After having experienced the beauty and mystique that is the Kingdom of Thailand, many people want to make it their permanent home. Thankfully Thai immigration is not just a dream and can be done in various ways. This article will go through the most common of these methods. Most importantly, the first step would be to employ a Thai immigration lawyer to help with the transition and pave the way to living in paradise. We will explain the following visa types below: Retirement Visa, Business Visa, Marriage Visa, and Elite Visa.
What could be more ideal than living in a renowned place with lush forests, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage? Thailand is a dream location for many foreigners. With its laid-back lifestyle and friendly people, many people have chosen to leave their native countries and spend their sunset years there.
To begin the process of retiring in Thailand, first, the application for a Thai retirement visa must be done. The application can be completed either in your home country or in Thailand itself, at a Thai Embassy or Consulate. This is known as a Non-Immigrant O-Long Stay Visa.
This visa is more commonly known as "Extension of Stay Based on Retirement” and is the most popular choice for those planning to retire in the Kingdom of Thailand. It is a long-term visa that allows for multiple entries and single entries and is valid for a period of 1 year of uninterrupted stay.
The requirements for this visa are as follows: The Applicants must be 50 years of age or over. The applicants must meet the minimum financial requirements along with the relevant supporting documents. The details of which will be given by the Thai Immigration lawyer.
You may have to leave Thailand during your initial stay to finalise details of your retirement in your home country. Due to this, your Thai immigration lawyer will advise a multiple entry visa to be applied for. This will make trips back and forth much easier than applying for entry every time you return.
The visa may be denied upon re-entry into Thailand if a re-entry permit is not obtained beforehand. This permit can be applied for at a Thai consulate or international airport.
Once your retirement visa has been approved, allowing the 1-year stay in Thailand, the regulations that must be followed are:
A foreigner may come to Thailand to be employed or start a business in Thailand. This will require them to obtain a Thai Business Visa. Depending on the length of the stay, it can be converted to a long-stay visa. The visa that needs to apply for is called a Thai Non-Immigrant B visa.
Foreigners applying for a job or opening a business in Thailand will require a Thai business visa. This can be best applied for before coming to Thailand. In addition, this type of visa can be extended to a long-term visa which can be done at the local immigration office in the Kingdom of Thailand and will require sponsorship from a business or company in Thailand.
The Thai marriage visa is for foreigners married to Thai nationals. Like the retirement visa, a Thai marriage visa allows for a 1-year uninterrupted stay. It is renewable annually and, as stated, allows for the visa holder to seek and gain employment. It is commonly known as a "1-Year Extension of Stay Based on Marriage".
This is especially beneficial to those wanting to be employed or set up their own business in Thailand, as it negates the need to apply for a business visa. Only a work permit needs to be obtained, and it allows greater freedom of movement, including multiple entries into Thailand from abroad.
The final visa you can obtain for long-term stays in Thailand is the Thai Elite Visa. The name is only available to a select few that meet the general and financial requirements outlined in the Elite Visa application process. Its purpose is to attract and promote Thailand to foreign nationals with high incomes.
This visa offers a stay of up to 20 years. It applies to everyone who meets the criteria, from digital business people, company executives, and retirees who don’t want to go through the process of applying for and obtaining multiple visas every time they exit and enter Thailand.
This program is owned by the Thailand Privilege Card Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport. Various tiers of this program are available depending on the requirements and needs of the applicants. The benefits of the Elite Visa are:
As outlined above, there are many ways for the foreign national to gain entry to and enjoy a long-term stay in Thailand. Be it through marriage, retirement, employment, or simply spending time there through the Elite Visa Program. The dream of moving to and eventually settling in Thailand is achievable with the guidance and advice of a Thai immigration lawyer.
BOI Thailand helps foreign businesses establish their companies in Thailand and ensures that their activities and business practices will benefit the kingdom.
The process of the BOI application is quite strict in that it must comply precisely with the regulations and the requirements of the application because its focus is on providing new technology and benefits to Thailand through foreign investors.
The Board of Investment Law is a promotional policy created by the Thai government in 1954 upon the announcement of its Industrial Promotion Act.
The government began actively promoting and subsidising incentives for foreign businesses willing to open and operate in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The BOI law is still enforced today, and through it, the government guarantees to neither interfere with nor nationalise foreign businesses. It is interesting to note that the Kingdom of Thailand was the first country in this region to have such an investment law.
The BOI has three key roles to play:
The Board of Investment operates directly under the office of the Prime Minister.
