Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘Thai Family Law’ Category

6th May 2014

In recent articles in the Financial Times the argument has be made that the Peoples’ Republic of China will economically overtake the United States of America in the year 2014. It  should be noted that Chinese economic outpacing of the United States is only measured in terms of statistical purchasing power and little more. In any event, this revealation is significant as it shows the increasing dominance of China in the world economy. The authors of the two articles (which can be found on the Financial Times official website here and here) appear to disagree as to the importance of these developments. The  author of the first article seems rather alarmist about the fact that China will overtake the USA in statistical purchasing power while the second author notes that this should not be viewed as China overtaking the USA in all facets of comparative economics. Furthermore, the second article notes that the United States still remains politically the most powerful nation in the world despite the fact that the world is evolving from a state of unipolarity with the United States as the lone Superpower able to effectively and virtually unilaterally project its power throughout the world, to a state of multipolarity in which many nations have increasing regional (or even global) dominance in certain spheres of economics as well as politics.

The notion that the world is moving toward a state of multipolarity leads this blogger to posit: how will the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fit into the framework of a multipolar world? It seems reasonable to infer that ASEAN will become an increasingly important economic bloc following the integration of the various member states’ economies under the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which is set to take effect on January 1, 2015. The creation of a single economic platform which will include approximately 400-500 million people, some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and some of the most strategically important geographical locations will likely lead to greater economies of scale for businesses in the region, a larger market for goods and services for the member states, and greater leverage to trade with countries outside of the bloc. However, these issues are not entirely pertinent to the question posited above. The differences between China and an integrated ASEAN economic platform will be substantial. First, some members of ASEAN rank amongst some of the largest economies in the world, in their own right. Meanwhile other economies within the region are still developing. This could lead to a “best of both worlds” scenario for ASEAN, China, and the USA. Case in point, Thailand has seen difficulties in recent years competing with cheaper Chinese labor, but the movements of labor and capital which will come hand-in-hand with ASEAN economic integration could lead to a situation where Thai companies could utilize labor pools in developing ASEAN member countries to offset the low cost of Chinese labor and thereby mitigate previous competitive disadvantages. Furthermore, the United States may find new markets for US goods in an integrated ASEAN and new venues for the manufacture of low cost goods in developing ASEAN nations that would allow for some economic de-coupling from China by the USA, thereby allowing the United States a freer hand in making foreign policy decisions vis-a-vis China. Finally, China stands to gain due to the increase in trade between China and the ASEAN nations which has recently been evidenced by the evolving nature of the geography of the Chinese economy. In recent years, increasing economic activity has been noted in Southern China across the border from Laos, which acts as a kind of entrepot for trade between China and Thailand as well as the Greater ASEAN community. Recent discussions of a high speed rail link connecting China, Laos and Thailand have also been cause for optimism that one day this region could play host to a booming economy which will bring large numbers of people out of poverty and create wealth for the peoples of all nations concerned.

Following ASEAN economic integration, there are likely to be myriad legal challenges for those businesses in ASEAN nations and abroad wishing to gain a foothold in this burgeoning market. The legal challenges posed will likely require the assistance of legal professionals in the region familiar with new ASEAN regulations as well as the internal regulatory frameworks of the various member states.

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16th August 2010

The J1 visa can be an effective travel document for those seeking admission to the United States for cultural and educational exchange. It was recently announced that certain changes will be implemented which may have a significant impact upon J1 visa applicants. The American State Department has made rule changes which may effect J1 visa processing, to quote a recent press release distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

On June 19, 2007, the Department published an interim final rule amending its regulations regarding Trainees and Interns to, among other things, eliminate the distinction between “non-specialty occupations” and “specialty occupations,” establish a new internship program, and modify the selection criteria for participation in a training program.

This document confirms the Interim Final Rule as final and amends the requirements to permit the use of telephone interviews to screen potential participants for eligibility, to remove the requirement that sponsors secure a Dun & Bradstreet report profiling companies with whom a participant will be placed and also amends this provision to provide clarification regarding the verification of Worker’s Compensation coverage for participants and use of an Employer Identification Number to ascertain that a third-party host organization providing training is a viable entity, and to clarify that trainees and interns may repeat training and internship programs under certain conditions.

