Marrying and Sponsoring a Thai Citizen
Marriage to a Thai Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Thai citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
If you want to bring your Thai spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
Thai Marriage Basic Requirements
It is mandatory to go to the local Registrar of Marriages to obtain an Affidavit of Marital Status. This certificate proves your single status by confirming that you are not still involved in matrimony with another spouse. It is valid for 3 months.
If you fail to do this in Canada, it is possible to do it in the Canadian Embassy in Thailand prior to getting a Thai marriage license.
An original or certified copy your birth certificate is required. If married before you must produce one of the following documents to support the Affidavit of Marital Status:
- If divorced, you will need your Divorce Decree
- if widowed you will need your Certificate of Marriage and Death Certificate of your previous spouse
When official documents issued in Canada are to be used in Thailand, they need to be notarized, “authenticated” and “legalized “before they can be considered valid in Thailand.
The first step is getting a notary stamp and signature from any notary in Canada. Then get the papers “authenticated” by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The purpose of the authentication process is to prove the validity of the documents issued in Canada.
The documents have to be translated into Thai by a qualified translator and “legalized” by the Thailand Embassy. After that the documents are legally validity in Thailand.
Requirements for legalization of Marriage in Thailand:
- Affidavit of Marital Status
- Divorce Decree (if divorced)
- In case of separation death, former Spouse’s Death Certificate and previous marriage certificate
- Birth Certificate
- Name change certificate (if relevant)
- A Canadian passport cannot be legalized because it is an internationally recognized document.
The legal age for marriage in Thailand is 17, anyone under 20 years of age must obtain written consent from the parents. The letter should be given personally and in writing in front of the local civil registrar officer. Alternatively, it can be in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses.
>Once the marriage registration is completed, the bride and groom will be given a copy of the Marriage Registration Certificate as evidence.
There is a service fee for the Registrar of 200 baht. It is required that one must have been a resident in Thailand for at least three days before getting married.
Documents Required from the Groom:
- Affidavit of Marital Status translated and certified
- Original valid Canadian passport
- Original birth certificate, legalized and translated
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed, also legalized and translated
- Original divorce decree/annulment papers, also legalized and translated
Documents Required from the Bride:
- Original valid passport and ID card
- Original House Registration Certificate (known as a ‘Tabien Baan’), which verifies address
- Original birth certificate
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
- Divorce decree or annulment if previously divorced
Thai Visa Requirements:
A Canadian citizen does not need a visa to visit Thailand, as long as the stay does not exceed 30 days. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the 30 day period and have at least two blank pages.
You must have a return ticket or a ticket to another destination outside of Thailand as well as enough money to support your stay in the country; the Thai immigration authorities require you to have 20,000 baht to support your stay in Thailand.
If you need to stay for more than 60 days in Thailand, you should apply for a Tourist Visa. If you intend on staying in Thailand over 60 days, you must apply for a Non-Immigrant category ‘O’ Visa.
If your Thai spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Thai Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Thai citizen.
List of Thai Consulates in Canada
The official currency in Thailand is Baht. It is subdivided into 100 satang. The baht, just like the pound, originated from a traditional unit of mass.
Its currency value was originally expressed as that of silver of corresponding weight (now defined as fifteen grams), and was in use probably as early as the Sukhothai period in the form of bullet coins known in Thai as phot duang.
These were pieces of solid silver made into various weights corresponding to a traditional system of units related by simple fractions and multiples, one of which is the baht.
Coins are 25, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10. Bank notes are ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000
Major currency bills and traveller’s checks are cashed easily at hotels, tourist shops, all provincial banks, shopping centres and money-changers. Traveler’s checks are easier to change in banks where a passport is required.
Exchange rates at banks or authorized money-changers are better than those at hotels and department stores.
There is no limit to amount of foreign currency being brought into the country. Visitors may take foreign currency out of Thailand but not exceeding the amount stated in the customs declaration made on arrival.
Travellers leaving Thailand may take out any amount not exceeding 50,000 baht per person in Thai currency.
