Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life, although if you are marrying a national from another country, there will be some added complications regarding where you will get married. Of course, 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 in Europe or the US.
If you 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. However, regardless of where you choose to get married, if you plan to live in Thailand long-term, you will need a Thai Wife visa. Of course, this is something that we can assist you with and help get all the required translations along with helping you in compiling all the necessary paperwork for the Thai Immigration Department.
Getting married in Thailand
There are numerous benefits of getting married in Thailand, not least the beautiful wedding venues available and the warm climate. However, there are the practical benefits of getting married in the Kingdom, such as all your future spouse’s family will be able to attend. Visa restrictions in place in many western countries makes getting married overseas almost impossible, and when the cost is factored in, Thailand quickly becomes the obvious choice.
One of the advantages of getting married in Thailand is that all the relevant documentation will already be in the Thai language, ready for your visa application. If you get married overseas, your marriage certificate needs to be verified by the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country before you apply for the document Kor Lor 22 which is equivalent to the Thai Marriage Certificate. Thai Immigration doesn’t accept overseas Marriage Certificate without the Kor Lor 22.
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 when marrying a Thai national
Of course, 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 alternatively, a copy of their death certificate. Here is a list of the documents that you and your partner will need to supply:
- Affirmation of Freedom to Marry (AFM) – The AFM will be issued by your own embassy, for example, the British Embassy or the US Embassy. Different embassies will issue their own version of the certificate, and it at least needs to be in English. It will then need to be officially translated into Thai, which in turn, needs to be legalised by the Thai Ministry of Foreigner Affairs.
- Copy of your passport – you will need a copy of every page of your passport with your current entry stamp and Departure Card being legible. Each photocopy will need to be signed on every page.
- A copy of your divorce certificate or your former partner’s death certificate – Naturally, if you have been married before, you will need to supply a copy of your divorce certificate or, if your partner died while you were still married, their death certificate. Again, these will need to be translated into the Thai language.
- Your Thai partner’s Identity Card – A copy of an ID card that the Thai government has approved. All Thais should keep this with them at all times.
- House registration – Your Thai partner will also need to supply a copy of their house registration, a document known as a Tabian Baan.
- Copies of divorce or death certificates – If your partner has previously been married, they will again need to supply a copy of either the divorce or death certificate to prove that they can legally remarry.
Getting married overseas
Naturally, many couples may want to get married overseas as the foreigner will almost certainly want their family to attend, many of whom may be elderly. Often, the dream of a traditional wedding is something that both partners want to realise. Just like a wedding in Thailand, it certainly has its pros and cons. Different countries require different paperwork, and often the there is far less red tape involved. Typically, the following paperwork would be required:
- Affirmation of Freedom to Marry – As with a foreigner getting married in Thailand, the Thai Embassy would need to issue an Affirmation of Freedom of Marriage. Again, it would need to be in English, which may need to be translated into your native language, such as German or French.
- Copies of divorce or death certificates – If your partner has been married before, copies of their former spouse’s divorce or death certificate will be needed.
- Application Form – the correct application form will need to complete with many countries having different form depending on if both partners’ a single, divorced or widowed.
The wedding will then need to be officially registered in Thailand for the foreigner partner to be able to obtain a Thai Marriage Visa. The process is almost the same as when couples get married in Thailand and will involve getting all documents translated into Thai. As a professional visa company, this is something that we will be able to assist you with and complete the process almost entirely on your behalf.
Where should we get married?
In reality, where you get married will be more down to personal preference and the practicalities. Although getting married abroad can reduce the amount of paperwork required for the wedding ceremony, large quantities are still needed when the marriage is officially registered in Thailand. For this reason, using our services can save you a lot of time, effort and heartache as we can complete most of the process on your behalf.