Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband
In 2015 my wife, a New Zealander who has lived in Thailand since 2000, received Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband (ie me!). We applied in April 2008 and were on the verge of getting to the final stage of the process in July 2010 when we had to put the application on hold for a few years as circumstance had us moving to Australia.
Fast forward to the end of 2013 we had returned to Thailand and my wife’s application back in the system. We were informally notified in June 2015 that the Minister had signed off on a batch of applications for Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband, including ours, and in August 2015 my wife’s name was announced in the Royal Gazette as having received Thai citizenship.
The story and the steps on how you can make it happen are outlined below.
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.
THAI NATIONALITY ACT
“Section 9: An alien woman who marries a person of Thai nationality shall, if she desires to acquire Thai nationality, file an application with the competent official according to the form and in the manner prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations”
Thai nationality law provides a somewhat expedited path for foreign spouses to gain Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband. By expedited, for foreign women there is no need for the applicant to hold a work permit, nor have a history of working. There is also no need to sing the national anthem or the royal anthem (Sansoen Phra Barami/สรรเสริญพระบารมี) as part of the interview process, and the threshold for Thai language knowledge is quite low.
Finally, there is no need to for the foreign wife to have held permanent residency prior to application and no set minimum time of living in Thailand. Given the legislation doesn’t proscribe any qualifications on the foreign wife, the main focus is on the qualifications of the husband, his work and income history and the legitimacy of the relationship.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR THAI CITIZENSHIP?
Special Branch, National Police HQ, Bangkok
The long and the short of it, is that Bangkok is the best, and often the only place to apply for citizenship.
If you normally reside in Bangkok, you apply at police Special Branch, National Police Headquarters, located on Rama 1 Road. For those who know Bangkok well, it is across the road from Central World. Note that, applications for Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband are handled in an office just next door to the office which deals with most other citizenship applications. Details can be found here.
Important note: If you are based outside of Bangkok and you and your husband have your ‘tabieen baan’ (ทะเบียนบ้าน) and ID cards (บัตรประชาชน) 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 take your application, it is highly likely that your application remains there gathering dust.
So, all in all, it is best to bite the bullet and find a friend who will allow for your name to be put on their Bangkok based house registration.
For the foreign spouse, this means having your name entered on the yellow tabieen baan – the process is outlined in this article here.
(nb. it is only important that the applicant’s name is on a Bangkok based tabieen baan. There is no requirement that the husband also moves his registered address to Bangkok).
The Special Branch people in Bangkok appreciate the difficulties 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.
Documents and other requirements
The application process is relatively straight forward. The basic requirements for Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband include:
- The husband and wife are legally married (three years if no children, one year with children);
- The wife is present in Thailand legally;
- The wife is registered on the house registry in Thailand*;
- The husband earns a minimum of 20,000 baht per month (15,000 baht per month if a civil servant).
*In this case, the requirement is that you are registered on the yellow tabien baan.
Aside: What if my husband doesn’t earn 20,000 baht per month?
We’ve been asked this question a number of times when it is the foreign wife earns the higher income.
We’ve spoken directly to special branch about this. Their response is that it is essential that the Thai husband earns an income of some level and that has officially been registered with the tax department.
However, if that level of income doesn’t reach the 20,000 baht a month threshold, then it is possible to combine the income of the foreign wife so as to show an income in excess of 20,000 baht per month. Of course, for the foreign wife this needs to be through official channels and (as with all cases where the foreign wife is working at the time of application), work permit, tax returns and a letter certifying their income will also be needed.
We’ve found a link on the Special Branch website which also confirms this. Specifically, it says the following in Thai:
(3.9) “….มีรายได้ไม่ต่ำกว่า 20,000 บาทต่อเดือน และกรณีผู้ยื่นคำขอประกอบอาชีพสามารถนำรายได้ของตนไปรวมกับรายได้ของสามีเพื่อให้ถึง 20,000 บาทต่อเดือน” – which roughly translated says that the applicant (i.e the foreign wife) may combine evidence of their own income to their husbands to reach a total of 20,000 baht per month.
