Thai citizenship application process

This article provides a comprehensive outline of the Thai citizenship application process. We take potential applicants through the steps involved in detail, including the points system and how your application is assessed.

The process outlined here applies to two categories of people:

  1. Those who hold Thai permanent residency; or
  2. Foreign males married to Thai citizen wives who are allowed to skip Thai PR.

In all cases, when applying you’ll need to meet the following minimum thresholds as well:

  1. Three years of uninterrupted extensions of stay at the time of application (if applying based on marriage);
  2. Permanent residents who apply need to have held PR for 5 years;
  3. Three years of unbroken work permits from a Thai employer at the time of application;
  4. A minimum income of 80,000 baht per month (not married a Thai national) or 40,000 baht per month (if married to a Thai national);
  5. If applying based in marriage to a Thai citizen, having been married for three years (if you have no children) or married for at least one year (if you have children).

If you are a foreign woman married to a Thai husband, then please read this article, as the process is slightly different for the wives of Thai husbands.

If you are single or not married to a Thai national, you need to obtain Thai permanent residency first, which you can apply for after a full three years of uninterrupted work permits. After holding PR for 5 years, you will then be eligible to apply for Thai citizenship.

Article note (January 2022): The Thai cabinet has approved changes to how Thai citizenship applications will be handled. Though details are still unclear, it seems likely that the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) will be the government department responsible for accepting new applications, replacing the Thai Police Special Branch office. While the press has reported that a new committee will be set up as part of the new process to test applicants Thai language reading and comprehension skills, we note that there is no clarity as to what level of Thai is required. We also note that the waiving of the need to speak Thai for ALL applicants married to Thai citizens is likely to remain in place.

At the time of printing this article below remains valid. Applications are still being received by the Thai Special Branch, and will be processed under current rules. We suggest those who are looking to apply for citizenship do so quickly, as we do not have any visibility yet as to how the rules will change.



Determining if you qualify for Thai citizenship is based on a simple scoring criteria. We’ve outlined in detail the points system in an article here.

It is worth familiarising yourself with the different sections, but the broad-brush strokes are that you’ll need to score 50 out of 100 points to be able to apply for citizenship based the following criteria.

  1. Qualifications of the applicant (maximum 25 points)
    • 1.1 Age (10 points)
    • 1.2 Education (15 points)
  2. Security of profession (25 points)
  3. Length of civil registration – i.e. the length of time on a tabien baan (20 points)
  4. Thai language ability (15 points)
  5. General knowledge about Thailand (10 points)
  6. Personality, appearance and expression (5 points)

Reading how the points system is structured, it becomes pretty apparent that the system is designed to facilitate citizenship for those who are in full time work in Thailand, earning a reasonable salary and who have some level of post-secondary education.

The system also rewards you for the time spent in Thailand, as well as your ability to speak, read and write Thai. As such, different applicants who are weaker in some categories can potentially make up points in other areas.

Laying the groundwork so you qualify for Thai citizenship

Simply working here legally for three years, holding PR or being married, and earning the minimum salary – whilst necessary for applying for Thai nationality – it is not sufficient.

As such, people reading this far might not yet be in the position to apply, but there are a number of basic things you can do to put yourself in good stead for an eventual application sooner rather than later.

Much of the documentation required (passports, photos, marriage certificates etc.) is rather straight forward. A detailed list documents which are required for your application are outlined at a separate page, here.

For those who are strategic about their approach to their application however, there are a few useful tips and tricks to maximise your points to qualify for Thai citizenship.

While at first glance they might appear daunting, most of these steps should come pretty much organically for those who are looking to put down roots here and who interact with Thai friends and colleagues on regular basis.

Setting in place the suggestions below could potentially add 28 to 36 points to your total score:

  • Yellow tabien baan (ทะเบียนบ้าน): Quite simply, get yourself registered on one. The earlier the better. The scoring criteria offers points for people who have “evidence of civil registration showing domicile in Thailand for at least 5 years”. In plain English, this means being registered on the yellow tabien baan (see this article on getting yourself registered on one). If you are just exploring the possibility and are still a few years off applying, then this is an easy 5 points towards your 50. It is also worth noting that there have been some anecdotal reports of people getting the 5 points even though not having held it for the entire five-year period.
  • Learning basic Thai civics: Part of being a future citizen is knowing some things about how the country works and some of its symbolism. Applicants are offered a maximum of 10 points for answering multiple choice questions in Thai on a range of questions from how many provinces there are to what the Thai flag represents – so brushing up on these things can help your points tally immensely. We’ve taken the liberty to outline some of the common questions you may get in this article here.
  • Learning conversational Thai: If your points from education and salary levels are dragging you down, then having a decent level of comprehension and ability to speak will add an extra 8 points to your total. From what we have heard and seen, this by no stretch means fluency – but neither does it mean ‘taxi Thai’. It does imply however that you can have a relaxed conversation with the special branch police and be able to talk about yourself with confidence, your history and why you want to apply for Thai citizenship.
  • Learning some Thai mannerisms: This is a harder one to quantify, and the granting of these points by Special Branch is quite subjective, but “personality, physical appearance and bearing, speech, Thai manners, attitude towards Thailand, Thai culture and ceremonies” will net you a further 5 points. In other words, a combination of dressing well for your interviews, learning to ‘wai’ properly, proper greetings and the more ‘formal’ words in your discussion, appropriate use of polite articles such as ‘krup’ (ครับ) and coming across as being respectful and courteous will go a long way to getting you these points.
  • Applying at the right age: You’ll also score points for your age. Younger applicants score less than those in middle age. Those older than 60 are awarded less points. As such, the optimal age to apply is between 40 and 50 and will automatically get you 10 points for doing so.

Of course, everyone’s circumstances will be different, which will mean you can take or leave some of the above-mentioned tips and strategies. Still, focusing on these are usually gets peoples applications ‘over the line’ to reach the magic score of 50 out of 100 points.    

In addition to maximising your point score, there are a few tips which will mean that your application is accepted at the first try:

  • Charitable donations: Special Branch are going to want to see that you have a verified history of charitable donations. Five Thousand Baht a year of donations is the magic number, so make sure you dig up your receipts from past donations (or start making some well in advance of applying – one off donations of 5000 baht are fine too, so long as it done in advance). What Special Branch won’t like however is if you have just made the donation so as to apply for citizenship, so any evidence that donations were made ‘recently’ will not go down well with them
  • Bank letter addressed to Special Branch: Your application will require a verified 80,000 baht deposited in a Thai bank account at the time of applying, verified by your bank. Most banks are used to writing verification letters to immigration in support of marriage or retirement visas, and probably will have a pro-forma letter template for this verification. Ensure that they don’t use this one and address the bank letter to police Special Branch instead.
  • Choosing a Thai name: As part of the process, you’ll need to formally choose a Thai name which is unique. You can use this link to check if your name doesn’t clash with any existing names.
  • Two Thai witnesses: An easy one, but you’ll need two Thai citizens who know you to come to Special Branch and vouch for your background. This will need to be done before the application package can be finalised by them and then sent off to the Ministry of Interior.


Special Branch, National Police HQ, Bangkok

Source: Royal Thai Police

Like all others who apply for Thai citizenship, the reality is that Bangkok is the best, and often the only place to apply for citizenship.

If you normally reside in Bangkok and have your registration there, and your wife has her house registration (if married) – the ‘tabien baan’ (ทะเบียนบ้าน) – and ID card (บัตรประชาชน) at the same address in Bangkok, then all applications must be made at police Special Branch, who’s location is at the National Police Headquarters on Rama 1 Road. For those who know Bangkok well, it is across the road from Central World. Details can be found here.

Important note: If you are based outside of Bangkok and registered in another province, applications need to be made at the local division of Special Branch in that province. Except for possibly Chiang Mai and Phuket, applying via local Special Branch offices are a non-starter. Local officers aren’t trained or equipped to handle applications and if they do somehow do take your application, there are stories where peoples applications remain there gathering dust.

The long and the short of it is that the most efficient strategy is to bite bullet and find a friend who will allow for your names to be put on their Bangkok based house registration. The Special Branch people in Bangkok know the challenges of applying elsewhere, so they won’t mind at all that you have moved your registration to Bangkok simply for the purpose of the application.

Special Branch, Chiang Mai

In recent years we’ve received positive reports that Chiang Mai Special Branch has been regularly processing applications. The one caveat is they have slightly different interpretations of the rules, including making all applicants (even those who are married to Thai citizens) sing the national and royal anthems as part of the process.

The good news however is that all the meetings, including the final meeting with the Ministry of Interior are conducted in the province, saving trips to Bangkok.  The address for Chiang Mai Special Branch is here.

Special Branch, Phuket

Likewise, Phuket has also been a reliable place to apply, and like Chiang Mai, singing the national and royal anthems appears compulsory for all applicants. Likewise, all meetings and interviews can take place in the province and will include representatives from the local governor’s office.

You can apply at the Special Branch crime division office which is situated to the left of the Phuket Police Station here.

Initial meetings with Thai Special Branch…

Your initial meetings with Special Branch will be unofficial. It is normally okay to drop into their offices and ask for the required documentation list. They officers will ask you about the basis of your application and highlight which documents on the list they will need. Two or three visits back will likely be needed until the officers are sure that you have all the documents and they are in order (properly translated etc). Once this is done an official appointment will be made.