It would appear that the US State Department is making these changes in order to better enjoy the benefits of technological advances. The use of telephone interviews for eligibility screening purposes will likely decrease overall processing time. Furthermore, repealing the Dun & Bradstreet report requirement will likely save individuals as well as companies time and resources when they opt to file for J-1 visa benefits on behalf of a foreign national.

The J-1 visa is often utilized by those who travel to the USA as exchange visitors. Often, those applying for such a travel documents do so at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad. As the J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, the Consular Officer adjudicating the application must ascertain whether the applicant should be granted the visa notwithstanding the provisions of section 214b of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act which requires that those seeking a non-immigrant visa show “strong ties” to their home country and “weak ties” to the United States. Some are under the mistaken impression that a J-1 visa is a “dual intent” travel document akin to the L1 visa. Due to the provisions of section 214b of the INA, the applicant for a J1 visa should not maintain an intention to remain in the USA indefinitely.

For related information please see: US Tourist Visa.

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20th July 2010

A Thai prenuptial agreement (also referred to as a Thai prenup) can provide a great deal of protection for individuals should a marital union be dissolved. A premarital agreement can also be very beneficial because it can provide certainty and transparency for the parties to a marriage. That said, a prenuptial agreement (Thai or otherwise) should be drafted in such a way that it provides protection for one’s property or real estate holdings as well as corporate assets and financial instruments. In Thailand, ensuring that a prenuptial agreement comports with all applicable formalities can be difficult which is why it is always prudent to consult with a Thai lawyer regarding such matters. For those foreign nationals with assets outside of the Kingdom of Thailand it may also be wise to consult with an attorney in the jurisdiction where one resides or maintains property in order to take all reasonable measures to ensure the integrity of one’s estate.

In Thailand, a prenuptial agreement must be registered at the time of the marriage in order for it to be enforceable by Thai courts. In a way, it may be better to think of prenuptial agreements as simply “nuptial  agreements” as the agreement does not exist until the simultaneous registration of that document and the marriage. Many Americans in Thailand opt to register a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage that will act as a basis for a US Marriage Visa.

Corporate Assets

For those with corporate assets in the form of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or options it is always prudent to seek information regarding a prenuptial agreement as such an agreement could protect one’s corporate assets in the event of a marital dissolution. In Thailand, those who have an ownership interest in a Thai company are wise to research prenuptial agreements prior to marriage in order try to maintain one’s holding in the event of a divorce.

Thai Property

Although foreign nationals cannot own land in Thailand, there are other property interests that one may have pursuant to Thai law, these include, but are not limited to: Thai Condo ownership, Thai usufructs, Thai 30 year leases, etc. Those with Thai real estate should consider a Thai prenup prior to marriage registration.

Marriage is a major event in one’s life. It can also have a significant impact upon the legal posture of one’s assets and interests. Therefore, those with an eye towards marriage should consult with a family lawyer within one’s local jurisdiction prior to marriage registration in order to help ensure that one’s assets are properly protected.

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26th June 2010

In a recent posting on the Chiang Mai Mail website, issues surrounding foreigners’ rights in Thailand were discussed. The issues came up in the context of a recent road show conducted by the Thai Ministry of the Interior. Foreigners residing in Thailand sometimes find it difficult to fully exercise their rights as the rules themselves can be somewhat vague. For example, the issue of alien registration on a Thai Tabien Baan can be confusing as few foreign nationals are fully aware of their right’s regarding registration. To quote the Chiang Mai Mail’s report about the recent Interior Ministry Roadshow:

Holders of Permanent residency can get a blue book (Tor Ror 14) and holders of temporary visas can get on the yellow book (Tor Ror 13) before they can apply for naturalization. The Provincial Administration reiterated an important point, that foreigners have the right to be listed on the census registration, “It is not well known even among officials. We have contacted registration officials that you have this right and you should insist on it.”

For many, registration on a Yellow Tabien Baan is beneficial because many Thai government offices view a Tabien Baan as definitive proof of lawful presence in Thailand and use the information in the Tabien Baan accordingly. Another issue that came up at the aforementioned roadshow was the issue of naturalization of those seeking Thai Citizenship. In the past, the language requirements for naturalization were rather stringent. During the recent roadshow the spokesperson for the Interior Ministry commented upon the revised linguistic requirements for naturalization to Thai Citizenship:

The requirements for naturalization were laid out, including the income requirements for both those married to Thais and those not married to Thais. The linguistics requirement has been reduced but the applicant must be able to sing the National and Royal anthems. Speaking and listening is mandatory but reading and writing is no longer required.

