Thai citizenship application process

Chris Larkin

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

21 Responses

  1. Kujan Bobu says:

    Hi Chris,

    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.

      Regards
      Chris

  2. 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,
    Vijay

    • 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.

  3. Philip says:

    Hi Chris,
    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

    • 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.

      Cheers
      Chris

  4. Ian says:

    Hi Chris, 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.

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