A BOI Company is a company that is a foreign investment company that has been certified by the Thailand BOI, a government body whose aim is to encourage foreign investment in Thailand.
Your business can enjoy a range of benefits by being certified by the BOI. There are many many advantages of setting up your BOI company in Thailand. Among these are significant tax waivers, multiple work permits, reduced processing times for work permits, and the ability to own land even if your company is majority-owned by non-Thai nationals.
BOI companies can enjoy specific tax and non-tax incentives. These incentives may be specifically attractive to foreign investors, without which they may be subject to stringent rules and regulations in conducting their business in Thailand.
A BOI certified company may be eligible for an exemption of Corporate Income Tax for a period of up to 8 years. They may also qualify for an exemption from or reduction of import duties for raw materials, as well as a tax decrease on the payable dividends to shareholders.
Further tax incentives may include deductions on the company’s transportation, electricity and water usage, and the installation costs of the project’s infrastructure. Summarised below:
Non-Tax privileges allow a BOI promoted company to hire foreign skilled workers and experts instead of the non-BOI policy of hiring four Thai employees for every one foreign employee.
The BOI also provides an express procedure through its One-Stop visa process for both non-immigrant visas and work permits. These non-tax incentives also allow 100% foreign ownership of the BOI company and the option for the foreign company to own land in the Kingdom.
Should you wish to register your company for BOI, the following steps will be necessary to complete. These steps have been summarised, but you will access all the details once you begin the process.
After a successful BOI application, and if you wish to receive your BOI promotion certification, you must set up the Thai company within six months after being approved. At this time, you must submit the following documents:
To apply for your BOI promotion certification, you need to ensure that your company meets the following criteria:
As a foreigner to Thailand, whether you currently own a company and would like to set up a subsidiary, or whether you would like to start a new company - you will need to be aware of all the Thai subsidiary laws. You will also need to decide which business structures best suit your company and commit the necessary time and money for the whole incorporation process.
The first thing you’ll need to know in setting up a company in Thailand is that there are several specific business factors. The Foreign Business Act has placed several restrictions on foreigners and has defined several industries requiring individual permissions.
There are seven business types available for new companies or those looking to incorporate. These types of business structures are partnerships, limited companies, joint ventures, representative offices, branch offices, and international headquarters.
We will give more detail on the four main types below. Each business type has advantages and disadvantages unique to them. However, most businesses are opened as limited companies.
The Kingdom of Thailand has three general types of partnerships: Unregistered Ordinary Partnerships, Registered Ordinary Partnerships, and Limited Partnerships.
There are two types of limited companies in Thailand, namely Private Limited or Closely Held Companies, and Public companies. The first type of company is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code, while the Public Company Act governs the Public companies.
Private Limited Companies in Thailand have some basic characteristics similar to foreign corporations. Private Limited Companies are formed through a process leading to the registration of a Memorandum of Association (Articles of Incorporation) and also Articles of Association (By-Laws). These are the constitutive documents of the company.
Private Limited Companies need a minimum of 3 shareholders at all times and are allowed to be entirely foreign-owned. It is worth noting that in those activities reserved for Thai nationals, a foreigner’s participation is generally only allowed up to a maximum of 49%.
Public Limited Companies that are registered in Thailand (subject to their compliance with the prospectus, approval, and other requirements) may offer shares, debentures, and warrants to the public and may also apply to have their securities listed on the SET (Stock Exchange of Thailand).
Public Limited Companies need to have a minimum of fifteen promoters to form and register the Memorandum of Association. These shareholders must have held their shares for a minimum of 2 years before these can be transferred.
The Board of Directors of Public Limited Companies must be made up of a minimum of 5 members, of which at least half of them are Thai nationals.
A Joint Venture business can generally be described as a group of people (natural and/or juristic) that enter into an agreement to carry out business together. This type of business has not yet been recognised as a legal entity under the Civil and Commercial Code.
It is important to note that any income derived from the Joint Venture is subject to corporate taxation under the Revenue Code, as it classifies it as a single entity.
A Representative Office is only permitted to engage in non-profit activities. In order to form such a company, at least one of the following purposes would need to be sought, for the purposes of “non-trading” activities:
The name of the company you wish to register in Thailand may not be the same nor similar to that of existing companies. There are also specific names that are not permitted. Therefore, to be approved, the name reservation guidelines of the Department of Business Development of the Ministry of Commerce must be observed.
Should your chosen company name be approved, it is valid for a period of thirty days.
A Memorandum of Association bearing the successfully reserved company name must be filed with the Department of Business Development within the thirty-day validity period.