Finally, of particular interest to many foreign nationals in Thailand is that of the 90 day “check in” for foreigners present in the Kingdom on a “temporary” visa such as a Thai business visa or a Thai O visa. Regarding the Ministry of Interior’s stance on the issue, the Chiang Mai Mail was quoted as saying:

The next issue under discussion was Immigration and the right of habitation. Immigration officials discussed the various visas and how to obtain them as well as how to obtain Permanent Residency. The main issue of contention brought up by multiple Consul Generals, including Japanese Consul General Junko Yakata, was that of the 90 day reporting required of all foreigners on long stay visa extensions. Consul General Yakata told the officials that there are 3,000 Japanese nationals living in Northern Thailand. She requested a simplification of the process, perhaps by extending the length of time needed in between reports.

Chinese Consul General Zhu Weimin requested a change in the 90 day reporting procedure as well, citing the large numbers of Chinese students who attend Chiang Mai schools who cannot take time off from school to travel to Immigration to report. He suggested they open on the weekends for those who have jobs and classes.

The official justified the 90 day reporting by saying “it allows us the best possible protection. If someone goes missing then we have more recent information as to their whereabouts to give to the Embassy.”

90 day reporting is currently required of those foreigners remaining in Thailand on a Thai visa extension. Anyone in the Kingdom on an extension must report their address every 90 days. As can be gathered from the above quotation, some foreign nationals in Thailand feel that the 90 day reporting requirement is cumbersome. However, Thai authorities seem unwilling to change the rules as the current system would seem to provide the most efficient method of maintaining records as to the last known addresses of foreign nationals in Thailand. This is important as Thai authorities can use the data from 90 day reporting to apprise foreign governments of the location of their citizens for purposes of death or disappearance in Thailand. In this author’s opinion, the 90 day reporting scheme is rather cumbersome, but no one, as of yet, has provided a feasible alternative which would comport to the needs of all concerned.

For Related Information please see: Thailand Permanent Residence.

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13th April 2010

For information in English please see: marriage registration.

มีคนหลายคนแต่งงานในประเทศไทยในแต่ละปี เราได้รับคำถามเกี่ยวกับการยอมรับการสมรสในประเทศไทยจากลูกค้าชาวต่างชาติมากมาย ประเทศไทยไม่ใช่ประเทศในระบอบคอมมอนลอว์ และเพราะเหตุนั้นการสมรสตามกฎหมายคอมมอนลอว์ไม่สามารถใช้ยันในศาลไทยได้ นั่นหมายความว่าแม้ประเทศไทยจะเป็นระบบกฎหมายซีวิลลอว์ การแต่งงานตามประเภณีหรือตามศาสนายังคงเป็นเรื่องที่ปกติ นี่อาจจะมีสาเหตุมาจากการจดทะเบียนสมรสเป็นไปค่อนข้างยาก โดยเฉพาะสำหรับคนที่ไม่คุ้นเคยกับระบบกฎหมายไทยและหน่วยงานราชการของไทย

ในประเทศไทย การสมรสคือการจดทะเบียนที่สำนักงานอำเภอ สำนักงานนี้เป็นหน่วยงานที่รับข้อมูลด้านสำมะโนประชากร และในระบบอเมริกันเราเรียกว่า Court Clerk อำเภอจะเก็บข้อมูลของบุคคลที่มีภูมิลำเนาอยู่ในเขตนั้นๆ ดังนั้นอำเภอจะเก็บข้อมูลการเปลี่ยนชื่อ การสมรส การเกิด และการตายในประเทศไทย เป็นไปได้ที่บุคคลที่ไม่มีสัญชาติไทยสองคนจะสมรสกันในประเทศไทย อนึ่ง สำนักงานแต่ละแห่งจะมีระเบียบภายในของตนเอง ดังนั้นคุณควรปรึกษาทนายเพื่อช่วยเหลือในการจดทะเบียนสมรส

