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I was born in bangkok in 1969.my birth certificate says my father is english. it says my mother is english. but i am thai.

This is an original document, in thai...

I have been told because i was born in Thailand before 1979, I can claim my birth right, but only because at some stage i have be legally recognized as Thai.I am aware that i should have an id card and house registration . i have been told i cant have id cos i am not thai.yet i have document stating i am...

I am not looking for here say on this.i want someone who knows someone ,who knows about the law or is prepared to look in to it for me....

As you can understand walking in to the immigration or district office is a waist of time so far..please, please can some one tell me who to see about this.....

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At one time is was possible for a child born to foreign parents in Thailand to acquire Thai nationality at birth under certain circumstances but I do not have the relevant law available. I believe one situation was where the foreign father had an immigrant visa, ie Permanent Residence, at the time of the child's birth.



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Doing some research I found this post on ThaiVisa:


from the look of the table on the website of the Thai embassy in Washington DC, you need both parents to be legal aliens (ie PR)

Therefore, the fact that your nationality is stated as Thai on your birth certificate indicates that both your foreign parents were Permanent Residents in Thailand at the time of your birth in Thailand.

Sections 7 and 7.bis of the Nationality Act confirm this mode of acquisition of Thai nationality (highlighting in bold is mine):

Section 7. The following persons acquire Thai nationality by birth:

(1) A person born of a father or a mother of Thai nationality, whether within or outside the Thai Kingdom;

(2) A person born within the Thai Kingdom except the person under Section 7 bis paragraph one.

Section 7. bis. A person born within the Thai Kingdom of alien parents does not acquire Thai nationality if at the time of his birth, his lawful father or his father who did not marry his mother, or his mother was:

(1) the person having been given leniency for temporary residence in Kingdom as a special case;

(2) the person having been permitted to stay temporarily in the Kingdom;

(3) the person having entered and resided in the Thai Kingdom without permission under the law on immigration.

On the basis of your birth certificate let's assume that your mother and father were Permanent Residents on the date of your birth. Therefore, you fulfilled the criteria for Thai nationality because

  • you were born in Thailand
  • neither your father nor your mother were a "person having been permitted to stay temporarily in the Kingdom"

Having said this, your birth certificate alone should be sufficient proof of your Thai nationality as the right to it is verified carefully before it is stated on the birth certificate. What you need now is for you to get your name on a house registration book and get a Thai ID card, then get your Thai passport.



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simply, you are Thai and already have Thai nationality.

Before the early 1970's, anyone who was simply born on Thai soil was a Thai citizen. Full stop. Their parents immigration status had nothing to do with it. This was common practice world wide, that simply being born on that countries soil accorded that nationality.

As others on this site, more knowledgeable than me (Arkady, The ChiefJustice) have pointed out, nationality law was amended in the early 1970s to prevent the children of Vietnamese refugees from the war claiming Thai nationality.

So, you are Thai, and your BC says you are.

In terms of you being 'unusual', you are not. I know personally a couple of people who are ethnically European, but, due to being born here in the early 70's are considered Thai nationals. They live here in BKK, own businesses, land etc, and go about their lives with a minimum of fuss.

What I am getting at is that it is going to be relatively easy to get your documentation so that you can live in Thailand hassle free, and that being 'European looking' isn't to be a problem for you, given you have the documentation which says clearly, your nationality is Thai.

Now how to get registered should be straight forward, but may take a day or maybe two of you time. I went through a similar process, having a Thai birth certificate , but living outside of Thailand for the first three decades of my life in Australia.

Now it sounds like you are in Thailand, so what you do is you need to get yourself registered on someone's house registration. That will require:

1) Someone you know who is going to allow you to get on their house registration (known in thai as a Tabieen Baan). The closer to the centre of BKK (in my opinion) the better. Ideally, if that is the same district where you were born, then all the better, as they can cross check the BC. Nearer to BKK, you’ll find relatively more professional staff, and more likely to have encountered Thai citizens of European decent. The process itself is straightforward, but will require someone pulling out the rule book given that technically, you should have had all this done this 15 days after you were born.

You might need to give a reason why you weren’t registered on a house registration immediately after birth (the law), and there may be a small technical fine (100 to 400 baht), which is what happened to me when I registered at age 30 after living in Australia all my life before that point. As proof as to why you were never registered, simply tell them that you haven’t lived in Thailand all your life, but now you are back and need to get your paperwork in order. They may ask for your foreign passport as evidence of when you last entered Thailand (as a way of minimising or waiving the fine I mentioned).

While none of the paperwork asks for it, you may be asked if you are a dual national. Tell them the truth, you are. And if you get some grief for this, have the number for immigration at Suan Phlu ready, and ask them to call, and immigration (as in my case) will tell them straight out that it is fine to have two nationalities

2) Once on the house registration, then you get the ID card, which should be able to be done in the same day, at the same district office.