The memorandum must also include the province where the company will be located, the company’s business objectives, the capital to be registered, and the names and information of all the promoters.
A compulsory requirement is that the capital information includes the number of shares and par value. At the company formation step, the authorised capital (even if only partly paid) must all be issued.
Even though there are no minimum capital requirements, it is advisable that the capital amount should be reasonable enough and adequate for the intended company operations.
Once you have defined the share structure, a statutory meeting must be held; during which the following must take place:
Once you have successfully formed your company, you will need to register it at the Department of Business Development. This is typically done between 1-3 days, case dependent. The registration timeline varies depending on several factors, namely:
All companies liable for income tax must obtain a Tax I.D Card from the Revenue Department. If the company’s gross income in the same fiscal year is 1.8 million Baht) or more, the business is generally required to be in the Thai VAT system.
Specifically, Section 1206 of the Civil and Commercial Code provides rules that the accounts should be maintained as follows:
The company is obliged to timeously file financial statements and VAT reports with the Revenue Department.
Because of the presence of sufficient infrastructure and an efficient government-backed workforce, Thailand's economic growth and progress are continuous.
Suppose you would like to start your own company in the Kingdom of Thailand. In that case, you should acquire legal assistance to deal with the complex legalities of establishing a corporate entity under Thai law.
Thailand has become an international hub of trade and commerce, and as a positive, as this may be, there are difficulties that come with the territory. The two we are going to be addressing are fraud and debt recovery.
Regardless of the type of fraud encountered, a skilled lawyer will be able to do the following for their client.
First, we are going to look at what constitutes fraud in Thailand. According to the Thai Penal Code and the Civil and Commercial code, fraud is defined as follows:
“Both Codes state that a person is deemed to have committed fraud by either obtaining property from another person through deception or concealment of facts or by preventing creditors from receiving debt repayments. In addition, provisions found under Sections 352-356 of the Penal Code address crimes involving embezzlement, while Section 39 of the Accounting Act B.E. 2543 (2000) provides criminal liability for those who intentionally make false entries or alter existing entries with fraudulent intent, or neglect to correct false entries.”
As stated above, fraud in Thailand can be either a criminal or civil offense or both depending on the severity, and the punishments can range from fines to imprisonment. Here is a further breakdown of actions considered fraud under Thai law in broad terms:
“If a person conceals information which should be revealed and as a result obtains a property from another party dishonestly”
“Deceives another party and causing this party to execute or destroy a document of right, they are said to have committed a fraudulent act, under Thailand Penal law.”
Civil cases commonly involve property and commercial disputes, personal disputes, employment actions, divorces, wrongful acts as defined by the Thai court system, and the recovery of debts. These types of cases may be settled through mediation and out of court. Usually, this involves reimbursement of funds, suspension from trading, and/or fines.
Criminal acts of fraud are when the Thai authorities become involved, from police, the courts, and the penal system. This is when the services of a criminal lawyer will need to be employed.
The term fraud constitutes a variety of offenses under Thailand law that can be punishable under the Thai Penal Code. Some of these include asset misappropriation, cybercrime, bribery and corruption, identity fraud, insurance, and property fraud.
The punishments for criminal acts of fraud in Thailand can include but are not limited to: imprisonment, fines, and asset forfeiture.
When taking action to file a case of fraud, the correct method is to appoint a lawyer who specialises in both criminal and civil law. A fraud case may be filed either through the Attorney General or via a private lawyer. This should be done as quickly as possible, as with all legal claims.
We discussed fraud earlier and debt recovery does fall under this category. Most cases of debt recovery are filed at the civil level and can be settled under the regulations of such cases.
There are certain exceptions where it may also be prosecuted at a criminal level, where a debtor attempts financial dishonesty.
The following steps may be taken to collect the funds owed by the debtor: Garnishing of the debtor's salary, seizing assets, and selling them off to settle the outstanding amounts. This includes settling additional fees and interest accumulated.
A debtor does have the right to file a bankruptcy claim against a creditor however the outcome will be determined by and is restricted to the Thailand Bankruptcy Court.
Debt recovery happens to Thai nationals, foreigners, local and international companies for a variety of reasons.
After the need for debt recovery has been established, the process can be difficult to complete due to debtors refusing and ignoring multiple attempts to recover the outstanding funds.
This can cause the debt recovery to slow to a crawl as the parties involved have reached a stalemate and no payment towards the debt is being made.