เมื่อมีการจดทะเบียนสมรสตามกฎหมายไทยแล้ว คำถามคือ สหรัฐอเมริกายอมรับการสมรสนั้นหรือไปไม่ พูดง่ายๆก็คือ ยอมรับ ตามเว็บไซต์ของสถานทูตอเมริกาประจำประเทศไทยนั้น ในกรณีที่การสมรสได้ทำขึ้นตามกฎหมายในราชอาณาจักร ประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกายอมรับความสมบูรณ์ของการสมรสนั้นนี่เป็นคำถามสำคัญโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งในกรณีเกี่ยวกับวีซ่าสหรัฐอเมริกา หากว่าการสมรสของคู่สมรสนั้นไม่ได้รับการยอมรับจากสหรัฐอเมริกา คำขอวีซ่า CR1 หรือ K3 สำหรับคู่สมรสก็จะถูกปฏิเสธ เนื่องจากคู่สมรสไม่มีคุณสมบัติที่จะออกวีซ่าให้ อีกทั้งสำหรับคู่รักที่ต้องการขอวีซ่า K1 สำหรับคู่หมั้น ก็อาจจะเกิดมาจากการที่ทั้งคู่ได้สมรสกันในประเทศไทยโดยคิดว่าสหรัฐอเมริกาไม่ยอมรับการสมรสนั้น ในกรณีนั้น USCIS จะถูกบังคับให้ต้องปฏิเสธคำขอเนื่องจากคำขอขาดคุณสมบัติ เจตนาที่จะสมรส ไม่ใช่จากการสมรสนั้น

มุมมองที่น่าสนใจเกี่ยวกับการจดทะเบียนสมรสของไทยที่ต้องเกี่ยวกับการทำสัญญาก่อนสมรส ในประเทศไทย สัญญาก่อนสมรสจะถูกบันทึกไว้พร้อมกับการจดทะเบียนสมรสที่อำเภอใน สำหรับข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมโปรดดูเรื่อง สัญญาก่อนสมรสของไทย

เพื่อเป็นการสรุป การสมรสที่ทำขึ้นอย่างถูกต้องในประเทศไทยถือว่าสมบูรณ์ในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา และเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ในการขอวีซ่าอเมริกา หรือเพื่อผลประโยชน์ทางกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองอื่นๆ ดังนั้นการสมรสในประเทศไทยไม่ใช่สิ่งที่ควรให้ความสำคัญเพียงเล็กน้อย เมื่อคิดจะทำการสมรสในประเทศไทย โปรดจำไว้ว่าการสมรสนั้นจะถูกปฏิบัติเหมือนการสมรสที่เกิดขึ้นในสหรัฐอเมริกา

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28th March 2010

For many Thai-American couples a prenuptial agreement is an effective method of ensuring that bot parties understand the rights, obligations, and responsibilities that marriage entails. The US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand issues a large number of visas to the fiancees and spouses of American Citizens. As this is the case, one of the ancillary issues regarding US Immigration involves prenuptial agreements as many couples opt to have a Thai Prenuptial Agreement signed prior to a marriage which is used as a basis for a K3 Visa or a CR1 Visa or they opt to have a prenuptial agreement drafted prior to a Thai fiancee’s departure to the USA on a US fiance visa (also known as a K1 visa). That being said, having a prenuptial agreement properly drafted is extremely important as failure to properly draft such an important document could lead to unforeseen problems down the road.

In previous posting on this blog, this author has discussed the importance of having a licensed US attorney act as a representative in US Immigration matters as “visa companies,” “visa agents” and fly by night operations claiming to be either lawyers, attorneys, or both cannot represent clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). With regard to a Thai prenup, one should retain a licensed American attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement if for not other reason than the fact that they are trained in the working of United States law as well as the common law system in general. Unfortunately, those falsely claiming legal credentials are often drafting documents that are insufficient to ensure the security of one’s assets.

The obvious question that many people in Thailand have is: how can I be sure that the person drafting my prenuptial agreement is a lawyer? As with United States Immigration matters, the best way to verify an individual’s credentials is to ask for either a State Supreme Court License, a State Bar Association Membership Card, or a Federal license to practice law in a US Federal jurisdiction. After receiving the individual’s credentials, it may be necessary to check with the Supreme Court or Bar Association to be certain that the individual is an attorney in that jurisdiction.

