So, you and your fiancée have finally decided to take your relationship to the next level by making it official through marriage in Thailand. What should you do next? How do you go about getting married in this tropical paradise?
To help answer these questions, here are some things you need to know while getting married in Thailand.
Eligibility For Marriage
Both you and you wife-to-be or husband-to-be must meet the age requirements for marriage. For a Thai national, that age is 17, although written consent from parents or the court would be required for persons under 20 years. For a foreigner, you must be of marriageable age as per your country’s laws.
You should also note that Thailand does not permit same-sex marriages. Additionally, when marrying a Thai woman, it is customary for the groom to pay a dowry to the bride’s family.
You Will Require These Documents
Whether you are marrying a foreign national or a Thai national, the documents required are essentially the same. First of all, you will need a passport and two copies of the same. The same goes for the entry visa. Moreover, if you are a foreigner, you will require a certified affirmation of freedom to marry and a certified translation.
The two copies of affirmation to marry documents should be presented together with their photocopies.
Additionally, if either you or your partner have been married before, you must present a death or divorce certificate, together with their translated versions. For Thai nationals the requirements are substantially simple.
All that is needed is an ID card together with a copy, as well as a House Registration Document and its copy.
How To Obtain An Affirmation Of Freedom To Marry
For foreign nationals, an affirmation of freedom to marry will be required before you can get married. This document can be applied for at a home embassy located in Thailand, during which process a passport will be required as proof of identity.
Additionally, in case of any previous marriages that have been dissolved or ended, relevant original documents must be presented to your embassy. Once this affirmation is obtained, it should be translated into Thai by a certified translator.
Once this is done, the document should be taken to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for certification. The certification can take two days, although you can always pay a fee to have it in less than 2 days.
How To Make Your Marriage Official
Once both your and your fiancée have all the documents required of each one of you, you should visit the District Office whereby your marriage will be registered and you will be issued with a marriage certificate. Once the certificate is issued, the marriage is validated and becomes legally binding.
The marriage certificate is written in Thai, although you can have it translated into English, in which case the translated copy will have to be certified at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be valid.
Getting married in Thailand is relatively easy. The toughest part is probably the process of getting an affirmation of freedom to marry in case you are a foreigner, especially if your home country has no embassy in Thailand.
Other than that, the process is pretty straightforward since all you have to do is visit a District Office with all the documents in order and be issued with a marriage certificate.