Thai citizenship when born overseas

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.

119 Responses

  1. anthony says:

    hi chris,

    i have a question concerning birth certificate, my dad is french, my mom is thai (passport/ID/tabien baan), i was born in france, every documents asked by the thai embassy are ok but the only issue is that the embassy wants my parents mariage certificate but in the the certificate my mom’s nationality isn’t thai but laos (due to error) the embassy ask me to rectify the error but my country town hall won’t change it.
    i know that asking the thai embassy won’t be of any help because they always say to look at their website which isn’t helpful at all.
    Is their another way to register my thai birth certificate, should i just tell them that i can’t change the mariage certificate, isn’t my mom’s official documents enough?

    • Hi Anthony

      Sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare!

      To be honest I don’t know the best answer here.

      One option may just be to tell the embassy that is the only paperwork available to you. Given that birth to a Thai mother automatically grants citizenship whether married or unmarried shouldn’t make a difference. You should remind the embassy of this.

      Obviously tell the embassy that your country office refuses to rectify the mistake also.

      One option which is possible in Thailand is DNA test to prove you are your mothers son. This is done in cases where paperwork has been lost etc or a parent has passed away. Im not sure if the embassy can accept such evidence – although I know in Thailand there are processes to confirm Thai nationality via DNA testing.

      Beyond that I’m not sure what else to advise given they appears that the functionaires from France and Thailand seem to be not budging.

      All the best and hopefully a good outcome eventuates.

  2. brendan says:

    hi Chris
    apologies if this has already been asked but i couldn’t find an exact reference.
    my girlfriend is thai , her daughter was born in the uk and is 20 years old , her daughter had a passport when she was a child, over 10 years ago . we went to the thai embassy with divorce certificate , letter from her ex , her daughter has a thai birth certificate from when she got her child passport , so nearly all the documents but they asked for a thai house registration document . could you kindly advise us as to how we could get this thai house registration . we were told we have to go to thailand to get it . many thanks

    • Hi Brendan,

      So the house registration document, or tabieen baan in Thai, is booklet which registers a Thai citizen at an address in Thailand. If you are born in Thailand you are normally registered on one within 15 days of birth (normally your home address) and that registration is needed so you can get a Thai ID card and Thai passport.

      For those born overseas, obviously you can’t be registered on a tabieen baan at birth. Thai embassy’s overseas normally grant a waiver on the requirement to be registered on the tabieen baan for the first passport application from the embassy, with the expectation that when you travel to Thailand you head to the district office where you live (or where relatives live) and get your name put on the tabieen baan.

      Sounds like your girlfriend’s daughter has never been registered on a tabieen baan, and and as such, administratively they have their hands tied in issuing a full passport. Your GF and daughter will need to travel to thailand and get her registered.

      The good news is that Thai citizens are normally allowed to enter Thailand on an expired passport. This is in normal times, but given covid, I’d check with the airline and the embassy. The embassy however should be able to issue the daughter with a certificate of identity/temp passport good for a one way journey to Thailand. Once there, you can register for the Tabieen Baan, get an ID card (compulsory for anyone over 15) and apply for a full passport. Your GF’s daughter will need her Thai BC, any other Thai ID she might have (eg old passports), copies of her parents ID’s and two Thai citizens to vouch for her (which is essentially the same as being a witness to confirm someones identity).

      Unfortunately there is no way around being in Thailand for the tabieen baan registration.

      Hopefully this clarifies things for you.

      • brendan says:

        thanks very much Chris .
        this is very helpful and i very much appreciate your reply .

      • brendan says:

        hi Chris .
        my girlfriend is under the impression that she needs to get a letter from the thai embassy in london to show the house registration office to say that they will not give her daughter a passport in london .

        could you kindly tell us if we need this as we do not want to travel to thailand only to find we don’t have the correct documents

        we will have her daughters :
        thai child passport
        thai birth certificate
        mothers birth certificate
        mother tabieen baan
        divorce certificate

        is there anything else we would need ?

        thanks again

        • Hi Brendan,

          So I’ve never heard of needing a letter from the embassy to get the tabieen Baan. I guess getting one can’t hurt, but don’t be surprised if the embassy hasn’t heard of this requirement either. The embassy issued Thai birth certificate and first, now expired passport, are normally enough in terms of what is needed for the tabieen baan registration (in terms of embassy issued documents).

          As said in the previous post, ask the embassy if a certificate of identity/temp passport is needed for your daughter to travel to thailand at the moment, or if the expired Thai passport will be sufficient for her to enter thailand as a Thai citizen (note – entering on a Thai passport is essential otherwise your daughter will be considered a foreigner for immigration purposes – see this link HERE which explains this).

          The only thing I see missing from the list is the fathers passport and ID and house registration (if the father is a Thai citizen). Even though divorced the tabieen Baan has a space for both the parents names. Having the birth fathers name doesn’t confer any rights which conflict with the court order, it’s merely an administrative thing which they’ll need.

          • brendan says:

            once again , thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me Chris . it has been most helpful

            all the best

  3. Jane Salunyar says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am a New Zealand born citizen with a Thai mother. I think we have all of the documents we need for my parents to be able to apply for my Thai birth certificate at the Consulate in NZ (I was born 1985), but they live very far away so I am wondering.. Since I am currently in Thailand already, is it possible for me to skip getting a birth certificate / citizen ID , and just go straight to getting my first Thai passport? The goal at the moment is to be able to stay in Thailand. At the moment I’m here on a Covid Amnesty Visa but I’m not sure how long they will keep renewing it for.

    Thank you in advance for your advice!

    • Hi Jane.

      So the thing to understand about the thai citizens registration system is that without the birth certificate you don’t get on the tabieen Baan. Without the tabieen Baan you can’t get an ID card and without an ID card you can’t get a passport. So the birth certificate is really the foundation document for everything.

      Give you are in Thailand already as I’ve stated in the article you can liase via the Consular affairs department (based in Bangkok) who will work with Wellington to issue your birth certificate. If the embassy in Wellington need anything from your parents it should be possible for them to do it by post, so no need for them to attend the embassy.

      In the mean time, you should apply for an ancestry visa (see HERE.

      Note that will give you a renewable years permission to stay but you will still be considered a foreigner and need a work permit etc and have to do 90 day reporting, but it sounds like that could be a good interim option for you.

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