How can I get Thai citizenship?
For those who have moved to Thailand, acquiring Thai citizenship at first glance seems like an impossible dream.
The story is one you hear often. Arrive in Thailand, often for a short stay, and before they know it, they’ve been here a decade or even more. Work, marriage, the weather, the beaches, whatever it is, leads many people to want to spend their lives here. And you have to admit, it isn’t a bad place to live.
Is becoming a Thai citizen difficult?
No, it isn’t. Don’t believe the bar-stool gossip or web theorists who have heard ‘stuff’
While Thai citizenship isn’t available just to anyone, the simple answer is that it isn’t as hard to get as you think, and on par with the process required to get a western nationality.
Often, the perceived difficulty (as opposed to the reality) is generally the only thing holding people back from ever considering applying.
Time and again I hear expats and Thai people tell me that it is impossible for foreigners to get Thai citizenship. Common myths include:
- You have to be able to speak, read and write Thai fluently;
- Only 100 people per year are granted Thai citizenship
- You have to live in Thailand for two decades before you can apply;
- Only people who have ‘connections’ in high places get citizenship;
- They only want millionaires to apply; or
- You have to pay give lots of brown paper bags stuffed with cash to officials;
The reality is the complete opposite.
For many, having a solid working history here will be the starting point. For others, it will be a combination of family relationships (spouses, parents) which determines how you go about applying.
As long as you are eligible or getting yourself to the point where you soon will be eligible, the paperwork and processes are no more cumbersome – and in many cases easier – than applying for citizenship in say Australia, Canada, the US or the UK.
So how do I acquire Thai citizenship?
There are a couple of main categories of people who would generally qualify:
- People living here on consecutive work permits and visas, paying income tax;
- Permanent residents;
- Those married to Thai citizens; and
- Those born to a Thai parent
These are the main categories, and depending on which one you are, there will be specific paths to go down.
People on work permits will need to go down the Thai Permanent Residence path before being eligible for applying, while those who are married to Thai citizens can skip this stage.
For those who are born to Thai parents, or have kids for whom one of the parents is Thai, we also have some useful advice on issues such as getting your Thai birth certificate, dual citizenship, and military service obligations.
What are the benefits?
Non-citizens face ongoing administrative baggage just to maintain their stay in Thailand. This can include:
- Annual visa and work permit renewals;
- 90-day reporting;
- Being at the whim of visa and immigration officials;
- Having your permission to stay cancelled if you lose your job, or due to administrative stuff up from HR;
- Unable to own major personal assets, like land (or that Thai beach house you always wanted!);
- Barred from being majority shareholder in your own business;
- Forced to rely on nominees to be the majority shareholders for your business; and
- Shut out from many banking products, such as mortgages or business loans.
In and of themselves, these things may not seem such big deals. But over time, the frustration of each one of these can and does accumulate.
The benefit of removing those frustrations is benefit in and of itself. However, as someone who holds a Thai ID card, the benefit is pretty straight forward: Simplicity and certainty.
As difficult as life is as a foreigner, holding a Thai ID card literally the opposite. It cuts through all the administrative BS that one faces on a day-to-day basis making life extremely simple to deal with.
More importantly, your presence or ability to be in Thailand will never be questioned again.
I’ve got a simple question: which charity would you recommend for donation (I mean to get proof from them that you’re paying ).
Btw: your website is the most comprehensive regarding tips for citizenship. Thanks a lot for good work.
Thanks a lot!
Hi Sylvester – any registered charity in Thailand who will give you a receipt is the best advice!
Glad you’ve gotten use of the site. IF you can, please support us through our link above to keep the site running.
Hi, I’m interested in obtaining permanent residency. I meet the criteria so the main issue is whether it represents value for money. The decisive factor would be whether permanent residents are eligible for the same medical benefits as Thai citizens (ie: free or negligible cost in government hospitals). Could you please advise on that, and also on your fees for assisting with the application. Thanks.
So firstly, we aren’t an agency or a service, merely a website where you can learn the process to do it yourself. To understand why, read the following article:
As to value for money, if it’s medical that you measure this by, then you won’t have access to the thai health system until you are a citizen.
However, anyone working here will be covered by the thai social security scheme and it’s associated health insurance scheme (and note you need to be working for a thai employer to be eligible for PR in the first place).
When you stop working you can elect to keep paying the 432 baht per month health insurance premium so you can continued to be covered by the Thai SS heath coverage. That’s regardless of your residency status. So long as you don’t stop paying this small premium, you’ll always be covered. Incredibly good value for money.
At that point it is how much you value the permanence that PR gives?
Hello. I have lived and worked in Thailand with the same employer, on a continuous / uninterrupted Work Permit since 2009. I am married to a Thai citizen. We were married in 2020.
How would this fair in meeting the required criteria of the application?
From the submission of the application, what is the average processing and final approval time for the application.
What is the cost for the application.
So not sure if you’ve seen it, but we’ve got a full article on this where you can get a good idea of if you qualify or not.
The one thing I’ll say at the moment is that to be eligible to apply based on marriage, you need to be married for three years (if you have no kids) or one year if you do have kids. After that point, the above article will apply.
Does becoming a Thai citizen entitle you to the Thai universal healthcare system? Or would you still need to provide your own coverage?
Yes it does – you’ll automatically get signed up and allocated a hospital based on your tabieen Baan. Even if it doesn’t happen automatically, a quick trip to the district office should fix it.
Quick question. Is it only possible to get citizenship while working? I am applying for PR. Once I receive it, I would like to retire and then apply for citizenship after 5 years. I will be able to show a substantial income, i.e. retirement income (greater than 100,00 per month). Will that work? Or must I absolutely still hold a work permit? Thanks!
Hi – so if you aren’t working then you won’t be eligible. A hard a fast rule is the three years of WP and Tax returns at the time of application.
Thanks very much
Hi, i am balwinder working in bangkok, i have own business, my son born in thailand, now he 17 years old, he studying in Thailand , how can he apply for thai citizenship
So you don’t mention if you or your wife are Thai citizens or PR’s, but I will assume you are not. In that case, if was born and educated in Thaialnd, as long as he graduates from a Thai university, then he can apply for citizenship. Page 4 of this document linked here is produced by BORA, which handles citizenship issues. On page 4 you will see a highlighted section which refers to your son’s case. I am unfamiliar with the process however, so you will have to speak to them. The link is below:
Unfortunately no, they did not give us a timeframe. So we just have to wait at the moment and if they need anything else, they will contact my relatives. I will keep you update as usual. Thank you.
Understood – then hopefully you can pursue a process of ‘active follow up’ lest this get put on a dusty pile which will get forgotten.
After the several times of follow up, the district officer still claimed that they could not recognize my dad was Thai and hence unable to issue him a Thai ID card and register him on a new house registration. As for the DNA test, we found out that my father’s half brother passed away few years ago and won’t be able to go through this way. Is there any other ways that we can follow up our case? Thank you in advance.
Sorry to hear that the DNA test isn’t an option. I’m not totally familiar with the range of relatives who are eligible to be tested, but I thought his siblings (if he had any) would have been sufficient.
So I don’t have any easy answers. I know for instance that Thai citizens who moved away many years ago (ie. 1960’s and 70’s) were able to get back into the system by literally hiring one of the district office staff and paying them some OT to dig through paper files which should be there and re-establish citizenship and their Thai ID that way. Beyond that, the DNA test was really the route of last resort.
Haven’t the district office said to you what they actually might need off you? Or are they being a bit opaque on that?
We have contacted the district office agian and the answer was the same. They only said that they could not recognize my dad was Thai and did not give us any further advice, so I would say they are being opaque and not willing to help with this issue. Do you happen to have anymore advice on this matter? Thank you.
Thanks for the feedback. This is really a head scratcher. I know from what other people say and from my own experience, the district office should be able to dig out his old records if they have enough information to cross reference it and then start the process from there. I seem to recall that you said his Chinese and Thai names are different, but that could easily be solved from a letter from the HK or Chinese authorities confirming that he is one in the same person which should be acceptable to the Thai authorities. Then he’d still need two Thai witnesses to vouch for him, but that should be the main process.
Yes, the district office was able to recognize his birth and we have tried searching all addresses on the birth certificate, but my dad’s name wasn’t on any of them. So no house registration for my dad at the moment I assumed and the documents we have on hand are the birth certificate, my grandpa’s death certificate and some of the old house registrations of my grandpa.
For your question regarding why they can’t register my dad. Well, we haven’t actually tried registering him yet as we wanted to look for more information before registration. However, We are going to try registering my dad in one of my relative’s house registration this afternoon. I will update you again. Thank you.
Thanks for the update. I’d simply try and move onto registering him on a new house registration. If you have existing relatives to vouch for him then it shouldn’t be a huge issue. Fingers crossed and good luck!
We went back to the place where issued the birth certificate and asked to register my dad on a new house registration. However, they told us the documents we have now are not sufficient to do so even the birth certificate, death certificate and other old house registrations of my grandpa are real. We would need to have more proof like DNA test report and our relatives couldn’t do much about it. Anyway, they have opened a file to further investigate our case. Let’s see what will happen next.
Thanks for letting me know. The DNA thing can requested – it will require a visit to an accredited government hospital and require I think someone who is a blood relative aunt or uncle to assit.
The only thing I can say is to keep pushing, the district office can often drag its feet on these things.
Good luck with it all and sorry to hear it hasn’t been as straight forward as it could.
We have explained my dad’s situation to some other officers and submitted all documents for their further investigation. Hope it turns out good.
Great. It sounds like the may have discretion. Did they give you a timeframe? I think if they go the DNA route the district office may need to issue a formal letter requesting it citing the relevant regulations
So after 3 years as married to a Thai person…is there any way you can satisfy the work component by being self employed? Online investing? anything like that? Looking for digital nomad style options…
Unfortunately no. Employment by a thai registered company is the only way. It can be your own company of course.
I had some questions on how to get on the path of citizenship. I’m a 27 year old male from US.
From the main ways of qualification for citizenship that you said, only working or marriage would apply to me.
I’ve read that knowing how to read/write Thai is required, is this correct? I’m about to start a 1 year Thai course on an ED visa.
Currently, I’m not working and not married. But I plan on marrying my Thai girlfriend in 2023. If I’m married, does it matter whether I’m working or not in Thailand? Like, could I teach English for one year, take a year off, start teaching English again, and still qualify for citizenship if I’m married to my Thai girlfriend? How many years does it take being in Thailand in order to qualify for citizenship?
So at the end of the above mentioned article, there is a link to this article HERE which will answer most of your questions.