In summary, this includes certified true copies of the following documents:
- Copy of the foreign wife’s passport details– including a photocopy of all used pages;
- In the case where the wife is working, copies of the wife’s work permits, tax return for the previous financial year and verification of income from the employer. In addition it is likely that any company registration and operation permits of the employer may be requested.
- Your wedding certificate. If it is you were married outside of Thailand, then you will also need to provide a certified translation along with:
- A ‘family certificate’ (ฐานะแห่งครอบครัว) from your local district Office known in Thai as the Kor Ror 22 form (คร 22) which certifies your overseas marriage under Thai law;
- The house registration (Tabien Baan) of the wife. For most, it will be a in the yellow Tabien Baan unless the wife is already a permanent resident, in which case it will be blue;
- The blue house registration of the Thai Husband;
- If your husband is a government official, verification of the husbands civil service employment;
- Certification of the Thai husband’s income. For practical purposes, a salary letter from his employer showing a salary of at least 20,000 baht per month (or 15,000 baht if a civil servant). If the husband is self-employed he may need to show company certificates, shareholders list and other details of his company.
- Copies of the husband’s tax return from the last financial year (PND 90 or 91 depending on your type of employment). Your local revenue department can make a copy for you which they can them stamp and certify.
- The small yellow receipt from the Revenue Department showing tax paid for the previous year.
- Husbands parents details including any relevant:
- Identity cards;
- House registration;
- Or if deceased relevant death certificates.
- Children birth certificates (if applicable);
- Husbands ID card;
- Husband’s passport with copies of all used pages (if available); and
- Husband’s military exemption certificate.
Also required will be:
- 12 photos of the wife (4×6)
- 12 photos of husband (4×6)
- 2 photos of any child you have
The application fee:
- 5000 baht
The relevant link to the Special Branch website (in Thai only) is here:
Initial application and interview
Gathering the documents, while straight forward, probably will require one or two visits to special branch to ensure that they are all in order. The people there are generally quite friendly and helpful (their office is very quiet!) and they will guide you on what you might still be missing out on.
Very often, in our own case and in others, during this checking period applicants tend to build up a good relationship with the Special Branch members in the nationality office. This is a very good thing, as during the following years, they will often informally call you to update you on things, and you can call them with any questions.
Once they the officers are happy that you have all the required paperwork, the Special Branch officer will schedule a time for the application to take place.
As an applicant, there are no actual forms to fill on. At the appointed time, you will present yourself and your husband, and the officer will be responsible for filling in the required paperwork. Once done, the application fee of 5000 baht will be requested.
At this initial ‘official meeting’ your documents are formally checked and the application is started. They will ask some simple background questions regarding your relationship. Given that you are applying for Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband, this will include questions about your relationship – how you met, where you live and for how long – which they will then type up. The husband will also be asked questions about himself, largely to do with his job and salary.
As part of your application, and after your initial meeting, four Thai citizens will need come to Special Branch to act as witnesses and vouch for your relationship. In addition, they will need to provide signed copies of their ID cards.
Thai government agency verification
The documentation you provided will be sent to various agencies that issued them. The timeline they set 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
Quite shortly after the initial application, another interview will be organized by Special Branch, with the National Intelligence Agency (สำนักข่าวกรองแห่งชาติ) at their headquarters in Bangkok.
It is a relatively short ‘chat’ but the officials will also weave in why you want Thai citizenship through marriage. From our experience, ‘practical’ reasons are best. These include:
- Not needing to have work permits;
- So that the spouse can have same rights their husband with regards to things like land ownership; and
- Doing away with the need for visas.
Fluffy and overly obsequious reasons tend to go down less well – according to the NIA people themselves.
The NIA officials also asked 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 also be required to schedule an appointment at your local police station in the district you are registered. Here the police will again interview you, asking basic questions about your relationship status and family situation, 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)
There it will sit, in a pile, as officials do their thing, and the application will slowly wind its way through their systems.
More seriously, 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.
Invitation to 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. Ours was in February 2014 – a little over 3 months since we put our application ‘back in the system’ after already having it sit at BORA for 12 months previously.
