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Us Citizen Marrying Thai Procedures


41 replies to this topic

#1 meand

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Posted 2012-07-26 19:24:44

Hello,

In the last few days my soon to be wife and I have been following the steps laid out on the US embassy page for marrying (http://bangkok.usemb...e/marriage.html). All was going well, then we hit the "final" step 4 where it says "Take the affidavit and supporting documents to a local Amphur and register yourselves as married."

So we went to a local amphur (at least I take it that it was one), that was about 3 kilometers from the Department of Consular Affairs (step 3 in the process). I was expecting to be done after this, yet at the end the woman informed me that we had to take these documents back to the Department of Consular Affairs, get them translated or something, then take all this back to my US embassy. Does this sound correct to people? I was expecting to be done after the local amphur, and now there are all these extra steps. Maybe things have just changed and the US embassy website hasn't updated?? I need the marriage certificate for a visa, are these extra steps actually necessary? I have the physical marriage certificate already, maybe it needs to be stamped by the US embassy to be an effective visa application tool, from what I could understand??

Just for a little price check:
-We paid 400 baht at the Department of Consular Affairs to have them stamp the documents
-We paid 1020 baht to the lady at the "Local Amphur" (this charge seemed especially fishy to me, she mentioned something about witnesses, and since we didn't have any we'd have to pay i guess??)
Any more charges to look forward to upon returning to the Department of Consular Affairs and then US embassy?

Thanks for any info or links Posted Image

Edited by meand, 2012-07-26 19:50:51.


#2 longball53098

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Posted 2012-07-27 08:16:56

I can only remember back to my wedding day a couple years ago.

We went to US Citizens Services and I paid for the Affadavit free to marry.

Went to MFA offices on Changwattana and had the affadavit translated to Thai at a local shop and then up to the MFA office and paid about 400 for the stamps to certify.

As we finished late in the day we got a room and made it to the local amphur there in Laksi bright and early the next morning for the actual marriage,,,,,,,,,,yes indeed they told my bride do we have 2 witnesses? No well we can help for some small tea money for everyone including the supervisor. An hour later we had all the paperwork done, interview from the boss lady and we were on our way. Total there about 8 or 9 hundred includes the tea money envelope.
They told my wife if she wanted to change her name on her ID she needed to do that at our local Amphur where we reside and where she is registered.

SO n extra trips to anywhere were required. The lady boss at the Amphur did question the translation of my name in to Thai as it appeared weird to her but no problem

So in answer to your question?

Possible there is an issue with the name translation on the affadavit and the translation?

#3 beano2274

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Posted 2012-07-27 08:29:37

Affadavit from Embassy translated into Thai, then stamped and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, only after this has been done can you legally marry here.

I never paid at the Amphur as far as I remember but I already had two friends as witnesses.

#4 Semper

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Posted 2012-07-27 08:53:28

We paid 1020 baht to the lady at the "Local Amphur" (this charge seemed especially fishy to me, she mentioned something about witnesses, and since we didn't have any we'd have to pay i guess??)


Tea-money, if you ask me. I think we paid about 40 Baht for some copies they had to make, and no witnesses (if you don't count the staff)

#5 lopburi3

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Posted 2012-07-27 09:00:32

Were you married outside Thailand or are you attempting to marry here (not married). Different paperwork required. But in all cases it must be in Thai and registered with MFA prior to registration at District Office.

#6 beano2274

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Posted 2012-07-27 09:03:01

Is the OP married or not as it seems in the first paragraph it says register yourselves as married at the Amphur.

#7 Jayman

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Posted 2012-07-27 09:07:09

Once the embassy letter is translated and registered at the bkk office then you are free to marry at your local ampur. Cost of the marriage certificate was 20thb (8 years ago)

Edited by Jayman, 2012-07-27 09:07:26.


#8 meand

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Posted 2012-07-27 09:59:40

Our marriage ceremony was in Thailand. We could have probably gotten by a little cheaper at the amphur. She initially asked something about 4k baht because of no witnesses, nice negotiating tactic on her part.... I felt like we had "won" paying the 1000, haha.