The long and the short of it is, if married, you need to be living and working in Thailand for 3 years, income from a Thai registered employer earning at least 40,000 baht per month and paying tax on that. Qualification is based on a points system. Earn enough points and you qualify. Depending on which areas you draw your points from, the need to speak Thai can effectively be waived.
Ok, question. I’m about to start my ED visa for 1 year. Next year, I’ll start teaching English on a non-b visa. I am not married yet, but plan to get married later in 2023, while on non-b visa. If I switch over to non-o visa after getting married, does the time on the 3 years reset? Should I even switch to non-o visa if I get married like 6 months after I start working on non-b visa?
Also, does the 40,000 baht requirement still work if it’s on a non-b visa, or does it need to be 40k baht per month while on the non-o visa?
And another question I was curious about is if looking to get citizenship while on a non-b visa, if I were to leave a school for a new school, does my non-b get reset all over again? Not sure how that works as I haven’t worked in Thailand before.
So the important thing to remember is there CAN NOT be any gaps between your visas or work permits. While there may be some dispensation given for a few days, don’t bet on it. So if you are transferring between employers then you’ll need to co-ordinate with your old and new employer that your respective work permits end and start the same day. Otherwise the clock will reset.
Switching between an O and B shouldn’t be an issue so long as it is done in country. No visa runs.
Remember too, the 3 year clock won’t start until you are married, even if you are working before hand. If you have a child, that 3 years turns into one year of needing to be married, but that doesn’t change the consecutive three year requirement for extensions of stay, work permits, income and taxes.
So in order to qualify, you literally can’t travel outside of the country like going back to USA for a week or 2, you have to stay in Thailand for the entire time? Can you qualify for citizenship by just being on a non-o visa for 3 years, and not working, but having the 400k+ in a thai bank account the entire time? Is getting permanent residency an easier or harder, faster or slower process than citizenship? When I get married, would you suggest switching from non-b to non-o if I wanted to continue teaching? If I wanted to leave a job, I assume on a non-b I’d have to leave the country, and on a non-o I can stay no problem?
no, you can maintain continuous visa and WP status if you get a ‘re-entry permit’ which lets you re-enter Thailand on the same visa status you had.
As for the other stuff you ask. You need to work. No way around it.
The ins and outs on how to change visas I can’t comment on. Suggest you ask those on the Thai Visa FB group which has good group of people there who can help you on that.
All your other questions are covered in our articles in both PR and Citizenship.
I wanted thai citizenship.
Someone help me. Please.
Are you working in thailand? Are you married to a thai citizen? Was one of your parents a thai citizen?
Are you working in thailand? Are you married to a thai citizen? Was one of your parents a thai citizen?
Se eu tiver muito dinheiro, posso conseguir um acordo governamental? Eu e minha filha gostaríamos muito de ter a cidadania tailandesa
Unless you have a Thai parent then the only path to Thai citizenship is via the routes you see here on the website. There are no routes based on simply holding money.
Hi – for the company documentation, what is meant “other related documents”?
Hi Bob – so you’ll need to special branch as to what documents they need from you. It can vary, but it probably will be the certificate of establishment, shareholder lists and on occastion, audited statements.
Hello, I just came across this article. Thanks! It gives us hope. My husband and I are both Americans, and have been in Thailand, full time, for 6 years now. We haven’t been back to the states once. We have been taking Thai lessons, and have settled permanently.
Currently, we just got a approved for our own BOI company in digital services! (We are shareholders). We read that we must be on this visa/work permit for 3 years before we can apply for PR. We also read we must be on PR for 10 years before we can apply for citizenship. Is this all true? Because we are late 50s, so in 13 years, we would be around 70. Not sure if that will work. I would love to hear your advice on our particular situation. Thank you!
Hi there – yes so you are correct on needing to be 3 years WP to qualify for PR.
Fortunately it’s not 10 years between PR and citizenship. In your situation you need to be PR (and working etc) for 5 years before applying for citizenship.
Where you may have heard 10 years being mentioned was how long it would take to be eligible – starting from scratch like you are. For example 3years working – apply PR, 12 to 18 months waiting time for PR approval, 5 years on PR – eligible to apply for citizenship. All this is 9 or 10 years when lined up.
Our website has an article on how to which will give you some idea of the requirements further down the track.
Please let us know if you have any questions and all the best on your journey!
I am living in Thailand since 17th August 1996 and married to a Thai person and having two daughters like 7 years and 9 years old and both are having Thai ID now. I can speak Thai but I cannot read or write Thai. Having continuous visa and work permit for 3 years as well. Whether I can able to get Thai ID. Is there any specific documents required to apply for this. Thank you for your help in this regard.
Please check out the rest of our website (www.thaicitizenship.com). Depending on your circumstances there are different paths, but our article about how to get Thai citizenship based on marriage is right at the top (as well as there already being a link in this article you’ve just read. In those articles there will be a detailed list of pre-requistes you need to meet as well as links to the documents you need.
Thank you for the insightful and inspiring articles!
Question from a foreign man married to Thai woman: How about teaching jobs that pay a working salary of 42,000 baht/month and a retainer salary of 10,000 baht/month when school is on break 3-4 months out of the year? Guessing it wouldn’t qualify even after paying taxes for 3 years, but thought I should ask a pro before giving up on the job. Thanks for your help!
Glad you’ve found the site useful. The long and short of it is you need to have – on an average basis – 40k per month.
With the arrangement you speak of it may mean that you come in just under that average for that one job unless you aren’t including annual bonuses.
When school breaks – supplementing that income would put you over the top. Easier said than done but if you can find a company willing to do that (maybe even your own?) then that would mean your income hits the threshold you need.
Very interesting and informative podcast on Bangkok Podcast! I’m married to a Thai person, living in Thailand since 2010, with all the necessary requirements except continuity with work permits. Unfortunately when I changed jobs, the Ministry of Labor didn’t allow me to continue my work permit under the new company as I was transfering from a BOI company, to non-BOI company. Rather, they issued me a new work permit. There wasn’t any gap in time between jobs, but as such my current work permit doesn’t have 3 years or more. I have also all my tax returns for each year. Do you think there’s anyway they would allow this given the technicality non-transferable BOI work permits?
It isn’t necessary for you to be in your current job (and associated WP) for three years before you apply.
All that is required is that you have three consecutive years of work permits, and if there is a change between jobs, there is no gap between work permits. As such, most people who are aiming for citizenship and change jobs work to ensure that their old and new work permits change over on the same day to ensure there is no ‘gap’. It isn’t clear what special branch consider a ‘gap’ but I think anything more than a few days between work permits may risk re-setting the three year clock.
As always, for specific questions as to your own circumstances, do go down and chat with special branch and they will give you some additional clarity on it.
Thanks very much for your thoughts on this. I suspect I’ll be in grey area. My hope is that the intention of the requirement can be applied in my case. I will indeed go down to the special branch. I’ve spoken with friends and colleagues that have gone through the process and they reaffirm that this department is actually quite helpful. Thanks again!
Not a problem at all. Yep, the SB people are generally helpful so I’d take the old and new work permits down and ask to see if they have any issues with it.
Hi, just an update for the thread. The SB people were very nice and helpful. The feedback was that there isn’t a concern about gaps between work permits provided the change in jobs was seamless and the visa’s reflect that. Moreover, they were mostly interested in seeing the annual taxes. My only problem is that I’ve only been married for 2 years, so I’ll need to wait an additional year to apply.
Well that is excellent news. So another year should fly by – hopefully SB gave you the list of documents they need so you can start collecting them. Great to hear they were nice and helpful as well. If find that people tend to not apply for citizenship as they’d rather not deal with the police. In this case it’s always a pleasant surprise.
My wife was born in Thailand as her family was fleeing Cambodia. She had Thai citizen status but when became a U.S. citizen she was not offered the chance to keep her Thai citizenship. She never officially relinquished her status formally, Can she get her Thai citizenship back?
In normal circumstances a person born with Thai citizenship never loses it unless they formally renounce it.
The one exception – which mainly applies to the children of refugees – who by virtue of legislation in the early 1970s, essentially lost it if they happened to be born in Thailand before that date (see revolutionary act 337 HERE).
You don’t say when your wife was born, but if was post 1971, I suspect she was never actually granted thai citizenship unless BOTH her parents were also legal residents in Thailand (essentially green card holders) at the time of her birth. I’m happy to be proven wrong on this and her Thai birth certificate will state clearly at the top her nationality (in thai of course..).
If the latter is the case then she remains thai.
If not, there is a process for those born in Thailand before 1992 to register as Thai nationals, but it also requires having been registered and living in Thailand and it’s not clear whether your wife meets that threshold.
We have been living in Thailand for over 24 years. I am a Uk passport holder and husband is NZ citizen. We were married in Thailand. We adopted 2 Thai children 13 years ago. Are we eligible to apply for Thai citizenship without PR first ?
To my knowledge the only paths to citizenship which skip PR are those for married to a Thai citizen given the way the legislation is written, so based on what you have written PR would be a mandatory step.
I’m a young adult (over 21 yrs). My father is a PR (in the process of obtaining Thai citizenship). Do I apply to become a Thai citizen immediately after he is naturalizer? Or do I have to apply for PR first before I can apply to be a Thai citizen.
Given you are over 20 now and no longer considered a dependent under Thai law, unfortunately your parents status no longer have a bearing in supporting a path to PR or citizenship for you.
As such the standard route applies for you – having at least three years of work permits at the required income before you are eligible for PR and then holding PR for 5 years and then applying for citizenship after that.
I was born in Thailand in a refugee camp. I do have the birth certificate, but my parents are not Thai. I’m now a U.S citizen and lives here, would it be possible to get Thai citizenship?
Hi there, unfortunately no. At least one of your parents needed to be a thai citizen. If not, both parents needed to be PR at the time of your birth.
The following is my situation:
1) Born to parents who have been naturalized into Thai citizens. They were holding Indian citizenship prior.
2) Holding Permanent Residency for almost 35 years
3) Married to Thai citizen (born in Thailand) for more than 10 years.
4) Have one child who also was born in Thailand and has Thai citizenship.
5) Working abroad but renewing my residency once a year.
Problem is I have not been living here for 3 consecutive years and have not paid taxes here in Thailand, because I work abroad.
Is there a path to getting my Thai citizenship in any other procedure?
Thanks for your response.
Thanks for your question! Unfortunately the requirement of three years of work permits and tax returns in the lead up to application is a non-negotiable, so you are going to have to have those.