Once this happens, the following steps must be taken:
Legal services must be employed to begin the process of sending a letter of demand to the debtor, failing a response or refusal to pay, the case can then proceed to the litigation phase under fraud law in Thailand.
Gather evidence to prove that a loan was made and not paid back. The type of evidence given depends on the amount of money loaned. If the amount borrowed was 2,000 baht or less, the only evidence needed is that a witness testify that the loan took place. For amounts of 2,000 baht or more, proof of the loan in the form of signed contracts and documents must be presented with the signature of the borrower.
From here litigation can begin in either a civil or criminal setting as advised by the lawyer employed.
A few final points of interest on debt collection in Thailand for a foreigner: debts are not subject to compound interest, meaning that the interest on the original loan does not increase. Debt payments can be made in other currencies, in the amount set by the exchange rate.
Fraud allegations must be taken seriously, and companies and individuals should seek professional advice for handling fraud allegations. Although the legal process can be time-consuming, taking legal action whether defending allegations or having them prosecuted, the correct legal team will make all the difference in securing the best outcome of the case. The same applies to debt recovery, where although it can be a time-consuming and at times ugly process, the correct legal options must be explored with the lawyer handling the litigation.
If you are looking for an experienced Notary Public in Bangkok, then you have come to the right place. The benefit of having your essential legal documents processed by a Notary Public is that they are internationally recognised.
You will not need to be concerned whether international and local authorities will not accept your notarised documents by a Thailand Notary. The services of a Notary Public are broad and comprehensive.
In Thailand, if a Thai attorney wants to register as a Notarial Service Attorney, they must pass a specific training course before being permitted to offer notarial services.
A Notary Public is an attorney who has been authorised by the Supreme Court of Thailand, located in Bangkok. It is the highest Thai court of justice, covering both criminal and civil cases for the entire country.
Certain documents must be drawn and attested (certified) by a notary by law. Any legal document must meet the minimum requirements to be notarised. These requirements may include a stated commitment (on the parts of the parties involved), original signatures from the same, and photo identification.
Suppose any legal document (such as those issued by the government) does not meet the necessary requirements or the identity of the owner document owner. In that case,n, then a notary may refuse to authenticate the document.
But if the notary is satisfied that the documents meet all the requirements, then they award a notarial certificate, signing and attaching their seal to the document.
These documents are known as notarial deeds. A Notary Public is also authorised to serve as an impartial witness to the signing of legal documents such as those regarding:
The types of documents you would need to have certified are:
When a Notary is verifying and certifying documents, they will also need to verify the following:
A Thai Notary Public is held to a higher standard of care than a regular attorney. The ethical nature of the services they render and the specialist knowledge that is required for them to do such work holds the office of a Notary Public in high esteem.
You will need a Notary Public to:
There are certain documents that by law are required to be notarially executed, which then require that the Notary Public not only drafts the documents but also has to be present to witness the signing of those documents.
As previously mentioned, these documents are called Notarial deeds, which are kept in the Notary Public’s safekeeping. A Notary Public must keep a protocol and register all the documents they draft and attest to.
The primary function of notarisation is that it has a legal impact on the document presented. In fact, any private document that has been notarised in any form is converted to a public instrument.
This means that the notarised document, which is yours personally, is now validated and rendered acceptable for the use of public actions. These actions can include an authenticated copy of your passport by a Thai Notarial Service Attorney will be accepted by the relevant government authority in travel document applications.
The same applies to any personal contract such as a deed or company contract. Once notarised, the agreements on the contract are enforceable and recognised by law because the Notary’s signature serves as proof of the legality and authenticity of the document.
A notary seal is an impression of the Notary Public either on an inked stamp or a crimping embosser. The seal is used to authenticate the Notary’s signature and to make the notarial act official.
A legitimate Notary Public will have a stamp or embosser that contains their commission information.
The actual notarisation seal and signature of a Notary Public do not expire in as much as the Notary is legally authorised to render their services.
Documents are constantly changing and need amendments, or by their nature have expiration dates, such as passports, driver’s licenses, etc. There will be an expiration date present on the Notary Seal in these instances.
While the date shown on the seal during the notarisation period is valid, the verified documents will also be valid. Governments have their own validity periods for which the certification of legal documents will be accepted.
Once that period has expired, you will need to get your documents certified again.
If you are ever accused of a criminal offence in Thailand, the best thing you can do is immediately get in touch with a criminal defence lawyer. The justice system in Thailand is quite complex and may be difficult to understand, especially for foreigners.