What is ‘normal’ about this notice 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.
The meeting 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.
For our appointed interview day, my wife’s case was one of the first to be considered.
We arrived at 8.30am and were told to register for the 9.30am start. From what we could see there would be over 60 people interviewed that day. Many we saw were also applying for Thai citizenship through marriage.
All applicants for Thai citizenship are interview in a conference room by a committee. This can consist of 20 to 40 people sitting around a horseshoe shaped conference table, with you and your spouse at the front of the room sitting at a table facing everyone.
Before we went in the room, a photographer approached us to pose for photo.
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. As we entered we ‘wai-ed’ everyone and my wife started on her pre-rehearsed introduction, of which she only needed to give about a minutes worth of (name, age, citizenship, education, current occupation).
I – as the Thai citizen spouse – gave a slightly longer introduction, name, where I was born, education, what I do for job. Following this, the Chair asked other members if anyone had any questions. After an initial silence, one of the committee members asked if either of my parents were Thai citizens (to which I told them my mother was).
I was then asked I was in the same employment as I was back in 2008 when we first applied, to which the answer was ‘no’ and that I now I have my own business. The followed on to ask if I paid tax in Thailand (‘yes’) and they asked me my salary, to which I gave an estimate given it varies depending on business.
Some more silence, and I quickly asked if they wanted to see the documents they asked for, and then some, and we got a polite ‘no’.
Given this application was based on marriage to a Thai husband, applicants are waived from having to sing the Thai national anthem and the Royal Anthem (Sansoen Phra Barami/สรรเสริญพระบารมี). Nevertheless, to cover all bases, but we both had practiced, just in case.
In our case, I estimated the total time we were in the room was 3 to 4 minutes. Those outside waiting were surprised that we came out as quickly we did, and I personally felt relieved that we didn’t come out having been grilled.
After that, there was nothing to do, but leave. In the lift on the way down, one of the committee members rode down with us, as she had another meeting. She volunteered to us that the interview was short as the committee didn’t have any problems with our application. If there were questions or concerns, the committee often takes longer. In essence, for all applicants, a short meeting was a good meeting.
GETTING THE THAI ID CARD
Following the BORA interview, there was another gap of about 17 months. Unlike other citizenship applicants, foreign women who request Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband don’t need to have their applications countersigned by HM the King, nor do they need to undergo a formal citizenship swearing in ceremony.
As a result, we were informally notified in June 2015 that the Minister had signed off on a batch of applications, including ours. We were told that formal announcement may take a month or two more and in August 2015 my wife’s name was announced in the Royal Gazette as having received Thai citizenship.
A week or two after this, we were summoned back to where it all started, police Special Branch, where they produced a letter for my wife stating she had been granted Thai citizenship through marriage and a copy of the Royal Gazette announcement.
With this letter in hand, we were allowed to go to the district office – where the rest of the family is already registered. After scheduling a meeting with the appropriate person there, my wife’s yellow tabien baan registration was moved to the blue tabien baan, and following that my wife went over to the Thai ID counter to have her Thai ID issued.
Not counting the self-enforced hiatus, it is was a 3.5 year process from application to Thai ID card, which is pretty standard for most citizenship applications.
Hope you find my comment. Been silently following your website and FB page and it has been very useful in my preparation.
My Thai husband and I got married in my home country (abroad).
1) For the “wedding certificate”, is it equivalent to คร. 2? Or just the marriage certificate from the Thai Embassy we obtained it from?
2) For married abroad, are คร. 2 and 3 still required? Or is it just the คร.22 for submission?
Thanks in advance!
Glad you’ve found the website and FB Group useful. So in essense:
– If married in Thailand this will mean providing your Thai marriage certificate (Kor. Ror 3/คร. 3) as well as a copy of the registration of marriage (Kor. Ror 2/คร. 2 – “ทะเบียนสมรส”) from your district office.
– If married overseas you will also need a copy of a Kor. Ror 22 – “Registration of Family Status” (คร. 22 – “ทะเบียนฐานะแห่งครอบครัว”) from your local district office. This essentially a recognition of your foreign marriage in Thailand.
