Thai Marriage Registration
If you are getting married in Thailand, then you will need to have your Thai wedding registered in order for it to be valid. The traditional Thai weddings are not valid and not recognized by the Thai government as being binding. Before you start the process you will first need certain paperwork completed and this starts at your Embassy in Bangkok.
Letter of Affirmation
You will first need to contact your Embassy to obtain a letter of affirmation. Each country is different and each has their wait times. The letter of affirmation is simply to state that you are single and able to get married. For most it is an overnight process. You take in your form and passport and return the next day or the day there after to collect the letter of affirmation. If you go on a Thursday or Friday, then you would best expect the letter on the following Monday. If you are going to get married in the Islamic tradition, then the process is a bit more difficult with the Middle eastern and Malaysian Embassies. You are best advised to speak to a lawyer in Thailand for assistance with an Islamic marriage or Muslim wedding in Thailand. To perform Nikah in Thailand, you will need to ensure that there is also a conversion to Islam to complete the process so that it adheres to Sharia law as well as Thai civil law.
Once you have the letter of affirmation you will need to have this translated into the Thai language and these two then need to be taken to the Department of Foreign affairs to ensure that the documents issued by your Embassy is authentic. All in all, the marriage process alone can take a week to complete if you started on a Monday. You will need to budget your time and travel with this in mind. The verification takes a few hours so you can expect to spend a day having this done.
Once the letter has been verified it will need to go to the district office or Amphur for registration with all your documents and this takes about an hour to complete. You can then obtain your wedding certificate. If it is an Islamic wedding, then you would have had the ceremony before you started this registration process of the marriage. If it was a Thai civil marriage the District Office or Amphur in Thailand will give you two marriage certificates. The one is a multiple page marriage document and the other a marriage certificate. If you are going to apply for a marriage visa or extend a marriage visa in Thailand, then you will need to provide both as proof of marriage. If this was an Islamic marriage, then you should have three marriage certificates. The two issued by the Thai government as well as one issued by the Islamic Committee in Thailand.
If you are planning on getting married in Thailand, then speak to a family lawyer in Thailand as the red tape can take up much of your time.
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