Thai citizenship application process

Chris Larkin

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.

43 Responses

  1. Jaxon says:

    Hi Chris,
    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!

  2. Richard says:

    Dear Chris,
    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.

  3. Eliot Cline says:

    Hi Chris,

    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.

  4. Ian says:

    Hi Chris,

    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.


  5. jerry says:

    hey chris
    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.


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