For the latter, the district office will tell you what they want, but it usually means a translated copy of the marriage certificate from overseas. You mention however that you got the marriage certificate from the Thai embassy? Then you might want to see if the district office thinks this is enough for you to get the คร. 22
Hope this helps!
Thanks for replying. So essentially, it really is just คร. 22 that I have to submit for citizenship application given we got married abroad?
Yep that should be it. You might need to have your OS marriage certificate formally translated through for the district office to issue you with the คร22
The one issued from the embassy already has the English translation. And when we do the yearly visa renewal, I have no problem requesting for คร. 2 so I do hope the same goes with คร. 22. Thanks so much!
Is there any other way to contact you guys with this, I have so many questions popping up
Sorry I seemed to have missed your message. Yes, we have a private FB group which you can join and ask questions there. There are about 2500 members who can assist you. The link is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/2116997095087609/
Hi, are the interview in Thai? Is it okay if I can’t speak Thai? or is completely necessary?
If based on marriage to a Thai husband there is no need really to speak Thai and you won’t be assessed on that.
My husband and I were married years before he was naturalized to Thai. We have children. Would like to know when to apply Thai citizenship?, Wait till one year after he got Thai citizenship or can apply right after he got Thai citizenship ?
As soon as your husband is naturalised you are eligible to apply for thai citizenship based on marriage to a thai husband. This assumes that he meets all the other requirements.
Hi. Thanks for this great article and all the time and effort you put in! Any update on the details of the new regulations regarding foreign women married to Thai men seeking citizenship? I heard the time requirement has been reduced to one year?
Glad you found the site useful!
As far as I know there hasn’t been any changes. Three years is needed if no kids, one year if you have children.
I married with Thai man with 2 children but I left the country to work in abroad and leave my children to him. It’s been 24 yrs ago and I’m thinking of coming back and live in Thailand, do you think I can apply and have Thai nationality ? Thank you
So long as your husband meets the income requirements and that your marriage isn’t ‘just on paper’ then there isn’t any reason why not. Remember Police Special Branch and the Thai version of the FBI will be vetting your application and can easily see you history. They will also interview you separately and together about your life.
Hope this helps
What if I am blacklisted? Will I still can marry my Thai national boyfriend? And if yes, do I still have the chance to enter Thailand?
You mean blacklisted for overstay? Sorry we aren’t visa experts but based on anecdotal stories from friends you’ll have to serve out your blacklist time, but after that the resumption of visas should be fine.
Sorry I can’t be of more help.
I’m married to a thai national (deceased) living in Thailand for almost 40 yrs. with 3 children.Can i still file for a citizenship?
Thanks for your message. Unfortunately this path is only available when the spouse is still alive.
Everyone who isn’t married to a Thai spouse has to go via PR first. There is scope in PR for Thai citizen children to support a Thai parent for PR, however I’m not very clear on the process. The link is HERE to the official documents needed, so if rock solid permanency in Thailand is your goal then this is probably your best bet. You should head down to the PR desk at Chaengwattana immigration and have a chat as to the process and the viability of this route.
Is certified true copy
In that case yes, and translation of course!
Thank you so much
Hi sorry, is it I have to get CTC from my embassy after that go for translate & legislation of my old & new passport (as I just renew my passport) of all the used pages including my passport details
Sorry what is CTC?
Thanks for your valuable info
I understand that there are new regulations that have recently been implemented for citizenship applications regarding compulsory pathom level of reading and writing skills for Thai language. Does this new regulation apply for both foreign men and women who are applying?
Secondly, will this new regulation apply if my application was submitted before?
Thanks again for your time and consideration.
Things are still unclear at the moment. The announcement seems to indicate that there will be some sort of interviewing committee where thai language listening and speaking will be tested. Nothing has been mentioned about reading and writing.
The same announcement also says that a Phathom 6 qualification can also be used. I don’t think this means however that the committee will need applicaticants to speak and comprehend to that level.
In terms of those applying by virtue of being married to a thai citizen, the rule waiving the need to speak thai is enshrined in legislation so there will likely be no change to that.