While you may think the case that you are facing is not too hard to deal with on your own, a simple mistake can lead to legal consequences that could change your life. This is why it will always be in your best interest to hire a well experienced criminal defence lawyer whenever dealing with a criminal case.
While the Thailand Justice System is similar to several countries' systems worldwide, a few essential factors differentiate this system. In Thailand, there is a criminal code and other laws to which citizens must adhere. However, if anyone does not obey these laws and infringes on this code, they will face a criminal trial.
According to the Thai Justice System, for a trial to result in jail time, there has to be concrete proof to convict someone in a trial. The citizen who has been accused also has other fundamental rights, including the right to defend themselves and present evidence. You also have the right to hire a criminal defence attorney who can defend and advocate for them during a police investigation and trial. This is why it will be in your best interest to hire an experienced Thai criminal defence lawyer if you face a criminal charge in Thailand.
A criminal defence lawyer defends clients that have been accused of a crime. This includes a wide variety of criminal offences. The criminal defence lawyer's job is to make sure that their client is given a fair trial in court and defend to the best of their ability. Criminal defence lawyers have many duties, including:
However, these are just some of the primary duties of a criminal defense lawyer and depending on the case and the criminal offence you are facing, these may change.
Whether you have a good understanding of the Thai Justice system when properly defending yourself in court, hiring well-experienced professionals will always be best. Here is a list of just a few benefits that you will experience from choosing to hire a criminal defense lawyer:
A Thai criminal defense lawyer will have first-hand experience dealing with the Thai Justice System. These professionals have spent years studying and then practicing criminal law and defending many clients who may have faced different types of criminal offences. This means that these lawyers will know how the Thai Justice System works inside and out. This means that they will have a better chance of winning your criminal case because of their years of experience.
Usually, all criminal cases are brought in front of the court in Thailand, and when this happens, the accused will have to plead innocent or guilty. The benefit of being represented by a criminal defense attorney in this situation is that they will give you their expert opinion on how to plead. If your lawyer advises you to plead guilty, they will negotiate a better deal that could reduce your years in prison, making a big difference in the long run.
When it comes to official court paperwork, mistakes can’t be made. This is why you need to be someone who pays attention to details. A criminal defense lawyer would have had years of experience completing these forms that an ordinary citizen may find highly daunting. So instead of trying to complete the paperwork by yourself and risk making mistakes that could negatively affect your case, leave it to a lawyer to complete.
If you choose to handle a case by yourself, you may only see one solution and one plan of action that you can take. This might be because you may have biased opinions when defending yourself, and your emotions can cloud your judgment, which will impact your case.
However, if you hire a criminal defense lawyer, they will look at the case from an unbiased view and give their expert opinion. The lawyer will also help you understand the multiple different ways that you can choose to take with your case, resulting in much better results.
In conclusion, if you ever find yourself being accused in a criminal case or this is your current reality, and you feel like there is no way out. The best thing you can do to help protect your future is to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
The Thai Justice System is complex and challenging for a regular citizen. Luckily, when your hire a criminal defense lawyer, they have years of experience handling cases in this justice system and know exactly how things work, which can help you in the long run. So don’t risk your future by making the mistake of not hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Simply find the best lawyer for you, and this could be the best decision you make in your life.
When complicated family disputes rear their ugly heads, and there is no recourse left for the family or a married couple, it’s then time to employ the services of a Family Law Solicitor.
A family law solicitor is a person who will be the mediator between the embattled parties. The solicitor aims to make the legal process that is being undertaken painless, easy, and cost-saving. All the while ensuring that the best possible outcome is guaranteed for their client. The services of family law solicitors extend to various sections of Thai law practice.
These include Divorce, separation, spousal support, and matters pertaining to the well-being of children, such as custody and child support.
While this is true for all kinds of family litigation the world over, it is significant for a foreign national who has married a Thai national. According to recent statistics, divorce rates are much higher in marriages between Thai nationals and ex-pats. This is primarily because of the cultural differences and the language barrier. Unfortunately, in these cases, when the honeymoon period ends, the need for a highly-skilled Thai family law solicitor comes in.
The Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand covers family disputes such as divorce, custody and child support, prenuptial agreements, civil union, and a plethora of other cases. The ex-pat will need a family law solicitor in any and all of these situations. These cases can be lengthy and costly even in one's home country, never mind an adopted one.
Without a prenuptial agreement, even before the wedding, things can get ugly, as the bride and groom struggle to find common ground when agreeing on what the terms of their prenup are.