Calling Thailand from Canada
- The exit code for Canada is 011
- The country code for Thailand is 66
- Dial 011- 66 – area code – local number
Major Area Codes of Thailand:
Calling Canada from Thailand
- The international code is 00
- The country code for Canada is 1
- Dial 00 – 1 – area code – local number
|Alberta||403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
|BC||236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
|Ontario||226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
|New Brunswick||506||Quebec||418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours
Thailand is Ahead
|# of Hours
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||15 hours||14 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||14 hours||13 hours|
|Saskatchewan||13 hours||13 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||13 hours||12 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||12 hours||11 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||11 hours||10 hours|
|Newfoundland||10.5 hours||9.5 hours|
Emergency Information for Canadians
Thailand is a tropical country, certain unique health conditions must be considered. Malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases are only a problem in places like the jungles of northern Thailand, islands near the Cambodian border, and the Mergui Archipelago.
When travelling to Thailand, it is critical to carry mosquito repellent, sun cream, and a hat. Bottled water is widely available and this is the water tourists and visitors are advised to drink. Tap water is rarely clean enough.
All water served in hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and boats is bottled, it is usually gotten from large 20-litre containers to help control the plastic waste.
Health care in Thailand is widely available and inexpensive. Most first-aid supplies are easily purchased virtually everywhere. Any prescription medicine should be bought from home whenever possible.
There is no air evacuation in Thailand even though there are many compression chambers, at least reliable ones.
Therefore, transportation time can be very lengthy, depending on location. Even in the Similan Islands, which is relatively close to the chamber in Phuket, evacuation may take six-hours or more; more distant areas can take even longer.
Diving boats or dive center have emergency information with them,
Badalveda Diving Medicine Center
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
2/1 Hongyok Utis Road, Phuket 8300
Tel: +66 (0) 76-254-425; Fax: +66 (0) 76-254-597
Divers Alert Network
Divers Alert Network (DAN) is an international membership association of individuals and organizations who share a common interest in diving and safety.
It operates a 24-hour diving emergency hotline in the US which is 1-919-684-8111 or 1-919-684-4DAN (4326). The latter number accepts collect calls in a dive emergency.
Though DAN does not directly provide medical care, it does provide advice on early treatment, evacuation, and hyperbaric treatment of diving-related injuries. Divers should contact DAN for assistance as soon as a diving emergency occurs.
List of Canadian Consulates in Thailand
Embassy of Canada in Bangkok
15th Floor, Abdulrahim Place
Telephone: 66 (0) 2646-4300
View Larger Map
Consulate of Canada in Chiang Mai
151 Super Highway
Telephone: 66 (0) 5385-0147
View Larger Map
The Government of Canada’s Travel Alerts for Thailand
Thai Marriage Customs
In Thailand, the oldest members of the man’s family ask the oldest members of the girl’s family permission for this marriage.
Thailand people are very superstitious and weddings are treated in a very responsible manner. To choose the wedding day, the relatives of the future newlyweds go to Buddhist monks who calculate the wedding date and time from the wedding.
After the date of the wedding has been identified, the preparations begin. Before the wedding, the groom must present a ransom for his bride.
The ransom is called Sin Sot. The groom must present it to the girl but not to her relatives. The ransom can be money or valuable things.
The ransom ceremony must be accompanied with a festive procession called Khan Maak in which groom’s relatives and friends also take part.
Khan Maak procession starts from the groom’s house from where they go to the bride’s house holding gifts for the bride and her relatives. In modern Thailand, family’s welfare doesn’t allow presenting expensive gifts, however there are some gifts without which ransom and wedding are impossible.
The gifts must include the three bowls: Khaan Mun, Khaan Ngern Sinsord and Khaan Maak. Khaan Mun is a bowl with flowers. The number of flowers should be an odd number, the bowl must also be luxurious, rich and decorated with various strips.
The groom presents this bowl to the bride. Khaan Maak is the bowl with betel nuts and is also decorated with flowers. They put only two nuts to the bowl representing the bride and the groom.
In addition to nuts, the bowl must contain some bags of sesame seeds, rice, and beans. The bags symbolize wealth, meaning the bride and the groom will never starve and will always have gracious living.