As far as I understand – special branch are still accepting applications and they will be considered on that basis. If I were you I’d get my application into them before we have to deal with 6 months of uncertainly around how the new system works.
My husband is a thai nation citizen, we had married for more that 4 years, I had staying here for 2 years & I just got my Pink Thai ID. May I know am I eligible to apply for the Thai citizen
Please have a closer read of the article as I have outlined all the details here.
If he is earning more than 30,000 baht per month then you are eligible.
Yes, he’s earning more than 30,000. Thanks for your information, I’ll try to go apply at the special police branch. Thanks for your information.
Good to hear. Please note you need to be on the yellow tabieen Baan before you can apply (as per the article).
Yes, now I holding the yellow tabieen baan. Btw, is it need to understand write & read thai?
Given you have the yellow TB, you can apply now.
No need in your case to speak thai but obviously a thai speaker will be useful for the application. Your husband will need to be an active participant in the process.
Great information. I have some questions:
1) Where to apply. We live in BKK in a rental (have done for 22 years of marriage) but my husbands Tabien Baan and ID is for Pratum Thani. We have never lived there but own a property there. Can we apply in BKK using our house rental contract ? Thanks.
2) Tabien Baan: Pratum Thani district office offer a Pink book – not yellow. Does this work ?
I see you’ve asked questions in seperate places so I’ll attempt to answer them here:
– Re: being in Patumthani. You can ask the special branch people there (if you can find them!) but likely they won’t be equipped to handle citizenship applications, which tends to be the case outside Bangkok, Chiangmai and Phuket. While we don’t know the exact situation ‘on the ground’ in Pathum Thani, you know from the offical citizenship announcement where people have applied from, and you don’t see too many (or any) from Pathum Thani, so that is probably a good clue as to the (lack of) capacity of that particular special branch office.
– You NEED to be registered on a tabieen baan in Bangkok to apply in Bangkok. A house rental contract won’t work. As such you’ll need to find someone in Bangkok who is willing to register you and your husband given Bangkok is by far the best and easiest place to apply for citizenship.
– Your husband won’t have two house registrations. He’ll only ever be on one for ID card purposes, though as the owner of the property in Patumtani he may remain as the person in control of that particular housebook.
– There is no such thing as a ‘Pink Book’. There is the Blue House Book – for Thai citizens and Permanent Residents. There us the Yellow House Book – for everyone else. Those in the latter case can be issued ID cards for non-citizens, which are indeed pink in colour.
Hopefully that is helpful!
The information you give is amazing.
I would like to know, if I as a widow to a Thai husband can apply for Thai citizenship.
I have a son together with my passed away Thai husband.
Thank you for this great information. I have been married to my Thai husband for 29 years and recently retired back to Thailand. I wish i had applied as soon as we got back! Shoulda woulda coulda! Will start the process soon when I’m fully vaxed and back from a trip home in November. One question I have is we are retired and living on my social security at the moment. My husband will get social security in a few years time. We have a joint USA savings and checking accts and I have a 401 K with funds. since husband is not working, will they accept my funds and our shred accts as proof of financial source? we have a grown son who lives in the States.
Again, Thanks for this informative post.
So the exact answer to your question is ‘I don’t know’ given your situation is a little ‘out of the box’ and it is best to check these things out with the folks at special branch who are super helpful.
In most cases the income is derived through normal work etc – so what most husbands do in this situation is have a Thai tax return done (which is required) and some sort of letter from their employer. Income from the wife is indeed acceptable too, so I think provision of evidence from your SS and retirement income would be also accepted. Having said that, based on my conversation with the folks there, they did say that the husband having a stream of income of some sort will viewed favourably.
What I suspect will work however (or some derivative of): You mention your husband is a few years off getting SS, so in the meantime there is nothing to stop him doing some part time ‘consulting’ from which he derives an income (and pays Thai tax on) then that should go along way to covering that base. Given he is a Thai citizen already there is no need for work permits etc, so this consulting work could literally be anything from which he derives the necessary minimum average of 20,000 baht per month and there is evidence he paid tax on that.
