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How to Obtain Citizenship in Thailand

How to Obtain Citizenship in Thailand

Many foreigners are interested in acquiring Thailand citizenship due to its various benefits. Dual citizenship is allowed in this country because Thai authorities do not require the applicant to renounce the previous nationality. Once an individual becomes a citizen of Thailand, he/she no longer needs to renew the visa, and they can also hold over 49% of shares in a Thai company.
If you are interested in obtaining Thailand citizenship, get in touch with our experienced lawyers for their legal assistance.

Conditions to apply for citizenship by naturalization in Thailand

Out of the options to apply for Thai citizenship, naturalization is the most suited for foreign citizens. However, they are subject to certain criteria they need to meet in order to become eligible, followed by the point-based system. These conditions are:

  • to be at least 18 years old at the time the application is filed;
  • prior to applying, the foreign national has had Thai permanent residency for a minimum period of 5 years;
  • one must have resided in Thailand on the same type of visa that he/she had at the time of application, during the 5-year period;
  • they have had a good behavior and clean criminal record;
  • they have a job in Thailand;
  • they speak fluently the Thai language;
  • they can sing the Thai national anthem;
  • they have received at least 50 out of a possible 100 points to become a citizen of Thailand.

Thailand is really unique when it comes to its point-based system, however, it is not the only country this score applies. It can also be found in Canada, the only difference being that it applies to foreigners applying for residency. Feel free to ask our lawyer in Thailand about its conditions.

Obtaining citizenship by descent in Thailand

One of the simplest ways to secure Thai citizenship is through kinship, descent, or ancestry. This is available for children of Thai citizens born abroad. The main advantage in this case is that citizenship is awarded directly to any foreign-born children of Thai nationals.

The procedure of obtaining citizenship in Thailand this way is quite simple and it implies the following steps:

  1. gathering all the documents attesting to the child’s ties with Thailand;
  2. filing for a Thai birth certificate with the closed Embassy in the parent’s current country of residency;
  3. collecting the birth certificate.

Should you need assistance in applying for birth certificates, you can rely on our Thai lawyers for support.

Is it possible to obtain citizenship by marriage?

Yes, Thai citizenship by marriage is also available in this country for those who marry nationals of this country. Just like in the other cases, certain requirements must be met. We mention the following:

  • the foreign spouse must have lawfully lived in Thailand for a minimum of 3 uninterrupted years based on a non-immigrant visa;
  • for the same period, the foreign person must have been working for a Thai company;
  • during the same time, the minimum salary obtained by the foreign citizen must have been TBH 40,000 (approx. USD 1,200).

The last requirement implies having a clean criminal record, just like in the case of Thai citizenship by naturalization.

Point-based system in Thailand

An individual can get Thailand citizenship if he/she acquires higher marks in the point-based system. This system checks the age, education, monthly income, and even personality of an individual. It is not easy to obtain Thai citizenship, but our skilled lawyers can help you in this regard. Please find below the general guide to the Thai point-based system, this guide can help you to obtain maximum marks:

  • For obtaining Thailand citizenship, the applicant needs to acquire at least 50 points out of 100 points;
  • While submitting the applications, the related officers will assess your behavior (5 points);
  • Knowing Thai culture is a plus point (10 points);
  • You can earn higher points in the Thai point-based system if you have been a Thai resident for a long time and have a House Registration Book (20 points);
  • The proficiency in Thai language is also counted, so a better grip on Thai language can lead to better points (15 points);
  • If an applicant is aged between 40-50, he/she will receive the maximum points in this category (10 points);
  • Having a high monthly income can also help you to gain maximum points this category (25 points);
  • Qualification of the applicant (25 points);
  • As far as education is concerned, the PhD holders will receive the maximum points (15 points).

If you seek to acquire Thailand citizenship, our experienced lawyers can advise you regarding how to gain maximum points in the point-based system.

Necessary documents for obtaining citizenship in Thailand

The officers at Police Headquarters will provide you with a checklist of documents that you are required to submit. Please find below the list of necessary documents, and keep in mind that these requirements are subject to change:

  • Copies of the applicant’s passport;
  • A certified and Thai translated certificate of the applicant’s legal age;
  • Proof of corporate tax return for the past three years;
  • Proof of personal income tax return for the past three years;
  • Certified evidence of applicant’s education;
  • Employment confirmation letter;
  • Provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate if you have any;
  • Provide a bank certificate stating that the applicant’s money in the bank is not less than 80,000 Bhat;
  • The applicant also needs to provide the proof of 5,000 Bhat donation to charity.

As aforesaid, obtaining Thailand citizenship is complicated because it imposes many requirements that vary from person to person. The applicant needs to provide his/her photos and several other copies. Our attorneys in Thailand can guide you in detail in this regard.

The application process for obtaining citizenship in Thailand

If you are interested in acquiring Thai citizenship, you should approach the Police Headquarters to receive the checklist of documents you must submit. Once you submit all the mandatory documents in order, your Thai citizenship application will start, and you will pay the application processing fee and give your fingerprints. Next, you must undergo an interview in the Thai language at the Ministry of Interior and sing the Thai national anthem. After this, wait for the application to be processed, and in the meantime, the Thai officers will ensure that the information you have provided is correct. The application processing time is between 6 – 12 months, starting from when you submit your documents. Once your application for Thai citizenship gets approved, you will take the Citizenship oath at the Police Headquarters.

If you have any additional questions regarding the process of obtaining Thailand citizenship, you can rely on the legal services of our lawyers. They can also provide you with detailed information regarding visa application in Thailand.

What is the cost of a Thai citizenship application? 

The cost for Thai citizenship varies, so please find below the general guide:

  • It costs USD 60 per application for recovery of Thai nationality;
  • Citizenship application costs USD 298 for an applicant who is over 18 years;
  • USD 149 per application for applicant’s children and those who are below 18 years;
  • USD 30 for the certificate of Naturalization.

How long does it take to obtain Thai citizenship?

From the time the application is filed up to the moment of the release of a Thai passport, it can take between 6 and 12 months. During this time, the applicant, the citizenship interview must be taken.

Should you need support in filing your documents for Thai citizenship, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Benefits of obtaining a Thai passport

If you have lived in Thailand, you probably know the regulations here are quite strict. However, when becoming a citizen, you will have plenty of advantages, among which:

  • if you are a business owner, you will be entitled to its full ownership;
  • you will also be allowed to operate your business in sectors that are otherwise prohibited to foreign ownership;
  • the Thai passport is one of the strongest in the world, allowing you to move freely to numerous countries;
  • you will be allowed to buy land in Thailand;
  • you will also have unrestricted access to the Thai labor market and jobs.

Contact our lawyers if you are interested in obtaining Thai citizenship without any hesitation. Our experienced lawyers in Thailand will guide you throughout the process of obtaining citizenship in Thailand.