There are many circumstances when a Thai Child Dependent Visa may help ensure that families remain together. It is one of many different types of Non-Immigrant O Visa and allows the holder to stay in Thailand long-term. Naturally, as the name would suggest, the visa is intended for a parent, a legal step-parent or a legal guardian of a child with Thai or dual nationality. It is commonly used when parents are divorced, not legally married or sadly when the Thai parent has passed away. In many cases, the foreigner will have sole legal custody of the child.
Although obtaining a Thai Child Visa can be challenging because proving paternity rights can be complex if the mother or the mother’s family wishes to challenge a court ruling. As the future of the child and parent depends largely on the application for the visa being accepted, we would strongly advise that you use a professional visa company to represent you and ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork. If you are still on good terms with your Thai partner, this will make applying for the visa considerably easier.
What are the steps for obtaining a Non-Immigrant O Visa (Thai Child)?
Individual circumstances can vary when applying for a Thai Child Visa, so it is advisable to discuss your unique situation with us first. We can then tailor our advice for you accordingly. However, the most common scenario is that parents wishing to obtain a Thai Child Dependent Visa enter Thailand initially with a Visa on Entry 30-day exempt stamp (currently 45-day due to quarantine requirements) or with a 60-day Thai Tourist Visa.
Once you are in the Kingdom, you can begin applying for the Thai Child Visa in earnest. However, we would suggest being in dialogue with ourselves before travel to ensure that all paperwork is in place. It will mean that the application is more straightforward and reduces the chances of your application being denied. As we have a strong working relationship with the Thai Immigration authorities, we can discuss the matter on your behalf to increase the likelihood of the visa being granted the first time.
How long is the visa valid for?
As with several visas in Thailand, the initial visa will only be for 90 days, but you shouldn’t be alarmed or concerned by this. During the opening 90 days of your visa, Thai Immigration will ratify your application to check that you are bona fide. Once all checks have been completed and assuming that your circumstances haven’t changed, you will be granted a further 12-month visa. It means that the initial visa is valid for 15 months, and in month 14, you will need to begin the process of reapplying, which you will need to do annually.
What criteria need to be satisfied for a Non-Immigrant O Visa (Thai Child)?
Of course, to qualify for a Non-Immigrant O Visa (Thai Child), you will need to prove that you are the child’s father (or mother) or that you have legally adopted the child. This can be proved by producing the child’s original birth certificate on which you are named as a parent or supplying a certified copy of the adoption papers. If the adoption took place overseas, for example, in the US, an official translation into Thai will be needed.
Once you have proved that you have a legal right to the child’s wellbeing, you will then be required to establish where you will live as a family. If you own the property (in your own name), you must produce a certified copy of the title deeds. If you are renting the property, you will need a copy of the lessor’s Thai ID card or their passport if the owner is a foreigner. You will also need a copy of the signed rental agreement. It is advisable that when you make the application, several months are remaining on the contract.
Assuming that you have all the required documentation, you will also need to supply photographs of yourself and your child at the family home. The images need to be taken by another person and show the front of the property, and include the house or unit number. You should also have pictures taken of you being in other main rooms in the property, notably the bedroom, kitchen, living and dining areas. The images should be both recent and clear, and you should be easily recognisable in all photographs.
Proof of schooling in Thailand
As all parties are most concerned about the child’s welfare and best interests, you will then be required to prove your child’s education, assuming that they are of school age. The first step is to provide a copy of your child’s house registration (Tabian Baan). After, you should ask the school to write a letter confirming that your child has formally enrolled with a picture taken of yourself and the child standing next to the school’s sign. The name of the school should be legible. Further photos of the school name, school buildings and grounds, classrooms and dining area should also be supplied.
Additional information from the other parent
The next part of the application can, potentially, be the most challenging as you are relying on the cooperation of the child’s other parent, typically the mother. The Thai Immigration Department will need a copy of her Tabian Baan, her Thai ID card and passport, and, where applicable, a copy of a marriage certificate. Should the mother have passed away, a copy of the death certificate will also be required.
Practical requirements need from the applicant
Naturally, you will need to prove that you can look after the child financially, meaning that you should have a minimum of THB400,000 held in a Thai bank account for two months (three for subsequent applications) before the application is submitted. An updated bank book and a supporting letter from the bank will be needed as proof.
Your passport must have at least six months left before it expires and two completely blank pages, where the visa can be affixed, and stamps added. You will also need to supply signed copies of your passport, including the personal information page, any visas and extensions, entry and exit stamps and your TM.6 (Departure Card). Three passport-sized photographs will be needed, where you are wearing a collared shirt and not wearing any glasses or headgear. The images should be professionally taken against a white background.