Hope this helps and please feel free to drop us an email if you have any further questions.
We will look into that. He has been working since the age of 13 so the last thing he wants to do is go back to work. He is an expert Yacht builder though , so maybe he can find something in that field.
Thanks for your help.
Totally understandable. For him, there just needs to be some sort of income. Consulting income will be fine.
Check with special branch if any investment income is also acceptable too.
Thank you so much for your informative and detailed advice. This is very useful information.
My husband was born in Thailand, a Thai citizen and has Thai, Australian and British citizenship and has his current and valid Thai ID card and also has two different names on passports (i.e. English name on British and Australian passports and Thai name on his Thai passport. His Thai passport has just expired in November 2020 but could not renew due to COVID-19.
I am a dual Australian and British citizen. We were married 36 years ago in Australia. We currently reside in UK but intend to retire in Thailand.
We do not have children. My husband has already retired from employment and therefore, employment is no longer relevant in this circumstances. I will be retiring from my employment in 4 years time.
1. Am I eligible to apply for Thai citizenship through marriage to a Thai husband?
2. If this is not possible, are there any other way for me to obtain Thai citizenship?
3. Can my husband still travel to Thailand with his expired Thai passport together with his British passport?
We are very much obliged to you for your kind help and look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your message and congrats on your upcoming retirement.
So last question first, in normal times, he can enter Thailand on an expired Thai passport. However (and I don’t have 100% confirmation on this) due to covid, it appears that embassies are making people get either new passports or temp passports/certificate of identities for travel to Thailand. Who knows how long this will go for, but I suspect getting a new passport should be possible soon-ish if not already (my mother literally got a new one in Sydney last week).
Now your first two questions. The simple answer is ‘yes’. Given your husband has Thai citizenship this does away with the need for work permits etc that foreign males have to show when they apply. There also isn’t the three year work history which also needs to be shown when its a foreign male applying based on marriage to a Thai wife.
All that is required is proof of Thai income tax return from the year before applying and a letter of some sort from an employer. This could even be his own Thai limited company. So if you husband can prove a minimum of THB 20K (average) per month income in Thailand in the year before you apply, pay tax on that then you are eligible. So it doesn’t have to be a full time job, and for instance, could be consulting work that your husband does which will get him over the work requirement and income threshold.
Hopefully that helps clear things up for you. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Hi! Thank you so much much for this information!
I am a Canadian woman, married with a Thai man for 33 years, living in Koh Phangan. Can you confirm whether it is necessary to forfeit one’s nationality when obtaining Thai citizenship?
Thanks for your message – absolutely fine to hold both citizenship unless your home country doesn’t allow it.
Thank you! 🙏
Hi, at the beginning of this article in ‘Documents and other requirements’ you write 20,000 baht is the required income and then later, in the same section but bullet points you mention it as 30,000 baht, can you confirm if it’s 20,000 or 30,000 baht please.
It is 20k based on the latest info I have (obtained yesterday). At one point it was 30k. I’ll fix the article now.
Hi. My husband is Thai police. We live in Samui. Do you know where we should apply in Samui and if it’s possible (my husband doesn’t know lol)?
Also, I don’t think it’s possible for him to move his tabien Baan to Bangkok as he often needs it here for work purposes.
Like in Bangkok, police special branch in Samui will be the contact point for citizenship applications, who then liaise with the bangkok HQ. The question is, will they have the capacity to process the application? My guess is probably not.
If your husband has issues moving his house registration to bangkok given his employment, then he’s really going to have to rely on his colleagues in special branch, and probably be proactive using his links to push the paperwork along the required channels. Based on anecdotal examples been given to me, provincial special branch officials don’t have a clue when it comes to citizenship applications – but it might be a different story in Samui.
Update: We went to Bangkok HQ. They said as we live in Suratthani we must submit all docs to Suratthani Police Station, who will then send them to Bangkok. So we don’t need to have an address in Bangkok, which is great news.
