Should I get married in Thailand or abroad?

Introduction: Deciding to marry a national from another country involves several considerations, one of which is the choice of the wedding location. If your partner is Thai, the decision of whether to get married in Thailand or abroad is pivotal. In this article, we will explore the benefits and practicalities of getting married in Thailand, the documentation required for both options, and how our services can assist you in navigating the legalities involved in either choice.

Getting Married in Thailand

Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life. However, if you are marrying a national from another country, there will be some added complications regarding where you will get married.

If your partner is Thai, you will need to decide where you will get married. Many people choose to get married in Thailand, while others may prefer a traditional wedding in Europe or the US.

In our experience, assisting couples with Thai Marriage Registration plays a crucial role in ensuring that all necessary documents are in place before the wedding. Regardless of the chosen wedding location, if planning to reside in Thailand long-term, a Thai Wife visa will be required. We can also assist with visa acquisition and all the required translations, along with compiling the necessary paperwork for the Thai Immigration Department.

Traditional Thai wedding ceremony.
Traditional Thai wedding ceremony.

Assistance with Thai Marriage Registration

If you choose to get married in Thailand, we can assist you with Thai Marriage Registration to ensure that you have all the necessary documents before you get married. Regardless of where you choose to get married, if you plan to live in Thailand long-term, you will need a Thai Wife visa. We can assist you with acquiring this visa and help with all the required translations along with compiling all the necessary paperwork for the Thai Immigration Department.

Benefits of Getting Married in Thailand

There are numerous benefits of getting married in Thailand, not least the beautiful wedding venues available and the warm climate. One practical advantage of getting married in the Kingdom is that all your future spouse’s family will be able to attend. Visa restrictions in many Western countries make getting married overseas almost impossible, and when the cost is factored in, Thailand quickly becomes the obvious choice.

Documentation and Process

If you get married in Thailand, all the relevant documentation will already be in the Thai language, ready for your visa application. If you get married overseas, your marriage certificate must be verified by the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country before you apply for the document Kor Lor 22, equivalent to the Thai Marriage Certificate. Thai Immigration doesn’t accept overseas Marriage Certificates without the Kor Lor 22.

Requirements for Marriage

You must be officially married if you intend to apply for a Thai marriage visa, as a “Thai village wedding” is merely ceremonial. Village weddings may involve the attendance of monks, all family members, and have the feel of a “real wedding”; however, if the marriage isn’t officially registered at the Amphur, it will have no legal standing.

Documents Required by a Foreigner

Just like in any country, you will need to prove to the Thai authorities that you are legally free to marry. If you have previously been married, you will need to supply a copy of your divorce certificate or a copy of the death certificate.

List of Documents Needed:

  • Affirmation of Freedom to Marry (AFM) issued by your own embassy
  • Copy of your passport with current entry stamp and Departure Card
  • A copy of your divorce certificate or your former partner’s death certificate

Documents Translation

The Affirmation of Freedom to Marry will need to be officially translated into Thai and legalized by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, any divorce or death certificates will need to be translated into the Thai language.

Marriage Requirements in Thailand

Your Thai partner will need to provide several documents for the marriage process in Thailand:

  • Identity Card – A copy of an ID card approved by the Thai government, carried at all times by Thais.
  • House Registration – Also known as Tabian Baan, a copy of this document is required.
  • Divorce or Death Certificates – If your partner has previously been married, copies of the divorce or death certificates are necessary to prove legal eligibility for remarriage.

Getting Married Overseas

Many couples consider getting married abroad, often to accommodate the foreign partner’s family. The process varies from getting married in Thailand and requires different paperwork:

  • Affirmation of Freedom to Marry – Issued by the Thai Embassy, it needs to be in English and possibly translated into the native language of the foreign partner.
  • Divorce or Death Certificates – Copies of former spouse’s divorce or death certificates if your partner has been previously married.
  • Application Form – Specific to each country and marital status, such as single, divorced, or widowed.

After the wedding, it must be officially registered in Thailand for the foreign partner to obtain a Thai Marriage Visa. This involves translating all documents into Thai, a process where professional assistance can be valuable.

Traditional Thai wedding ceremony.
Traditional Thai wedding ceremony.

Choosing the Wedding Location

Deciding where to get married is based on personal preference and practical considerations. Although marriage abroad reduces some paperwork, registering the marriage in Thailand requires significant documentation. Seeking professional assistance can streamline the process and save time and effort.

Overseas Marriage Considerations

In our experience, the decision to get married abroad can often involve complex paperwork and legal requirements that differ from those in Thailand. This is especially true when it comes to obtaining the necessary documents and registering the marriage with Thai authorities. It’s important to consider these factors and seek professional guidance to ensure a smooth and legally compliant marriage process.

Conclusion: Ultimately, the decision of where to get married, whether in Thailand or abroad, depends on personal preferences and practical considerations. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. Seeking professional assistance can alleviate much of the paperwork and complexities involved, ensuring that your special day and the legal processes proceed smoothly. Regardless of the location you choose, expert guidance and support are invaluable in making your wedding day one of the happiest days of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Foreigners looking to marry a Thai national will need to provide an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry (AFM) from their embassy, a copy of their passport, divorce certificate or former partner’s death certificate, and their Thai partner’s identity card and house registration.

Getting married in Thailand offers beautiful wedding venues, a warm climate, and the practical advantage of all the relevant documentation being in the Thai language, ready for visa applications.

No, a “Thai village wedding” is ceremonial and not legally binding. To obtain a Thai Marriage Visa, the marriage must be officially registered at the Amphur.

Couples getting married overseas will need to officially register their marriage in Thailand for the foreign partner to obtain a Thai Marriage Visa. All documents will need to be translated into Thai, and professional visa services can offer assistance with this process.

Depending on the country, couples marrying overseas will generally need an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry, copies of divorce or death certificates if applicable, and the correct application form based on the partners’ marital status.

The choice of where to get married depends on personal preference and practicalities. Utilizing the services of a professional visa company can save time, effort, and complete most of the process on your behalf, regardless of the chosen location for marriage.

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