The main thing I want to know though, after the amphur and registering of the marriage, what is the purpose of going back to the MFA, and then to the US embassy. This is what she mentioned I believe. I take it this would be to translate and register the marriage with the US? But is there a benefit to doing that? Maybe if we were planning to head to the US, but we aren't at this point. Anyway, I may just head back to the MFA, do as she said, and finish it all.... but thanks for any more info.

Thanks again to all.

#9 lopburi3

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:15:11

Marriage is not a ceremony but the registration of such at a District Office, for which you require Embassy paper, translated to Thai and registered with MFA. Are you saying you did this or that you did not?

You are not married until registered. And that Embassy letter must be signed by Embassy/translated into Thai/registered at MFA prior to using at District Office to get officially married.

#10 beano2274

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:19:15

You are not married at this moment in time and need to do all the running around between the offices to actually get married.

#11 meand

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:20:33

Marriage is not a ceremony but the registration of such at a District Office, for which you require Embassy paper, translated to Thai and registered with MFA. Are you saying you did this or that you did not?

You are not married until registered. And that Embassy letter must be signed by Embassy/translated into Thai/registered at MFA prior to using at District Office to get officially married.


Yes, I did all that. Then at the end of it all, with marriage certificates in hand, the lady told us "it's not over, take this back to the MFA (i think for a translation?) and then to the US embassy". My question is what is that part all about, with certificates in hand I thought I was done via the online info. Do I need to do this US embassy step and MFA translation to obtain Thai non-o "marriage" visas/extensions, or is it simply just to register the marriagwe with the US?? Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by meand, 2012-07-27 10:30:31.


#12 lopburi3

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:25:09

If you have the certificates of marriage it is indeed over - you are married. But you may want to get a translation of that marriage certificate made and registered with MFA for legal use in the US for retirement/SSA/ or possiable other legal use in the future - but there is no need to return to US Embassy with it. Some Embassies, such as UK, offer a recording service to make legal but even they do not require doing so; likely that is what they were thinking.

#13 Mario2008

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:28:19

Seems you already got married in Thailand, (you did get the flowery marriage certificate?).

what the lady at the amphur was telling you was to get the marriage also registered in your home country, or in case of the US have the marriage registration translated and certified by the Thai MFA and then the US embassy for official use.

#14 meand

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:35:29

Thanks guys. So, the answer to my question, you don't need to continue on after you have the flowery marriage papers if you just want a Thai visa (to me, the lady was making it sound like we MUST continue the process). With those papers, you are married. But if you'd like to take your wife to the US one day, or any number of other things, you probably will need to have this MFA marriage certificate translation. Ok. I think I will get that and will NOT head to the US embassy as suggested by lopburi. Thanks all.

Edited by meand, 2012-07-27 10:38:46.


#15 lopburi3

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Posted 2012-07-27 10:59:09

What you should have for extension of stay are the marriage certificate, copy of the ledger entry (both provided by District Office) and a copy of your Embassy letter that you provide District Office is sometimes asked.

#16 Jayman

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Posted 2012-07-28 04:53:21

I was married in Thailand and took my wife to the US on marriage visa and she got a green card and we never had to have the translated marriage cert registered at MFA. We did need a translated copy as part of her US visa application but that is the least of your concern when trying to get her a US immigrant visa.

I also have a1year type o based on on marriage and get it extended her in Thailand every year and for that no MFA registered papers are needed either. You should have been issued 2 marriage certs. Scan them in full color into your computer (front and back) and keep the originals in a safe place. You will need those for many visa related things for both you and your wife.

#17 meand

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Posted 2012-07-28 08:24:26

I personally think they are just trying to squeeze in another useless step into the process. It costs 200-400 baht for the MFA translation, and it seemed there were a lot of folks there doing just that. And as I mentioned, the lady was making it sound like it was a required step. Hell, even a Thai guy that was marrying a French woman was asking us if we needed to do it at the amphur, and he thought we all did NEED to do it. Anyway, just a heads up for anybody else I guess, thanks guys.