I am living in Thailand more than 10 years mist of the time I used to work with work permit
I’m married to thai citizen since 2017 and have a child but since I got married I change my visa to marriage and didn’t make work permit anymore
Can I apply to this or I need to go back to do WP
If your work permit has lapsed then the 3 year clock has restarted – you’ll need to be working for three years before you are eligible again.
I just turned to 66 and have ten years here. Married to Thai woman and we have a kid. I worked here from the first minute. But work permit book and a residence confirmation are difficult to show. This latest because I usually worked for 12 months to a school. My Thai is very basic. What is my chance to get double citizenship?
You don’t elaborate by what you mean when you say that ‘work permit book and a residence confirmation are difficult to show’.
One of the non-negotiables for applying is that you have three consecutive years of work permits and extensions of stay – no gaps. If you have this, then you should check out the points system article on our site to figure out if you have enough points to qualify. Language ability is only one of the criteria you are assessed on.
Thanks for that detailed information much appreciated.
I have just applied last month and did not know could piggy ride the family on the application.I am also checking through the Special branch to get more information which could share it on receipt.
Its a good idea for what you have given to apply for my wife post getting the Thai nationality she could apply.
Does the tax have to be 3 years minimum to be paid or just 1 year preceding the application will hold good for supporting my wife’s application for citizenship..
Lastly the Civic exam is in Thai or English
Do we need to sing the National Anthem and King’s Anthem.
Please throw more light on this subject will appreciate it so so much.
Keep up the great work as you are surely well verse and transparent on processes and have a great service to the guys around.
The civics test will be in thai but depending on your thai skill level you can read it yourself or have it read to you.
Not being married to a Thai you’ll have to sing both the Royal and national anthem as part of the process too.
Once you get naturalised, and apply for Thai citizenship for your wife, you only need to show one years worth of tax returns and evidence of the previous years income and employment, so the bar is also set a bit lower on that front. The other thing that won’t apply to you is needing to show evidence of military service as that is not applicable to you. Neither will your wife have to do the civics test or have any particular level of thai language ability.
If you do find out about the family application, please let us know as I think it would be helpful to a lot of people.
Thanks for the feedback surely will check and advise you on the same with the special branch.
one more question if you are unable to sing or write the exam do you get disqualified.
Being able to sing both anthems is compulsory. The exam only matters to boost your point tally, so if you are struggling to get 50 points, it matters.
I have a quick question, maybe you can help. I want to apply for thai citizenship based on marriage and as far as I understand I actually tick all the boxes.
– have been living in Thailand since 17 years
– have been with work permit and 1 year extensions since 12 years without break
– have been married to a Thai since 8 years and have 1 child with her
– speak quite good Thai
– will be 40 years old in January
The only thing is, I never made a tabien baan in all those years but I understand you should have had one for 5 years.
I’m wondering now, is it still possible for me to apply for citizenship even without the house book? Or do I have to make one and then wait at least another few years before I apply?
Thank you in advance for your advice and thank you for making such an informative website.
No stress on not having been on the tabieen baan for 5 years. You only have to have one to apply and there is no minimum time you need to be on it.
The 5 year thing only comes onto play as based on a reading of the rules, it bumps up your points count if you have held it for 5 years or more, which mainly favours PR holders who need to have held PR for 5 years before applying for citizenship. As you are married to a Thai national, obviously you can skip that step, so you can apply as soon as you have the TB in your hands and are otherwise qualified.
The only thing I’ll say is to ensure that the registered address is in Bangkok so you are eligible to apply at the special branch HQ.
All the best with your application.
I have written some questions to you half a year ago regarding to my father’s situation. He was born in Thailand in 1952 and left Thailand around 1956 or 1957. I know it’s been a long time and what I have in hand is just his Thai birth certificate. There are some questions I would like to ask.
1) I have asked someone to call and check if my father had a house registration but they did not allow the third party or authorized attorney to check on behalf of my father. In this case, is there any other ways that I can check about it?
2) The name on his Thai birth certificate is different from the name on his current passport now. How can he establish a name change and prove to the amphoe that this is the same person?
Please advice and thank you very much in advance.
It sounds like the case where your father might have to come to Thailand himself and speak to the relevant department if they don’t allow third parties. I know of a couple of people who have done exactly that, and have been able to re-establish their house registration.
As you say though, he is going to have to show how he changed his name. I seem to recall he is now in HK, and I’m not sure what the established conventions there are in terms of naming, but if there is a paper trail of some sort which can be translated I think that is what will be needed.
Obviously key details would need to match up otherwise as well between his Thai and HK documents, such as his date of birth, place of birth, parents names etc.
Do you have any recommendation or agency that can help regarding this matter? Thank you.
Unfortunately I don’t. What people generally do is approach the district office where he was born in person (your dad should be the person to do this in the first instance) and normally they can dig up his records either on the computer (which will be free) or they might require someone to dig through the paper files. Generally the district office will do it themselves, or they can recommend an authorised officer who you might have to pay Overtime so they do it on your behalf.
Annecodotally, I know of a woman in her 60’s who did just this. Her surname had changed via marriage after she moved to Australia in the 1970s, but was able to dig up her old files and subsequently get her ID card back. She had her old files of course which seemed to help greatly in the process. This is the best advice I can give you given third parties at this stage seem to be a non-starter.
My dad and I are now in Bangkok and went to check my dad’s house registration. We have been to several district offices and were able to dig up my grandpa’s latest house registration which was back in 1968, but my dad’s name wasn’t in his house registration. So we wanted to trace back his previous house registrations. However, no other house registration informations could be found due to a fire accident in the past and all previous documents are gone.I would like to ask for your advice on this issue. If no other information could be found, how could my dad prove his relationship with my grandpa and register himself in my relative’s house registration as I assume my dad does not have a house registration now? Thank you so much in advance.
I need to ask, have they found any record of your father at all based on his old Thai birth certificate? Do they at least have a record of his birth?
If yes, given he has been away for so long, then more than likely he doesn’t reside on any one house registration and thus not linked to any district office. His name was probably moved to the central tabieen baan many years ago.
It might be worth going to the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) who handle all things registation wise. They will probably be the people to speak to if you run into dead ends at the district level.
Another question, if the district office where he was born recognise his birth certificate, what reason are they giving that they can’t register your father?
Sorry more questions than answers,
I have been living here 25 years and now hold PR and work permit for 6 years now. I have applied for citizenship but wanted to know the following.
1– Can my spouse who is also a PR holder get a Thai passport.
2–Both kids also hold PR are 24 years old can they get citizenship based on me or they have to apply separately.
Kindly let me know with many thanks.
I’m pretty sure the answer to both is they both have to qualify for Thai citizenship under their own steam if you apply now. In the case of your kids it will be because they are now considered adults. I think before they turned 20 they could have been included on your application, but I don’t believe this is possible now. I’d have a chat to special branch about their case however, especially if they were born here and studied university in Thailand as I believe there may be some shortcuts available (but please this is only semi-informed speculation on my part).
Your wife has two options that I know of. She can obviously apply for citizenship based on her own qualifications as a PR, but that would mean she needs to have the requisite income, work permits etc. The other option, which might be worth considering (particularly if she isn’t working at the moment, or doesn’t have the 3 years WPs etc) is to simply wait for you to receive Thai citizenship, at which point, given the slightly sexist nature of the legislation, she can simply apply for Thai citizenship off the back of being married to a Thai husband (see our article here on it). In this case, the onus is off her to prove anything, but it shifts to you, with the main threshold is having a tax return showing you’ve paid tax on an income of 30,000 baht per year in the year before you apply. However given you will be Thai at that point, there is no requirements for the work permits etc.
One of the gaps in my knowledge is if you wife (and maybe even your kids) are just simply able to piggy back off the current application. There are many family’s announced in the Royal Gazette as having received Thai citizenship at the same time, so its also something worth exploring with Special Branch.
I marriage to Thai woman and l have daughter, my visa was touring every year l come to Thailand 🇹🇭 the year 2020 in February l have to go out of the country but because of my difficulties to move and the Covid-19 became worth l visit my mbassy then returned to Pattaya and the Police caught me then detained me from Pattaya Police to Immigration detained in Bangkok after stay 14 days Quarantine and l was contacted the Ottawa and the Embassy they offered tickets to get back to Canada 🇨🇦 l contacted you to acting to get back to my family because the thai migration in 99 days they wrote overstay for not enter Thailand only after 5 years lam seeking Law Firm to waive the order.
Sorry to hear your story. Unfortunately we aren’t immigration agents so not in a position to offer any advice here.
All the best and I hope you can sort your situation.
I was adopted from Thailand when I was 8 yrs old. I found out that I was born in Phitsanulok province. I am a U.S citizen and will be 57 years old. Is it to late to get a dual citizenship? If I still can get a dual citizenship what document do I need to have?
From what I’ve seen, being adopted doesn’t extinguish Thai citizenship, so on paper, you are still a Thai citizen. Your challenge is going to be be getting all your Thai documentation, starting with your original Thai birth certificate. You’ll need to get your hands on that and from that you can get the Thai ID card and then passport. So if you don’t have any of the original documentation, you’ll need to determine where exactly you were born and then based on that, find out which district office you were first registered at and then get certified copies from that district office to start the ball rolling.
I am French, on work permit for over 10 years, have permanent residency for 4 years and married for 3 years with a Thai women. We have a 2 year old kid.
What would be the best route for Thai Citizenship? Would it difficult for me? Take along time?
Who to contact?
Though you’d qualify in your own right, your best route (so long as you are still working) is to apply based on marriage to a Thai spouse. It lets you skip the need to have to sing the royal and national anthems as part of the test, and also have a lower income threshold. You’ll still be awarded points for your time on PR, which will go a long way getting you the 50 points required. Please check out the article on the website which will outline everything you need to know.
All the best with it!
I’m hoping to know more about retirement visas. I’ve done some research and have found that I have to be 50yo have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank.( I thought I read it had to be for two years prior than getting the visa but I’m not sure.) Also, I was under the impression that the RV lasts for one year. Anyway can you confirm this and/or add anything else I might need to know?
Thanks for your time.
Hi Thomas, to be honest I know very little about retirement visas. What I do know is that most Thai visas require an ‘extension of stay’ on an annual basis where your qualifications to stay are reassesed, and if you qualify, you are given another year. For the money in the bank, yes for retirement visas you need to have money in the bank in the lead up for any application and extension of stay, but I don’t know the ins and outs of it. But I think it is only for 3 months rather than 2 years. Most people however just open a bank account and just keep the money in there and never tough it again.