The formal meetings

The officer in charge of your case will set an appointed time, and you (and your spouse if applying based on marriage) should attend. The meeting will usually consist of an initial interview with your case officer, followed by a meeting with a senior officer who will formally ask about your intentions and give you the multiple-choice questions.

The process usually begins about asking standard questions about yourself, background, current employment, and your relationship (if married). They will formally check your documentation, and for the non-discretionary points (age, education etc.) allocations will be made. There will be lots of document checking, asking you to sign on verified copies of the documents and the officials formal application – which they will type for you.

Depending on the applicant, the initial case officer also may take the opportunity to give you a ‘mock’ interview – many of the questions what will be asked not only by his senior officer, but also down the track when you meet the NIA – National Intelligence Agency  (สำนักข่าวกรองแห่งชาติ) and the Ministry of Interior.

You’ll then be asked to go upstairs at Special Branch to meet the senior officer.

Similar questions will then be asked about your history, background and current status, both personally and professionally. The multiple-choice civics quiz will then be given and an assessment of your Thai language ability (speaking, reading and writing) and general appearance and personality will be made.

Finger prints will also be taken, and you’ll be asked to pay the application fee of 5000 baht at this point.

For the most part, these interviews are very friendly and the officers are generally encouraging for people to succeed. If you’ve gotten this far, the officers generally will be confident that your application will make its way seamlessly through the rest of the process at other agencies. For those whose Thai language ability isn’t as strong, they’ll generally ask that you continue practicing so to be able to better interact with officials later in the process.

At the end of the meeting, you’ll be told to expect a call within the space of 3 to 4 weeks for a meeting with the NIA.

Thai government agency verification

You’ll also be given envelopes from Special Branch which need to be taken by you to different agencies around Bangkok to verify certain things. This may include letters to:

  • Immigration requesting verification of your Permanent Residency Status (if applicable)
  • Your local district office verifying your marriage (if applicable) and name change (to for your Thai name)
  • Your embassy to verify your passport details, as well as a letter of your ‘intention’ to renounce your existing nationality upon acquiring Thai nationality (Please click this link to read up about this topic)

These agencies will then be asked to either post the responses back to special branch, or in some cases, they will ask them for you to return them yourself.

Special Branch will then also liaise with other agencies (tax, visa, work permit) to verify these documents. The timeline is approximately 60 days, and after verification your application and associated documentation will handed off to the Department of Provincial Administration (DoPA) at the Ministry of Interior ‘กรมการปกครอง กระทรวงมหาดไทย’ which processes the application.


National Intelligence Agency

Within 3 to 4 weeks of your initial meeting with Special Branch, another interview will be organized with the National Intelligence Agency (สำนักข่าวกรองแห่งชาติ).

Up to about 10 years ago, the NIA would ask to meet applicants in a mall somewhere near downtown Bangkok. Favourite venues included KFC’s or McDonald’s and would be surprisingly informal – and bizarre – experience based on the venue.

These days you will be invited to their offices of the National Intelligence Agency or if not, then they will also arrange meetings in some non-descript government offices near the Ari BTS station.

Again, you will be asked to bring along all of the documents used in the initial application most of the same questions will be asked again.

For most applicants, it is a relatively short ‘chat’, going over your background again. The officials will also weave in why you want Thai citizenship. Fluffy and overly obsequious reasons don’t go down well – according to the NIA people themselves. ‘Practical’ reasons are best. These include:

  • Not needing to have work permits;
  • To have rights with regards to things like land ownership; and
  • Doing away with the need for visas.

The NIA officials also ask about salary and assets.  It is probably best to be honest here as ultimately the officials want that the applicant will not ultimately be a burden on the state.

Local police interview

Within this first 90-day period, you’ll potentially also be required to schedule an appointment at your local police station in the district you are registered. This step used to be more common in the past but happens sporadically, depending on the district. Here the police will again interview you – and also your nominated witnesses – asking basic questions about your relationship status and family situation (if married), which they will type up in a report and send back to Special Branch HQ to form part of your application.

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR (AKA the ‘black hole’)

Following your meeting with the NIA, your application is forwarded to Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) at the Ministry of Interior (กรมการปกครอง กระทรวงมหาดไทย).

At this stage documents will be checked again and crossed checked that the application complies with the Nationality Act itself, and whatever ministerial regulations and interpretation are applicable.

None of this you will see or know about, unless, as does sometimes happen, DOPA finds a slight discrepancy or issue with the application, which will result in either DOPA or Special Branch calling you for supplementary paperwork.

For most applicants however, when the application hits DOPA, all they hear about their application is complete silence.

Working while your application is processed

One thing that can potentially trip applicants up is the issue of work permit continuity.

Applicants who are looking to apply for Thai citizenship know that they must be in Thailand on 3 years worth of consecutive work permits and extensions of stay before they are eligible to apply (though a few days between an old work permit expiring and the new one beginning seems to be fine, though admittedly a grey area and open to interpretation).

However, once you have applied and your application has been accepted by Special Branch, it is important to know that you should continue to remain qualified during the processing period and up to your citizenship is formally announced in the Royal Gazette.

In other words, maintaining your work permit, minimum income levels, tax payments and of course, being married if you are applying on that basis.

This is because during interview process, your marriage certificates, visa and work permits can be requested by officials. Secondly, in rare cases, DOPA and the Ministry of Interior may find a slight discrepancy in the application submitted by Special Branch – in which case the application technically has to be resubmitted – requiring you to be fully eligible at that point too.

The final BORA/DOPA/Ministry of Interior interview

Depending on a range of factors, the government of the day, the level attention that the Minister in charge places on citizenship applications, applicants will receive notification from Bureau of Registration Administration (สำนักบริหารการทะเบียน) or ‘BORA’, via Special Branch, that you will be required to attend a final interview with the large committee which formally considers all applications and then recommends to the Minister to approve them.

The standard wait time for getting to this stage is often 1 to 3 years, with little explanation as to why people experience different wait times.

What is ‘normal’ about this stage of the process is that you’ll typically only be given 10 to 14 days notice of this meeting, often less. So it is often a case of dropping everything to make sure you can attend. The notification from DOPA will come with a list of documents you need to bring for the interview, which is basically every piece of identification, passports, visa and registration you have in Thailand.

What happens at the meeting?

The Thai citizenship interview itself is formally hosted by the Minorities and Nationality Section which is a part of the BORA which sits under DOPA, which is a part of the MOI.

source: DOPA

All applicants for Thai citizenship are interviewed in a conference room by a committee. This can consist of 20 to 40 officials from different agencies (as required to be present under the Thai Nationality Act) sitting around a horseshoe shaped conference table, with you and your spouse at the front of the room sitting at a table facing everyone.

The conference room is typical of what you’ll find in every government office across Thailand with microphones on each desk. The atmosphere is formal, but everyone is friendly and polite.

By this point, you will be well versed and practiced in many of the questions that will be asked – information about yourself, your background, and your relationship. You may be asked why you want to get Thai citizenship and about your employment. Some applicants have mixed English into their Thai answers, and this appears to have been fine so long as your overall passing score doesn’t rely on Thai language abilities. But if you are relying on some points for Thai language skills, then obviously prepare a good 5 minute spiel about yourself, your background, work in Thailand and your family.

If the application is based on marriage to a Thai spouse, applicants are waived from having to sing the Thai national anthem and the Royal Anthem (Sansoen Phra Barami/สรรเสริญพระบารมี). However those with PR and applying on that basis will need to sing the anthems.

Uncontroversial applications are often very quick, lasting only a few minutes. If there were questions or concerns, the committee often takes longer.


Following the BORA interview, there can be another long gap of a few months to a year or more.

The BORA committee will make a formal submission to the Minister of Interior to approve the Thai citizenship application, which then must also be countersigned by HM the King, before it can be published in the Royal Gazette.

Following this, applicants will also need to undergo a formal citizenship swearing in ceremony at Special Branch headquarters. A few months later, you will also receive a naturalisation certificate along with certified copies of the announcement in the Royal Gazette.

With all of this in hand, you can then go to the district office. It will likely the case that you will need to schedule a meeting with the appropriate person there, where they will again check all the required documents from you, and where they can move your yellow tabien baan registration to the blue tabien baan if you are not already registered on the blue one. Following this, you will be able to move over to the Thai ID counter to have your new Thai ID issued.

Thai citizenship

Long time resident of Bangkok. Married, three daughters. Managing director of CLC Asia ( Lots of interesting knowledge and experience built up over time which I hope can be of use to people.

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164 Responses

  1. Chucky says:


    Thank you for the information and sharing fellow comments.

    Quick question on citizenship application requirement.

    If I am married to Thai wife and have a child, this helps me to “eligible to apply” for Thai citizenship working 1 year for a Thai company with 40k salary?

    Thank you for your confirmation,

    • Hi there.

      Glad you’ve found this useful. For all applications for citizenship, you still need to show the three year work history, income and tax returns. The main benefit of being married is to let you skip PR and having the child cuts down the length of time you need to be married as well in addition to the other requirements.

      Hope this clears things up.

