The process of processing a marriage in Thailand is an important step towards legalizing your relationship. It is a complex process which requires a great deal of attention to detail and understanding of Thai laws, and involves several government agencies and embassies. A good local legal advisor should be engaged to guide the couple through this process.
First, the foreigner needs to apply for an affirmation at their embassy in Thailand confirming their right to get married in the country and the absence of any legal impediments. This is done by presenting a valid passport and an affidavit of freedom to marry which has been signed by a Thai official.
After that, the couple is required to visit their local district office and file all relevant paperwork. It is also essential to provide two witnesses who will sign the official wedding certificate.
Once the marriage is registered, the couple can then leave Thailand and go on to live as a married couple in their own home country. In the event that a spouse wants to return to Thailand, they are required to report their marriage at their embassy or consulate in Thailand.
In addition, the couple should also ensure that they meet the other requirements for getting married such as being of proper age, not being same-sex and not being direct blood relatives or siblings through the mother and/or father.
To register a marriage in Thailand, the couple must submit all of the aforementioned documents to their local district office (amphur). They should bring along two witnesses and have their translations completed by a certified translator.
The district office will then register the marriage and issue a marriage certificate in both English and Thai language. The couple will need to make sure that the certificate is translated into their home language for legal purposes before leaving Thailand.
Alternatively, the couple can choose to have a religious ceremony and not legally register it. However, this is more symbolic than legal and won’t carry the same weight in the country as a registration does.
If a couple has children, it is also recommended that the parents apply to their local district office to change their name and last name as well as filing for an identification card. This can be a daunting task but if organised in advance, it is possible to have this done quickly and easily.
A lot of work goes into this process and it is always advisable to obtain the assistance of an experienced local attorney who will guide you through the whole process. This will allow you to enjoy your special day and be confident in the fact that it will be recognised in both Thailand and your home country.
It is also highly recommended to hire an experienced translator as the registration process will often require a number of different translations and may involve a great deal of time in both Thai and English.