#18 JeffreyWitty

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Posted 2012-07-30 09:23:54

Meand,

I to an am US citizen and I *JUST GOT MARRIED* July 4th. Here's the skinny:

I flipped out on the US embassy people cause - I too - followed their rules and ran into problems. The only problem not mentioned on their site is:

SOME LOCAL AMPURS (aka - those not in BKK) NEED TO HAVE A CERTIFIED (by US embassy, cost $100 - or $75? ) AND TRANSLATED (by the guys running round the Foreign Affairs office) COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This validates that YOU are YOU - cause apparently in Isan, showing them your passport is not proof enough.

RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!

PS - pay the double fee for express service at the office of Foreign Affairs - AND -when they say it will take 3 hours to finish, don't leave for more than an hour - the *WILL* call your name after 2 hours and if you ain't around they won't call for u till end of the business day - welcome to thai bureaucracy! ;)

Other than that - the whole process was a cake walk.

Edited by JeffreyWitty, 2012-07-30 09:26:08.


#19 JeffreyMcCollum

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Posted 2012-07-30 09:56:40

Up here in Chiang Mai at the local government office to marry there was no charge or fee
and needed no witnesses.

Seem like the lady had a nice lunch at your expense as well as a full tank of gas to get home that week

#20 Mario2008

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Posted 2012-07-30 10:58:55

I'm sure there were witnesses, the people from the amphur acted as your witnesses as is very common to do. At some amphurs they ask a fee for this, at others it is free.

#21 meand

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Posted 2012-07-30 18:44:12

Thanks for the info guys. Yeah, the lady definitely got one over on us. I am not so bent out of shape about it at all. I talked to my wife about it more after posting here, and she said the woman mentioned "you can pay us whatever you can for us to be your witnesses, in some places they pay 4000 baht...". My wife told me she proceeded to look for one or two hundred baht in her purse, could not find one, and gave her a 1000 because of here lack of small bills.... plus an extra 40 (i think the 40 baht is how much it really costs??).Anyway, whatever happened it was kinda an awkward moment. Whatever, just one of those things... win some lose some. I got in a car accident here that was my fault and paid about 200 baht and never heard another word about it, ha. I guess you pay your dues sometimes, and other times you get "lucky". Regards to all.

Edited by meand, 2012-07-30 18:46:08.


#22 meand

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Posted 2012-08-04 12:46:08

One last question on this topic:

We did get the translated marriage cert registered at MFA, and as was mentioned earlier, the lady at the amphur told us we must go to my (USA) embassy with the translated marriage cert registered at MFA after that. My wife has asserted that we must go to the US embassy based in this woman's advice, yet i'm not even sure what we will be doing there? Will we just be registering the marriage in the US? Whatever we will be doing, what does the procedure entail/cost?

#23 Mario2008

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Posted 2012-08-04 12:49:48

You do not register the mariage in the US with going to the US embassy. Marriage registration is not a federal issue.

What you wil be doing is have the marriage certificate legalised by the embassy as real, so you can use it in the US.

#24 krisb

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Posted 2012-08-05 07:56:37

So much red tape in every country.

Edited by krisb, 2012-08-05 08:03:18.


#25 IMA_FARANG

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Posted 2012-08-05 08:32:29

Posted Image I think that the Thais were just assuming that you would want to take your wife back to the U.S. and that's why they told you to go back to the embessy with those documrnts.
However, even if you don't intend to apply for a visa for your wife there are still good reasons why registering your legal marriage with the embessy is to your advantage.
For example, even though she is Thai...just being your wife may entitle her to some Social Security benefits later on.
That may seem unimportant to you now...but later on it may be important.
For a whole batch of possible legal reasons....that might come up in your future....you should have you marriage regisgtered with the U.S. embessy.
Posted Image





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