Prenuptial Agreements are very important documents and they should be carefully drafted by someone with legal acumen. Entrusting something so important to those without credentials is a risky endeavor that will likely not be recognized until long after correspondence with the drafter has terminated.

For further information please see: Prenuptial Agreement Thailand.

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16th February 2010

Thailand is considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. In recent years, Thailand has boasted some of the highest tourist numbers in Asia, but as the world economic downturn continues, fewer Americans are traveling to Thailand as tourists. However, that state of affairs is poised to change as Thailand is being heralded as a great destination for budget-conscious travelers. In many ways, the buying power of the US dollar has only been slightly diminished in the Kingdom of Thailand and the dollar still represents disproportionate buying power for Americans in Thailand.

In order to remain in Thailand, an American must either obtain a Thai visa exemption stamp or a Thai visa. One of the many questions that many Americans pose regarding Thai visas is: how do I get a long term Thai visa? Many are under the mistaken impression that obtainment of a long stay Thai visa can be more easily accomplished from Southeast Asia. This is often not the case. For many, obtaining a 1 year Thai visa can be more easily facilitated if the applicant is in the United States at the time of application. That being said, proper document preparation is essential and many American applicants opt to retain the services of Thai immigration specialists in order to streamline the process.

The proper visa category is also an issue for many Americans. The plethora of Thai visa categories can be mind boggling, but fortunately there are a few major categories that cover the activities of most applicants. The first major category is the Thai business visa. Thai business visas are perfect for those conducting business in Thailand. These travel documents are also a benefit to those who are seeking employment in the Kingdom of Thailand. In many ways, a Thai business visa is extremely helpful when it comes to applying for a Thai work permit.

A Thai O visa is a sort of “catch all” category that is most commonly used by Americans with family members in Thailand. However, under the moniker of the “O” category there is the sub-category for retirees. A Thai retirement visa can be extremely beneficial for those who simply wish to remain in the Kingdom of Thailand in order to enjoy their so-called “golden years.”

An increasingly popular visa category is that of the Thai ED visa. This visa is often utilized by those in Thailand who wish to remain in the Kingdom in order to pursue a course of study. In many ways, ED visas are very beneficial to those from other countries. That being said, these types of visas often do not confer work authorization and therefore many opt not to obtain an ED visa as it is usually difficult to obtain a Thai work permit.

For more on this issue please see: Thailand visa.

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9th December 2009

Wills are testamentary instruments used to state one’s intentions after one’s death. Generally Wills come up in the context of property distribution following an individual’s death. In Thailand, both foreign nationals and Thai Citizens die, leaving Thai property in the form of Thai Real Estate and/or assets. In many cases, the family of the deceased will read the Will, have it process through probate, and have the assets distributed in the manner set forth in the codicils of the Will.

A Living Will is a slightly different instrument. To quote Wikipedia:

“[The Living Will] was first proposed by an Illinois attorney, Louis Kutner, in a law journal in 1969. Kutner drew from existing estate law, by which an individual can control property affairs after death (i.e., when no longer available to speak for themselves) and devised a way for an individual to speak to his or her health care desires when no longer able to express current health care wishes. Because this form of ‘will’ was to be used while an individual was still alive (but no longer able to make decisions) it was dubbed the ‘living will.’

A Living Will usually provides specific directives about the course of treatment that is to be followed by health care providers and caregivers. In some cases a living will may forbid the use of various kinds of burdensome medical treatment. It may also be used to express wishes about the use or foregoing of food and water, if supplied via tubes or other medical devices. The living will is only used if the individual has become unable to give informed consent or refusal due to incapacity. A living will can be very specific or very general. An example of a statement sometimes found in a living will is: ‘If I suffer an incurable, irreversible illness, disease, or condition and my attending physician determines that my condition is terminal, I direct that life-sustaining measures that would serve only to prolong my dying be withheld or discontinued.’”

The website Thaivisa.com, in conjunction with The Nation Newspaper, are reporting that the Thai government has preliminarily approved a proposal to allow living wills in Thailand:

“The Cabinet Tuesday gave the green light to living wills. Under the draft decree, health professionals will honour a dying patient’s wish to forego treatment during the terminal stage if it can only prolong life. The draft prepared by the National Health Commission Office will now go to the Council of State for review.”

