Thailand has become a popular venue for marriage. Expatriates have identified its romance-themed locations as perfect for their wedding aspirations. Yet, some may be doubtful whether their marriage to be conducted in the Kingdom be recognized in their home country or in other sovereign states as well.
The answer is marriages in Thailand are generally recognized worldwide by most countries as long as these are fully registered in the Kingdom.
Those who are looking forward to tie the knot in the Kingdom must make sure that they are eligible to have their marriage in the country otherwise registration will not be possible and their marriage will not be recognized as well.
Marrying individuals should at least be 17 years of age or should be at marriageable age basing on the applicable law in their home countries. In some instances, the court may decide whether to allow them to marry or not before attaining such required age.
- Mental Capacity
Both of them should be in the sound state of mind. They should not be mentally incapacitated or adjudged as incompetent.
- Blood Relations
The marrying couple should have no blood relations with each other or in prohibited degree of relationship, be it direct descendant or ascendant, brother and sister in full or half blood.
- Adoptive Parents
Even if they are not related in blood, if the marrying couple were adopted children with the same adoptive parents, such marriage does not have the eligibility required therefore it cannot occur in Thailand.
- Civil Status
Both of the marrying individuals should have no spouse during their marriage with each other. This can be supported with “freedom to marry” certificates from both parties (although the name of such document differ from country to country).
In case the woman is previously married to someone but her husband has since passed away or her marriage has been legally severed, she can only marry again after 310 days starting on the date of her spouse’s death or the date when her marriage has ended.
However, a marriage may occur if:
- she gives birth within the time frame
- she will remarry the husband she recently divorced with
- she has a medical certificate as proof that she is not pregnant
- a court order has been issued to allow such marriage to occur
Documents Required for Foreigners
Expatriates need to provide additional documents and these are:
- Passport copy with arrival card
- Certificate of freedom to marry (or affidavit of marital status from his/her respective embassy)
- Translated copies of affidavits from the official language of his/her country to Thai. These affidavits must then be approved and certified by a Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs translator.
Marrying couples should understand that the system employed in Thailand starting from the required documents, eligibility and up to the registration may be different from their home countries. It is also possible that different terms on the same document or process may be used.