I have held PR status for over five years and i’m married to a Thai. I’m retired so don’t have a work permit, and my Thai language skills are not very good. I can demonstrate sufficient income. Do you think I have any chance to get Thai citizenship?
Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, based on what you’ve told me, citizenship at this point isn’t going to be open to you given the need for three years of WPs in the lead up to application. So based on what I know, I think this will rule you out. To be honest, I find it frustrating that there isn’t a route for people like yourselves who have shown a long term commitment to Thailand and I hope that the powers that be open up that route one day soon.
Sorry I can’t be the bearer of better news.
Thank you for your quick reply. I guessed as much, but do find it annoying that you need three years work immediately applying for PR, only to have the same requirement repeated for Citizenship application. If my PR hadn’t taken six years to process, I would have still been in employment after 5 years with PR.
Hi there, really appreciate your commitment to helping folks. Have you ever heard of any consideration for folks who have adopted a Thai child? My wife and I have been here on a work permit for 16 years but the permanent residence fee just doesn’t seem worth it. We are American; our son is 18 but due to a bureaucratic blunder did not get U.S. citizenship, and plans to continue living in Thailand anyway. Thanks so much in advance.
Glad you have found the site and find it useful!
To be honest, the ability to ‘skip’ PR and get citizenship is only offered to those who have married a Thai citizen themselves. So I think that would exclude your situation unfortunately.
In terms of the value if PR – totally understand where you are coming from and the perceived value varies from person to person. What i will say it is a very secure status here – and governments have little leeway in cancelling PR once it is granted. Obviously it is also a path to Thai citizenship who’s application fee is around 5000 baht, so if you want to view the process holistically, it may change the value proposition for you.
In addition, thinking about it all a little bit strategically, if you applied for PR and then went on and got citizenship, your wife could (when you became a Thai citizen) easily apply for citizenship on the basis of being married to a Thai husband. She could skip PR doing that – but you yourself would have to go through the PR and citizenship process yourself.
Anyway, all the best with everything and sorry I couldn’t be the bearer of better news.
Ok, makes sense. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response
Thanks for your advise. This is a good news for me. Let’s see what I can do and I will update you about it.
My father was born in Thailand in 1952 with Thai Birth certificate but he left for China in 1957 or 1958 ( not sure what kind of passport he used back then, he then moved to Hong Kong in 1973. Moreover, his name on Thai certificate is somehow different from the name on his currently Hong Kong passport. What I have now is just his Thai birth certificate. Is there any possibility that he can acquire or regain Thai citizenship? Thank you in advance! 🙏🏻
For all intents and purposes, your father is still a Thai citizen.
He’d likely have to establish how his name changed – but at the same time this isn’t an unusual occurrence. He’d have to have a chat with the Thai consulate in HK in the first instance to see if they are happy to issue him with some sort of temp travel document, but I suspect he might have to come back to Thailand and travel to the district where he was born to retrieve his original house registration.
From this point he can re register on the tabieen ban (ie house registration) under his original name, get a new ID card and then obviously he can get a new Thai passport at that point if he wishes. You will likely need help of relatives/Thai speakers to help you with this process and you’ll certainly need someone in Thailand to allow him to be registered at a Thai address to get the ID card re-issued.
Any and all old Thai ID that your father has will be very useful for this process.
Hopefully this helps.
The only document I have on hand is just my father’s Thai birth certificate and it’s not a problem to re register on the tabieen ban. I have consulted the Thai consulate in HK, I was asked to prove that the Thai birth certificate belongs to my father which I can’t and my father doesn’t Know which district he was born. Is there any way to check which district he was born? Does the birth certificate state it? Thank you.
Yes, the birth certificate should give the location of his birth and where it was first registered. Does he still have any relatives back in Thailand who can help?
Hello , For applying Thai citizenship does Special Police require certified copies of your Passport?
It would require a certified copy.
Hi my father is born in Thailand in 1957 but in 1966 he came to india at the age of 8 years my grandparents was thai citizenship . After that he never go back to thailand please help how he can get citizenship we dont have any doccuments
Basically, your father is still a Thai citizen, but will need to obtain documentation to prove it. The best option for him is to go to the local municipality where he was born and work with them to search through archives for his birth and house registration records. I know people who have been in similar situations to your father who gathered copies for their old birth records,and after some cross referencing were able to get Thai ID cards issued.
It would be ideal of course that ANY old Thai ID that he can find for either himself or his parents (passports, birth certificates etc)…so if there is any way to dig them up they will be immensely helpful.
Hi, thank you for the very informative website. What if I don’t work but I’m able to score very high in all the other requirements? (like education, age and language). Will it be possible to acquire the citizenship anyway?
Hi Alex – thanks for your feedback on the website.
The long and the short of it is, that without a valid work permit and tax returns for the past three years, your application won’t be accepted. Obviously, you can skip PR if you are married to a Thai citizen, that is the main allowance they give for those men who are married to a Thai citizen.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
Hi. I’m holding PR (Tangdoa) fo 23 years but haven’t lived or worked in Thailand. Can i apply for citizenship ? What is the procedure ? Thanks in advance
Thanks for your message. Unless you have been working in the three years in the lead up to application, unfortunately you won’t be eligible.
May I ask however how have you managed to keep your PR while outside of Thailand? Your PR expires if you are outside of Thailand for more than one year. In any case, here is the article which you will need should you reach the point for qualifying. As you already have PR the process in the article below will apply to you.
All the best!
is this website still used? You seem like you may be one of the few people with answers…
I am a half Thai half American looking to obtain Thai citizenship. I recently got my Thai birth certificate in Washington DC, where they told me I had all I needed if I wanted to go to Thailand and be put onto a house registration. Excited to start my new life, i returned, where of course, things weren`t so easy.
As my Thai is poor, the understanding I had was that they were requesting – 3 power of attorney forms from my Thai father (living in the US), as well as his translated marriage certificate (I have the original in English), and a copy of my mom`s American passport. Does this sound standard – and, more importantly, are there details that we missed? Does this process change depending on the Amphoe?
Also, is it possible to obtain the Thai passport before an ID card? (I entered Thailand on a visa exemption which I`ve extended…seeing as my embassy told me I had what I`d need. Oy vey.)
Yep, this site still very much in use but given his COVID-19 thing we are all in a bit of a flux working from home so I can’t attend to it as much.
Last question first – you’ll need a house registration and ID card before you can get the passport if applying in Thailand. In your case, it should have been possible for the embassy in the US to issue you your first passport without the ID card, but they can only do it until a certain age these days.
In terms of what the district office is requesting – there is the potential for it to vary, but yeah, they probably are asking for standard documents. You should ask them for a list of required documents and if you scan it I can try to assist. The power of attorney forms are likely going to be so you can sign on his behalf in getting you onto the house registry. Your mums US passport may or may not need to be officially translated into Thai as well, but you will certainly need her name translated into Thai so they can transcribe her details onto the house registration as well (which will all be in Thai of course).
In terms of extension of stay, you should be able to get a years extension of stay based on being a thai citizen in your US passport (see section 2.23 http://www.samutprakanimmigration.go.th/downloads/policy777-2551_en.pdf) which will hopefully make the interim time here a little bit easier visa wise.
Hey, thanks so much…
I can see if I can get them to give me a list of the required documents.
As far as getting the passport through the embassy, yeah, I seriously wish I’d done that. The only reason I didn’t was because they said I’d be able to here. Figures huh?
And thanks for the info on visa extension – I’ve been looking into that. I’ve already extended once and my next will have to be an “emergency extension” with a letter from the US embassy, but will certainly try. Thanks again so much for your help.
I am interested in a Thai citizenship. I was born and raised in Belgium. My father is 100% Belgian, so I automatically received Belgian citizenship since birth. My mother was born and raised in Thailand, but then she married my father 30 years ago in Belgium and received Belgian citizenship and has been living in Belgium ever since. Thus, she only has Belgian citizenship now.
I am 22 years right now and doing an internship in Bangkok. I am interested in receiving a Thai citizenship besides my Belgian citizenship (so a dual nationality: Belgian-Thai) since I am planning to come to Thailand more often. People told me that I should try applying for Thai citizenship through my mother, but I wonder if this will work since she only has a Belgian citizenship since she got married? Or do you have any other advice/information that you could give me?
Have a nice day!
It depends if your mother had to formally renounce her Thai citizenship in order to get her Belgian citizenship. From what I understand, belgium doesn’t allow dual nationality, so it may be the case your mum formally renounced her Thai citizenship in order to become Belgian.
If she formally renounced it, she would have done so via the Thai government and that renunciation would have been published in the royal gazette.
If she didn’t – then you are in luck. You can apply for a Thai birth certificate via the Thai embassy in Brussels. Please see this article if that is the case:
All the best.
Honestly, your dedication and patience to answer every question is to be commended.
Learned much on the below and can say I’m hopeful with the process.
I’m married to a Thai citizen and have been living here continuously for 13 years with WP / income / positive records.
I believe I hit all the required points and could be eligible right away.
Despite living here for 13+ years. I speak basic Thai and do understand it. I work in the Corporate world so everyone speaks pretty good English. Haven’t put in the effort to be able to read and right Thai. I also have basic understanding but I would consider myself fluent
I can learn the anthem and the dedication to the king.
Just concerned about my Thai proficiency. I can have very basic communication. Simple chat in the market with a taxi. At a bar or restaurant. Etc…pretty basic. I know should have put the effort after 13+ years.
Any details on the test requirements ? Should I brush up on my Thai and be fluent before apply. Take Thai classes ?
The thing to remember is that the determination is based on the points system. There is no requirement that you speak Thai to any particular level, but they will allocate points for it if you do. As such, if you manage to get the points though other areas, then the language is not as important for your application to be approved. I suspect after 13 years your Thai is probably better than you think, so you’ll probably glean a few points anyway. But I wouldn’t stress to much, plenty of people aren’t anywhere near fluent and still get it.
As for singing the anthems, given you are married to a Thai national, that requirement is waived – so no need to go out of your way to learn them.
All the best with your application.
Hi, so glad I stumbled upon this site! I was born in Thailand to my Thai mother and American father. I now reside in the U.S. I only have a Certification of Report of Birth Abroad, issued by the U.S. Dept of State, along with a copy of that application. I also have what I think is a copy of my Thai birth certificate (would need to get it translated to confirm). Are these documents enough to confirm my Thai citizenship? I would like to then use that to obtain a Thai passport. I plan to take a trip to Thailand later this year and want to ensure I have the necessary paperwork with me.
Apologies for the delayed response – for some reason it went to spam.
