A spouse visa (also called a Non-Immigrant O or marriage visa) is a visa that allows a foreigner to live in Thailand for up to a year with his/her Thai spouse. This type of visa is available only to those who are married to a Thai national and can be obtained by filing an application at the Immigration Office in Bangkok.
The visa process is quite simple and only requires a few basic documents. First, the person applying for the visa should obtain a Thai marriage certificate from their District Office. Then, the couple must take the certificate to their local amphur office and have it registered on the Thai system.
Once the registration is complete, the foreigner must provide a copy of this marriage certificate to his/her immigration officer. The application will then be assessed and if the immigration officer finds that the applicant meets the requirements for a marriage visa, the visa will be granted immediately.
After a period of one year, the foreigner must submit an application to the Immigration Department for extension of his/her visa in order to stay longer. This is done by filling out an application form and providing all the required documents.
Applicants must also meet the financial requirement for the visa and have 400,000 baht deposited in their bank account at least 2 months prior to their application. In addition, applicants must have proof of monthly income that is at least 40,000 baht.
In addition to the standard financial requirement, the applicant must prove that they are in a legitimate marriage and that they have a valid work permit. This can be substantiated by either a Thai marriage certificate or a Marriage Registration Certificate. In certain cases, the applicant may be asked to present an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry from their country’s embassy in Thailand as well.
The Affirmation of Freedom to Marry must be submitted with the visa application, along with a letter from their employer stating that they will be providing a full-time job to the applicant for the duration of their stay in Thailand. The employer must also sign a document stating that the applicant has the financial means to support his/her Thai spouse and their children.
A spouse visa can be renewed every year at a Thai embassy abroad or in Phnom Phen, Cambodia or Savannakhet, Laos. The renewal process is very similar to the initial application, and involves submitting the same documents to both embassies.
Generally, the renewal is done by a Thai Immigration officer in your home area, although it can be done through an agency. The process is fairly straightforward and should be completed in a matter of ten to thirty days.
The spouse visa is a very popular option for those looking to move to Thailand permanently. It is the fastest and most cost effective way of obtaining a permanent residence in the Kingdom. Moreover, the Spouse visa is the only type of visa that can be extended to allow the holder to work in Thailand. The Spouse visa also allows the holder to travel outside of Thailand during its validity, so long as the holder reports to the Immigration department every 90 days.