12 cooper pieces, 12 silver and 12 gold leaves also go into the bowl. The leaves represent wealth and prosperity. The belief is that if the requirements are met, the newlyweds will never lack money.
The last bowl, Khaan Ngern Sinsord, is namely the Sin Sot presented to the bride. The fuller the bowl and the more gifts and money it has, the wealthier the groom is and the stronger his feelings to the bride are.
By presenting this bowl, the groom acknowledges he is able to support the family and take care of his responsibility.
Khao Kwun is a rite of passage, and the groom and the bride go to temple accompanied by drumbeats. In the temple, five monks say prayers appealing to the deity to give happiness to the groom and the bride, make their life long and their love and marriage strong.
Monks have a break at dinnertime and the couple must provide meals for them. If the couple provides a lot of tasty food, the more their marriage will last.
After meals, monks say prayers again, the senior monk then sprinkles the couple and all the guests with water. The groom and the bride touch their heads together and the monk binds them with a ribbon thus blessing their union.
Then parents hang a wreath of natural flowers on them. The eldest and the most honoured village guests water their hands from a large bowl and wishes all the best. The rite is then repeated by all the guests. They take water from a special bowl with lotus leaves. In Thailand, they believe the lotus give life longevity and grants the couple fertility.
Pit Pi is a rite performed if the bride and the groove had intercourse before marriage. Because a deflowered bride can shame the house, they should appease the ghosts. To do this, the eldest member of the bride’s family addresses the ghosts of the groom’s family telling them about the newlywed’s guilt before them.
The groom must apologize to the bride, her relatives, and all the ghosts. The groom’s apologies must be accompanied with gifts to the ghosts. These can be flowers, incenses, or money. They take the gifts to a special room and appease the ghosts by telling them that the couple is guilty and would like to correct their mistakes. When the flowers wither, all guests start dining.
Puk Muea rite is held to allow guests to wish the couple happiness. The husband and the wife stand on their knees and put their starched joined hands on a pillow. All the guests who wish happiness bind their wrists with specially plaited lace.
A guest dressed in black is considered bad luck. Black is the colour of mourning, and this means the couple’s life will be hit with a misfortune. The bride can change her apparel several times during the wedding day because many rites require new clothes.
The guests usually present money. If somebody gives too little money, it will become known to others. The groom must drink from a cup with all his friends.
Traditionally, at the end of the Thai wedding, all guests accompany the newlyweds to their marital bed, which is strewed with flower leaves symbolizing love and wealth that will always be in their home.
>In Thai custom a bride’s family rejects a groom unless he brings special foods, money and jewellery.
Khanom Kareaw is sweet bread that’s woven together, it symbolizes unity and meant to wish that the bride and groom will become joined together forever.
Khanom Tuay Foo is a very light, fluffy dessert that is also served at weddings. This dessert is made from rice flour, sugar, baking powder, food coloring, and scented with jasmine essence. It symbolizes growing strength of love, starting from young love and maturing into a strong marriage union.
Met Khanoon is made from peeled split mung bean, eggs, coconut cream and sugar in a brass wok. Serving this at a wedding symbolizes that whatever bride and groom do in life, will succeed and they will have support of others.
Foy Thong, also known as “golden silk threads” takes a lot of practice to make using a brass wok and a fine point cone, every Thai wedding must have foy thong. It is made of egg yolks and sugar syrup.
The threads are long, and they symbolize everlasting love, long like the foy thong. When making it, the person making it should try to get the longest possible length.
Khao neeo dang means “red sticky rice”. It is Thai sticky rice that is water soaked with alum powder for 5 hours, rinsed, steamed, and then stirred up with hot sugar caramel & coconut milk. The shiny mixture is poured onto a tray, flattened out, cooled then shaped into a heart and sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. It takes a lot of time and work to prepare that is why it takes several people to make a large serving, this is served at a wedding to symbolize “Unity” between bride and groom.
Thong Yod means “Golden Tear Drop” and it’s difficult to make because it’s hard to get a perfect teardrop shape, and just like Foy Thong, this is always served in a traditional Thai wedding.