  2. Bruce says:

    Hello, this is an excellent article.
    I have a Thai friend (girl) who has been asking his (husband) for the divorce for almost 6 months now. She is not even asking for extra money or nothing, just get divorced to move on, but he is delaying and delaying the situation, and I’m thinking maybe it’s because he is applying to the citizenship first. So I have 2 questions here, can she contact the Royal Police or DOPA or NIA to explain the case and let the authorities know that he is trying to “cheat” on the system (there’s evidence of chats and others to prove it) to get the citizenship? And 2nd question, after the Thai citizenship by marriage if someone gets divorced will they lose thr citizenship?
    Thank you

    • Hi there

      So while I don’t want to get in the middle of something I don’t really understand I’ll make a few points:

      – if a marriage terminates after applying for Thai citizenship but before it is granted, if that application is based on marriage to a thai citizen then it may very well mean that the applicant is no longer eligible. Also remember however not everyone applies for Thai citizenship based on marriage (for instance they may already have permanent residence and are applying off the back of that status), in which case getting divorced is unlikely to affect an application.

      – at each step during the citizenship process, if the application is based on being married to a thai citizen, then husband and wife are supposed to be present at numerous interviews along the process.

      – once citizenship is granted, assuming the application was honest and their were no misrepresentations at the time, then their Thai citizenship can’t be taken away.


  3. Hugo says:

    Hi, thanks for very useful content. Does anyone happens to know when was last time Ministry had meeting for Thai Citizenship? And if there is any publicly available upcoming meeting schedules available to see / follow up? Thanks.

    • Hi Hugo,

      So as far as I know they are held monthly after a bit of a hiatus at the end of last year which is normal. I’m not entirely sure what the elections will do this schedual however. I think DOPA do post pictures somewhere on their website of recent meetings so it might be worth checking out.

  4. Lynn says:

    My parents were not Thai when I was born. However, they got their Thai citizenship afterwards. Does that make me eligible to get Thai citizenship? Also, I wasn’t born in Thailand.

    • Hi Lynn

      Thanks for your question. Are you in Thailand at the moment or are you overseas?


      • Lynn says:

        I am overseas now.

        • Okay.

          You don’t say how your parents got Thai nationality – this is important too.

          You won’t be able to do much while living overseas. I suggest speaking to the citizenship office at police special branch when you come back to Thailand who handle nationality issues. Your parents would have dealt with them when they became Thai citizens and they will know what your eligibility is. (Nb. I am assuming they naturalized as Thai citizens).

          Note also if you were born in Thailand an both your parents were permanent residents of Thailand at the time of your birth then that automatically makes you a Thai citizen. However if you were born outside of Thailand then this doesn’t apply to you.

          I’m sorry I can’t help more as yours is indeed a unique circumstance.

          • Lynn says:

            Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

          • Georgie says:

            Hello !

            I allow myself to bounce back on this answer that is really interesting.
            Indeed I live in Bangkok with my father, we work together since 12 years and we both have work permit since that time. We both speak and read Thai as well.
            He has passed every process for the Thai naturalization already, his file is currently waiting to be countersigned by HM the King and being published in the Royal Gazette, so it is a matter of months/year before he gets his Thai ID card.

            My question is the following : I will soon be the son of a father who got his Thai nationality by naturalization. As it is a really special circumstance, I cannot find any information regarding that topic.
            Does that mean I have to go through the same process you mention in this well written article, and therefore the same process as my father as if I was alone, or is there a different path and process to it by being the son of a naturalized father ?
            In some websites they mention the fact that it is similar to being a child of a Thai national and therefore more easy to get the Thai nationality, but I cannot verify the information.

            Thank you for your future answer about that special circumstance 🙂

          • Hi there

            Firstly excellent news about your dad!

            You really need to speak to special branch to see if there are any special rules for you. I haven’t seen any myself however.

            I do know children under 20 can be included under their parents applications however.

            Sorry I can’t be of more help!


  5. Oddrain says:

    Thanks for an informative article. I have been in Thailand continuously for 13 years and am married to a Thai with 2 children. I have worked for Thai companies for all but the last year. I am retired now, but can still meet income requirements from pensions. I have held Thai PR for the last 3.5 years, but assume it’s won’t be possible to apply for Citizenship when I get to 5 years of PR as I am not employed. Is this correct?

    • Hi there,

      Yes unfortunately given you are no longer working the three year clock resets and you’ll need to have at least three years of WPs and tax returns to apply (similar to PR).

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

  6. Julia Chang says:

    Do I need to extend my Non-O visa while waiting for citizenship approval from black hole, interior department?

  7. Bernd says:

    I am retired already so I do not work in Thailand. Is it necessary to work for applying? Thx 🙂

    • Yes. Working here is actually one of the key requirements.

      • Bernd says:

        Danke, obwohl ich ein Familienvisum habe, insbesondere kein Rentenvisum… Nicht-O-Familie… Monatliches Einkommen (Rente) +160k? I am 50 years old…

      • Bernd says:

        Thank you, even though I’m on a family visa, specifically no retirement visa… Non-O-family… Monthly income (pension) +160k?

        • Unfortunately, three years of work permits, documents from the employer and three years of tax returns showing income tax paid are specific documents all requested at the time of application. Without them it isn’t possible to apply.

          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  8. Jay says:

    Hi, I am a Singapore citizen intending to apply for Thai citizenship. Do you know if the Thai authorities will inform Singapore about my newly acquired citizenship? I would prefer to keep my Singapore citizenship if there is no communications between both countries.

    • Hi Jay,

      So part of the application process involves you signing a letter of intention to give up your original nationality, which you need to take to the Singaporean embassy. At that point you are still 3 years off (at least) from becoming a Thai citizen, but depending on how Singapore works, it will put you on their radar (but to be honest I don’t have any Singaporean specific insight). I have been told, but never actually seen any evidence of it, that when you do finally get naturalised, a letter get sent to the home embassy notifiying them of the fact. For most countries they screw up the letter and throw it away, but for singapore what won’t be the case.

      Here is our discussion on it:

      You may want to consider PR instead:


    • Cat says:

      Hi Jay

      Let me answer your question: ALL depends on the rules of Singapore. IF Singapore will not allow dual citizenship, then your SG citizenship will be revoked. I can say about India – as soon as Indian Embassy get letter from Special Branch, they will renounce indian citizenship for (former) indian citizen, because India not allow dual citizenship.

  9. Vanessa says:

    Hi – thanks you for the very helpful information. My parents are both Thai but I was born in the United States. Is it possible to apply for citizenship by naturalization if both my parents are Thai? Is there any way to apply for citizenship w/the Thai embassy here in the US or does it have to be in Bangkok? Thank you!

  10. Sam says:

    Hi there, Your website is really helpful with clear information regarding Thai citizenship process.

    Currently I am Permanent Resident Of Canada and unable to obtain my passport from my own country but I Have refugee travel document issued by Government of Canada . My question is that if I apply for Thai citizenship,(in my case ,married to Thai wife) Do i have to renounce my previous citizenship only or I need to cancel my permanent resident status of Canada too? to be eligible for Thai citizenship

    • Hi Sam

      That’s a tough one! In the normal course of events you’ll need some sort of letter from your home country certifying your intention to renounce. But in your case give your home country will be less than cooperative you may not be able to do that step. The truth is most countries don’t really want to participate in this process (even for their own citizens) so the citizenship people just require you to ‘make an effort’. I’d go down and have a chat with the special branch people and see what they require from someone in your position.

      Sorry i can’t be if more help.

  11. Sylvester says:

    Hi there,
    Is there any charity that you would recommend?
    Thank you

    • Any registered charity is the one I would recommend who would provide you with an official receipt. Temples foundations, orphanages etc.

      • Sylvester says:

        Thanks a lot!
        Just a couple of more questions if you don’t mind:
        1) There’s is a point on the checklist “1 copy of children’s Birth Certificate”, do I need to provide certificates of my children born in overseas (not in Thailand) to non-Thai mother?
        2) Also do I need to translate/authorize by MFA and then provide any divorce certificate from previous (with non-Thai and divorce took place not in Thailand) marriage? Thanks a lot

        • I would suspect so. The NIA when you get to that point do want to know basically your life history. Nevertheless, do check with special branch (of before the end of they year) or DOPA which by all accounts will take over applications as of 2023.

          • Sylvester says:

            Thanks a lot mate! Your website is absolute fantastic regarding the Citizenship topic.

  12. Alex says:

    Thanks for all the detailed process. Very clear and helpful!
    Once you have received the Thai ID, I understand that you need to cancel your work permit (since you don’t need a work permit anymore) and your visa needs to be cancelled as well.
    Then what would be the next steps? Do you need to get out of Thailand on your non-Thai passport (in order to avoid overstay) and come back on a Thai passport?
    Thanks a lot

    • Hi Alex

      The main thing you need to do is cancel your visa. I think you can just let the work permit lapse. Also go about changing your bank account details and anything else to be registered with your new thai ID.

      Once you have your new Thai passport you can just leave on that. Cancelling your visa will mean there is no need to depart on your foreign passport.

      Hope this helps

  13. laurent says:

    Hi, many thanks for all this information.
    The 3 years delay between application and TH ID card issuance is a surprise to me. As i am entering the process mainly to buy a house in my name, do i need to wait the end this long to be able to buy a house, or can it be done sooner?

