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Application to marry delay of 6 wks to 'check documents' (?)


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16 02 2021,


I have dual citizenship, Canada (born) and UK.  My Thai visa is in my UK passport.  I have been here many years.  I am divorced and can prove it .


We tried to become married today.  We are in Ban Mai Chaiyapot, Burriram.  We live in a village near to the amphur.  After several hours of filling in forms and having my passports and paperwork scrutinized we got to the final stage of the signing of  the completed ceremonial certificate by the chief person.  Then she started to look at my Canadian passport (again) and got back on the phone (again) and looked at my translated freedom to marry certificate (again) then announced that they would not marry us today.  They said we could apply to be married and after they checked out everything (?) during a 6 week+ time span we could be married.


She said my documents (from November) would have expired before she finished her checking.  My partner said no, for a foreigner it is 6 months,  for Thais it is 3.  (Is this true?).


My situation is a little bit different than some in that I was married in Canada and divorced in France.  I am here on my UK passport.  To get my divorce certified by the UK consulate would have meant getting my French divorce documents translated to English, after they had been certified by the French consulate as being valid.  The hoops increase and include multiple certified translations and certifications of my 25 page divorce decree.  Each stage would have to be presented and certified in person in BKK to the various authorities and consulates at least once or multiple times on different days.  


So, I just renewed my Canadian passport and they accepted my French divorce decree in French (Canada has French and English as legal languages) and I swore that I am me and that I did not tell a lie.  They gave me a stamped 'freedom to marry' paper in English.  I took it to a nearby translator who translated it and my 2 passports and had them stamped and certified by the Thai department that does that sort of thing. 


Among other things the person responsible (in our amphur) would not take into account that I am legally in Thailand as a UK citizen.  As a Canadian passport holder only, I am not legal here as there are no entry stamps and no visa attached to the CDN passport.  I am one person with 2 passports.  Not 2 persons.  I am the same person in the flesh when I hold up my 2 different passports moments apart.  Because the CND consulate certified the Canadian Burton as being divorced they will permit him to marry.  The UK Burton is apparently not free to marry and so they will not put any reference to my UK passport (complete with retirement visas) onto the marriage documents.


The chief was clearly out of her depth and even demanded to know why another person's id card, with a form, was attached to my translated divorce papers.  I finally got her to accept that it was the translator's certificate by showing her the envelope he sent my certified documents in.  So, she called him too.  Looking at my recently renewed UK passport she announced that I had to be here for 3 years before I could marry (?) and it took a while before she connected the dates on my old original passport to see I have been here for many years. 


Is this normal?  I have the distinct feeling that this person did not know what she was doing and was afraid to take responsibility for signing something (my certificate) that she did not fully understand. 


Where we are now is to apply to be married and have left many of the original documents with them.  There is no rush to get married and my visa has been recently extended.  But I am concerned that they are willing to allow an undocumented Canadian to marry and do not want to reference my UK passport details on the certificate.  I can see trouble down the road claiming to be married and having only my CDN persona recognized while my UK persona holds the visa.  Also our prenuptial contract is on my UK passport as it is where my visa is.  I know I can get another visa but that would involve leaving the country to acquire a new TM6 entry card.


So, what do you think? Should we just go and get our original documents back and go to the next town over?  Is there an amphur in Buriram (for example) who would be more experienced and able to perform this service with fewer problems?  Aside from anything else this is all a waste of time and like most other 70+ year old retirees I have things to do that are more productive than spending 1/2 a day in an office with no results.


As always, thanks in advance for any useful ideas you may be able to share with me.


PS, You can see how close we came!



marriage effort IMG_20210216_133445538_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

Marriage effort IMG_20210216_140346163.jpg

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You have to be married using the passport that has your visa in it. These passport and visa details are recorded onto the national computer system. You can wait 6 weeks if you want, but I am fairly certain the answer will be "cannot". Or you will be given the never ending run around to supply more and more documents until eventually you cannot comply and you have to quit.


I understand why you tried to take a short cut, but in this instance it is not likely to work.


You can either 1. Leave Thailand and re enter on your second passport, which means the full quarantine procedure and reapplying for your visa, or 2. You can get your marriage paperwork in order for your current passport.


For information, there are translation companies in Bangkok that will produce certified and legalised  translations from an emailed photo. You can bank transfer them payment and they will send the finished product to you by EMS.

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Thanks blackcab.  I didn't try to take a shortcut.  I went to the CDN consulate and showed them my divorce papers proving my freedom to marry.  Which they accepted and provided me with a freedom to marry certificate.  The translator included my UK passport in the translated documents that he presented to the 'Thai registrar' for certification.  So both of these passports are included in the certified  translated documents presented to the amphur.  If both passports were not noted then I would be an illegal person regards my being in Thailand in the first place.


I am clearly the same person and confirmation of my divorce is a formality carried out by a recognized authority, the embassy.   I was divorced in France but this divorce is not limited to France.  I am divorced everywhere.  Referencing my UK passport as part of my ID is simply adding a line to my identity box on the marriage certificate. 


They only need to be sure that I am not married, which my freedom to marry certificate supports.  They could marry me with my UK passport because I became free to marry as a UK citizen as well as a Canadian citizen at the time of my divorce that took place in France.


Richard Smith commented in a different post:  'That said. I’m guessing that IF for whatever reasons a specific Amphur is not connected to the ‘amphur network - intranet’ or whatever its called, there may be some additional difficult / hurdles (or not).' 


Do you know what this refers to? 


Thanks for your help and comments.





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Freedom of marriage certificate is valid for two or 3 months only.


You can get married at any amphur in Thailand, it does not have to be the amphur where you live or one of you is registered. An amphur where a lot of foreigners live is often easier, as they are familiar with the process.

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How about this?


I am a UK citizen with a retirement visa.  I go to the amphur's office and the exchange goes like this:


Me.  Hello I would like to marry my Thai partner please.

Them.  Yes sir and madam.  Do you have your ID?

Me.  Yes, here is my UK passport with my retirement visa in it.  Here is my partner's Thai ID card.

Them.  Are you single?

Me.  I was married but now I am divorced.

Them,  Can you provide proof please?

Me.  Yes, here is a certified freedom to marry document issued by the Canadian embassy.  It is a registered Notaire that certified this document. I am a Canadian citizen and so they       provided this service for me.  I am now free to marry in any country of the world.

Them.  I can see that you have been declared and certified as being divorced by a government official.  Thank you.  Now we can proceed with your application.


Does this work?  Is it that the Thai officials just wants to be sure that I am divorced and if so, a declaration from an embassy should be acceptable, no?


As Preacher noted an amphur that has married many foreigners will be familiar with the process.  In our local office they have never done this sort of marriage before. 


I really am who and what I claim to be an am not trying to circumvent the system in any way.


Thanks again for any comments



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