Thanks for the update, really appreciate it. Let us know how it all goes as if the SB in Surat are able to handle to process then it means there will be an additional option for those down your way to apply without having to shift their tabien baan to Bangkok.
I live I Koh Phangan, also married with a Thai man, for 33 years. We lived overseas for 10 of those years but have resided in Koh Phangan full Time since 2008. May I have permission to contact you regarding the process in Surathani? Thank you!
You should head down to the special branch office for the Surat Thani police to get some intial guidance. As I state in the article, most of the regional special branch police offices aren’t really set up to handle citizenship applications. I will note though that the Royal Gazette announcement earlier this month (Feb 2021) did contain someone who applied via Surat Thani, so you might be in luck with that office.
Its easy for me to get 4 Thai national witnesses, ask and give me their docs photocopied and signed, but do they really need to go to the national police headquarters in Bangkok? (For me it’s the most difficult part of the application as they have their work) Is there any chance that I could only give them their docs and telephone number?
Hi there – normally the witnesses have to go to visit special branch as the officers need to formally interview them. If the people you lined up can’t go, then its perfectly fine to send others. Any Thai citizens are fine.
H and forgot this question: if located in Phuket, does that mean we have to move our address to Bangkok?
Yes, that is highly recommended to move you and your husbands tabieen baan to Bangkok!
How about application fees? I didn’t see any numbers mentioned? Did you do it all on your own or did you have help from a lawyer?
We are soon to be applying, but want to find the right moment as we aren’t located in BKK
5000 baht is the application fee. good luck with it all!
My Thai husband sells plants online and he doesn’t have any company nor pay any taxes. He earns around 50,000 baht monthly.
Any idea what he can do or use to declare his income please?
Your husband basically needs to have evidence of tax paid on that income as well as some sort of letter certifying his income. In the case of self employment, it probably can be from himself. In your husbands case, it is only one years of tax returns needed as evidence to support your Thai citizenship application. Setting himself up as a sole proprietor might also just help formalise things a bit, and there are significant tax advantages for doing so. But if not, all that is required is he go to the tax office and declare his income for the 12 months leading up to your application and paying tax on it. At the threshold income needed for a Thai citizenship application in your case (30,000 baht per month) the actual tax incurred is negligible.
I have two children ( under 20 ) with a Thai man but not married. I have been living here since 2004 and always been working.
Can I also apply to Thai citizenship without having to go thrpugh the permanent residency route?
As Thailand doesn’t recognise defacto relationships you would have to qualify for PR under your own steam (ie 3 years uninterrupted work permits and income tax) and then move to citizenship after that. All up that route may take up to 7 or 8 years as a bare minimum (talking account application times and a minimum of 3 years on PR) before you become a citizen.
Obviously being married negates that need, but it needs to be a formal marriage and you’ll need to be formally married for at least 1 year with children before you can apply.
Hi , first, many thanks for sharing such a valuable information. I’m married to Thai for ten years, mother of 8-year old son. I work, and have a valid work permit for all the time. The problem is, my husband is a taxi driver, currently without any employment (freelancer). Am I still eligible to apply? Thanks in forward 🙂
One of the things that your husband is going to have to produce is a tax return for the previous year showing that he has an income of at least an average of 30,000 baht per month (360K per year). With deductions the annual income tax payable would be minimal – less than 1000 baht by my rough calculations. The income doesn’t have to be just from one job – if he does other things it all counts towards it so he just has to submit a tax return declaring at least 30,000 baht per month.
In the initial interview they will ask about his employment and will need some sort of letter attesting from his employer stating to the fact.
If he works for himself the threshold goes down to 20,000 baht per month. It is easy enough to go to the tax department to claim (and pay tax on) an income above 20,000 baht per month, but special branch will still want some sort of other evidence so they can cross reference his income from the previous year.