    • Hi there – so three years from application to ID card is pretty standard at the moment. You won’t be officially announced as a Thai citizen right to the end anyway, when your name is printed in the royal gazette as being a naturalized Thai. But even at that point, you won’t be able to register land in your name until you are on the blue house registration listed as a Thai citizen and have an accompanying ID card.

      Hope this clarifies the process.

  14. Annie says:

    Let’s say you successfully get your Thai citizenship, and you plan to live in Thailand for a short term (6 months, 1 yr, a couple yrs). Do you have any advice or recommended resources for what kind of health insurance you should get? Does it make sense to get travel insurance, or should you look into some kind of Thai insurance? What if you don’t have a job lined up, or don’t speak Thai yet?

    • Hi Annie,

      All Thai citizens are eligible for the government universal health care system so there is a reasonable safety net there already. Depending if you work here you may also choose continuing payment of your social security health insurance scheme for 432 baht per month after stopping work here.

      In terms of private insurance – can can’t offer any advice. Sorry!

  15. stef says:

    In order to apply do I need to bring entire family or could I go by myself?

  16. stef says:

    If I have kids but I’m divorced ? Do I need PR or not ?

  17. Jerry says:

    Thank you, this is very informative. I have a few additional questions:
    – I have talked to a lawyer that told me it can take up to 10 years after entering the “black hole”. Is it true?
    – I have lived in Thailand with work permit for 15+ years, been married to a Thai wife for 12 years. Unfortunately, she has passed away. We had no kids. I suppose I will be in the “non-married to a Thai citizen” category as a widow, right? I am in the process to apply for PR.
    – the same lawyer told me there are possibilities for generous donors (like, 1 million THB to hospital kind of donors) could complete a full citizenship process in about 3 years. I am in no position to do that, but is this really a legal process?

    • Hi Jerry

      Thai citizenship applications are taking around 3 to 3.5 years at the moment from application to Thai ID card. That’s just the standard time it takes when you pay the 5000 baht application fee.

      Unfortunately given your wife’s passing you can’t skip PR useless you remarry.

      Going the PR route will be a 10 year process if you start now. Odds are you won’t be able to submit it till the short application window in December of this year. It will take 18 months for your PR application to be approved. You’ll need to hold the PR for 5 years before you are eligible for Thai citizenship. As said, the standard processing time for Thai citizenship applications is around 3 years, give or take. Add in 3-6 months for buffer and time to sort paperwork.

      As for the lawyers advice, it’s typical of the advice of the advice given by lawyers who claim to know this area: totally wrong.

      Lawyers simply are a waste of space for both PR and citizenship applications and for the most part go out of the way to scare you to thinking it’s actually harder than it is to charge you fees.

      I’ve seen plenty of people pay money on the advice of lawyers and it does nothing to speed things up.

      Please have a read of this article which I’ve written on this topic.

  18. Peter says:

    I live with my spouse for more than 20 years in Thailand but we are not married (yet). All the other criteria I pass. Is there a minimum period which you have to be married before apply? I guess it looks strange if you are just married a couple of month and then apply for Thai citizenship. Might that be a reason for rejection?

    Thanks, Peter

    • Hi Peter

      Yes you need to be married for a minimum of one year if you have children. Without children you’ll need to be married for three years before you are eligible to apply for Thai citizenship based off marriage.

  19. Alberto says:

    Good morning. Thanks for sharing all these very useful informations. I see that I’m eligible to apply but my weak point is that I’m living in Chiang Mai. Can you kindly point me out where or if I can start the process here? Many thanks in advance.

  20. Cooper says:

    Thanks a lot for your information, very clear for all step.
    By the way, may I have some question after we get Thai Citizen, as follow:
    1) shall we need inform thai immigration after we get Thai citizen? (Not sure did special branch have link and inform thai immigration or not?)
    2) what should we do for our foreign passport, shall go to thai immigration to get depart’s stamp?
    A bit confuse here, hope can get your support here.
    Thank you very much.

    • Glad you’ve found the info useful.

      So once you’ve been granted thai citizenship, you need to go to immigration with your documents showing you’ve been naturalised and immigration will cancel your exisiting visa.

      From that point onwards you should always exit and re enter Thailand on your thai passport.

  21. Justin says:

    I might be interested in applying in a few years time.
    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Tax – I’ve only been paying social security tax, not income tax over the past few years. I assume, an applicant would need to have their income tax documents in order?

    2. Cost – My understanding is the cost for the application is about 10,000 baht. However, how much would you approximately say everything costs from start to finish……or with the help with an agency? Would you recommend using an agency to help naviagte through the process? I appreciate the cost will vary, but are we talking around 50k, 100k, 150k, 200k plus……?


    • Hi Justin – you’ll certainly need to be showing three years of consecutive tax returns – so you’ll need those lined up.

      Application costs at the moment are 5000 baht and some change. It’s due to go up but no firm dates have been announced.

      As for agents – we don’t recommend them. At best a good secretary is all that is needed. See our article on this


    • Cat says:

      Let me share some experience by the date. The total cost is a sum of many big and small amounts which is included, but not limited to:

      Formal cost of application- let’s say 5k or 10k (new amount)
      Cost of suit which you must wear at interview at Ministry – formal black with shirt, for me 12k, depends on your taste in terms of materials and workmanship. I done mine at Terminal 21 (BTS Asoke), A lot of tailors there. If I remember mine named “London Custom Tailor”. You can of course choose something you prefer or if you already have formal suit this is good.
      Cost of donation – I had a headache to find where to make donation, but friend recommended Thai Red Cross (BTS Sala Daeng), they accept cash and will issue certificate in Thai language among with cashier receipt, which is perfectly accepted at Special Branch.
      Cost of translation of different documents, which is not in Thai language – your passport, education, affidavit of intention to cancel your current citizenship (this is mostly formal for process, but some countries will cancel your current citizenship as soon as you naturalized – you should get this affidavit at your current country Embassy). You will get example of such document at Special Branch.

      Also we need to do basic medical checkup because we don’t have child together (formal), and translation of Article of Civil Codex from my current country which is state the age of consent (this is also formal as I long time not below 18 yrs old, but this is one of requirements).

      I remember we also visited District office where the marriage was registered to get confirmation marriage is still valid.

      And transportation – taxi here and there, etc etc.

      So, something in between 50k – 100k will be sufficient. One more time – you will get TON of useful information from Special Branch. You should spend time to prepare all what they tell you to do, but I think this is very useful. You will know who is the Head of Police in your district, who is the head of your District Office etc. You should get PINK ID card in advance if you not yet get one, this is good to have both Special Branch and NIA will ask it if you have (cos as soon as you get PINK ID you will be put into local MOI database)

      When we visit our district office (where I registered in Tabien Baan), lady at counter absolutely not surprised and immediately asked for application payment receipt to make a copy, then we get a confirmation of some another documents (not remember which one, perhaps how many years I registered etc)

      About agency, I can’t say much, cos my wife handle many points in process, especially certify tax return documents at Main Tax Office at BTS Ari. But she’s a professional accountant. Your partner dedication to whole process is also very important!

      Important! Your TAX number MUST be a foreigner one. If you not yet have one – get it! it start from 09xxxxxx (Thais tax numbers are the numbers of their ID’s).

      First two months since your visit to Special Branch you will collect/translate/wait documents/copies. This can be intensive process, but as soon as you applied, the things will be easier.

      • Hi there, and many thanks for sharing your experience!

        Just one small note – getting the Pink ID isn’t necessary for citizenship, however being on the yellow Tabieen baan is. However, as you probably have done, you can get the pink ID as soon as you are on the yellow tabieen baan, so that is what most people do.

        Cheers, and thanks again for sharing.

  22. Romain A says:

    Thank you very much for your website which is so useful ! I really appreciate and realise the amount of time you have spent to bring us all this content !
    Navigating through your website, I just realised that I meet most of the qualifications (married to a Thai wife, have been working for a Thai employer for over 5 years with visa, work permit and paid taxes, an income well above the minimum required, I have basics in speaking, writing and reading in Thai which I need to still improve anyway), however I have never been registered on a TR13 or TR14 since I live in Thailand.
    Therefore I thought it would worth the try to apply to the Thai citizenship under marriage with a Thai wife.
    Question is should I first register myself on my wife’s blue book or apply for my own yellow book?
    I own a flat under my name in a condo in Hua Hin which I’m not sure can be used to prove the residency nevertheless I live and work in Krabi.
    As I understood reading your article, I could also be registered on a friend’s tabien baan in Bangkok in order to get access directly to the Royal Police special Branch in order to avoid a slow process through a local police branch.
    With that being said, what would be the most efficient way in my case?
    Thank you very much for your consideration and support !

    • Hi Romain,

      So being a foreigner and one without PR you can only be registered on a yellow book. As you state, being registered in Bangkok is going to be the best bet for applying for citizenship, so if you have a friend there, or your wifes housebook is in Bangkok, then that district (with the permission of the house master) will issue you a yellow book to the same address.

      Of course, you could try and register your name on a yellow book attached with your place in HH district office – but that would mean when it comes to putting in your citizenship application you’d have to apply through special branch there which will likely be either very slow or a non-starter.

      Hope this helps.