This dish symbolizes sweetness in love between bride and groom, and the gold colour symbolizes good fortunes in the newly married life.
Pla Ngun means “Money Fish” and it is a Chinese-style cake made in the shape of a fish, with silver money as scales. This symbolizes monetary wealth and good luck swimming to the bride and groom.
Khanom Chan is made from rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut milk, sugar, water, and various natural ingredients to get a variety of different colours. Each piece is shaped into a rose but they can be shaped into squares or any shape. This symbolizes the bride and groom moving forward in life and building a family.
Khan Mahk is a special tray prepared as a gift to the mother and father of the bride, the tray has assorted betel nut chew ingredients such as whole betel nut, tobacco, betel leaves, lime paste, along with flowers.
There are also small silk woven bags of sesame seeds, mung bean, unpolished rice, and popped rice, all these are sprinkled on money when the bride and groom meet for the first time on their wedding day.
Religion in Thailand
Gautama Buddha was a spiritual leader who originated from India between 400-500 BC. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by all his followers.
Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first put to writing about 400 years later.
94% of the population in Thailand practice Hinayana Buddhism or Theravada Buddhism. Among the remaining 6% of the population, 3.9% are Muslims, 1.7% is Confucianists and 0.65% is Christians. Buddhism is the national religion of Thailand.
Early Thai architecture, literature, sculpture and culture in Thailand all reveal Buddhist influence. For a long time, it had been a Thai tradition that Buddhist males above 20yrs of age must practice at least 3 months of monk hood after which they can resume their normal lives.
The Buddhist monks are treated with a lot of respect throughout the country. They dress in saffron coloured robes.
Though Buddhism is the principal religion of Thailand, which the king also belongs to, Thailand allows freedom of worship.
Christianity was introduced in Thailand during the 16th and 17th centuries and has played an important part in the country’s progress. It was the Christians who introduced surgery, smallpox vaccinations and also trained doctors in western medicine.
This is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system based on the teachings of Confucius who was a Chinese sage. It is practised by a minority of the Thai people.
Hinduism and Sikhism
The Hindus have their own religious shrines and also run separate schools where they teach Sanskrit to students. The Sikhs in Thailand play an important role because they run many charitable deeds such as providing free school for the needy children and also helping old people.
Muslims in Thailand are mostly Sunnis. Thailand allows its minority population to practice the religion of their choice. The king attends the important Muslim religious festivals, civil servants and government workers are allowed leaves on special religious events. There are about 2000 mosques and 200 Muslim schools in Thailand.
Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places in Thailand
Amanpuri redefines luxury in Thailand and is still considered one of the country’s finest holiday resorts. The villas and pavilions have their own lounging and dining terraces, they are spacious and airy. The elegant, discreetly decorated rooms and grounds convey class and exclusivity.
Bangkok has all the best things of the east combined with the best of the west. There are boat rides up the Chao Praya River, visit the world famous Wat Phra Kaew temple, or visit south East Asia’s largest outdoor market, Chatuchak, with more than 14,000 stalls.
Chao Praya River
Chiang Mai is a great city for a fun, yet romantic honeymoon. In Chiang Mai, there are many five star hotels at a fraction of the cost of similar hotels in Bangkok.
Chiang Mai also has a lot to offer honeymooning couples with activities that include trips to an elephant camp, raft riding, trekking in the mountains, visiting hill tribe villages, shopping at the umbrella factory or the jade factory, or just enjoying your honeymoon around the hotel pool.
Hua Hin is not only the hometown of the King of Thailand, it’s also a fishing village that offers romantic villas and hotels, horseback riding on the beach, fresh seafood in restaurants located on little piers sticking out into the ocean, wonderful cafes, night market, cool art galleries, and a fun nightlife.
Hua Hin is the favourite destination for Thais from Bangkok, for honeymoons and for every other occasion.
Koh Samui is another perfect destination for a honeymoon in Thailand. Koh Samui has some of the world’s finest holiday hotels, incredible beaches, amazing diving spots, and is a wonderful place for a married couple to have a good time.
