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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawCan I get a Thai Marriage Visa Instead of a Thai Retirement Visa?

Can I get a Thai Marriage Visa Instead of a Thai Retirement Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai visas and yet again we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas; this time in the context of marriage visas because we have gotten a number of questions and things since certain things have changed with respect to Thai Retirement Visas.  

For those who are unaware Thai Immigration is taking a much firmer stance with respect to enforcement of the various rules associated with Thai Retirement Visas most notably a prolonged period of bank balance maintenance to the point that basically there is a maintenance requirement of a one calendar year period.  

But the thing to take away from this video is we are talking about marriage visas. I have had people ask me the question "Well should I just switch over to a marriage visa?"  Well let me be clear first of all. If you're watching this and you are looking to enter into a marriage in order to use that marriage as a pretext to get a Marriage Visa in Thailand, don't do it.  Let me be clear.  There other videos on this channel. I was going to actually pull up some things to quote but I decided it really wasn't worth it because we have gone through this in a couple of different videos on this channel. Thai Immigration takes a firm stance these days on immigration fraud and they actually have what basically amounts to a task force with respect to Marriage Visa fraud. They are going to be on the lookout for this so those who think they are just going to just run down the street and basically marry somebody just as a pretext, that's a terrible idea; not a good option.  Not only is it immigration fraud but quite frankly I think the enforcement apparatus is going to have their eyes wide peeled for that type of activity. 

That being said, there are many people that have lived in Thailand for years in retiree status and are legitimately married to a Thai National or they simply never registered their marriage.  I know a number of people that have lived for a long period of time with their Thai spouse but they just never gotten around to legally registering it for various reasons. I think in those circumstances a marriage visa is a viable option.  Registration of a Thai marriage is a relatively straightforward process, if you're not already registered and  if you are already registered you know it may be possible to go ahead and switch over from the Thai OA Visa to a Thai O Visa just based on marriage; that changes up the requirements with respect to bank balances as well as income and if applying abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rules and the specific Embassy or Consulate rules at a specific post may actually even be more lenient than even that; again that's going to be post specific. 

But the thing to take away from this video is "yes, it is possible” but I want to make a real warning here.  Those who were thinking that using a marriage visa in order to sort of pretensively avoid the regulations with respect to retirement Visas, think again. Sham marriages are being punished really, really harshly and I think it's almost a given that if you're caught entering into a sham marriage, they're going to go ahead and probably deport and blacklist you and basically that is exactly where you don't want to be.