      • Romain says:

        Thank you.
        If I understand this correctly, I then can’t skip that process and really need to be registered on a yellow book to be able to start the Thai citizenship process?

        To obtain a registration with a friend in Bkk is doable but it could be time consuming as I will need to go back and forth (Krabi Bkk) frequently during the process. But would it worth the cost on the long haul? I know that this will take years anyway but just wondering on how to start in a best way.
        As you stated, putting in my citizenship application in Krabi or HH branches could be very slow…

        • Hi Romain,

          Correct – you can’t skip the yellow book. In terms of cost, that is really your calculation but the fee for citizenship isn’t expensive (5000 baht) and is taking 3 years to process at the moment if you qualify.

          One idea to at least get on the yellow book first is to do it in HH given you have a property there. Or even in Krabi if you know someone there who is willing to let you go onto their address. Once you have it, it is an easy matter to then transfer it to Bangkok. At that point you will be qualified to apply for it in Bangkok. So that might be an option for you.


  23. Robin Virant says:

    I sent a reply asking for help.
    It’s been ignored.
    Care to tell my why?

    • Robin, so I answered your question a few days ago on the 24th of April, pretty much right after you sent it. You can press ‘older comments’ there and look for my response. Also note that while we can offer tips, we aren’t a service and the articles form the main advice. This website totally is a volunteer endevour. Nevertheless, if you have any further questions, feel free to ask them here (without the snark).

      • Robin Virant says:

        OK my apologies.
        So even though I pull over 70,000 baht a month in pension, and have worked here (1993-1995,1999-2004, 2006-2008) but now too old to work,
        And can gain over the points threshold, I’m not permitted to apply?

        • Hi Robin – you won’t be able to apply. A current work permit from a thai firm held for three years at the time of application and accompanying income tax returns are required for any citizenship application.


  24. Simon says:

    Hi there,

    I am from the UK and plan to use an agent to do the Thai Citizenship. I have all the requirements as i have worked here over 10yr and also married over 20 to a Thai Lady. The agent told me i need a Police Certtificate with Fingerprints from the UK however this is not possible. The UK only has the DBS service which you can get an Enhanced Certificate but these do not have photo or fingerprints. I have a full DBS certificate from the UK

    Can anyone let me know what Criminal Record Check is needed from the UK? Is this the right one?

  25. Robin Virant says:

    I am 69 years old, have held Thai PR for 18 yrs. Married to Thai national for 22 years, have a Thai daughter, and grand daughter.
    Been on a blue Tai Bahn for over 20 years. Held a Thai driving licence for over 20 years.
    Have a BE Maritime, worked in Thailand with WP with 4 companies -total 7 years between 1993 and 2008.
    Have permanent Australian Age and Service pension approx AUD$4000/month (THB100,000)
    BUT my written, reading Thai restricted to number plates and signs. My Thai conversation is crap because I’m 80% deaf, and horrible accent. I can get what I’m after usually with help from google.
    I would like Thai nationality so I can buy a house etc without problems, and stop paying exorbitant exit visa fees.
    I usually spend 6 months overseas visiting my other children and caring for ailing mother.
    So my question is, with the lousy Thai read/wrire/speech, could I still get a Thai Passport?

    • Hi Robin,

      Thanks for your question. The good news, married to a Thai citizen, the language requirement is waived.

      The bad news (I think in your case) is given you are retired you aren’t eligible. You need to be working (Thai WP) for a Thai entity for three years in the lead up to application drawing a 40K per month Thai salary. I note from your linked in profile you still *may* be working in Thailand in some offical capacity, so if you are you’ll need to maintain that.

      The rest of it really comes down to getting 51/100 points on the points test. Simply being a PR for that long will give you 20 of the points you need.

      Hope this helps but let me know if you have any questions.

  26. Hikerod says:


    Have you ever heard of a case where someone is married to a Thai national but with the marriage is registered in another country.
    It totally make sense to translate the marriage certificate and register it in Thailand but for some personal reason I would like to avoid doing it.
    So the question is if you heard a case where someone ever got the Thai nationality by presenting the foreign marriage certificate?

  27. Nick Carr says:

    Thank you for all this helpful information! Your responses to questions have clarified a lot of my concerns but I have 3 more:

    1.) I was over on a 90 day report recently. I had to pay a fine, and a record of my late reporting and paying this fine appears in my passport.
    Would this disqualify me?

    2.) My work permit allows me to teach for a university. I actually teach at several universities and I have been paying taxes for one of the part time jobs for the past 2 years. I have heard that this might disqualify me because it can be interpreted as “illegal work.”

    3.) I am married to a Thai wife for 4 years now with one young kid. We are having some trouble though. If we go through a divorce in one of the late stages would this disqualify me?

    Thank you again for your help!

    I am confident that I could score pretty high apart from these problems.

    • Hi Nick,

      So a 90 day reporting fine won’t matter.

      I’m unfamiliar with the ins and outs of whether one work permit let’s you legally work elsewhere so you need to get advice on that.

      So you have to be married at all times to be considered eligible. If that situation changes while the application is being considered you become ineligible

      Hope this helps.

  28. Gary says:

    Thank you so much for your informative website!

    I’m a bit confused about the following specific points:

    1. I have a (biological) Thai son. I’m not married to the mother, but I am officially registered as the father. Can I follow the “married” path or is there a special path for (unmarried) fathers?

    2. I’m assuming that therefore an income of ฿40K/m over 3 years will be sufficient. I did read somewhere that if I haven’t had an income for the last 3 years then ฿50K/m over the previous 12 months would be acceptable in lieu of 3 years’ income. Can you confirm/elaborate?

    (I’m wondering whether I can fast-track the application by arranging to get an income of ฿50K/m for the next year. But see the next question.)

    3. I’ve had multiple visas over the years but have been consistently living in the country for over a decade. For about 5 years or so, I was on a non-O (retirement) visa, then changed to a non-O “parent” visa 3 years ago. Just over year ago, I changed to a non-O (volunteer) visa, without having to leave the country. I’ve only had my current WP for a year, recently extended for 2 years.

    The question is: does the change to a volunteer visa this still count as uninterrupted “same category” visa, or was the clock reset at the time I changed to a volunteer visa?

    4. I haven’t ever been registered on the tabian baan, I didn’t realize it was at all necessary. So could this be a sticking point? I should probably get it done immediately, right?

    Thanks again and I hope my questions are relevant for several of your other readers too… 🙂

    • Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your questions and glad you’ve found the website useful. So to answer your questions:

      – You need to be married to skip PR. There is no way around it. If you aren’t looking to get married, then please check out our PR article. Unmarried applicants need to earn 80K per month for three years working legally in Thailand

      – You need to hold PR for 5 years before being eligible to apply for citizenship.

      – In terms of income needed for citizenship, the basic rule its 40K per month (married) for citizenship of 80K per month if you’ve come via the PR route (which means you are probably unmarried). Again, you need to be working legally in Thailand in the immediate three years in the lead up to application.

      – The only visa you can be on for either PR or citizenship is a non-immigrant B or O, but you also must have a concurrent work permit for the three years. This means, no visa runs, no-gaps in your extensions of stay. Volunteer visas and extensions based on being a parent don’t count unfortunately.

      – So when you’ve clocked up three uninterupped years on your WP, then you will begin to be eligible to apply, assuming you earn the right salary.

      – No way around the yellow Tabieen Baan. You need to be on it (for the citizenship application).

      Hope this helps!

  29. Gordon Duncan says:

    I believe i meet all the criteria except the paying tax, I have lived in Thailand since 2007, always working regular overseas, all my monies come into Thailand (can prove via bank), I married 11yrs ago and have 2 adopted children (they both have obtained UK citizenship). WE (wife & I) have 2 houses, land and a farm as well as many donations/support to the local temples/schools.
    I also believe i have more than 50 points on the point scoring system, any advice on next steps

    • Hi Gordon,

      Thanks for your message. So it doesn’t sound like you are at a stage where you are eligible apply. ALL applications need the following:

      – Three years of Thai work permit based on employment by a Thai company
      – Three years of extensions of stay in Thailand
      – Three years of Thai tax returns based on the salary you’ve derived from a Thai employer.

      All these are non-negotiable unfortunately.


  30. John says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for your helpful website. I have some questions as i am preparing to apply next year.

    1. My home is in Pattaya and after i move my TB to a friend’s home in bkk should i tell police that i live in Pattaya? I heard that police come to check the applicants home so where will they go bkk home where i have nothing or Pattaya where i live?
    2. Your article said in 1 stage will be “local police interview”. Is it bkk local police where my friends home or Pattaya local police where i live?
    Thanks in advace

    • Hi John,

      So when you apply to the police SB in Bangkok do obviously let them know you are based in Pattaya – they won’t mind and understand totally. While you do the formal interview at the police SB HQ, the need for the local police interview is not always required, and in most cases from what I understand is actually required less and less particularly if you apply in Bangkok.

      In the provinces people do tend to come and visit your home, but this generally happens when you apply via the provincial office and the local authorities follow the process ‘to the letter’.

      Odds are a local interview or a home visit won’t happen, but as long as you are transparent, they’ll at least know where to go and the circumstances.

      Hope this helps.

  31. Nathan Walker says:

    Do you have to renounce your previous citizenship to gain Thai citizenship?