Being born in Thailand, the birth certificate will contain your ID number at the top. Any district office will then be able to tell you where (if anywhere) you have been registered on the house registration. It will likely be at the address of where your mum lived at the time, or the house of a relative.
Do you have a copy of the house registration?
The district office there should simply be able to issue you with an ID card then and there (though because you have been away so long you might need to have two other Thai citizens vouch for you) , and off the back of that, you can easily apply for a Thai passport.
Hey my grandmother is a Thai citizen and my mom is half Thai and I’m a quarter and we were both born in the United States, I plan on studying abroad to Thailand but I was wondering if I can apply to get dual citizenship if I am Thai as well?
Hi there, you sure can get Thai citizenship. Thai citizenship is mainly determined by blood, regardless of the place of birth. Start by checking out this article but you will probably need your Grandmothers Thai citizenship documents, your mothers (if she hasn’t got them already) and off the back of that, you’ll be able to apply for a Thai birth certificate through the Thai embassy in Washington DC.
All the best and feel free to ask any further questions.
Is it possible for naturalization. As for naturalization one of the criteria is to have a continual visa for a few years. Under this scenario that would not be possible as the person would not have a passport since he is stateless.
Again, I’m at a bit of a loss on how to answer this one given I have no experience in this area. Have you tried speaking to Special Branch in Bangkok on this issue yet, as they would be the best people to ask about Naturalisation. Otherwise, if they are stateless, in particular from a neighboring country, then BORA might be the best bet (https://www.bora.dopa.go.th/nationclinic/NewHTML/Section10.htm).
Sorry I’m not being of more help here! But if you have any information to share, please feel free to put it here is it would be a great resource for people.
Hi can a stateless person living in Thailand for many years apply for Thai citizenship? Stateless person having white ID card that says the person is not born in Thailand but have been staying in Thailand for many years.
My honest answer is that ‘I’m not sure’, but unless they are from a ethnic hill tribe or other minorities designated in the ministerial regulations I think the answer is no.
hey… im married to a Thai, we have 2 kids (5&6years) and im ben working here for 10 years now, how do i apply for the citizen ship ?
Please check out this article on how you can apply for citizenship via marriage to a Thai wife
been living in thailand since 9th march 2014 thai wife and retired could i have thai citizenship
Thanks for your message. Unfortunately if you are retired here you aren’t eligible to apply by virtue of being married to a Thai spouse. You need to have been working for three years on consecutive valid work permits before being eligible to apply for Thai citizenship.
About a year ago someone told me that the possibility to become a Thai citizen had become easier for persons who are permanent residents and maybe even for others. I am 64 years old, I lived in Thailand for 21 years, I was granted Permanent Residency 10 years ago, my wife is Swedish as well and had her PR for 10 years as well. I stopped working 2 years ago, which means that I don’t have my WP anymore (my wife does as someone need to support me:). Our Thai is for some reason still poor after 21 years. What is my situation regarding citizenship.
Thanks for you message. I think in your situation you won’t be eligible for Thai citizenship, but your wife may be eligible. Unfortunately, two of the key criteria for you to get the minimum of 50 out of 100 points in the points test are profession and income, so if you don’t have either of these, the way the points test is structured, you are going to struggle to get the 50 points.
You can check out the points system here: https://www.thaicitizenship.com/scoring-criteria-for-thai-naturalisation-applications/
On top of that, they require 3 years of unbroken work permits and tax payments. Given this, your wife would likely be eligible if she has three years of unbroken WP, but you won’t be based off applying for yourself given you have now retired. One thing I am still researching is if family applications can be made for dependents like yourself. It may be worth you asking special branch if this is possible, but as said, prima facie, your wife will likely be eligible herself – but whether she can somehow include you in her application, I am not sure.
Hi. After reading your response I was so hopeful. But yet again….. I called dept of consular. They said they did not translate documents until they were stamped or insured as an official document from American embassy or consulate (not sure what the difference is) in America and then they would stamp it here. So I thought I would try a professional translating company. They then gave me the information that I don’t need to take it back to the US and that the American embassy in Bangkok would be able to stamp it as a real document and then I could bring it to the translating company. Again I’m still hopeful. Well then I called the embassy in Bangkok and they confirmed they don’t translate or stamp my type of documents (passport & marriage cert). So I went to the website and it does state they don’t offer that service. (Sigh!) I’m so tired and so confused. I thought I would ask your advice one last time before I give up but it’s not looking too good. I’m sure you must be bored of me by now. So thank you again. I genuinely appreciate all your help.
You are right, this step can trip a few people up given each country has its own requirements. I found this link on the US embassy website, which explains the process. It looks like you might have to go through an whole process in the US before they can finally be accepted by the department of consular affairs here.
Sounds like you’ll need to do this and then come back for another trip in the future. Not ideal, but it looks like the clearest path.
Hi, since the last time you answered me, I am now in Thailand and went to the amphoe. They looked at my BC, American passport and marriage certificate. They said I needed passport and marriage certificate translated before they would look at it. So I called the Thai embassy in Bangkok and they said I needed to get it stamped that it is an official document (?) before I could bring it BACK to Thailand to have it translated? Does that sound right to you? I only have another week left here and wanted to see if there was anything I could do before I went back empty handed. Thank you again for your time.
There isn’t a Thai embassy in Bangkok. Are you referring to the Department of Consular Affairs on Chaengwattana Rd?
What you need to do, and probably do it yourself given the limited time, is take the passport and marriage certificate there. In the building there will be a number of accredited translation agencies. Once translated, they (or you can) take it upstairs to the Consular Affairs office where they will legalise the translation, at which point with the official Garuda stamp, it will be as good as an offically issued Thai document. You can then take these back to your district office and hopefully that will be all they need.
Thanks so much for your helpful site. I’m a Thai naturalized US Citizen living in the US. My son is 30 year old US Citizen living in Thailand for the past 3.5 years. His father was Thai (he passed away 13 years ago). We changed our Thai last name to a shorter name in the US before my son was born. So on his birth certificate, his last name is different than our Thai last name(s). We were not able to change our last name in Thailand. We were divorced when he was 8.
He does not have a Thai birth certificate. We’ve been having difficulty getting one for him since he was born. I’m going to apply for his birth certificate again soon. If I can’t get a birth certificate for him because of the different last names, are there other ways for me to get the birth certificate for him? Thank you so much for your help.
Hi there and thank you for finding this site!
To be honest I’m not going to be of much help here, except to say that the example of my mother and my documentation may provide some hints. My mother is now a naturalized Australian citizen and has been since the 1970’s. Her Australian documentation is all in her married name.
From Thailand’s perspective, my mother actually has never changed her surname from her Thai maiden name to her (western) married name, as such, my own BC as well as all her documentation to now is still in her maiden name (even though she has been married nearly 50 years). Even her Thai pension documents are still in her maiden name :). The only way she can change it is to formally change her surname within the Thai system.
It leads me to think that all the Thai authorities really care about is that the names you use on your sons Thai BC are your original Thai surnames, and that may be one of the reasons why the embassy have been dragging their feet on the issue.
I’m not sure if I’ve been helpful, but based on what I’ve seen, simply registering him using your original name may be a solution?
Thank you for the helpful information, and interaction on this thread. I have a few questions.
1.) If my wife and I are U.S. citizens, the only way towards dual citizenship for us is to hold a Thai Permanent Residency status for 10 consecutive years. Is that correct?
2.) In order to apply for a Thai Permanent Residency, I have read you have to have a visa for 3 consecutive years. Unfortunately, we cancelled our visa after moving back to the U.S. for awhile, but we have been back for a year so in 2 we could ideally apply. However, if we were to change jobs and move cities within this three year time frame, would that break our three consecutive years?
3.) We are having a baby soon. As long as she is a dependent with us she will be fine, but what should we do to prepare for when she gets older if she wants to come back and be a resident in Thailand herself? Is there any benefit she will get from being born here, or will she have to go through the same process as us (assuming the law doesn’t change)?
4.) Do you know anything about adopted Thai children? My wife and I are considering adoption in a few years, and would like to know if our adopted children can easily have dual citizenship.
Thanks for your questions. Last question first – I don’t know anything about adoption, sorry.
For the other questions, yes, you only route is via Thai PR. You need to hold Thai PR for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. To apply for either PR or citizenship you need to have 3 years of unbroken extensions of stays and work permits.
A small gap between one employer and another shouldn’t be an issue, but a larger gap of more than a few weeks likely becomes problematic from a PR application perspective. For this one, best to have a chat with the PR desk at Chaengwattana immigration as they will give you a good steer on the documents you need, but also when you will be eligible to apply.
Working for an international school is no problem.
As for your child being born here, she won’t derive any citizenship benefit unless BOTH parents are PR’s at the time of her birth.
Hope this helps!
5.) Does working at an international school fall under the category of someone who can even apply for Thai Permanent Residency?
Hi, reading your articles you have said you pay 5000thb to submit your citizenship application. What other fees must be paid?
Yes, 5000 baht is the official fee and that is payable upon official acceptance of your application (ie when Special Branch deem that you have all the paperwork necessary for a successful application). Apart from that, not much in the way of fees (or anything else). Registering on the house book and getting the ID card amounts to less than 100 baht all up when your citizenship is approved.
The main ‘cost’ is the time gathering the necessary documents and maybe the two or three trips to special branch as they vet your documents in the lead up to the ‘official’ application.
The process is very clean all up.
Hope this helps.
So thankful to have found your page. I am a US citizen but found that I have a Thai birth certificate. I am now 40yrs old. I was hoping to get back to Thailand to create a Thai ID for myself. You make it sound so easy. So is my birth certificate and my US passport the only documents I’ll need? Don’t they wonder why it has taken me 40yrs to ask for a Thai ID? Also my passport has my married name and my birth certificate obviously has my maiden name, will that be a problem? Ill only be in Thailand for 2 weeks, will that be enough time to get this done? And last, I saw that people keep asking about a blue book, what is that? Sorry for all the questions. Thank you in advance for your help.
The blue book is called ‘tabieen baan’, or house registration in Thai. All Thai citizens born in Thailand are registered on one from birth. Odds are you’ll be registered on a tabieen baan somewhere. You’ll have to find out where, but it will likely be near where you were born. You need to be registered on a tabien baan to get a Thai ID card, and then subsequently, a Thai Passport. Most Thai’s register themselves on a family members house registration, so you’ll need to see about this.
With your BC in your maiden name, and given you haven’t changed your name in Thailand yet to reflect your married name, then it is likely that any Thai ID card will be in your maiden name until you can change your name.