Koh Samui, activities include snorkelling, diving, kayaking, visit the snake farm and yoga
Home of some of the world’s best beaches, best swimming and best diving, Phuket is gorgeous and is one of the best honeymoon places in Thailand. With beautiful, pristine white sandy beaches, a searing blue ocean, fresh seafood, gorgeous five star hotels, lovely little out of the way restaurants, art galleries, romantic little cafes and even elephants and monkeys, Phuket is top of the list when it comes to honeymooning.
JW Mariott Phuket Resort and Spa
This property is larger than some of the other five star luxury resorts in Phuket and carries an international chain hotel name, that of the Marriott group of hotels.
The property is located on Phuket’s northwest coast, away from the hustle and bustle of noisy Phuket but near the island’s most beautiful beaches. The Marriott also offers special honeymoon packages which include limo airport transfers, champagne dinners and spa treats.
This exclusive and intimate resort has its own white sandy beach. The rooms are large and all private villas have their own small swimming pools. Amazing views and excellent service make this resort a must visit for honeymoon.
The Four Seasons is a Luxurious resort located in the Samui hills overlooking the Gulf of Siam.
Once voted best property in the world by a UK magazine, the reason for this is impeccable service, attention to detail and exclusivity.
Bringing Goods with You to Thailand
- Passengers arriving into the Kingdom of Thailand have to fill in a passenger declaration form and submit it to the Customs officer
- In case there are no goods that require duty, prohibited or restricted goods, you should mark “nothing to declare” on the passenger declaration form.
- In case there are good with duty, prohibited or restricted goods or the passenger is unsure whether or not goods are subject to any of the three aforesaid categories, the passenger should mark “goods to declare” on the passenger declaration form.
Items free of Duty
- Personal effects not exceeding the needs for personal or professional use and with the total value of all goods taken together not exceeding 10,000 baht, will be exempted from Customs duties.
- Clothing, cosmetics, jewellery, shoes, glasses, perfumes, etc., purchased abroad must have a receipt as evidence of the value.
- These items should not exceed the stated amounts
cigarettes, or 250 grams of cigars and tobacco. 1 litre of liquor.
- Some household effects accompanying a passenger because of residential movement will be exempted from Customs duties.
- Used household effects such as television, radio, video, etc., are exempted from customs duty however, passengers are required to declare these types of items to the customs officer.
Items Subject to Duty
- Goods brought into the country in a limited quantity as personal effects and are not for a commercial purpose.
- Goods not exceeding 80,000 baht in value.
- Duty is paid in cash on the date of arrival.
The following items require a permit from the stated government agency in order to be allowed into Thailand
- Office of National Police – Firearms, ammunition and explosives objects
- Fine Arts Department – images of Buddha, artefacts and antiques
- Post & Telegraph Department – Radio transceivers and telecommunications equipment
- Department of Agriculture – Plants and planting materials
- Department of Live Stock Development – Live animals and animal products
- Office of Food and Drugs Administration – Medicines and chemical products
- There is no limit on the amount of Thai currency allowed into Thailand, but only Bt 50,000 is allowed to be taken out without a permit.
- Amount of Thai currency allowed into neighbouring countries, e.g., Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, is up to 500,000 baht without obtaining a permit.
- Carrying an amount of Thai currency which exceeds the above stated limit requires a permit from an authorized bank. The original permit must be shown to the customs officer.
- There is no restriction bringing in and carrying out foreign currency
- Drugs, pornographic materials, protected wild animals or related products, etc.
- Violators of laws related to drugs, e.g., having and holding, holding for use, or being a producer, seller, or transporter face the death penalty.
Sponsoring Your Thai Spouse to Canada
Immigroup will review your completed spousal sponsorship application.. Immigroup will make sure you have not made any mistakes on your application or in gathering the documentation of your relationship. We will assess your sponsorship letter and give you peace of mind that you are submitting an application with a very good chance of success. Don’t lose sleep at night worrying about whether you’ve done enough. Call us at 1-866-760-2623 for a review.