Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘Thailand Marriage Registration’ Category

10th April 2016

In previous postings on this blog the recent policies of the Royal Thai Immigration Police regarding visa overstayers in Thailand have been noted. In follow up to those articles, it should be noted that Thai immigration officials have recorded a sharp decline in the number of people physically present in Thailand beyond the expiration date of their visa. In a recent Bangkok Post article, the drop in overstay was noted:

The more than 39% decline, from 810,522 in October last year to 486,947 in March, shows “our new measure is effective”, Immigration Bureau chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said on Friday.

While immigration officers chalk up a victory in the campaign to thwart overstaying foreigners it appears that a new issue has come to the forefront. In another article in a more recent edition of the Bangkok Post suspicious trends in Thai Marriage registration numbers were reported:

Bureau chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said several foreign nationals are believed to have resorted to sham marriages as a loophole to stay in the country…The [Royal Thai Immigration Police] received a tip-off from the Public Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) that at least 150 Thai women in one district of a northeastern province had married foreigners in the past few months.

Clearly, the recent spike in marriages and the recent change in immigration overstay policy cannot be assumed to be coincidental. However, the upshot of these developments is the very strong probability that all upcoming Thai marriage visa applications (otherwise referred to as O visa applications) will be more heavily scrutinized when compared to similar applications lodged in the past. This blogger can personally attest to the fact that since policy changes at Thai immigration in late 2015 the process of obtaining or renewing a Thai business visa has been a more intensive endeavor as Immigration officials scrutinize all business visa applications and supporting documentation extremely thoroughly. Therefore, this recent news regarding marriage scrutiny could easily lead one to infer that future marriage visa extension applications and renewal applications could require more documentation and the backlog for issuing such documents could become exacerbated as a result of the increased scrutiny and documentation requirements.

As a general rule, this blogger has advised those interested in remaining in Thailand to understand that the process of obtaining a long term Thai visa and/or a Thai work permit is becoming increasingly complex. As a result of this increased complexity, the notion that the Thai immigration process is something that is quick and easy is simply a fallacy. Thai immigration matters are arguably as complicated and time consuming as immigration issues arising in countries such as the USA or the UK. Those undertaking Thai immigration matters for the first time are strongly encouraged to retain the assistance of a competent professional.

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17th August 2013

In previous postings on this blog the issues related to same sex marriage in the United States, and the immigration benefits connected thereto have been discussed. However, discussion about how same sex marriage is viewed in the eyes of the law in Thailand has been comparably brief. As of the time of this writing, there would seem to be a growing movement to legalize same sex unions in Thailand following a recent case involving two same sex partners who attempted to register their union in Thailand in much the same manner as different-sex couples. To quote directly from the Asia Times website:

Last year, Nathee Theeraronjanapong (55) and his partner Atthapon Janthawee (38) decided to make their 20-year relationship legal. Citing section 1448 of Thailand’s Civil and Commercial Code, which deems same-sex marriage unlawful, the head of registrations in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai handed the couple a letter of denial…

An English translation of Section 1448 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code reads as follows:

A marriage may take place only when the man and woman have completed their seventeenth year of age. But the Court may, with appropriate reason, allow them to marry before attaining such age.

In much the same way that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) only Federally recognized marriages between a man and a woman (notwithstanding the fact that some States recognized such unions) the governing laws of the Kingdom of Thailand only recognize marriage as a union between two people of the opposite sex. Notwithstanding the law’s view of this issue, it should be noted that the Kingdom of Thailand remains one of the most tolerant jurisdictions in Asia when it comes to issues of race, religion, creed, and sexuality. Thailand has a significant and thriving LGBT community and even in the workplace the sexual preferences of employees are considered personal matters. This stands in stark comparison to the atmosphere in other Asian countries and even other jurisdictions within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To quote from the website of Inter Press Service News Agency:

Sodomy is criminalised in six member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – namely, Brunei, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as Marawi City in the Philippines and the South Sumatra Province of Indonesia.

At a very early stage compared to other nations around the world (including the United States), in 1956 Thailand repealed the law making sodomy illegal thereby permitting intimate consensual relationships between consenting adults of the same sex. This decision placed Thailand among the most progressive nations in Asia (and the world) on the issue of LGBT equality.