In Thailand, a prenuptial agreement is defined as a contract drawn up prior to a marriage that serves two purposes. The first of these is to define and secure the finances and assets of each party before entering the marriage. The second aims to protect the parties from taking on any debt or other financial responsibilities from their partner to be. As with most laws in Thailand, a marriage is considered a civil contract.
To quote: “ Under Section 1465 of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand: “Where the husband and wife have not, previous to their marriage, concluded a special agreement concerning their properties, the relations between them as regards to their properties shall be governed by the provisions of this Chapter.”
“Any clause in the anti-nuptial (also called prenuptial) agreement contrary to public order or good morals, or provided that the relations between them as regards such properties are to be governed by foreign law shall be void.”
A prenuptial agreement can also include making decisions for the future of any children resulting from the union. These provisions can have child support, custody arrangements, and spousal support if needed.
For a prenuptial agreement to be valid under Thai law, both individuals must agree upon and sign the agreement before the marriage is registered. If it is not, the prenup will be invalid.
There are two forms of divorce for when a marriage has been registered in Thailand, both requiring the services of a family law solicitor. These are contested divorce and uncontested divorce.
An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree to mutually dissolve the marriage without the need for it to go to court. It is the most favoured route to take as it is quick and does not involve lengthy court proceedings. It may even be awarded on the same day. It also saves on legal fees due to its swiftness and allows for a reduced amount of unpleasantness that a long-drawn-out divorce may lead to.
This is especially important for ex-pats wanting to have the process over as quickly as possible.
In the case of a contested divorce, the opposite is true. A contested divorce is when one spouse does not agree to the divorce, the divorce terms. This leads to litigation and court proceedings and should be done only when no alternative is available.
In Thailand, as with the rest of the world, child support, custody, and spousal support can be hotly contested subjects. Ideally, these terms would have been defined in the prenuptial agreement signed before the marriage took place. However, this is not always the case, as the once happy couples didn't believe they would land up separating.
Family law solicitors in Thailand are equally skilled at ensuring that if these do become a legal issue, the best interests of the child or children are looked after and providing the correct legal advice to their client.
The law regarding financial support for children states that both parents are responsible for their well-being financially. This extends to the age of 20. When the parents are separating, the issue comes in where one parent will be granted custody, and the other will be required to pay child support. The payment amount is dictated by the court examining the financial status of the parent in question and, once again, the child's best interests.
Under Thai law, the child's best interests are determined by the court system. This is done under the Observation and Protection Centre, which will recommend and report on evaluations done by a social worker on the parents and child. Custody will then be awarded to the parent that is best suited to provide the correct environment for raising the child.
There are many reasons to employ the services of a Thai family solicitor as a foreigner. First and foremost of these is a family dispute, whether between a married couple or family members, these can get very nasty, very quickly.
Traditionally in Thailand, the preferred way of resolving these kinds of issues is quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
Because of the complexities and nuances of Thai family law, the average person will not navigate them without expert assistance from a family law solicitor, which can lead to lengthy, bitter, and costly proceedings.
Many people dream of getting married in Thailand. The country’s spectacular beauty and idyllic settings, from beaches and mountains to temples and cities, attract people from across the globe and from all walks of life, especially when it comes to planning the wedding of their dreams. The correct steps must be followed, whether a large traditional ceremony with family and friends or simply getting married legally in the registrar’s office.
Marriage in Thailand as a foreigner is a specialised process, as one may already know. This article will give you an overview and insight into how to marry in Thailand, including the marriage procedure itself, legal requirements, and documents. This can be a complicated process, and without the correct advice and guidance from a team of experts, many things could go wrong and delay what should be a celebration of the union between two people.
A marriage in Thailand is considered, first and foremost, a binding contract between two individuals, providing they meet the required criteria to be legally married. For the complete list of requirements and the additional documentation needed specifically for foreigners visit this page at thaiembassy.com. Here are the main requirements for eligibility:
Once all the eligibility requirements have been met for marriage in Thailand, the next step is to register the marriage with the relevant authority. The application must be for registration must be filed at any of the District Offices nationwide. Following this, the marriage must be consented to by both the parties and publicly declared openly with The Registrar.
The giving of consent may be given by:
For foreigners they must declare that they are single and free to be married under Thai Law. To do this, they must take the following steps:
As joyous an occasion as a marriage may be, there also needs to be an element of practicality involved, and there is a change that further down the road, there may be cause for separation. Planning must be done, and one such plan is a prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract drawn up before the wedding between the two parties. This agreement lists the assets and finances accumulated individually by the couple before their official union.
