First of all , I want to say that I am not an expert on Visa’s in Thailand, all I am doing is telling you of my experiences in getting my marriage visa, and in the process I hope it will help someone else in the same situation.
So, my situation was simple. I am married to a Thai national, we have a British marriage certificate and when I come over to Thailand I went to the Thai consulate in Birmingham, and told them I was married and going to live with my wife in Thailand. I told them I wanted to get a marriage Visa and after giving them all the necessary documentation, I handed them my passport and there you go I got a multi entry year visa.
No , you must remember that in Thailand and the Thai’s have a way of not telling you everything you need to know. Well, I was under the impression that I had got a marriage visa, after all, I was married and I wanted a visa and I had to produce my marriage certificate. I was told that after a year I would have to renew the visa while I am in Thailand.
That sounded simple, well, until I started to re apply.
I was not told any of the following, and if I had have been told, life would have been a lot easier and simpler, but I wasn’t and that is the way of things here.
So this is want I found out, and what you need to apply for a marriage visa
1) If you got married in Thailand and have the documentation, great, I didn’t .
2) If you got married in the UK ( I do not know if this applies to other countries) you will need a marriage certificate.
3) That marriage certificate needs to be legalised.
4) You can only get this legalisation done at Milton Keynes . This will cost £50.
( https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised ) This should be sent to and from by registered mail. If you are in Thailand this adds an extra £60 at least to the cost.
5) That certified certificate then has to be sent to the Royal Thailand Embassy in London. To be
Certified and translated into Thai.
6) You need to have a UK address so the document has to be sent to this UK address then sent to the Thai embassy and the Thai embassy returns the translated document to. (All to be done with recorded delivery)
7) If you wife has been divorced and has her pervious name on the current UK marriage certificate
The divorce and the previous marriage certificate also need to be legalised and also take all the previous steps.
8) One you have the manage certificate legalised and translated, you go to your Thai wife’s Amphore and register the marriage. They will keep the original legalised certificate, and translated copy, for their records and you can keep returning each year to use it for your next Visa application.
9) On a marriage Visa you have to prove that you earn the amount of Bht 400,000 a year. This can be done in three ways
A). Have Bht 400,000 in the bank, at least 3 months before the visa application.
B). Have Bht 400,000 going into your Thai bank account over the year
C). Have a combination of a & b, to the amount of Bht 400,00
Just for added information, if you want to have a retirement Visa in Thailand the rules are the same except its Bht 800,000.
10) To prove I had over Bht 400,000 , I had to request proof from my work pension, stating the amount I receive.
11). I then sent the proof from my work pension to the British Embassy in Bangkok, and they then certified the paperwork. This agin is sent by recorded delivery and cost around Bht 1000
12) You then have to get the pension proof ( after being certified ) translated into Thai
So once you have completed all these steps you can start your marriage visa application.
As you can see, I was not told any of this while I was in the UK, and while I was talking to the Thai consulate staff. All they said that all I had to do was apply for my marriage visa, when I was in Thailand, could nor be simpler I thought.
As I am now in Chiang Mai and most of these steps are a logistical nightmare, I have managed to avoid posting things to and from the UK. My current visa covers me until I leave to the Uk for a few months.
The Visa I have at the moment, requires me to leave the country every 90 days, to receive exit and entry stamps. Some visa’s you can just pop into the local immigration office , every 90 days and get your visa stamp there.
In short , it can be a nightmare, it was for me. Now remember this is just for the first time you apply, once ypou have got most of this documentatipn, you dont need to do all this again, except the conformation of Bht 400,000.
If you live in Thailand you will understand the way things are here, and if you have just come over, you will find out, to your annoyance, that information is not always forthcoming. It’s not that they do not want to help, in a lot of cases they do. The problem is, they don’t know, and as I have mentioned on a previous blog, they will not say they don’t know. So, they will tell you what they think it is, rather than say “I don’t know”
The result of this, the result of information coming from people who think they know, and from people who know someone who thinks they know is , misinformation. I was told I had a marriage visa, and after all I had to show my marriage certificate, and as I had never seen a marriage visa before, why would I think any different. I later discovered I has a visa based on a marriage, or to get married, which can only be only be issued outside Thailand. This visa requires me to physically leave the country every 90 days. A marriage visa , I can go to the local immigration office every 90 days.
It may not be much, but if I do not do the correct think, my visa can be cancelled and I can not live in Thailand.
I had to visit a few of these visa company’s, until I found a reliable one, who put me on the straight and narrow. You see every person is different, every Visa type is different, and the regulations change almost on a monthly basis. So you may think you know then it changes.
All the stuff I know now, and found out while trying to sort my Visa, I could have done months ago, easier and a hell of a lot cheaper, while I was in the UK.