What’s your first step?
First, you have to make a trek up to Bangkok to your embassy and make an “affirmation of freedom to marry”. This will give you a certificate to prove to the Thai authorities that you’re not already married to someone else.
The affirmation must be translated into Thai by a government-recognized translator – in Phuket that’s Bangkok Translation on Mae Luan Rd in Phuket Town, and then the translation must be certified - are you writing this down? - by the Legalization and Naturalization Division of the Department of Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The translators can help with this, and it can be done without going back up to Bangkok.
You can now get married. Take the authenticated affirmation, and the certified Thai translation, along with your passport and your lovely bride’s ID card, to the registrar at any District Office in Thailand. Don’t forget to take your bride, too.
What kind of visa will I get after getting married with a Thai?
It depends what you have now. If you are on a tourist visa and you marry a Thai, you can apply at the Immigration Department in Bangkok (nowhere else) for your visa to be upgraded to non-immigrant status. This will allow you to stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Before the 90 days expires, you may apply for a one-year extension of stay at your local immigration office.
If you are a man you must show that you have at least B400,000 in a Thai Bank account. If you’re a woman, the money’s not a question.
Immigration may require other documents. Visit your local Immigration Department and ask for a full list.
Now this is important: Although you now married to a Thai and hold a one-year permit to stay, you must still, like us ordinary mortals, report to your local Immigration office every 90 days.
Failure to do so, or reporting late, may result in fines or even cancellation of your permit to stay.
Also important: If you want to pop out of the country during the period of your permit to stay, you should buy a re-entry permit from your local Immigration Department.
If you do not, your permit to stay will be canceled when you leave the country and you will have to start all over again.
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