Foreign nationals that marry Thai citizens may apply for a Non-Immigrant O Marriage visa. This visa allows the foreign national spouse to remain in the kingdom for extended periods. It is a very convenient option as it can be renewed annually from within Thailand. You do not need to travel back to your native country to renew it. After holding three years of renewals along with a work permit, a marriage visa holder can apply for Thai permanent residency (must be married at least for 5 years.
Does A Thai Marriage Visa Allow You to Work In Thailand?
Given the extended periods during which you can remain in Thailand, it is normal to wonder if this visa allows you to work in the kingdom. The visa on its own does not permit you to work in Thailand. Holders of Thai Marriage Visas are however permitted to apply for a Thai work permit from the Ministry of Labour.
It is worth noting that not all foreign nationals that marry Thai citizens are entitled to receive a Non-Immigrant O visa. Those that are granted a Thailand marriage visa are also not entitled to a work permit. There is an application process and evaluation you must go through to find out the outcome.
In some instances, if you are denied a work permit, you may be able to be granted this if you convert your existing visa to a Thai work visa. Keep in mind that you should never attempt working in Thailand until you have been granted a legal work permit. If you start working without a work permit and are caught, you may end up suffering penalties such as fines, imprisonment and having your visa revoked.
Having a Thai Marriage Visa is considered a plus by potential employers of foreigners in Thailand. This is because they will have less red tape to handle in the form of just the work permit documentation.
It is initially granted for 90 days and thereafter you will be able to renew it every year at local Immigration office. Note that you can apply to have this visa granted as single or multiple entries. Whenever you travel, be sure to obtain a re-entry permit, if your Non Immigrant O Visa is a single Entry Visa, so as not to invalidate your visa by travelling abroad.
Requirements for A Thai Marriage Visa
To apply for a Thai Marriage Visa, you first need to be married to a Thai citizen.
You are also required to provide proof of funds. Your own and not that of your spouse. Therefore, you must be a sole account holder (joint account is not accepted) This should be in the form of a minimum security deposit of THB 400,000 that has been cleared for at least 2 months in a Thai bank account Or You need to prove that you have a minimum income of at least THB 40,000 per month verified by the Embassy (please note, not all Embassies will do so)
The documents you will need to submit will include:
- A passport with at least 6 months validity remaining, and 2 blank pages
- A copy of your Thai marriage certificate from the local district office in the Thai city you were married, or if married abroad, a translated certificate that has been stamped and approved by the Department of Consular Affairs in Chaengwattana and a Kor Lor 22 which is equivialent to Thai Marriage Certificate.
- A copy of your spouse’s ID card
- A copy of your spouse’s house registration papers
- Residence location map
- Pictures of you and your spouse inside and outside of your house
- Copy of your bank book confirming security deposit or a letter from your foreign embassy verifying monthly income
- Bank statement and bank guarantee
Once granted, the visa is initially valid for just 90 days. Thereafter you can be renewing it annually, either from within Thailand or while abroad through a Thai embassy or consulate. You should apply for renewal of your visa when you have at least 2-3 months validity left on your visa through the Bureau of Immigration in Bangkok. With each renewal, you will however be required to again pass the eligibility test and provide supporting documents for your application. The requirements are similar to when you apply the first time.
All foreigners, including those that have a Thai Marriage Visa, are required to submit a 90-day report to the immigration office confirming their stay and current address. You can visit your local immigration office in person or assign an agent for this.
If you divorce your Thai spouse, your marriage visa becomes invalid and you will be required to leave the kingdom immediately. You may however be able to extend your stay to the end of the validity of your visa, but do enquire with the immigration office first.
Applying for A Work Permit
If you already have a Thai Marriage Visa, you may apply for a work permit. Ensure that the job category you intend to enter into is not prohibited to foreign nationals. You will also need to have secured a qualified employer who can provide supporting documents for the work permit application.
You will be required to provide certain documentation. Here is what will be needed:
- A duly signed and valid passport copy
- Your Non-Immigrant O visa
- Certified and original copies of the marriage certificate to a Thai citizen
- Departure card TM.6
- Certified copies of academic records and certificates
- Certified copies of relevant licenses
- Detailed curriculum vitae or resume
- Letter of employment
- 6 copies of recent 5×6 cm photos of the applicant
- Medical certificate from Thai hospital or clinic
These documents may need to be validated by the embassy of your country. In some situations, you may also be requested to obtain official translations of your documents to the Thai language.
Your employer will be required to provide his own documentation including:
- A commercial registration department certificate that confirms his company is duly registered and listing of managing directors and/or directors of the firm. It should also indicate the company’s registered capital and objectives.
- Certified list of shareholders
- Copy of the director’s passport with signed work permit attached
- VAT certificate
- Withholding Tax
- Financial statement
- Office map
- Letter of employment confirming the name, position and salary of the work permit applicant
- Employment agreement
Once you have submitted all required documents, you will need to wait 7 business days for the work permit application to be processed by the Ministry of Labour office.
Once approved, the work permit holder is required to carry the work permit with them at all times, particularly when at their workplace and during work hours. The work permit only allows the holder to work in the position indicated and at the specified employer.