This defines what belongs to which party so that in the case of divorce, each will exit the marriage with what they brought into it. You can add stipulations for accumulations during the time spent married, which will be covered by a Postnuptial Agreement.
It is advised that these agreements be drawn up by lawyers practising Thai Family Law, as with any type of official contract.
Under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code, when drawing up a prenuptial agreement, there are the following criteria:
After the official marriage, the couple may choose to draw up a Postnuptial Agreement. This agreement stipulates the financial, personal and property relationships between the individuals for the duration of the union.
This allows both parties to have equal footing, as in Thai culture, it is believed that a man has more bargaining power than a woman. It helps to ensure that the husband and wife both have equal leverage bargaining power and have entered into the agreement with clarity and consent.
The postnuptial agreement can be voided at any time during the marriage or within one year of divorce.
Once again, a Thai Family lawyer should write these types of agreements.
This article on how to marry in Thailand shows that a Thai wedding can be a wonderful celebration of love in one of Asia’s most beautiful kingdoms with the correct advice, legal team, and guidance. For foreigners, this is what makes a marriage in Thailand a dream come true. They are protected by the country's laws and enjoy all the benefits of them.
The outlined laws and procedures draw many parallels with marriage laws worldwide, including agreements. The Thai prenuptial and postnuptial agreements take special care to ensure the wellbeing of both parties in the event of a divorce, which extends to foreign nationals.
Going through a divorce is a long and emotionally draining process, and the last thing you want to do is prolong this process because of legal mistakes. Luckily, divorce lawyers in Thailand can help you get through the legal process of filing for a divorce and make it as quick.
This article will highlight what you need to know if you are about to go through a divorce or are currently struggling to get through one in Thailand. Including the types of divorces in Thailand and how a divorce lawyer can help you during this process.
In Thailand, divorces are either granted when both of the parties consent to end the marriage or after the Thai court makes a decision. For a divorce to be legally binding in Thailand, both parties will have to sign a divorce agreement that will need to have two witnesses present at the time of signing. This document will also need specific information, including the location of where the marriage was registered and the terms of the divorce.
This process can sound long and tedious; however, it can be much quicker when handled by a divorce lawyer. The sooner you and your partner reach an agreement, the quicker this legal process will be over. If both parties reach an agreement in a day or a week, the divorce will be over. However, in cases where the matter is taken to court, it can take up to a year for the divorce to go through. Divorces usually take longer when there are appeals, adjustments to the agreement, or if the parties are waiting for assets to be sold.
There are two types of divorce in Thailand this includes:
Contested divorces are divorces that are taken to and granted by the court in Thailand. A contested divorce occurs when one of the spouses has made the decision to end the marriage and has sufficient reason for the grounds of a divorce. Another reason for a contested divorce is when the parties have to reach a custody agreement or sell joint assets. This type of divorce is a little more expensive and does take much longer to go through.
This is why it is best to get a divorce lawyer, especially when dealing with a contested divorce, to make sure you are ready to appear in court. A divorce lawyer will also help you reach an agreement which is very important for this type of divorce because there are kids and joint assets involved, which can be difficult to negotiate by yourself.
In Thailand and uncontested divorce is considered to be the simple filing of a divorce agreement without having to take the matter to court. This type of divorce occurs when the two parties can quickly negotiate and reach an agreement. An uncontested divorce does not take too long and can be done even quicker with a divorce lawyer who can help you reach an agreement with your ex-spouse sooner.
There are many reasons for the grounds of divorce in Thailand. Here is a list of just some of the most common grounds of divorce in Thailand:
The duties of a Thai divorce lawyer will vary depending on the type of divorce the parties are going through. Here is a list of the most common responsibilities that Thai divorce lawyers usually have:
Usually, divorce lawyers have years of experience dealing with a wide range of divorce. This means they will be able to advise you on the best approach you should take for your unique situation. A divorce lawyer can help you decide which is the most appropriate grounds for divorce, as well as whether you will need to get a contested or an uncontested divorce.
Hiring a divorce lawyer will help make the negotiating process with your spouse much more civil as they are no longer dealing directly with you. The divorce lawyer can also advise you on how best to negotiate to ensure you get what you deserve.
You will not need to fill out the paperwork required by hiring a divorce lawyer, which can be a long and tedious process. Having a divorce lawyer complete this paperwork will also help avoid any mistakes being made, and the process can be completed even sooner.
In conclusion, while a divorce can be a long and emotionally challenging process, it does not need to be a lengthy legal process. With the right divorce lawyer, you will be given the guidance to help you get through this divorce as quickly and as painless as possible.
