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Thailand Immigration: Thai Marriage Visas

Transcript of the above video:

This quick blurb will briefly do an overview of the Thai Marriage Visa category, also known as the “O” Visa or miscellaneous Visa category under the Thai immigration system.  What it's categorized as is technically the “O” Visa.

Thai Marriage Visas have been an often discussed topic here recently because there have been certain enforcement measures that have sort of been heightened in recent months with respect to Thai Marriage Visas; basically just further scrutiny by Thai immigration authorities.  Thai Marriage Visas are often utilized by Foreign Nationals who are legally married to a Thai. Generally speaking such foreign nationals, although they don’t necessarily have to have their marriage registered in the Kingdom of Thailand and therefore obtain a Thai marriage certificate, it generally makes things a little bit easier when processing those cases. The other thing to think about with respect to Thai Marriage Visas, especially under the current regime, is the fact that there is intense scrutiny for those who try to obtain a Thai Marriage Visa in a sense that the immigration want to ascertain whether or not the marriage is in fact real, it is not a sham marriage designed simply to get an immigration benefit, and for that reason immigration officers will do their due diligence to make certain that the couple actually lives together. For instance in many cases they'll ask for photos of the residence, the shared residence, or they will ask for proof of shared say bank accounts. They're also certain financial requirements depending on the method in which a foreign national wishes to obtain a Marriage Visa here in Thailand. There are various requirements that need to be undertaken; either a lump sum in a bank account or proof of monthly income, or even yearly income might work if you can show that it meets the monthly requirement if you separate it out into 12 months.

The thing to keep in mind about Marriage Visas is the fact that “yes, that is heightened scrutiny”. Immigration has been, there’s a "good guys, in bad guys out" policy with Thai Immigration at the present time, or at least at the time of this recording, and the immigration authorities are increasingly putting greater scrutiny on those cases. For that reason those who wishing to apply for a Thai Marriage Visa should go in extremely well prepared. Bring in documentation that shows a shared residence, again co-mingled assets and the requisite financial requirements. Having children, although not a necessity when applying for a Thai Marriage Visa, if one has children, if a couple has children, proof of the child's birth and possibly even photos of the family all together are generally beneficial when applying for a Thai Marriage Visa. The interesting thing regarding Thai Marriage Visas as opposed to certain other non-immigrant Visa categories notably the “ED”, the Retirement Visa is, the “O” Visa, is technically employment authorized and in another blurb on this channel you can see some information about both the work permit and the Business Visa. If one enters the Kingdom of Thailand or is present in the Kingdom of Thailand on a Thai Marriage Visa and wishes to obtain a work permit, that is a possibility notwithstanding the fact that that individual does not have a “B” category Business Visa. There are different sort of requirements with respect to the “O” Visa, Marriage Visa when it comes to a work permit. Notably those in the Kingdom of Thailand on a “B” Visa are required to have 4 Thai employees if they are, well a Company is required to have 4 Thai employees for each person on the Company who is of foreign nationality wishing to obtain a work permit. That is different in the case of Thai Marriage Visas. Those in the Kingdom of Thailand on a Thai Marriage Visa and wish to work for a Company, that Company will only be required to show that two Thai employees work for that Company in order to fulfill the requirements, one of the requirements of getting a work permit for that foreign National.  So there are some comparable benefits to the Marriage Visa as compared to the Business Visa.  It's sort of depends on one's circumstances when deciding whether or not to obtain a Marriage Visa versus a Business Visa and those who are seeking a Marriage Visa from abroad may be required to show various documentation at an Embassy abroad, and it has come to my attention that it's becoming increasingly difficult to obtain one-year multi-entry marriage visas abroad when compared to times past.  So, as is kind of the case with most things pertaining to Thai Immigration, scrutiny is higher, enforcement of the immigration rules are more difficult and are more heavily enforced and finally the discretionary powers of various officers who would issue a Thai Marriage Visa are being used to the effect that there have been a few people, that I've personally heard of, who’ve had problems getting their Marriage Visa renewed.  So these are concerns for those wishing to stay in Thailand long term, as opposed to a Tourist Visa, Thai Marriage Visa is an effective method for staying in the Kingdom long-term notwithstanding the heightened scrutiny attached to those type of travel documents.