What Americans Need to Get Married in Thailand
Thailand stands out among the top wedding destinations for its lush jungles, amazing food, beautiful beaches, and an overall friendly atmosphere. It doubles as a fantastic honeymoon spot and is slowly inching its way into the world’s most famous wedding venues. Any American wondering how to get married in Thailand will be happy with the simplicity behind it. Ready? Let’s get started:
Can Americans Get Married in Thailand?
Sure, they can! Any marriage conducted in Thailand per the law will be legally binding and is recognized internationally. That means that you can use your marriage certificate in the U.S. and will not require a wedding redo. Most importantly, Thailand does not impose any residency requirements on couples wishing to tie the knot. All you need is to be in Thailand at least two days before getting married in Thailand to complete the paperwork. Sounds good?
It gets even better. The most crucial part of the wedding ceremony is the legal registration at the local registration office (Amphur). Once you have this covered, the marriage will be legal. So, you can opt to have this done and forgo the religious ceremony. If you wish to continue with the religious ceremony, this will be more symbolic than legally binding.
Please note that you will require a translator at the Amphur who should speak both English and Thai. You will also need witnesses. Luckily, the registration office can arrange this for you.
What Are the Marriage Requirements in Thailand?
The requirements to get married in Thailand are as follows:
- You and your spouse must present original valid passports. These should accompany two certified copies and translations where applicable. U.S. citizens can get their English documents translated before heading to Thailand for the ceremony.
- Your original visa and a corresponding copy.
- If you or your spouse are Thai, you must present your Thai ID card. You must also present two copies of this.
- Any persons under the age of 20 must obtain written permission from their parents, showing consent for the same. This permission to legally marry in Thailand should be in Thai.
- You should present an affidavit of freedom to marry per Thai law. This affidavit must feature notarization from your embassy or consulate, indicating that you and your partner are free to marry. Please note that both of you will need this affidavit which you can obtain from your embassy or consulate in Bangkok. Present the original letter, the certified translation, and copies of the two.
- If you were previously married, you need an original annulment or divorce certificate and a copy of the same.
- If you are a widow or widower, you must present the previous marriage certificate and your deceased spouse’s death certificate.
- Some couples must provide their proof of income, though this will depend on the conditions of the marriage. You can check with the wedding planner if this will apply to you.
If you and your partner will enter a prenuptial agreement, this will not go into the registrar. Please consider this before leaving the U.S. You can get the prenuptial paperwork done before landing in Thailand for the nuptials.
Can Same-Sex Couples Get Married in Thailand?
The Thai government does not currently recognize same-sex marriages and cannot issue marriage certificates on the same. Same-sex couples can consider destinations like Spain and Mexico, which also boast tropical weather and have friendlier statutes.
The Marriage Certificate
Upon completing the wedding ceremony, you will receive two official wedding certificates, which will be in Thai. These will be valid for registration and use in the United States though some states require you to certify the documents. To certify them, you will need to get them translated into English and present them at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Legalization Division. The responsible officer will sign them, and you can then present the documents to the U.S. embassy for authentication.
We provide English translation services and can help you get your documents in order in as few as 6 days. If you need your documents worked on in record time, we can have them processed within 3 days. Feel free to contact us for more information on this.