How to get a marriage visa (Non-O) in Pattaya and Thailand in 2023
April 14, 2023
Thai immigration law is very dynamic. Every time I get a visa, something always changes, usually some minor details, which at the same time can stall the entire process of obtaining a visa. Therefore, the information in this note, although based on my experience, may differ in your case.
In January 2023, I received my passport with stamps allowing me to stay in Thailand for another 1 year due to my marriage to a Thai citizen. For simplicity, this can be called a “Marriage Visa” or “Family Visa”.
Requirements for obtaining a marriage visa when marrying a citizen of Thailand
You must provide the following documents:
- Completed TM.7 form
- 2 photos
- Marriage certificate (all the documents you were given at the time of your marriage!)
- Document Khor-2, which you can get in the same office where your marriage is registered
- ID card of the wife and her House book
- First and last name change certificates
- Family photos
- 400,000 baht in a Thai bank account for the last 3 months. Also update your Bank book (Passbook), get a statement for the last 3 months and get a letter of guarantee. These data must be current on the day of the application!
- If there are children, then Birth Certificate and House book. For children over 7 years old, also ID cards.
- Proof of residential address:
- in case you are renting: apartment rental agreement, ID card and house book of the owner of the apartment, house book of the place you are renting. Any bills (electricity or water bill).
- if you are the owner: Chanote, contract for the sale of an apartment, House book. Any bills (electricity or water bill).
This is the list of documents given at the Immigration Office.
And this is a list of documents that were given in the agency that helps to get a visa.
List of documents in Thai from the agency.
When processing documents through an agency, I did not have to fill out the Application for extension of temporary stay in the kingdom (form TM.7):
Do I need to leave Thailand to get a family visa?
I will start by describing the procedure for obtaining my first family visa in 2015 (I divorced that first wife, and then married again to a Thai woman, but to another one).
The procedure for obtaining my first family visa in 2015 was as follows:
1. We contacted the Immigration Office. There we were told what documents we need to collect. We prepared a visa application. I already had a student visa at that time, it was closed to me, tomorrow was indicated as the closing date so as not to waste time at the border (otherwise I would have to close it before crossing the border).
2. With these documents we went to Laos. I got a visa valid for 3 months.
3. After 3 months, I received a stamp extending my visa for another year.
How I got a visa in 2022-early 2023:
1. I applied to the Immigration Office for the first time, they said, “So you have a student visa – live on it!”.
2. When school ended, I again applied to the Immigration Office again, they said, “So you have a student visa – live on it!”. I noted that the studying was over. To this they said, “We don’t even know what to do in this case. Maybe go to Laos and there somehow. Search on Google. We don't know how to help you. Goodbye!”
3. Out of desperation, I turned to the Agency, which was located 5 meters from the Immigration Office. They told me there, pay 30,000 baht and you will have a marriage visa, you don’t need to leave Thailand…
That's how it turned out. I paid 30000 baht + 1900*2 baht for stamps. Agency employees, when they accepted documents from us, constantly consulted with employees of the Immigration Office (as you might guess, they suddenly became perfectly aware of what needs to be done, down to the smallest nuances).
I had a hitch when accepting the documents: the name of the Thai woman who signed a rental agreement with me did not match the name indicated on the electricity and water bills (the names were also different on both bills!) In the end, we found out that the apartment, which I rent, actually belongs to a foreigner, and Thai is his friend or common-law wife. Legally, she had no right to sign the contract. But after the Thai woman sent her House book for the apartment, as well as her ID card, and the foreigner sent a copy of his passport, the problem was resolved, and my documents were accepted.
Also, the agency told me that I needed to come to the Immigration Office every 90 days and report the place of my current stay. But this is an easy procedure. Although it should be noted that in 2015-2016 I did not do this – I just spent a year without visiting the Immigration Office.
The agency employee even said that if I need his assistance, it will cost 500 baht. But as I later found out, the 90-day notice is the simplest and free procedure that can be completed in minutes from the comfort of your home. For details, see the note “Online notification of staying in Thailand over 90 days”.
What should family photos be for a Thai marriage visa?
We need 4 different photos.
I selected photos of us in different settings, such as photos from travels and photos during the celebrations of various events together. These photos have been scrapped.
The photos you need are very banal: a husband and wife are standing side by side in the apartment where they live (3 photos) and another photo against the background of the front door.
We live in a studio (the whole apartment consists of 1 room), for a “change of scenery” we just turned around inside our apartment. Such photos, which we took in 1 minute, in which we were in the same clothes, were accepted.
Is it a pity 30,000 paid to the agency?
A trip to Laos for two (if by plane) at minimal cost would cost from 20,000 baht to 25,000 baht (depending on the number of days). Plus wasted time and nerves. Plus, there are no guarantees that without outside help we would have done everything right the first time.
In general, even if I overpaid, then quite a bit.
I already had a Non-ED visa in my passport. Instead of a new visa, they gave me a stamp that “this foreigner first requested a study visa, and then a marriage visa”. After that, they put 2 more stamps: stay in Thailand for 1 month and for 11 months.
In general, money makes life a little easier. Speaking of money. 400,000 baht again must lie at least 3 months in a Thai bank before the next visa extension for 1 year. That is, money cannot be spent, or it will need to be brought in.
Rules at Thai Immigration Offices may vary
Yes, the requirements and procedure are spelled out in laws and regulations, but at the same time they are somehow interpreted differently in different branches of institutions (the most obvious example is opening a bank account in Thailand, in Bangkok it is impossible to do this without a work visa, but in Pattaya or Hua Hin, they will open a bank account for you without any problems on a student visa, or without a visa at all if you buy insurance).
So it is with the Immigration Offices. For example, when I first applied for a family visa in Pattaya, the Immigration Office accepted an Affidavit of monthly income from my country's embassy as proof of my income. And when extending the visa, the Si Racha Immigration Office demanded a bank statement in addition to the affidavit.
That is, I do not exclude that in another city you can get a marriage visa cheaper, or you will have to go to Laos without an alternative.
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