However, it would appear that implementing policies to allow same sex marriage in Thailand is a more daunting endeavor. Many outsiders view Thailand as having a somewhat laissez-faire, perhaps even libertarian view, on social issues. In fact, many Thais are very conservative in their opinions, especially Thais of the older generations. This is not to say that such people are intolerant as many Thais maintain very conservative personal opinions while simultaneously remaining tolerant regarding the decisions and life choices of others (a dichotomy which makes Thailand such a wonderful and interesting place to live). However, this dichotomy must be taken into consideration by those pressing for changes to the Thai marriage laws as the Inter Press News Agency noted:

Danai Linjongrat, executive director of the Rainbow Sky Association, has been urging caution in the drafting of the civil union bill, so that it will not inadvertently fan the flames of intolerance and heighten regional stigmatisation of the LGBTIQ community. “We are looking for a bill that equalises all relationships,” he told IPS. “For example, the current marriage law grants heterosexual couples the right to marry once they reach the legal age of 17, but for LGBTIQ people the legal marriage age would be 20 years old.”

This blogger feels that it is likely that the rules regarding registration of marriage for same sex couples in Thailand will change at some point in the future. As the younger generation grows older it stands to reason that many will feel that the current legal prohibitions on same sex marriage are antiquated. Furthermore, Thai lawmakers often maintain a deep sense of pragmatism when it comes to issues which may impact tourism and foreign capital investment in the country. Should same sex marriages be permitted in Thailand, the already large LGBT tourism sector would likely grow due to others from Asia (and around the globe) traveling to Thailand to register their marriages. Also, those foreign nationals with a Thai same sex spouse would be more likely to bring their assets to a jurisdiction which recognizes their union as such a jurisdiction would provide ancillary benefits regarding issues such as estate planning, healthcare decision making, and taxation. Although LGBT equality is a human rights issue and not strictly one of economics, the economic component of the same sex marriage debate is one that lawmakers are likely to take seriously. The conclusion of the same sex marriage debate in Thailand remains to be seen, but a rational debate of this issue in Thailand is a good start.

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8th August 2010

The administration of this blog routinely posts the holiday closing schedules of US Embassies and US Consulates in Southeast Asia and India in an effort to provide information to travelers who may need assistance at a local Post. Below is the holiday closing schedule for the US Embassy accredited to Sri Lanka and the Maldives quoted directly from that Embassy’s official website:

The American Embassy will observe the following American and local holidays in 2010.

Date

Event

Type

January  01 (Friday) New Year’s Day American
January  14 (Thursday) Tamil Thai Pongal Day Local
January 18 (Monday) Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. American
February 04 (Thursday) National Day Local
February 15 (Monday) Presidents’ Day American
March 1 (Monday) In Lieu of Holy Prophet’s Birthday Local
March 29 (Monday) Bak Full Moon Poya Day Local
April 13 (Tuesday) Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day Local
April 14 (Wednesday) Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day Local
May 3 (Monday) In Lieu of May Day Local
May 27 (Thursday) Wesak Full Moon Poya Day Local
May 31 (Monday) Memorial Day American
July 05 (Monday) In lieu of Independence Day American
August 24 (Tuesday) Nikini Full Moon Poya Day Local

September 06 (Monday)

Labor Day American
October 11 (Monday) Columbus Day American
November 11 (Thursday) Veteran’s Day American
November 25 (Thursday) Thanksgiving Day American
December 20 (Monday) Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day Local
December 24 (Friday) In Lieu of Christmas Day American

Americans traveling or residing overseas often find themselves in need of services routinely performed by Consular Officers at an American Citizen Services Post. The services most often sought by Americans abroad include: Passport renewal, adding of new visa pages, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and notarial services. As an example, in Thailand, many Americans wishing to register a marriage in the Kingdom must first obtain a notarized affidavit from the US Embassy Bangkok or the US Consulate Chinag Mai stating that they are legally free to marry.

Those seeking services at a United States Embassy or United States Consulate are well advised to check the holiday closing schedule before traveling to the post. Furthermore, those with business before the American Citizen Services Section of a US Consulate should ascertain whether or not the post takes appointments online. By scheduling an appointment in advance an American Citizen, or foreign national with business before the post, can put the Consular Staff on notice of expected services, which allows for more efficient service, and ensure that a place in line as some appointment times can be pre-booked online.