Two weeks should be enough, but you’ll probably need a visit or two to the district office where you are registered.
Trust this is useful and good luck!
Thank you for replying to quickly. I read your reply and was really excited. So I went to check my BC and realized my mother filled out my BC with a United States address. (I have no idea why) Anyway, will this be a problem if I still try to get in my the blue book that my mom and her siblings are on?
So I am just a little confused. Were you born in Thailand or in the US?
If born in Thailand, my response from yesterday is the one that stands, but if you were born in the US, you need to get registered on the tabieen baan first. This will follow the process of visiting the district office where you’d like to be registered, and having bring in your Thai birth certificate, most likely your US passport (as another form of ID), as well as the names of your parents in Thai, and ideally, certified copies (and if necessary, translated) of their ID. You’ll need two witnesses, so relatives are good for this, and the blue book that your mum and her siblings are on is a good place to start. It may take two or three visits, but then once registered you can get your ID card, and once you have that, you can go to the passport office and get a Thai passport issued.
Probably best to ring ahead, and ask your relatives (or whoever is going to help you) to go to the district office in advance to find out the exact documents required (this can vary sometimes) and depending on how busy they are, they may require you to make an appointment to start the process. So having this sorted before you leave the US will save some wasted time.
I was born in the US but I have a Thai BC as well. So my concerns are:
1. My US passport has my married name.
2. My Thai BC has an American address on it because my mother received it from the US embassy in New York.
3. My mother and aunt can go with me to try and get on the bluebook but my aunt is beginning to suffer from dementia. She is the main person on the tabieen baan.
I know I’ve taken much of your time and I just want to thank you so much in advance. But your the 1st source I’ve been able to find with any useful help. This is only one of the many issues I have. We are dealing with my aunts Alzheimer’s which is what led me down this road.
Sorry to hear about your aunt.
Thanks for the additional info. The American address has no bearing on anything. But given you are US born, your first step will be to be registered in the Tabieen Baan (house book) and yes, it will require the house master to ‘allow’ you to enter it. It will be useful for your mum to be there too and whatever Thai documentation she has of course, will be useful. A copy of your dad’s passport might be useful as well, just in case.
Just taking a ‘belt and braces’ approach to cover every eventuality, I’d ask the embassy in DC if they are able to issue any documentation that can confirm your name change. They may not be able to, but it is worth a try.
Otherwise, I’d bring with you your marriage certificate with you to Thailand and it might end up needing to be officially translated before being accepted. (nb. All translations need to be officially certified via the Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is located in Bangkok). There are a range of translators who work nearby and can organize the translations, but check with the US embassy in Thailand to see what the process is for having official US documents translated into Thai and certified by the MFA.
You may not need any of this of course, and hopefully they can simply use your birth certificate and nothing else.
If you have time as well, getting a Thai passport via the Thai embassy in the US would be a good idea as it is another piece of Thai government ID which the registry office would appriciate. I realise it may not be possible if you aren’t located near the embassy or a consulate (eg NY, LA) which can issue passports, but I just wanted to flag it as an option.
As always, if you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to flick them this way.
I am an American Citizen born to a Thai mother (she has dual citizenship but lives in the states). I am currently living in Chiang Mai awaiting my Thai BC. My mother’s father lives down south in Pak Chong and is willing to add me to his Blue House Book. Do I need to be present at his local Amphoe in order to be added or can he take care of this matter on his own? Possibly I can send him the required documents/ translated documents/ copies…?
I appreciate your time and help!
You’ll need to be there in person as it might take a visit or two to get you registered properly. After getting onto the house registration you’ll then need to get an ID card, which requires your photo to be taken in person.
Good luck with it all!
About to go to my uncles to get on his house registration. I have my original thai bc finally and copies of my thai mother’s US and thai ID’s/passports as well as my father’s ID. Question is, what kind of thai witnesses are required for being added to my uncles house book and what should they expect? Thanks
Usually you’d expect for this to take two visits, one just to get the ball rolling (and for the officals to look up how to enter you on the house book) and another for the actually entering and getting your Thai ID card. Most likely they will just want the person who is giving you permission to go onto the house book, as well as (likely) two other people who are thai citizens simply to sign a form and vouch that they know you.
Hi, is there a friendly Amphur you know of that can register me for the yellow book in Bangkok without a thai wife and not having condo properties, just my friend’s blue book and ID card.
Hi there – as you’ll said you’ll need a Thai friend who is willing to register you, but all the main ones I’ve seen towards the centre of town shouldn’t have a problem. Wattana, Patumwan etc are all pretty good. Hope this helps.
I had my cousin in Thailand enquire on my behalf. He notified me that there is no existing warrant from the Thai Police, but said that the military office in Sattahip told him that I can’t go back and change name, apply for a new passport, etc, until after 10 years from the age of 21? Technically I will have to be 31.
Taking in consideration your article ‘Thai Military Service For Dual Citizens’ I assume the military conscription obligation is only from the age of 20 to 30? After turning 30 you’re automatically released from duty.
Thanks for your help.
Good to know there isn’t a warrant out for you with the police! Not sure what the 10 year thing is about. You could always try and renew your Thai passport through the embassy in Australia and see what happens. In terms of the conscription, yes, it is 20 to 30 (well technically, in the year you turn 30), so maybe he is referring to that, and is a little bit off. However, I simply can’t comment as to the issue around absconding and what happens given I don’t know anywhere near enough about it.
I understand that this topic is irrelevant to this post, although I would appreciate your advice if possible.
CASE: I’m Thai born dual citizenship AUS/THA, getting very close to hitting the age of 30.
I was in the Thai military at the age of 21 to serve 2 years, although only served for 3 months, because during a short break to visit my Thai family I decided not to go back and flew back home to AUS.
I would like to go back to Thailand to work, buy property, open up a bank account, etc.
Is there any consequences if I flew back after turning 30?
Is there a simple fine I can pay so the military can overlook this matter?
Your help is greatly appreciated!
Please DM me if you prefer.
To be honest you’d have to check if the military still has you down as an absconder, if there is an existing warrant out for you and if they do, what the statute of limitations is for it. I’m not sure being 30 would affect that. To be honest, you’d have to get a relative, or if not, a lawyer to check with your local conscription office and see what the process is. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.
I’ve NoN O marriage visa extension for last 7 years, work permit for 3 years, donation receipts for last 4 years,my yellow tabian ban for my current house it’s just 1 year old, Bought this house on company name on cash and old house sold, tabian ban on old house validity will still be in effect? Can I apply next year for Thai citizenship or I have to wait for thabian ban 5 years?
Please take a look at this article which outlines the points test. The main thing to remember is that you need to get 50 out of 100 so some of these points will come from your earnings, level of education and age. Having the Tabieen Baan for 5 years only means you’ll get an extra 5 points, so it isn’t neccessary to have it for 5 years if you already get a pass mark from your other attributes. Check out this article for more info: http://www.thaicitizenship.com/thai-citizenship-for-foreigners-married-to-thai-spouse/
I have an Indian Passport with Permanent Thai Residency. I am holding this from last 12 years. I have a Thai Wife but not legally married (for last 10 years). We have one son 10 years old. He is Thai.
I have a business in Hong Kong where I get my income from. I do not work from Thailand though.
I used to have a work permit from year 2001 to 2008 though. I cancelled it after that. I have not paid taxes to Thai govt from 2008 to now.
My question is, if I pay taxes on income I bring back to Thailand (From HK), will I be eligible to apply Thai citizenship. Also, if I register my marriage, will that help
You have the benefit of already having PR having had it more than 5 years. The one glitch however is that you haven’t held three years of consecutive work permits and income from a thai entity at the time of application, so you won’t be eligible to apply until that is the case. One suggestion would be to establish a Thai company and channel some of your income though that and also use it to give you your work permit. After three years, you will be eligible. Good luck.
I have a retirement pension from Belgium and i am also married to a Thai woman (for some 2 years now). I live in Chiang Mai.
How can i become a Thai Citizen? Do i first have to go for a Permanent Resident Visa first?
Thanks for the answer.
Being married to a Thai citizen allows you to skip PR and apply directly for Thai citizenship.
However being on a retiree visa or a visa where you aren’t working means you aren’t yet in the position to apply for either PR or Citizenship. Both paths require you to be working for three years consecutively in Thailand with 3 years worth of uniteruppted visa extensions.
Our son is born in Hua hin have Thai birth certificate. Wife is Swiss and husband is Austrian, we all living and working in Thailand / Bangkok with work visa.
Does our son have any rights to apply for Thai citizen or apply at least for a Thai ID card so he can be fit from it on a later stage ?
Unfortunately it doesnt sound like he does have a path to Thai citizenship based on birth. Both foriegn parents need to be permanent residents of Thailand for a child born to them to automatically get Thai citizenship from birth.
I’m currently researching if there are paths to citizenship for people like your son, but it is not yet complete.
I have a question regards obtaining my Thai Passport.
I was born in Luxembourg, my father is Luxembourgish an my mother is Thai.
I am now 31 years old and I am waiting for my Thai birth certificate to be issued from the Thai Embassy in Bruxelles. My parents have done the paperwork. My mom went there but actually forgot to ask about the Thai Passport. 🙂
I am currently staying in Thailand, but I will fly back to Luxembourg to get my Thai Passport.
I read that in order to apply for a Thai passport I have to show them a Thai ID and a copy of the house registration in Thailand (Tabian Baan).
But I am not have been registered yet in Thailand and I have no Thai ID.
So, is the Thai birth certificate sufficient in order to get my 1st Thai Passport?
Hope you can help me.
Given you are in Thailand you’ll be able to get a Thai PP in Thailand. With your Thai BC, you’ll be able to go to the district office where you want to be registered and have your name added to a blue tabieen baan. This will require permission from the ‘house master’ as well as two thai citizens to essentially ‘vouch’ for you. You’ll also likely need your current passport and entry stamps.
It may take a couple of visits, but once registered, you’ll be able to immediately get your Thai ID card issued on the spot.
With the ID in hand, you can easily apply for a Thai passport in Thailand.
Unfortunately, this won’t immediately clear your immigration stay, as you’ll need to depart, by air, on your current EU passport, and then return to Thailand using your Thai passport, at which point you will be free of immigration control.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.
Thanks again for all this.
For the yellow house registration; I currently don’t have one even though I’ve been working in Thailand for more than 5 years. I have the work permits and marriage papers etc. I’ve discussed with my wife who asked would it be better if I get one at her home town in north of Thailand where the family are very well known with the local Government or in Bangkok? We have homes in both places. We know the police well at the Province; however, I’m bit unsure if that helps in this case. I understand that if I’m registered at my hw Province, I’ll need to be interviewed by police there – it would seem like a good idea from the outset but I have no idea how this could impact on the overall application process.