  32. Eliot says:

    I applied for Thai citizenship back in the first week of June. The interviews went well and after signing countless copies of various docs in English and another stack in Thai, my application was accepted. Within a couple of weeks, I sent in the letter of intent to renounce my current citizenship and the letter verifying the authenticity of my passport. Since then I have heard nothing. Not a word from anyone. I assume this has something to do with the COVID situation. Do you know if there is some way to check on this. Would the people at SB be able to

    • Hi Eliot,

      So I my understanding is there is potentially a 6 month gap between your first SB interview where you applied and the next step at the NIA. This isn’t a hard and fast rule on the timing but it does seem that COVID has slowed things down somewhat. Given the timing, do drop the SB people a line as it is longer than the normal wait (ie less than 90 days) and see what they say.

      I hope this helps

  33. Ben says:

    To whom it may concern,

    Just a random question probably with no straightforward answer I guess but I thought I give it a go. I did complete the interview at the National Intelligence Agency in March of this year 2021 and was wondering when I get the call to attend the final BORA/DOPA interview. It’s been almost 9 month since then. Is there any specific time or month of the year assigned where the final interviews will be conducted like November or December? Or will it be an extended wait time and carry over into next year?

    Much appreciated.
    Re. Ben

    • Hi Ben, thanks for your message. To be honest there is no formula but from your initial interviews with special branch and then NIA shortly after, you are looking at 18-24 months on average. Once you have the final ‘big’ MoI meeting then it can be another 12 months to your Thai ID card.

  34. Kevin Speakman says:

    Hello there,
    I’ve been in Thailand 8 years and I’ve now been married for just over 3 years. I’m currently employed just going over the 3 years point on visa and WP. I’ve been working here for just over 6 years paying tax and living/working legally. I would like to apply for citizenship however 2 points stand out that may mean I won’t qualify and just wanted to check before starting the process.
    1. I rent – I don’t own a property and I’m not on any Tabien Bahn. I do plan to buy in the future but not for a couple more years.
    2. If I move to another company in the new year and they put me on a new WP and Visa does this disqualify me? I plan to move from one non-b to another in country.
    3. I also don’t hold a bachelors as I did most of my schooling in the military that didn’t transfer to a civil based certificate.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your question.

      1) No big deal if you rent. Property ownership isn’t a pre-requisite for citizenship. But you do need to be on a Tabieen Baan, and that will require someone to allow your name onto theirs. You don’t have to live there (a good chunk of Thai’s don’t live where they are registered). Most people just get put on their wife’s TB, but for the purposes of the application, make sure that you are registered in Bangkok as that is the most convienent place to apply for citizenship.

      2) No issue moving to a new company. There is a BUT though. The transition from old WP and visa needs to be SEAMLESS. No gaps. This will require your old and new HR to be on board with things, and probably will be something you need to actively keep an eye on. Otherwise if there is a gap, that will effectively reset the three year clock.

      3) Qualifications aren’t compulsory, but they doo give you added points given citizenship is considered on a points criteria. If you haven’t already, check out the points criteria Also it is worth having a chat with the folks at special branch to see if any of your military schooling/education does qualify for what they want to see. You never know!

      Hope this helps.

  35. Stan Zydel says:

    I have Permanent Residency for 9 years, married to Thai for 17 years have previous work permit experience for 25 years, am not currently employed but have the requisite income from USA Social Security .
    Would I have a chance at Citizenship?

    • Hi there Stan,

      So unfortunately if you aren’t employed you don’t have the option for applying for citizenship. Even in your case you need to be working and paying taxes for a Thai company in the three years leading up to application. I’m not sure if you still do contract work etc, but people do set up their own Thai companies to work through which helps meet this criteria, so that may be an option.


  36. Bok says:

    What if I’m married with a Thai wife (with child born in Thailand) and currently not working? I use to work here for 15 years continuously and paid taxes at that time (salary more than 100+ k/month). Can I use my old tax receipts as prove during application (using Thai wife method application) ?

    • Hi there,

      So unfortunately even if you have that history, you don’t qualify. It is essential that you be working at the time of application and have been doing so consistently, without break, for the three years leading up to that point.

  37. Noel Bruggemann says:

    I have a 19-year-old son who is half Thai was born in Australia.
    Is it possible for him to apply for Thai citizenship?
    I bought land in Thailand and I want to register it in his name before I pass on.
    The whereabouts of his Thai mother is unknown and has not been seen or heard from for close to 7 years.

    • Hi Noel,

      So in the normal course of things, it would be easy to register his birth according to this process (

      However it requires the participation of his mother, from whom he derives the citizenship. Given her unknown whereabouts, it sounds like it might be a struggle.

      There are alternate paths, in Thailand, where DNA testing to other existing relatives (normally aunts or uncles) can prove the link. However I’m really unfamiliar with that process so can’t really comment.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help in this instance.

  38. Nald says:


    Your information is very interesting and helpful. I’m married to a Thai wife, employed and with 2 children. I do really plan to apply for Thai citizenship soon and I have approached some agencies to assist me but I’m afraid that my investment will be costly as it seems the process is easy but only tedious plus will wait for longer time probably. What is your opinion in using agency to assist Foreigner for Thai citizenship application and do you know any agency that is reliable and charge economically? 🙂

    Thanks and best regards,

  39. Scott says:

    Great site very informative, thankyou.
    Do you know if me having a three year old thai child living him and thai mum has any standing in the application process? We are not married but living together as a family

    • Hi Scott.

      Not a problem!

      Unfortunately not being married means you aren’t able to take advantage of the ‘direct to citizenship’ route. That is only available to those who are legally married to Thai citizens. If married, with a child, you can apply for citizenship after one year, assuming you meet all the other criteria as well (income, tax returns, work permits etc).


  40. Matthew Cheung says:


    Your site is really amazing and insightful, thank you so much for the information.

    I have a question about the eligibility to apply – can you confirm an applicant needs to have been on a work permit with the same employer for 3 consecutive years?

    If this is the case, let’s say I apply and submit everything having satisfied this criteria, and all docs are ok – during the processing period does it mean I cannot change jobs until I receive citizenship? I understand it is best to remain employed, would just like clarification if it means I am locked into my employer until I get “approved” which by the timelines could be anything from 1.5-3 years

    • Hi Matthew, thanks and am glad you’ve found the site useful.

      So the issue around both work permits and extensions of stay is they need to be unbroken.

      In practice this means (before application) that if you change jobs in the three years leading up to application, that essentially the work permit ends on the same day your new one begins. Any gap beyond that (some say a few days is normally okay) then your three year clock essentially restarts.

      So if you do decide to change jobs you need to be extra careful that the HR departments of both firms are on the case as I’ve heard of stories from people where their respective HR departments didn’t ensure WP consistency, essentially resetting the three year clock.

      Following application there is a lot less guidance I can give but you’d be wise to try and maintain the same consistently.

      So in summary, you can change jobs, but make sure there are no gaps with your work permits or extensions of stay.

      I hope this make sense.

      • Matthew Cheung says:

        That’s helpful – thanks a lot.

        Another question, the proof of marriage – Kor ror 3 and Kor ror 2 – these are two different and separate documents correct? And would need both?

        I have Kor ror 3 yet it seems based on info I need to get Kor ror 2 from my local district office. Is this correct?

  41. Jaxon says:


    s) Letter showing intention to renounce your foreign citizenship upon successfully acquiring Thai nationality

    Do I understand this correctly? I do not need to prepare this letter. SB will provide it to me to sign when I submit the application?


    • I think it depends on your nationality and how your embassy wants to handle it. Some accept hand written notes. The UK have their own special form. Others require a letter from SB. It’s safe to say ‘it varies’.

      • jaxon says:

        I am Australian. Do you happen to know what the case is for Australians and this letter (s) , and certificate of legal age (r)?

        Also, when getting my education documents (p) certified, which of the following Consular services do I need from the Australian Embassy:

        (1) Verifying and certifying a copy of a document or part of a document $74
        (2) Preparation and issue of an Authentication certificate $85

        Sorry for asking so many details.

        • Check with special branch regarding the letter of renunciation (in particular as to the acceptable wording) but whatever it is, when you take it to the Australian embassy all the embassy will do is notate the letter as witnessed at the embassy. This is about as offical as it gets and seems to pass muster as far as special branch goes.

          In terms of the educational documents – you need to ask for an ‘apostile’. You’ll need to check with the embassy as to the price.

          • jaxon says:

            Thank you kindly.

          • jaxon says:

            I’ve checked the wording for the letter of renunciation at SB and will have the Australian Embassy witness my signing it.
            About the certificate of legal age, does the Australian Embassy issue such a letter, or do I draft this myself as well and have the Embassy witness my signature?

          • I haven’t heard of the embassy issuing that one. I’d check with SB as in some cases, I have heard it isn’t always required if you are indeed obviously over 21 years of age. It tends to be a grey area between 18 and 20 as to where some countries consider a person as of ‘legal age’.

  42. Bob Merrigan says:

    Also – how many copies of the PND 91 forms will be required? Even if only one copy is required for the submission, is it worth getting additional certified and chopped copies in case they are requested again.


