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Letter of Affirmation: New Zealand

As a Kiwi in Thailand you might decide that you wish to get married in Thailand and retire while you are at it. There are a number of options for you with regards to your marriage and retirement. If you are older than 50 and meet the financial requirements then you can apply for a retirement visa in Thailand. If you are married to a Thai national then you can apply for a marriage visa for Thailand. The marriage visa has lower requirements than the retirement visa for Thailand.

Letter of Affirmation: New ZealandIf you have had your traditional wedding in Thailand then your marriage has to be registered in order to be valid in both Thailand and in New Zealand. If you are in Thailand and you are divorced in New Zealand or your spouse died there then you will have to obtain the original divorce decree and also the original death certificate. These you will need when you go to the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok.

At the New Zealand Embassy you will have to complete a Statutory Declaration form where you state under oath that you are single and able to marry. You will also have to provide them with the death certificate or divorce decree (Order Dissolving Marriage) which they will then authenticate with your declaration. You now have your “Freedom to Marry”. These documents now need to be translated into the Thai language and you will need to ensure that it also get certified.

The process at the Embassy is either overnight or on the same day. It is best not to go to the Embassy on a Friday if you are coming from Phuket or Pattaya as you would have to wait until the following Monday to get your documents. Also note that if you divorced in Australia then you divorce decree first needs to be authenticated at the Australian Embassy in Thailand. If you are in doubt then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more advice.

Once you have all your documents it needs to be taken to the Thai Foreign Affairs Office in Bangkok where the documents will be verified as authentic. Note that it takes a day to complete the process. If you are not interested in spending 3 days running around Bangkok then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information and assistance. With all your documents now been authenticated you can now take all these documents to the local Amphurs office. When you arrive at the Amphurs office you can now register the marriage. The process takes about an hour to complete.

When you have registered your marriage in Thailand you can now apply for a 12 month marriage visa or you can also apply for a New Zealand Spouse visa if you wish to take your Thai wife back to New Zealand. Note that if you have a prenuptial agreement then you have to register this with the marriage as it cannot be registered after the marriage without an application to court.

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