Do you have any advice with respect to this?
Each district tends to be a bit hit or miss when it comes to issuing the yellow tabien baan. Best to go where there is the path of least resistance. At its easiest, it can be done very quickly in less than an hour (which is the way it should be done), in other places there is a big song and dance and multiple visits, and other places simply flat out to refuse to issue one.
My advice is to try Bangkok first, particularly if you work there and the odds are a district in Bangkok will be fairly straight forward to apply though. Failing that, you can obviously pull some strings and use your connections up north to get it done, and once issued, simply transfer it down to Bangkok where I guess the document will be most useful for you (eg drivers license renewals etc.).
If you choose the latter step, remember it is essential that the district office up country issues you a document stating they have removed you from the yellow tabieen baan in their district, and then you simply take that document and the old tabien baan to wherever you want to move to and they should be able to issue you a new one easily without all the steps.
If you haven’t already, check out our article on it:
I am a 72 year old British citizen and have lived and worked in Thailand since 1991. I have a Thai wife and we have 2 grown-up dual nationality children who are now living and working abroad. I have held Permanent Residence since 1996 and have the pink Thai ID card issued to foreign nationals. I work part-time for the Thailand branch of an MNC, and my current salary exceeds the upper level on the scoring system you have provided on this site. However, if I discount income, my estimated score would only be slightly over the indicated minimum of 50.
I can’t read or write Thai, but can hold a basic conversation
I want to remain in Thailand for the rest of my life. But I am now faced with redundancy as my company is trying to cut down on its number of work permits.
Despite holding PR and having Thai dependents, I’m told I cannot work freelance but would have to set up a company in order to obtain a work permit. I’m reluctant to do this at my stage in life, and would not want to work more than part-time anyway. Do you think I have a chance of obtaining Thai citizenship at my age and with poor prospects of future income apart from my UK state pension? I have some savings, but may need them if my currently robust health fails.
Thanks for your question. From everything I’ve heard, it doesn’t matter if you have 51 or 81 points in the end, only that you score over the registered 50 points. So from that perspective, you should feel pretty confident. Special Branch won’t accept an application they feel has a poor chance of passing, so going to speak to them will give you a very good indication and of course if they accept your application, that is a very good sign. Based on what you’ve outlined, I can’t see whey they wouldn’t.
The only issue I would perhaps raise is the ongoing need for a work permit, particularly through the initial stages of the application where you will be interviewed by special branch, the NIA and where your documents are verified in the initial 90 day period after application.
I know the idea of setting up a company is not necessarily something that you want to do, but I’d encourage you to explore the possibility. Aside from providing you with a legitimate way of maintaining a ‘live’ work permit for the duration of your citizenship application (which is strongly encouraged and I believe can be asked for at any point of the process), it really is a useful way to funnel any consulting work you may get. From experience, the administrative hassles are not as bad as people make them out to be, and a good Thai accountant is all you really need on a very part time basis to keep it ticking over administratively.
On the health issue, this is an article I am going to put together shortly, but if you are an employee of a company and you have been contributing to Thai social security, do know that you can continue your SS medical coverage following your departure from employment by voluntarily paying 432 baht per month in ongoing premiums (careful to not let these payments lapse however). If you’ve paid in enough, you could be entitled to a small pension too.
As for UK pension issues, also note another article I’ve written where I outline how it is possible to make back payments on your UK state pension contributions to maximise the payments: http://www.thaicitizenship.com/retirement-finances-in-thailand/
All the best and please let us know if you have any more questions.
Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed reply – I really appreciate it.
I will certainly take your advice and explore setting up a company as well as applying for citizenship.
All the best,
Not a problem at all, glad you found it useful. The one thing I forgot to mention, and this is quite important, is that there can not be any substantive gaps in the work permits in 3 years before you apply. Meaning, if you go from one job to the next, any break between the expiry of one, and the new one, may end up resetting the 3 year ‘clock’.
As such, if you are intending to apply, it might be wise to do it while still employed with your current company, in the background setting up your new company vehicle. Once your application has been accepted, and your new company work permit issued, then it will be possible to end your current work permit which would create a seamless transition between the two. Hope this helps (and makes sense!). All the best with it.
My wife was born of British parents in Thailand in 1963, birth registered in the British embassy and given a Thai passport at birth. She left Thailand at age 2 and never returned, though we still have her original Thai passport. Does she still qualify as a Thai citizen or is it possible that this becomes lost with age?
In situations such as your wife’s, her Thai citizenship remains. Post 1971 changed the rules to state that one must be born to at least one Thai parent, or if both parents were foriegn nationals, they must have been permanent residents, but because your wife was born prior to that date, then she remains a Thai citizen automatically by birth to this day (unless she of course has formally renounced it, by application).
Additionally, the new Thai constitution expressively prohibits the stripping of Thai citizenship of natural born Thai’s and legislation since the 1990’s has been very supportive of holding dual citizenship.
Her renewing a Thai passport may take some logistical legwork however, unless she already has her original Thai birth certificate and house registration, given that applying for a Thai passport as an adult requires one to be registered on a ‘tabieen baan’ or a house registry, and have a Thai ID card.
If she lacks these, the odds are she’ll need to attend the district office of her birth and have official replacements made. She’ll likely also need a Thai citizen to vouch for her, as well as having a Thai citizen willing to add her to their house registry (unless of course you are intending on owning your own condo/property in Thailand, which can be used as an official address for registration purposes).
This can be done fairly easily as I know people like your wife who were born in Thailand but migrated to other countries but returned in their 50’s and 60’s to re-establish their Thai ID cards and Passports. It may take a day or two for officials to dig through old paper archives, but any old Thai documentation you have will be very useful to them to find the paperwork. Once a house registry is established, a Thai ID can immediately be issued, and a passport can be done after that.
If for some reason she already has her old Thai house registration (in addition to passport), it may be worth speaking to the Thai embassy in the country you live to see if they may be able to issue her with a Thai passport.
Good luck with it all and feel free to ask any further questions if you have them.
Hi Thanks for the details.
My children born here in Thailand. Elder son did all schooling and college ( unti Masters ) here. He has a job now for 2.5 yrs now. He speaks professional Thai (His marks is 67/100 in point system ) So can he apply directly for citizenship or should only go through PR?
Hi there – unless he has a Thai spouse, he needs to get permanent residency first. As a basic rule, that will require three years of work permit, 80,000 per month salary but he sounds like he would have a very strong application if he did given his schooling here. He should really head down to Chaengwattana immigration to speak to the PR people there. They have a reputation of being very helpful, and it is good to be prepared given he is so close to 3 years. Applications for PR are only generally open for 2 to 3 weeks in December each year.
I am an Italian citizen and my Laotian citizen partner, we have been living and working in Thailand for about 8 years, we have a 5-year-old son born here in Thailand with a Thai birth certificate, we are in good standing with the residence for about 3 years with yellow tabian ban, my son has been going to school for three years, in the birth certificate on the top right they wrote that he does not have citizenship, do I have any hope of making my son a Thai citizen?
You would have to all apply as a family for PR and then move to citizenship as family as well. That would require you to have a work history here to qualify for PR (ie 3 years work permit, minimum 80,000 month salary). Holding that for 5 years and then moving onto citizenship.
I am Dutch and work for an international organization (UN) and have been in Thailand for almost 30 years. I am married to a Vietnamese woman. We both have stay permits and annual re-entry visas. My two sons were born in Thailand and have lived here all their lives. Because of my nationality they are also Dutch citizens. This means they can’t work in Thailand. My oldest son is 22 and will graduate from a Thai university soon but then he will not be allowed to stay in the country. Is it possible for me, my wife or my sons to get Thai nationality without losing Dutch nationality (The Dutch wouldn’t care, but the Thais may). Thanks.
Thailand doesn’t have an issue with dual citizenship, so as long as the dutch don’t either, you should be fine. http://www.thaicitizenship.com/thai-dual-citizenship/.
In terms of how your wife and son’s would go about getting it, it would have to be via getting PR and then following that, citizenship. But all those routes require 3 years of work history at a minimum. I am researching to see if there is some dispensation for those who have been born here and have been subsequently educated here, but I am not sure there is, but will revert if I find something.
Thanks for all this; it’s really helpful.
I am married to a Thai, been married for 4 years, however, just did the official paperwork a year ago.
I have 5 years of BOI work permits, plus paying income taxes. I can speak, read and write Thai to a proficient level (although still always learning).
However, due to the nature of my work, I am constantly traveling and often in Thailand for only a few months in total a year.
Given my situation, am I likely to meet the criteria? Does the actual number of days in the country matter given that I’ve maintained work permits and married and can speak / read / write Thai?
Many thanks in advance,
The time you spend in country doesn’t have bearing so far as I can tell when applying based on marriage. Some people I know (women married to Thai men) had spent time outside of Thailand for significant periods leading up to the application with no harm to the final result. As long as you have current Thai work permits and tax returns, then that is great. My only concern is the length of your official marriage. It comes down to one year if you have kids, but I think is longer (3 years maybe) if you don’t have kids. I don’t have the information on hand right at the moment so best you have a chat with Special Branch. Otherwise, you sound like a petty good candidate.
I have 2 sons living with their mother and I. I am British, she is Thai. One son was born in the UK. How can he acquire Thai citizenship? My other son was born in Thailand but adopted in the UK where he became a British citizen. Again his mother is Thai. What do I need to do to get them Thai citizenship?
Thanks for the question. For your sin born in the UK, check out this link, but essentially he just needs a Thai BC issued by the embassy in London and he is good to go (http://www.thaicitizenship.com/thai-citizenship-when-born-overseas/).
For the other child born in Thailand, he is already Thai. He would have a Thai BC somewhere and that will be all he needs to get a Passport etc as it will contain his ID number etc. Given he was born in Thailand he is undoubtedly already registered on a house book. To get his passport, you just need to make sure you have full custodial rights, otherwise, a Thai passport application requires both birth parents to sign off on it.
Hopefully this is useful.
Thank you so much for your considerate response on both matters. I greatly appreciate it.
Thanks again! It’s a superb job you do helping us understand what is otherwise quite confusing. Let’s hope for a few changes!