    • Just the one for each of the years should be all that is needed for this one. Having copies in case is always a good strategy, but I haven’t heard of them being needed. What generally happens is once you submit your documents they’ll generally cross reference them with the revenue department anyway, which rules out the need for multiple originals being needed.

  43. Bob Merrigan says:


    For the Marriage Certificates, in my case a foreign one, would five notarized copies including translation chopped by the Department of Foreign Affairs be what is required together with a copy of Kor. Ror 22?

    I’ve found this website very helpful and thanks in advance.

    • Hi Bob – glad you’ve found the site useful!

      From memory you only need one copy properly notarized and the others can just be copies of that (otherwise the cost of notarizing them all gets quite expensive!). As you can see at the bottom of the checklist HERE SB will want to see the original on the day of application but will take the copies.

      I will be honest though, I’m only 98% certain of my answer – if you haven’t already best to have a chat to special branch about that kind of stuff. They are very helpful.

      • Bob Merrigan says:

        Thanks – I’ll check with SB next week but thought I’d ask you before asking them.

        Best wishes,


  44. Jaxon says:

    Some questions about one of the items on the document checklist page: p) Evidence of education for the applicant and for any children.
    For children at a Thai school, would this be the certificate they get at the end of P6 and M6? What about if they haven’t finished P6 yet? Would the most recent grade report card suffice?
    How about international schools in Thailand that issue their grade reports in English? Do they need to be translated into Thai?

    • Hi Jaxon.

      Good question! To be honest I think just in the first instance your kids birth certificates and other ID will be all that is required. I *think* this might actually refer to children who are also applying for citizenship. As always, have a chat with the special branch people to clarify what they will need in your particular circumstances. Good luck with the application!

  45. Richard says:

    Great website. Went to get the list of documents from Special Branch. The officer was nice but stressed I would have to give up British nationality by handing back the passport. I didn’t comment but it has me confused. Please tell me it ain’t true!
    Also, I have no receipts for donations (never worried about receipts before wanting to apply).
    I pay money to support my wife’s family every month (declared in my tax form) and to her nephew at university. I have written a book about Rama IX (official) and two about Queen Sirikit. Does this not mean anything?
    I actually have until the end of 2022 then retirement. The officer said I should continue working until after the nationality change is approved, which is going to be very difficult. However, I am in a company with its own foundation and I work to help kids and underprivileged people.
    Could you give your opinions?

    • Hi Richard

      Thanks for your message – a very interesting background you have! I’d be fascinated to know about your books

      With regards to the renunciation issue – please take a look at my article on the issue HERE.

      So he is talking about that and it’s part of the process. The other thing to ask how many people have had their Thai citizenship revoked after naturalisation? Exactly zero. The main circumstance where you can technically lose your Thai citizenship is when a naturalised Thai subsequently used their foreign passport to enter thailand (see this article HERE. Also it might be worth looking up a recent interview I did for the Bangkok Podcast guys where I talk about this in a bit of detail.

      In terms of the donations – they need to be to a registered charity, so if you’ve done so in the past it might be worth asking them to get a receipt reissued.

      In terms of the official points allocation your books won’t count for anything per se, but in your interview with special branch, NIA etc I’m sure it won’t hurt to show them a a copy when you are asked about your work and profession. Having said that, once you get 51 points the rest is pretty automatic in terms of process.

      With respect to the work permit, understand the dilemma. It’s the official advice. For the most past people aren’t asked for them again after the NIA interviews, but on occasion people are asked to have their documents rechecked. Being asked for documents doesn’t happen post MOI final interview (again they normally don’t ask for documents, but this is just anecdotal) but as much as possible try and stay employed, even if it means moving over to your foundation for the entire period (if possible) or even somewhere else as a consultant till you’ve done your oath.

      Hopefully this answers most of your questions but hopefully if you apply soon you’d be well down the track come the end of 2022 given the normal 3 year turn around under this government.

  46. Eliot Cline says:


    Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive resource. I have thought about applying for citizenship and have never got around to it. My Thai wife and I have been married for 32 years, I am fluent in spoken and written Thai, have worked the same job for the last 10 years making a lot more than the minimum salary. I even have a Ph.D. from a Thai univeristy. I am sure that I would score well in the points area.

    My biggest issue is that I turn 60 in another year and I really don’t want to work more than another year or two, max. Have you ever heard of someone being granted citizenship who retired during the consideration period? Maybe it would make more sense just to apply for PR?



    • Hi Eliot.

      Thanks for finding the website and glad you’re getting use out of it.

      So to answer your question, I haven’t heard any one retiring half way through the process, but I have heard plenty of people never needing to show any documents again after their NIA meetings. I’ve heard one or two needing to show some documents when things got to the MOI, but they were rare.

      So if you ask me if you could get away with it, my answer would be ‘probably’, but I’d also say don’t retire if you don’t have to and only closer to the end of the process.

      On the PR vs Citizenship. Obviously citizenship as a final result is preferable to my mind and a tad easier to do given your don’t have to do your own police check and doesn’t require you to do DNA tests if you have kids (which PR does).

      The other advantage is timing. Citizenship applications are all year around so you could get the ball rolling on that now as opposed to waiting for the PR window to open in the last few months of the year. So at the end of the day the overall time frame from today wouldn’t be too much different.

      So just my random thoughts on the matter but hopefully gives a bit more perspective.

  47. Ian says:


    I have a couple of questions regarding the Document Checklist for Thai citizenship application which hopefully you can assist me with if you don’t mind.

    Item D, Is the House Registration that you refer to meaning copies of the Yellow/Blue Tabien Baan? I have clicked on the “House Registration” link on your document checklist page but it states page does not exist or has been removed.

    Item E, Is it necessary to get a certified copy of my Passport from my Embassy and get it translated into Thai and get it legalized at the MOFA or is copies all that is required?

    Item Q & Item S, could you provide more information regarding these 2 items. Can the 2 Thai citizens be the same people of each of these 2 items?

    Item R, Could you provide me with more information on this item on how to obtain a Certificate of legal age according to the laws in the applicants country of origin? I have checked on the British Embassy website and cannot see anything related to this all I have found is information relating to (Item T) the Letter showing intention to renounce your foreign citizenship upon successfully acquiring Thai nationality.

    Thanks Ian

    • Hi Ian,

      Thanks for the message and the questions

      – have fixed the link to the article on the tabieen baan. Give it a try now. In your case it means the yellow tabieen baan, and if you don’t have one, it’s an article on how to get registered

      – From memory I don’t think you need to get it translated. The original list in Thai doesn’t state it. I suspect that because you generally need a formally translated copy to get on the yellow tabieen baan, and that you will have other offical documents (work permits etc) its probably excess to requirements here. But I must admit I’m only 98% sure on this.

      – Q and S I think I’ve just typed twice. Will delete one of them.

      – For the certificate of legal age, I think in this case the passport is sufficient, they just need to see you are over 20. I’m not sure why they include it here, but I have just reproduced it for completeness.

      I highly recommend you head down to special branch for an intial chat. The reason is in many cases they will strike off one or two things which aren’t needed, and I have seen this for things like the certificate of legal age.

      Hope this has been of help.

  48. jerry says:

    i hope you have a few min for me to answer mt questions
    as im planing to apply this year.
    is it a must that you need to change your name to a Thai name, if so will it have a problem when you travel outside of thailand with your foreign passport and name, and is it possible to change it back to your original name after you get the thai Id.
    my point is just about 50 and the HQ officer tell me that i need some help from the big boss upstairs to push me through but i heard many people have hard time with him and even if they pass they will get stuck in the next interview with NIA
    thank u so much in advance

    • Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for your message. So on the Thai name, you have to choose one, but there is no compulsion to use it. As such, you can keep both Thai and foreign passports in the same name if that is a concern for you.

      In terms of your points score. I’m obviously not privvy to the breakdown, but given its so close to the ‘pass mark’, reading between the lines, they are probably worried that if the application gets pushed along, the borderline nature of it may mean that it doesn’t go far.

      The thing to understand about the process is that police special branch are only generally comfortable in sending along applications to the Ministry of Interior that are water tight and clearly pass muster. They will get into too much trouble of they send too many application on which then get sent back.

      It’s only my guess here, but it might be a good strategy to see where you can boost your points score so its clearly in the high 50’s range, so there is no doubt you qualify. Whether this is strengthening your Thai language skills, income or educational background, I’m not sure, but for me, its probably whats going to be needed in one form or another.


  49. Ian says:

    Hi, Is there a certain amount of time that you need to be married for to your Thai wife for before you can apply for Thai Citizenship?

    • Hi Ian,

      Yes there is. If you don’t have kids, then it will be 3 years. With kids, you can apply after one year of marriage. This assumes of course, you meet the other prerequisites (work, income, tax and consecutive non immigrant extensions).

  50. Eric De Robles Nissim says:


    I am from Spain and understood that “my” country of origin allows dual citizenship. Knowing that I meet the requirements to apply for the thai citizenship, my doubt is: Since Thailand and Spain do not have a dual citizenship agreement, will I lose my spanish citizenship once I get the thai one?

    Thanks in advance and best regards,

    • Hi Eric,

      Thailand doesn’t have any dual citizenship agreements in the same way I understand a number of EU countries do amongst themselves. As such, from thailand perspective you becoming Thai and keeping a Spanish passport won’t be an issue. I can’t speak for Spain but as long as they are okay with it you should be fine.

