These are a list of basic questions that get asked from time to time and this should not be a substitute for proper legal advice. Always speak to an attorney in Thailand if you wish to have more information and see what your options are in Thailand. The reality is that if you get married to a Thai there are no benefits to it in Thailand as the laws are complex and not always foreigner friendly. These would be typical situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
My wife died and I am on a marriage visa, can I continue to stay on in Thailand?
The short answer is no. Being married to a Thai allowed you to stay in Thailand for 12 month periods. If she has passed away then you will not be able to renew your marriage visa again. If you are over the age of 50 then you can consider a retirement visa for Thailand however the financial requirements are twice as high. Thailand no longer has an investment visa and the only options are to leave if you are not over the age of 50, find employment to get a business visa and work permit or getting married again before the visa expires.
How will a usufruct over my own property protect me?
If you are buying a house in Thailand which is common for foreigners they have to place the house into the name of their wife or register a Thai company to hold the title of the property. Most foreigners place the house into their Thai wife’s name and then register a usufruct over the property. The usufruct can be for 30 years or for the lifetime of the holder. If in a divorce she might own the property however you will still have the legal right to live in the house for free. This is usually good leverage to get her to sell the house.
How does the marriage registration work?
Unlike the West where you get married in church or at court and you have to say – I do. That does not work in Thailand. In Thailand the marriage registration process is nothing more than an administrative task. You could meet someone tomorrow, ask her to marry you. Then walk over to your Embassy to start the marriage registration process. No need for nuptials or a letter from a priest. See the page on this website about marriage registration as well as Islamic marriage registration which works a bit differently.
How difficult is it to bring my Thai wife to the UK to live?
Normally most foreigners how want to get married and take their Thai wife back to the UK. Simply hire an attorney to do everything for them in a package. Draft a prenuptial agreement, register the marriage and register the prenuptial agreement at the same time. When it is done then proceed to apply for a UK Spouse visa in Bangkok to take her home. The process should not take very long if it is done correctly from start to finish.