Those seeking visas are well advised to check with the local visa unit (either non-immigrant or immigrant depending upon the visa category) of the Consulate to learn about appointment booking procedures which may vary from post to post. For more information about United States Immigration please see: K1 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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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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14th March 2010

An often asked question among foreign nationals in Thailand is: Can we get married in Thailand? More often, the question is posed with some variation. For example: Can two Americans get married in Thailand? Or, can two Canadians get married in Thailand? Finally, a common question: my fiancee is British (or any other nationality) and I’m an American, can we get married in Thailand? All of these questions can be answered relatively quickly: Yes, provided all parties meet the legal requirements.

Thailand marriage registration can be very quick when compared to certain common law jurisdictions. In many States in the USA, there is a statutorily prescribed waiting period between marriage license obtainment and marriage solemnization. In Thailand, there is no such delay. In many ways, the Thai civil administration system is much more streamlined when compared to the common law system, particularly that of the United States. In the US, the separation of powers and federalism create a system in which different sovereigns have different methods of registering a marriage. In Thailand, the system is uniform and marriage records are kept at the local Amphur Office (or Civil Registrar’s Office). The Amphur keeps copies of Marriage Registration information as well as household registration information known as a Tabien Baan.

Obtaining a household registration for a foreigner (known as a Foreign Tabien Baan or a Yellow Tabien Baan) can be difficult, but marriage registration for foreign nationals really depends upon the country of nationality. Thai officials require that foreigners prove their marital status by obtaining documentation from their Embassy or Consulate that is accredited to Thailand. For those from common law jurisdictions it can be relatively easy to obtain such documentation, but other civil law jurisdictions can cause difficulties. It may be best for those interested in registering a marriage in Thailand to check with their Embassy or Consulate to ascertain how long it would take to obtain certain necessary documentation (Most notably, an affidavit of an ability to marry).

Although it is not something that some people wish to discuss at the time of marriage, the issue of divorce in Thailand is important. Thai Courts may or may not take jurisdiction over a divorce involving two foreign individuals married in Thailand and therefore jurisdiction for a later divorce proceeding may depend upon other factors. Finally, in any conversation about marriage registration it should be noted that a Thai Prenuptial Agreement will only be enforceable if it is registered at the same time as the marriage.

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31st December 2009

For those with relatives overseas the immigration process can at times seem interminable. In most cases, the visa process involves multiple US government agencies and can be somewhat confusing as Immigration is an area in which different regulations overlap.

Currently, there is a Bill in Congress that would reform the United States Immigration system. Many practitioners of Immigration law as well as immigrants feel as though the time has come to reform the American Immigration system. On the American Immigration Lawyers Association Leadership blog there has been a recent posting about the current state of the Immigration system, ways it can be fixed, and how all of these issues impact Americans as well immigrants. To quote directly from the blog posting:

“The crises in family and employment immigration are chronic and pressing. The backlog in family and employment waiting lines is gravely dispiriting and undermines the long-held principle of family reunification. Immigrant Visa Numbers Hopelessly Encased In Amber. The situation is deteriorating every day with more detentions, more denials, more delays, more deportations and more defective decisions. ICE has now reported 105 deaths in civil immigration custody since 2003. More Immigrant Deaths in US Detention CommonDreams.org Now is the time to turn the tide of the culture of “No” pervading our immigration system. We need to unite families and we need to keep industry vibrant and competitive.”

At present, the K1 visa process for Thai fiancees takes approximately 6-7 months from K1 visa application submission until final decision at the US Embassy in Bangkok.

The K3 visa process generally takes approximately 8 months from initial I-130 submission until the the visa interview.

It now takes about 11-12 months to process a CR-1 or IR-1 visa if the petition is filed in the United States of America.

There are some who would argue that it takes too long to obtain a US visa for an immediate relative. Others find it rather odd that a fiancee visa takes less time to process than a marriage visa. This could be attributed to the fact the K1 visa does not provide the bearer with long term lawful presence in the United States of America, but instead only provides the visa holder with 90 days status in the USA and the opportunity to adjust status to permanent residence subsequent to marriage.

The upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will be an interesting thing to watch as it will likely have a dramatic impact upon future immigrants to the United States as well as some of those currently processing through the Immigration system.

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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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