  51. Ben Hann says:


    I am a UK citizen and I have a 1 Year Non O Multiple Entry Visa, I am not married however I have been to court and I am a legal guardian of my son (born in Thai) who is 5 years old which is what my visa is based on. This is the 1st year I have had the Non O visa and I do plan to renew.

    Based on this I just have to renew 2 times so 3 years continuous and then I can apply directly for citizenship and skip the PR process yes?

    • Hi Ben

      Thanks for you message. Unfortunately skipping PR is only available to those who are married to Thai citizens which doesn’t sound like your situation.

      In addition (for both PR and Citizenship) there is a need to be working in Thailand for three years in the lead up to application with consecutive and unbroken work permit, extensions of stay and thai tax returns showing a minimum income of 80,000 baht per month if you aren’t married.

  52. Hilton Powell says:

    I am staying in Thailand for the last 14 years and have a condo in my name and another condo on a company name of me and my girl as well as 2 small farms on her name but with me as renter for 50 years paid in advance and several cars and pickup and tractor as we stay on one farm in Chatrakan , Phitsanulok region . We are togethet for the last 6 years now going on 7. never got married for people told me if you are together for longer than 6 months acording to thai law, you are married , so i am married but with no papers, does that count ? Also I am staying here on a retirement visa for the last 12 years. I have no intention to ever go back to SA and intend to stay with my girl till death do part us. I have almost no income but live on savings made in my lifetime invested mostly in real gold and have ample to sustain me for maybe 15 years still. So is there any chance to get citizen ship for me also my thai is rotten for we communicate in English with each other also my age is 66 now

    • Hi Hilton, thanks for your message.

      Unfortunately, based on what you have told me, you don’t qualified. Given you aren’t officially married, skipping the PR stage to apply for citizenship isn’t available to you. As per the article above, you need to be working here for a registered Thai company and paying taxes on an average of 40,000 baht per month income, for three years in the lead up to your application. Given you are on a retirement visa that means you don’t meet that criteria either.

      If you do intend to apply for citizenship you’d need to meet those requirements first, but given it sounds like you are retired, it may not make any sense for you to do so.

  53. Ash Jon says:

    My friend has been working here since Aug 2018 plus married to Thai with a kid. So will he be eligible in Aug 2021? but PND 91 for 2018 will be from Aug to Dec only. Please shed some light in this regard.

    • Hi Ash,

      So it sounds like there will be three years of tax returns. He might want to check with special branch the implication of not being a full year in particular that his income will be ‘low’ for that year. He should also check that he meets the rest of the requirements to get the 50 out of 100 points to qualify (see here)

  54. Norbert says:

    Hello, Thank you very much, it’s very helpful. I’m done all these requirements.
    -Live here more than 10 years
    -Have work permit (approx 5 years)
    -Monthly income 50k Baht.
    -Can write/read/speak thai language
    And also have a thai wife, but i’v just married with she in this year (2021), i know she more than 5 years but just now make married certificate.
    My question is, have any way to make shorter the 3 years waiting with married certificate ? (exept having child)
    Best Regards,

  55. Kujan Bobu says:

    Thank you very much for providing detailed information on Thai citizenship process. I have been working in Thailand for more than 7 years. I am in the yellow book since 2019;however, I am a co-loaner of a house which I bought 6 years ago. Do you think I will be eligible to apply for a Thai citizenship?

    • Hi Kujan,

      To be eligible for Thai citizenship you need first to be holding PR for 5 years. If you are married to a Thai citizen, this requirement is waived. However you still need to meet the other pre-requisites (income, three years of tax returns etc). Please check out the link in the article above to the points criteria where you can best judge if you qualify for the 50 points which are needed to pass.

  56. Vijay Shukla says:

    Great article. I have just one question. I am living and working in Thailand for past 3 consecutive years, fulfilling all the requirements for work permit, income and investments. I am Planning to get married my Thai girlfriend in next few months. Will I be able to apply for citizenship immediately after the marriage or there is a minimum waiting period required.
    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Vijay,

      Glad you’ve found the article useful. If married, you can only skip PR if you’ve been married for at least a year (with children) – otherwise it’s three years you have to wait before skipping PR.

  57. Philip says:

    Great article thanks, can I ask if there is a timeline like the residency permit? When do they accept applications?
    24 years here so really time to change to a Thai passport and I’d card! Thai wife and kids agree!

    • Philip

      Thanks for finding the site. Unlike residency, you can apply for Thai citizenship any time of year, so when you are qualified, and it sounds like you are well and truely qualified, then you can start the ball rolling by having a chat to special branch about the paperwork required.

  58. Ian says:

    Hi, Great work on all of your articles all very informative. Is it advisable/necessary to have an agent to support in the application process for Thai citizenship? What are the pros & cons of having one compared to not having one?
    If it is advisable to have one would you have any recommendations?

    • Hi Ian,

      Thanks for your message and glad you’ve found some useful info here.

      To answer your question, the long and the short of it is ‘no’, you don’t really need an agent or lawyer. Qualifying for citizenship is pretty black or white. You either do or you don’t, so there is no room for an agent or lawyer to advocate in those grey areas.

      There is no special application form to fill in, the special branch police officer will fill out the formal application when you go to apply. So nothing you need from a lawyer help on there.

      Given all of this, what remains is that it becomes a paper gathering exercises, and most that paperwork can only come from you or your employer anyway. If you are pressed for time, at most you’ll need a good assistant – someone to liaise with your HR and accounting department to get the bits of paper you need from them (ie employment and tax documents). That same person can also send anything that needs to be translated and certified to to a registered translator.

      Also you’ll need to take the time to visit special branch yourself in the lead up to the application. They can vet your documents, tell you what is missing etc. Building that personal relationship is something all successful applicants tell you is important as they will also keep you in the loop on how your application is progressing through the system, and informally when to expect upcoming interviews.

      Most reports I’ve heard from readers say that lawyers tend to quote 100,000-500,000 baht to ‘assist’ you through the process, but for the life of me, I can’t see how there is that amount of value given how the process is structured.

  59. jessa says:

    hello.i have a question because my thai citizenship will expire and i am working abroad and i cannot go home because of the pandemic.can i do the renewal online or do it thru the tai embassy here abroad

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for your message!

      One thing to be clear – your Thai citizenship never expires. You are Thai for life unless you chose to formally renounce Thai citizenship.

      It sounds like your Thai passport is about to expire however. Thai passports have to be applied for in person, so yes, you have to attend the Thai embassy in your current country. You don’t say what country you are in, but many Thai embassies run mobile Thai passport offices (‘กงสุลสัญจร’), where embassy staff will travel to different areas/cities in a country to help people renew their passports. You should check out to see if the Thai embassy in your country does this.

  60. Mike says:

    Is it possible for a person on a volunteer visa to somehow pay tax on the money they bring into Thailand and qualify for PR?

    • Hi Mike,

      Unfortunately no. Ministerial guidance/directives make clear that all applicants must have three years of work permits, extensions of stay and tax returns from working for a Thai based employer.

      • Ben says:

        Hi, great article!
        I live in thailand for about 10 years, married to Thai wife for 5 years now.
        My question is about the WP, in the first 5-6 years I had a valid wp with B visa. After that I moved to work for a foreign company and changed my visa to Non-O, does this mean that I cannot apply? Or that the years that I had WP count? I do pay taxes in thailand directly to the revenue office.

        • Hi Ben,

          Thanks for your message and thanks for finding the site. It sounds like you aren’t working for a Thai entity which means that you probably aren’t eligible right at the moment as your current employer is based offshore.

          The best bet is if the local entity (if it exists) employ you formally, but unfortunately that also resets the clock and you have to build up the three years.

          Sorry I don’t have better news.

  61. Jay says:

    Hi , Can I ask you about point 1.2 Education? The SB officer told me to get my diploma certified by the embassy. Now I’m not exactly sure of his wording and want to avoid going there again and admit I didn’t write down what he said. Anyway, the embassy of my country doesn’t certify any diplomas. Do you know if I have to just translate and certify by the MFA or do I need to get it certified in my country and make translation in Thai certified by the Thai embassy?

    • Hi Jay,

      You don’t mentioned which country your degree is from. Some country’s will, others (like the US) will allow you to undertake a sworn affidavit (see here) which should satisfy SB’s requirements, where as the UK require the document to go via the Thai embassy in the UK (see here).

  62. Sai says:

    Did a work permit for 3 years up from a BOI company work or is not a Thai employer ?
    I my case. Im Married to Thai but my 3 years visa was from visa-B with WP from BOi company wich is not thai.

    • Hi there,

      If you are employed by a BOI company, then it is registered in Thailand and that is what matters. So long as you are employed by that entity, are paid by it and have your WP and tax payments in order, then that will be acceptable (assuming you also meet the other non-employment criteria).

  63. Martin says:

    Excellent and thorough explanations, thank you! I have one question about the proof of deposit 80,000 baht. This is a deposit of one’s own money, into one’s own account, and a letter from the bank to verify it? Yes? Thanks!

    • Hi Martin,

      Its proof of 80,000 baht in your own bank account. So technically I guess it is your money at that point. There is no specification of the source of the monies, so it can be from your salary or savings, etc.

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