Hi, I am 72 years old and have lived in Thailand continously for 25 years, always on Non-Imm B visas. My present non-imm B visa has been extended 6 years though I no longer work so the extensions of my non-imm B is stamped as ‘retirement’. My state pension is lifelong at abt 100.000 baht per month. I have paid taxes in Thailand on my pensions during the last 10 years (average tax 90.000 baht per year). I do not have my name on a house registration but the revenue departments has issued Certificate of Residency each of the 10 last years.I have been married to my Thai wife for 11 years and I have a legally adopted Thai son, age 13. Do you think that I qualify for application for Thai Citizenship? Thanks very much, Einar
Firstly, thanks for finding our site and your question, it is an excellent one.
Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say, based on how Police Special Branch and the Thai Ministry of Interior accept and vet citizenship applications, one of the “non-negotiable” aspects of the paperwork is three uninterrupted years of work permits, tax returns, and extensions of stay leading up to the time of application. Without all of these, they simply won’t accept your application. This unfortunately is also the same for people considering Permanent Residence applications.
If you were for whatever reason considering returning to work, for the purposes of attaining Thai citizenship, you should be aware that in addition to the work permits etc, the process relies on the applicant achieving a minimum score of 50 out of 100, so for this, you should refer to our post on this which outlines the areas where SB and the MOI allocate points. http://www.thaicitizenship.com/scoring-criteria-for-thai-naturalisation-applications/
Hi thank you very much for your prompt and detailed response. I had hoped that having had work permit for many years would have enabled me to apply for citizenship (as I meet all other requirements). From your reply I understand that even Permanent Residency requires work permit, which comes as a great disappointment. I guess it wouldn’t help that I can show considerable personal investments in my Thai companies some 20 years ago and that I for many years employed dozens of Thai citizens? Presently I am in perfect health and don’t have any problems with the yearly extensions of my non-imm B visa, though I don’t know how fit and alert I will be in 10 or even 20 years. As ‘everything’ and ‘everyone’ I have are here in Thailand, it would be nice to live here for the rest of my life without any uncertainty relating to my immigration-status. Perhaps one day Thai government might recognize the value of foreign investors who spend decades promoting and helping the kingdom and offer them some peace of mind when they reach old age and want to retire here. So I will stay optimistic for some good news in the future!
Again, thank you very much!
I think part of the reason I put together this website was to help people understand their options. For many years people thought getting Thai PR or citizenship was ‘too hard’ and then were suprised to find out they might have been eligible at the time.
Unfortunately – and I agree with you – a long dedication to Thailand counts for nothing because the work permit and uninterupped visa requirement very much focuses things on ‘now’. There isn’t enough scope in the points system to take into account contributions such as yours. The irony of it all is that if you applied for PR 20 years ago, it would have been fairly easy and straight forward (usually it took one year and the fees were low). Today it is the opposite, PR applications can take a long time, the fees are high and the benefits are so-so (can’t own land, still need a work permit). But citizenship is much more attainable that it was 20 years ago, particularly if you are married. Hopefully the rules become a bit more flexible in the near future, and if they do, I’ll be sure to post them here. All the best.
Thanks again! It’s a superb job you do helping us understand what is otherwise quite confusing. Let’s hope for a few changes!
I became permanent resident in 2012 and trying my luck on citizenship. One of the requirements is certificate of legal age. Is there a certain format to follow? Is it ok to just create it myself and have the embassy certify? I called our embassy and told me that they don’t have such form but they can certify. Thank you.
Thanks for reaching out. As you say, it varies from country to country. For this, it is best to head down to special branch as you prepare your documents and simply ask for a template that is acceptable to them, and then use that template for the embassy to certify.
Apologies for the vague answer on this, but there were a couple of instances where SB asked for things from us, and when we didn’t know they were more than helpful in providing examples of what was acceptable to them.
I have lived in Thailand for 20 years. I only had a work permit between 2004 – 2008. I was married to a Thai national for 10 years and we are now divorced. We have 2 children registered as Thai nationals also. Is there any way to get citizenship through my children. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there isn’t any way to get citizenship or PR via your children’s Thai citizenship status. If you are based in Thailand, then you will have to go via the normal PR then citizenship route, which requires a minimum period of 3 years of work permits and a minimum level of income.
From memory, you are able to get a non-immigrant O visa however for being the guardian of a Thai national child, but I don’t profess to be an expert on that area.
I am interested in applied for naturalization. It seems that, recently, many legal firms are mentioning that the naturalization path is available. I am just wondering what the approval rate is. Is it still very unlikely that one will be approved from the ministry of interior eventhough they welcome everyone to apply?
Hi there Mike.
Basically, if you don’t qualify, Special Branch won’t take your application. If they do there is a very high chance of you eventually getting approved, it basically becomes a waiting game.
Note, from time to time the MOI will send an application back to Special Branch in the event that they see a discrepency, but this is rare as Special Branch are careful to vet each application. Note, that you must remain eligible for the entire time your application is under consideration, so any changes in your status will, in theory, lead to a rejection should they check your paperwork. So staying employed, on consecutive visa’s with no interruptions are essential during that time.
All the best with your application, and hopefully this website means you don’t have to use the lawyers!
Thanks for making this informative site, it has been helpful, though I’m still confused.
I’ve read previous comments from other children of Thai parents, born in Thailand, but I was born in and live in the U.S. so I’m hoping you can tell me the next steps/give me tips. I’ve obtained a Thai birth certificate and we’re trying to get me a Thai ID and passport. By having a Thai birth certificate does that already make me a citizen? Or is that only once I’m in the blue house registry.
I don’t speak much Thai and the officials we spoke with today told my mom something about needing to go get my American passport translated….I’m afraid that they might be leading us in the wrong direction. Do you know?
Is the next step to get on the blue house registry? My mom is from Roi Et, does it matter where we go?
We’re here for two more weeks so if you see this in time I appreciate your help!
Yes, being born overseas to Thai parents also makes you a Thai citizen from birth. The birth certificate is merely one form of documentary evidence of this, but the important one.
Getting registered on the blue house book allows you to get a Thai ID card, and from there, you can apply for a Thai passport.
Getting an offical translation of your US passport is probably going to be required for the local officials just so they have some sort of offical proof of your ID. Don’t stress about it. Good luck with it all and sorry about the delayed response.
Ist the 40.000 baht per month requirement strict? I earn 35.000 baht and have a Thai wife and Kids.
Sorry about the delayed response. Yes, the income requirement is quite strict and must be evidenced with official tax receipts.
Thank you for your kind answer. What if my income is supplemented by investments that come from abroad? I earn about 35.000 baht from my job and another 55.000 from rental of a property in Europe. If I pay taxes on that income will it count together with my 35.000 baht?
I tried to get in touch with a lawyer in Bangkok about this but he wanted a lot of money, told me that I have to renounce my citizenship (false) and need the PR (false).
Thank you very much
I suspect the investment income from offshore may not count, but it is worth checking with special branch. Remember income is only important so far as the points test is concerned, and you’ll need to verify it. So you may have points in other areas which gets you over the required 50 points needed to qualify. Please check out our article on the points test. http://www.thaicitizenship.com/scoring-criteria-for-thai-naturalisation-applications/
Is it still a possibility for me to obtain my Thai citizenship even though I don’t speak Thai? I was born in Udon Thani in 1969. I am a US citizen. My mother is Thai. I am going to be traveling to Thailand with my mom this year. She is going to put me on the blue house registry when we get to Thailand. I am just not sure if it’s a possibility because I don’t really speak Thai but of course my mom does.
Sorry about the delayed response. The long and the short of it is, you are already a Thai citizen by birth.
You should have a Thai birth certificate and being born to a Thai parent on Thai soil automatically grants you this.
Your mum will simply be registering you on the blue house book so as to get you an ID card, and following on from that, a Thai passport.
Not speaking Thai won’t be an issue from a legal perspective.
Good luck and safe travels.
I am tempted in applying for Thai Citizenship and for a Thai Passport. From my understanding, in order to be granted a Thai Passport, one needs to be a Thai Citizen first.
I am half Thai. I was born in Chiang Mai. My mother is Thai and my father is British but I have emigrated Thailand back in 1991 when I was four years old. I even have a Thai Birth Certificate and my parent’s thai marriage certificate which would prove useful for me to apply for a Thai Citizenship and a Thai Passport. However, I do not a have a Thai ID Card
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think this still puts me in fairly good light to become a Thai Citizen and to eventually be granted a Thai Passport. If this is true, then that is great, but I cannot read nor write in Thai so is it possible to apply in English?
More importantly, Once I become a Thai Citizen and a Thai Passport holder I certainly wish NOT to service any time in the Thai Military Service. If I become a Thai Citizen and a Thai Passport holder, would I have to service time in the Thai Military Service? Also, are there any other cons/disadvantages that I should be aware of in becoming a Thai Citizen and Thai Passport Holder?
Thanks for reaching out. You say you have a Thai birth certificate? In the normal course of events, that means you are already a Thai citizen. No need to apply for it in your case.
If born to a Thai parent (ie your mother) then at the top of the birth certificate you’ll notice in the top right hand corner you’ll have been assigned an ID number, and below that, it will state your nationality as Thai (ไทย). If you have that, it is a matter of going to the district office, ideally where your mother is registered, and ask about the process of putting you on the blue house registry. You may find you are already on one somewhere, given you were born in Thailand and it is compulsory for you to be put on one from birth.
Following that, you can get a Thai ID card and with the ID card you can go apply for a Thai passport. Unfortunately that won’t cancel out your current visa, so you’ll have to fly out of Thailand using your current passport and then re-enter using your Thai passport. Note, you can’t do this over land.
In terms of military service, how old are you? If over 30, you will be fine. Take a look at this article.
All the best, and if you have any other questions, please let me know.
I have been to Thailand just twice and all I can say am addicted with Thai way of life. I am looking forward to coming back when things turn to normal.
I have a British girlfriend a teacher. Our relationship is heading somewhere serious.
My question is what if we get kids, will they be automatically Thai citizens, and by any chance can we apply as parents of Thai citizens?
Hope you got point
Thanks for your question.
Unfortunately for someone to acquire Thai citizenship when born in Thailand you need at least one parent to be a Thai citizen or if the parents are non-Thai, BOTH the parents have to be permanent residents at the time of the child’s birth.
As such, if Thai citizenship is a goal for you, you’ll need to go through the PR route first, hold PR for 5 years and then apply for citizenship.
Thai citezenship. I have been married to a thai lady for 9 years. We have spent 3 years living in thailand and six years living in Australia. Is there a path for me to get citezenship? If so what is required?
Being married allows you to skip needing Thai permanent residency before you can apply for citizenship, however it does require you to have three years of work permits and tax returns before you can apply. Please check out the following link to see if you fit into that category. All the best.