A divorce lawyer will help you decide which type of divorce is best for you to go through the grounds of divorce. As well as help you through the negotiating process to reach a divorce agreement that suits your needs. So don’t wait any longer and get in touch with a divorce lawyer. The sooner, the better.
When a loved one passes away, the matter of dealing with their last wishes must be handled. As the family grieves, a Thai probate lawyer will gather and help the family negotiate their way through Thai Estate Administration and Probate procedures.
Sadly, there may be instances when the family becomes involved in disputes about the deceased’s Last Will and Testament, further complicating and dragging out an already painful time. Once again, the skills of a Thai Probate lawyer become invaluable to ease and take the burden off the shoulders of the bereaved.
Despite how unpleasant it may seem, planning for the possibility of one’s demise while abroad is something that you have to think about. Considering this, you should ideally have your Last Will & Testament prepared in both your home country and Thailand. The reason for this is that having a Will that covers Thai assets drawn up in your home country will cause delays and complications as it must be translated and submitted for approval to Thailand’s governing body.
Your transactions in Thailand become of value once you sign the contract and make an initial payment, meaning you will already have an asset to consider for your estate planning. A Thai Will covers your assets in Thailand, including personal property, vehicles, bank accounts, and investments.
Upon death in Thailand, a copy of the Will must be provided to the courts by a member of the deceased’s family or their attorney.
Probate is the process whereby the Last Will and Testament of the deceased is reviewed to ensure it is valid and authentic, i.e., drawn up by the deceased while they are of sound mind and body.
Thai probate law is applicable upon the death of a person, and his property and assets are to be divided among their heirs, family members, and any others mentioned in the Will. This is a court-supervised process and is intended to protect the wishes of the deceased and their heirs while complying with Thai laws.
In terms of initiating the transfer of the inheritance in Thailand, a court order must be obtained after proving that the person or persons receiving the inheritance is either a legal heir to the deceased or that they are mentioned by name in the Will.
According to Thai law, in terms of whether a foreigner can inherit from a deceased person in Thailand, a foreigner can inherit property from their spouse, a Thai national. However, a foreigner that inherits property this way can only take ownership of the property after approval from the Minister of The Interior and is subject to certain limits.
For those who own land under a company on a freehold basis, upon your demise, your property would not be physically inherited by your heirs. Instead, the property's value will be converted into shares and distributed accordingly. This can create incredibly complex situations requiring further litigation, yet one more reason to have a Thai Will drafted correctly.
A deceased person's assets in Thailand are transferred in their Will or, if no Will exists, by Estate Administration.
Estate Administration refers to the process of gathering and managing the estate of a deceased who has passed without a Will in place. This includes disbursing any debts and taxes and distributing the remaining property to the heirs.
Traditionally before the estate is distributed among relatives of the deceased, half of the estate will be given to their spouse, should the deceased have married before their passing. The remainder of the estate will be equally distributed among the family accordingly.
According to law, when a person dies intestate or has not executed a valid will, the entire estate is distributed among their heirs.
Under Thai law, there are six classes of statutory heirs. Each class inherits in the following order:
Under certain circumstances, the surviving spouse may also be considered a statutory heir, and there may also be instances of interested persons.
An interested person is defined as a person who has the interests related to the inheritance, such as a wife who did not legally register marriage but has acquired assets in the estate together with the deceased.
If a person passes away with no living relatives or spouse and no Thai will, the estate will fall under the administration of and be absorbed by the State.
In cases of Probate and Estate Administration, a court must approve the legal aspects and validity of the inheritance. It will appoint an executor or administrator to handle the estate’s affairs should the need arise.
The required documents for petitioning the court for the appointment of an administrator or executor of the estate are as follows:
The statutory heirs or the interested persons are eligible to submit the petition to the court for the appointment of Estate Administrator.
In Thailand, the court's authorisation is deemed the final judgment applicable as the confirmation document for estate administration. Whether the deceased had made a Will or not, a petition to the court for the appointment of the estate administrator must first be facilitated.
It is vitally important to have a Thai Last Will and Testament drafted as a foreigner. Thai Probate and Thai Estate Administration laws were put in place to ensure fairness between the heirs of the deceased assets and help alleviate the strain placed on their families and loved ones.
While it may seem harsh that the beneficiaries of the Last Will and Testament will not be able to receive or manage any assets without a court order. It is done for the benefit of the bereaved and to prevent complications and further unhappiness that may occur through family disputes.