirm their status of husband and wife.
As Thai Immigration law requires the proof of a family income, it had become a popular option for less ‘wealthy’ partners of Thai spouses to apply for a Non-Immigrant visa “type O” on the grounds that they’re being supported by their spouse provided he/she has a sufficient monthly income and can proof this by submission of tax statements. However, in November 2008 Thai Immigration changed the rules and the minimum income of 40,000 Baht per month, or the 400,000-Baht deposit on a local bank account must be the husband’s.
From Police order 777/2551: In case of marriage with a Thai woman, the husband who is an alien must have an average annual income of not less than 40,000 Baht per month or a money deposit in a local Thai bank of not less than 400,000 Baht …
Full List of Documents required for Marriage Visa Extension
Another kind of Non-Immigrant visa “O” (“dependent” visa) is available to those married to holders of a Non-Immigrant visa of either type or their children. Applicants will have to submit their birth or marriage certificate respectively.
Things You Need To Know About The Thai Marriage Visa:
Thailand marriage visa is the popular term for “1-Year Extension of Stay Based on Marriage”.
This is a long term Thai visa issued to a foreign national who is married to a Thai and meets the other requirements of the immigration bureau.
The Thai marriage visa holder is entitled permission to stay for a full year in Thailand without the need to exit the country.
The visa is renewable every year and the renewal process can be done inside Thailand (requirements for the visa renewal still apply).
The Thailand Marriage Visa also allows the holder to work in Thailand when the visa holder is able to obtain a valid Thai Work Permit to go along with the visa.
This is considered an advantage to prospective foreigner employees as the employer would only have to be concerned about the procurement of work permit.
- Must be married to a Thai national – This is substantiated through a Marriage Certificate. There are instances (depending on the processing immigration office) when a copy of an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry is also required. This affirmation is obtained by the foreigner from his embassy in Thailand. Many times you have to have it translated to Thai and have the translation certified at the MFA. A translation service near your embassy can do the translation and also the certification for you for a small additional fee.
- NEW REQUIREMENT: A current Kor Ror 2. The reason for it is extremely simple. If you have divorced you can not get one. So is another check on fake marriages. The Ampur will supply a new document with a recent date (best same day) which costs about 40 Bht and takes about 5 mins. From now each year when you apply for a renewal you will need to produce a new Thor Lor (Kor Ror) 2.
- Must meet the financial requirement
Money on deposit of THB 400,000 in a Thai Bank Account for at least 2 months prior to the visa application; or
Monthly income of at least THB 40,000. A letter from the foreigner embassy can be shown to verify this income if your embassy is still issuing affidavits of income. Other wise supporting documents need to be submitted. Some offices will accept documentation of the funds coming into an account abroad and some want to see the money coming into a Thailand bank account.
Supporting documents as proof of the financial deposit in a Thai bank are as follows:
- Updated bank book or passbook OR
- Bank letter stating that the money had been deposited to the account from an overseas source for not less than 2 months (initial application. 3 months for subsequent renewals) OR
- A combination of both #1 & #2
Other documents that may be required to be presented:*
* These are not required if the visa application is submitted inside Thailand, though there are rare occasions, however, when an official from the Thai embassy or consulate may ask for these documents before issuance of the visa.
Already Married Abroad?
NOTE: For those coming to Thailand with a registered marriage from another country with a Thai national extra steps are required to verify or document the overseas marriage within Thailand before registering it.
At your embassy you will do a declaration that the original marriage certificate is authentic. Then you have it and the marriage certificate translated to Thai and have the translation certified at the MFA. The translation service can do the certification for you for a small additional fee. (If you want contact details of one I’ve used I can give it to you.)
Then you go the local Amphur and register your marriage. They will update your wife’s house book and do a new ID card with her married name on it if she wants it that way.
Marriage Visa Application Process
Please note that there is no direct application for the Thailand marriage extension (visa). It is important that you give proper attention to the requirements and other factors surrounding the entire procedure to eliminate possibility of unsuccessful extension (visa) application. The basic guidelines when applying for a marriage extension (visa) are as follows:
You must obtain a 90-day visa or a 1-Year Non-Immigrant O visa from your home country or country of residence prior to your application for the Thai marriage visa. (The 90-day Non-Immigrant visa may be obtained from nearby countries in Thailand.)
*In some instances Thailand Immigration will now issue the 90 day Non-immigrant visa from within Thailand based on the applicant showing they meet all the requirements for the marriage extension (visa). Even a foreigner on a Visa Exemption stamp or a tourist visa can still apply for a marriage extension (visa) given that the foreigner has already met the requirements for the non-immigrant O visa and for the one year marriage extension (visa) applications. This can be done at many of the immigration offices in Thailand.
Once the non-immigrant visa is obtained, you must travel to Thailand to activate the 90 day Non-immigrant visa.
You must prepare all needed documents for the marriage extension (visa) to your 90 day Non-immigrant visa.
The extension will take place on the last 30 days of the 90-day permit to stay.
The visa extension application is submitted to the Immigration Office with all the necessary documents for the marriage extension (visa) application. The processing period may take about a month before issuance of the Thai marriage extension (visa).
Important Reminders for the Marriage Extension Holders:
This is needed once you obtain a marriage visa. Notification with the nearest Immigration office about your current address or residence is required every 90 days.
If you are not in the country when the report is due, the counting of 90-day period before your next reporting will start again after upon re-entry to Thailand.
If you plan to travel in and out of Thailand during the year of your visa validity, you will need a multiple re-entry permit to do so and to avoid your visa from getting cancelled. Otherwise, you need not apply if you plan to stay in Thailand the whole time.
In case you find the need to leave the country for whatever reason, you can apply for a re-entry permit at the nearest Immigration Office or at the international airport before leaving the country.
The marriage visa is valid for a year and can be renewed by presenting the same requirements during the initial application. Please note that the required amount of funds in your bank account must be at least 3 months old before you can renew your visa.
* Important – In the event of divorce, the validity of your marriage visa will be forfeited and you will have to leave the country immediately. In some cases though, you may be allowed to stay in the country until your current marriage visa expires.