Getting a one year marriage visa extension in Thailand is not difficult if you meet the requirements and know the procedure.
According to Thai immigration law, if you are married to a Thai (man or woman), you are entitled to apply for one year marriage visa. However, there are a few legal requirements for this.
1. You must have a valid marriage certificate. Your certificate can be a Thai one or from another country. This marriage certificate must be in Thai or in English. If it is in other language, you must first translate it into English, which must be certified by your embassy in Thailand.
2. If your marriage is a customary marriage, this is not considered legal in Thailand. You must be able to show the original certificate issued by the legal authority in your country.
3. Both you and your partner must earn at least 40,000 baht a month. This is an average calculated on the income during the whole year. And this income is the total income of both the couple. For example, if you earn 25,000 baht and your spouse earns 15,000 baht, the total becomes 40,000 baht. You will have to submit the evidence of this income. If you work in Thailand and have paid tax to Thai tax authority, this can be used as evidence. Or your embassy can issue a statement of your income, or your tax payment record in your home country. Any document that is not issued by the Thai authority or your embassy in Thailand muse be certified by your embassy in Thailand. Either you or your spouse can be the sole earner, as long as the total income is more than 40,000 baht.
Now let’s see the procedure.
First make sure you have all the necessary documents. Here is a list.
1. Your passport, with non-immigrant type “O” visa. If this is not type “O”, you need to change it to type “O” first. This can be done at the Bangkok immigration office. Make a photocopy of your passport together with the visa page, and your entry stamp.
2. Your marriage certificate. This has to be in Thai or in English. If not, make a translation with your embassy’s certification.
3. Evidence of income. For your spouse, get the Por-Ngor-Dor 91 from the Thai tax office. If you pay your tax in Thailand, you can also get this document and use it as evidence. Otherwise, get the tax payment certificate from your Embassy. Also bring a letter from your job stating your position and your salary.
4. Take photos of you and your wife in the living room, in front of the house where you stay (preferably with the house number appearing in the photo), your closet with you and your wife’s clothes together. Also bring along 2 or 3 photos of your wedding. Now, glue them on a sheet of A4 paper. You will need to submit this.
5. Make a map of your house. Clearly mark your house on the map.
6. Fill the necessary form. You can get the form at the immigration office. Ask the officer at the information counter what you want to do. (Extension of marriage visa/non-immigrant visa “O”).
7. Additional documents:
A) Work permit – if you have one.
B) Letter from your spouse stating his/her position and salary.
If you have all the necessary documents, go to the Bangkok immigration office together with your spouse. This has to be done within one month before the expiry of your non-immigrant “O” visa (visa is 3 months). Go there around 2 weeks before the expiry date, in case you need more time if they ask for more documents. Go there early, avoiding Monday and Friday (usually more crowded). Get a queue card at the counter, and wait for your call. Submit the documents to the immigration officer. Be nice to him/her. She is the one who is going to decide. The immigration officer will check that you meet the requirements. Show the original if she/he asks for them. The officer will then ask you and your spouse some specific questions. Usually, they are about how you meet, when you get married, about each other’s family, etc. This is to make sure that you really get married. (There are some false marriages just to get one year visa!)
If the officer is satisfied with you, you will be given one month extension, and ask you to come back again on the appointed date. This is exactly the expiry date of the visa extension. If you get this one month extension, it means they accept you. Otherwise, they will tell you why they cannot give you an extension. Go back on the exact date. If you go even one day early, the chance is, your visa is not approved yet. You will have another 11 months extension.
Remember one thing. Although you get one year extension, you still need to report to the immigration office every 90 days. Failure to do so will result in a harsh fine. And your visa is invalid once you leave the country, so get the single or multiple entry visa on the same day you get your 11 month extension at the same office.
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