The official link says the following:
(9) หนังสือรับรองรายได้ ระบุตำแหน่งหน้าที่การงานและรายได้เงินเดือน โดยผู้มีอำนาจลงนามในหนังสือรับรองของ หน่วยงานนั้น (ราชการ รัฐวิสาหกิจ) เอกชน ตามหนังสือรับรองการจดทะเบียนบริษัท หรือห้างหุ้นส่วนจำกัด และถ้าประกอบอาชีพอิสระให้ลงลายมือชื่อรับรองตนเอง โดยมีรายได้พอเลี้ยงครอบครัว มีรายได้ไม่ต่ำกว่า 20,000 บาทต่อเดือน และกรณีผู้ยื่นคำขอประกอบอาชีพสามารถนำรายได้ของตนไปรวมกับรายได้ของสามีเพื่อให้ถึง 20,000 บาทต่อเดือน
3. Documentary evidence of the applicant’s husband
(9)Income certificate specifying the position, occupation and salary from the authority signing the certificate of that department (government, state enterprise) in accordance with the company registration certificate or limited partnership. If self-employed, self-signed With sufficient income to support the family having a monthly income of not less than 20,000 baht and if the applicant can apply her income together with the husband’s income to 20,000 baht per month.
Please see this link for further details
Based on this, it appears that indeed your income would be counted.
So on this one, my broad advice would be to ensure that you have a strong case to show documented earnings for the 12 months (for both of you) before applying.
Hope this has been of help.
Hi thank you so much for your detailed reply. I’ll do my ‘homework’ following your instructions. Again, many thanks, much appreciated. Fingers crossed 🙂
Hi, great article! Thank you for the information. The link for the list of required documents is not working. Can someone provide the web address? Thank you!
It appears they’ve updated the link. I’ve added in new one but it appears to be in Thai only. If it doesn’t work for you, click here https://www.sbpolice.go.th/page/การถือสัญชาติไทยของหญิงต่างด้าวโดยการสมรส_125.html
Hi again! Sorry one more question!
Do your wife need to renew visa every year after getting the citizenship? The immigration staff was saying even after getting citizenship I still have to report to immigration every year and also need the re-entry permit! Is it true? I mean it’s useless if I still have to go immigration to do all that every year 🤦🏻♀️
Thank you very much 🙏🏻🙇🏻♀️
Again, what immigration were referring to was Permanent Residence, which requires a re-entry permit if you want to travel outside of the country. However, PR, once granted, means you never have to do a visa extension ever again.
Citizenship, which is what this article refers to, means that you become a citizen of Thailand and are able to stay in the country indefinitely without visas or any other restrictions and you can come and go as you please.
Thank you for your reply! I am excited to know there’s other way other than doing the PR, definitely will give it a try! BTW, how to obtain the yellow tabien baan? Thanks again have a nice day! 😃
Please check out this article
Hi! Thank you very much for the detailed info! I am a foreigner married to Thai husband. Wanted to get the citizenship, but when we check with immigration staff while renewing my visa, they told us it’s gonna cost 200k+ THB for the application and not guaranteed to be successful. So we decided not to do it. So your whole process only cost 5K THB no extra cost!? 😮
You asked the wrong people. Immigration DO NOT handle citizenship applications, only the police special branch do. Most likely, the immigration people you were speaking to were referring to Permanent Residency (which they do process), however, as per the article, you can skip PR and apply for citizenship at Special Branch – which costs 5000 baht.
Did your wife lost her Australian citizen?
And how much did the whole process cost ?
No she didn’t. The whole process costs 5000 baht.
Hi, is the expedited process the same if a foreign husband marries a thai wife? Or only for a foreign lady marries to a thai husband? Thanks. Ken
The timeframes are similar, 3 or so years from application to grant. Due to a quirk in the law, male applicants require the sign off by HM the King, while women only need the sign off by the Minister of Interior. This can shorten the womans rouge by a few months other things being equal. However, if Thailand does happen to have a Minister of Interior who is not inclined to sign any applications, then everyone gets held up.
Your article is very helpful. Thank you!
I just want to ask, if my thai husband doesn’t have a job and i am the one with monthly salary and providing for the family, we have 2 Thai children and been living here for 16 years, can i still apply for Thai citizenship?
Unfortunately he’ll need to show proof of employment and tax payments of the equivalent of 30,000 baht per month for the past tax year. It can be from his own business or formal employment.