It will be interesting to see how this legislation progresses through the various official agencies. Living Wills can provide a means and method for transmitting one’s wishes in the event of misfortune. This author hopes that this legislation will receive positive treatment by those with authority to change the law.

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3rd December 2009

Prenuptial Agreements are important instruments both for asset protection and for litigation avoidance. For those who wish to execute a prenuptial agreement in Thailand, the advice of a competent licensed attorney is highly recommended.

Many who are in the process of getting married do not wish to discuss the prospect of a possible marital dissolution. This attitude is similar to those who do not wish to discuss estate planning or Wills because they do not wish to think of their own death. Although an understandable feeling, often dealing with such issues in an open and reasonable manner can put all parties at ease. With regard to prenuptial agreements, there are some formalities which must be dealt with after the marriage has been registered.

For those with a retirement or pension plan, the effects of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) can have a major impact upon the Thai Prenuptial Agreement process. As mentioned previously on this blog, and elsewhere, prenuptial agreements need to be properly drafted by a competent attorney. Also, the Thai fiancee signing the agreement should be provided with independent counsel in order to ask questions about the agreement and have all rights, obligations, waivers, and entitlements explained in layman’s terms. Further, if the Thai fiancee is not a native English speaker, then it may be advisable to have a Thai interpreter assist in advising her as to her rights.

That being said, ERISA requires that a further waiver be signed after the marriage is registered or executed. This is due to the fact that only a spouse is entitled to waive rights delegated under ERISA. As ERISA is Federal law it trumps state law pursuant to, among other things, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. Those with a pension or retirement plan covered under ERISA, should seek experienced legal counsel to explain how their interests can be protected in a prenuptial agreement. Fortunately, their are ERISA waivers which allow the parties to make individualized provisions as to the distribution of pension funds in the event of marital dissolution. That being said, attorney consultation is highly recommended as ERISA can be a very complicated area of law.

As with any premarital agreement, a Thai prenuptial agreement should be signed prior to the marriage. However, Thai prenuptial agreements are registered at the same time as the Thai marriage registration. Therefore, it may be possible to execute an ERISA waiver soon after marriage registration in Thailand.

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27th November 2009

In the United States of America it is often necessary to obtain a marriage license before getting married. For those living in Thailand marriage can be a major issue and a commonly asked question is: do I need a marriage license before my Thai fiancee and I can execute a legal marriage in the Kingdom. Strictly speaking, a marriage license is not necessary, but there are certain formalities that must be met before a couple can be legally wed in Thailand.

In cases where a Thai wishes to marry a Thai, the process is relatively simple because the couple must simply go to their local Amphur office (also known as an Amphoe office or Civil Registrar’s office). Once the couple arrives at the Amphur they must present their Thai Identification cards and a marriage can be registered relatively quickly.

In cases where a Thai Citizen wishes to marry a foreigner (also known as a Farang in the Thai language), the requirements are somewhat more stringent. This is due to the fact that the foreign national must prove up his or her single status. This is usually done by traveling to the foreign national’s Embassy or Consulate. Generally, an Embassy or Consulate can provide documentation that proves the applicant is legally free to marry. For American Citizens, such documentation can be obtained at the American Citizen Services section of the United States Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate in Chiang Mai. Once this documentation is obtained it must be translated and legalized before the Amphur will accept it for marriage registration purposes.

Occasionally, two foreign nationals seek to register a Thai marriage. In cases such as this the couple must obtain the previously mentioned documentation proving single status. In a case where both parties are of different nationality, then different procedures may be required as two separate Embassies must be contacted. The requirements for obtaining documentation for a marriage in Thailand are not uniform. Each Embassy has its own protocols regarding what type of documentation it will issue and what supporting documentation must be submitted before the Embassy will certify an applicant as legally free to marry. With that in mind, those interested in registering a Thai marriage should learn what their Embassy requires to issue a single status affidavit.

To sum up, although Thai officials do not require a marriage license before a marriage will be registered, they do require that the parties prove that they are both free to marry. Proving this can be difficult for some foreign nationals as each Embassy has their own rules for issuing affidavits of single status.

On a related note, those wishing to execute a Thai prenup should register it and the marriage simultaneously. Otherwise, the Thai courts may later refuse to recognize the agreement in the event of divorce.

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