Thai dual citizenship – is it legal?

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.

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85 Responses

  1. A says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the article. I am half english/half thai, 26, and have both a thai and british passport. I want to join the british army but to do so will need to forfeit my thai citizenship. Can I do this and in some years to come get my citizenship back?

    Thanks

    • Hi Alex

      Thanks for your message. Unfortunately once renounced there is no automatic way to get back thai citizenship.

      At this stage, the only people who are allowed to get back thai citizenship in a fairly automatic manner are women who gave up their citizenship to take on the citizenship of their foreign husband, and who subsequently divorce and now want their Thai citizenship back.

      I need to check, but I ‘think’ you are able to skip the need for PR (but please don’t quote me on that) but you’ll need to be otherwise qualified (ie, have lived in Thailand for three years and have tax returns and have earned 80,000 baht per month).

      One special type of visa you will be able to access is a visa we’ve called the ‘ancestry visa’. It’s designed for people who have a Thai parent or who are former Thai nationals themselves. Though you have to renew it annually, it essentially lets you live in Thailand more or less indefinitely, but confers no work rights or any rights to own land. So depending on your future intentions that might be an option for you.

      Hope I’ve been of help.

  2. Peter Olin says:

    Can a child who is born in Australia, mother Thai father Australian. Can the child own/purchase or inherit land in Thailand?

  3. Daniel Forman says:

    Good info. I am looking for a bit more. I. Canadian by Birth now hold both Canadian and Australian citizenship before the birth of my son with Thai national. My son would have Thai citizenship from birth, Dan I get him both Australian and Canadian Citizenship also?

    • Hi Daniel,

      You don’t say where your son will be born, but I’m assuming in Thailand. Either way, in Thailand or not, your son will be a Thai national by birth.

      I can’t comment on Canadian citizenship, other than to say I’ve heard they’ve altered the way citizenship by descent has been handled in recent years, so best check with your embassy on that.

      You also don’t mention how you’ve acquired Australian citizenship (was it by naturalization or via descent yourself). I know people who are born in Australia as citizens, or who have naturalised, can pass Australian citizenship on to their overseas born children via registering for citizenship via descent at the closest embassy.

      If you are a citizen via descent yourself, you will have had to have clocked up a cumulative 2 years of time in Australia in your life (it does not have to be in one block) before you can pass on Australian citizenship to your overseas born child. If born in Australia of course, then your son will automatically be an Australian citizen by birth by virtue of having an Australian citizen parent.

      Hope this helps and isn’t too confusing.

  4. Joua says:

    I was born In Thailand but have lived in the US all my life and is an US Citizen now. Does this mean I have dual citizenship or do I still have to apply?

    • Hi Joua,

      If you were born in Thailand and at least one of your parents was a Thai national at the time of your birth (or if both your parents were non-Thai but had Thai permanent residence) then you are a Thai citizen by birth. You would certainly have a Thai birth certificate which would state your ID number and be registered on a house register somewhere. If you’ve got Thai relatives there still you’ll probably need to find out where that is, and get a copy of it for your files.

      Given you came to the US as a child, it is unlikely you have a Thai ID card, but on your next visit to Thailand you should go to the district office where your name is registered, and apply for one. After that, you can easily get a Thai passport.

      The Thai embassy in the US probably won’t be able to issue you a full passport without an ID card, but if you’ve got your birth certificate, old Thai passports and a copy of your house registration, they should be able to issue you with a emergency passport which is good for a one way trip to Thailand, where you can apply for a full passport after getting an ID card.

  5. Paul says:

    Hi Chris,
    I was born in the USA to Thai parents who hold dual citizenship. I plan to eventually live and retire in Thailand. How may I go about obtaining a Thai citizenship? Thanks

    -Paul

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