3) Passport: Once on the system, the Thai passport is a breeze. Take you ID card and tabieen baan down to the passport office, and they will verify your eligibility by logging into the ID register which is linked the house registration. Very important to note: if you apply for a Thai PP in Thailand you NEED to be on the Tabieen Baan database first.

You’ll then need to depart Thailand (via air) to exit on your british passport, and you can fly back into Thailand on your Thai passport, where you’ll be allowed back in with no restrictions on your stay (ie allowed to work, stay as long as you want etc etc etc). You can't do this by land...trust me on that. Air is the only way to go...A short hop to Singapore should do it.


Now, while I have maintained that getting onto the house registration is relatively a painless process, this is Thailand, and you may run into a bunch of useless bureaucrats at the district office who may simply say “No”. If that is a case, try another district office, but that strategy is limited to the amount of people you know, and where they live.

The second option, but which will work, is for you to go back to the UK (London) and make an appointment with the Thai embassy there to apply for a Thai passport. It is the more expensive option, but those guys know their stuff. Importantly, they can issue passports without people having ID cards or being on the house register. Ring them to confirm, but they should be able to do what I’ve mentioned. With the Thai PP in hand, fly back to Thailand, entering on the Thai passport, and then repeat 1) – 2) above.

Another small note: MILITARY SERVICE

At some point you are going to have to get your military papers in order. It is compulsory for all Thai males to have at least report for the draft.

Luckily for you, all applicants on draft day who are over 30 are immediately rejected, so you don’t have to worry about being called up or anything. Odds are, you won't even be asked to do this, most people do this at 18, get their exepmtion, and then never worry about this again.

Similarly, you now also know not to worry about a corrupt military official (who also sit at the district office) claiming that for 20,000 baht, he can organise your exemption papers (with the implict theat that you'll be hauled off to the jungle for two years if you don't). Fact is he can't, you are legally over the age of conscription, so there is nothing he can do, except process your release papers.

Edited by samran
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In regards to law..

This is the council of states website:


the last link there:

ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง การสั่งให้บุคคลซึ่งเคยมีสัญชาติไทยก่อนวันที่พระราชบัญญัติสัญชาติ (ฉบับที่ ๒) พ.ศ.๒๕๓๕ ใช้บังคับได้สัญชาติไทย which you'll need to expand and click on I think relates to what you are talking about.

If I've read it correctly, and I am no lawyer and my scholarly Thai reading is rusty, is basically a ministerial directive assuring Thai nationality to people who meet a number of criteria. Broadly these are

1) Born in the kingdom - aquiring Thai nationality by birth on thai soil

2) Did not have your Thai nationality revoked by Announcement No. 337 of 1972 (the act which I spoke of earlier re: Vietnamese refugees)

3) That your parents were of a certain categorisation under prevous thai legislation that exempted you from attaining Thai nationality (you'll have to cross reference the subsections here with other acts, but from prevous readings if your parents were diplomats you weren't eligible...and still arent. But that is my guess. Get a lawyer to figure out the exemptions)

4) You were born before the second ammendment to the Thai nationaity act in 1992 (nb. There have been three versions of the Thai nationality act. in BE 2508, the second ammendment in 1992, and a third ammenment in 1992 also, which corrected some fukc ups with the second ammendements!)

In simple terms, you were born before 1992, and before 1972, which makes the original 2508 the act which applies to you. Unless you had it revoked by announcement 337 (unlikely) then you still considered 'thai'.

Anywya, get a lawyer if you feel you need to. I've given you a relatively educated description. I've shown you were the docs are, but get a lawyer to cruch though them, so if you need to wave a document at an uncooperative district offical, then you can.

But I really don't think you need to go through all that....your BC is proof enough of your eligiblity...

Edited by samran
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or if that link doesn't work, on the council of states site use the following map:

หน้าแรก > ห้องสมุดกฎหมาย>ตัวบทกฎหมาย>พระราชบัญญัติ/พระราชกำหนด>หมวดของกฎหมาย::ส>พระราชบัญญัติสัญชาติ พ.ศ. ๒๕๐๘

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  • 4 weeks later...

As Samran pointed out, any one born in Thailand before Revolutionary Decree 337 of 1972 came into effect had the right to Thai citizenship as the original 1965 Nationality Act contained no qualifications concerning the nationality or residence status of the parents of those born in Thailand. Decree 337 ruled out those born in Thailand to non-Thai fathers whose parents were only temporary residents, including those working legitimately, but was not retroactive. Therefore you are entitled to Thai citizenship by virtue of being born on Thai soil. I used to know some one in this situation who came back to Thailand as an expat businesswoman in her 30s and spent two years getting her Thai nationality, having never claimed it as a child. She used a lawyer as she encountered some resistance and obfuscation from officials but I don't know if it is necessary to use a lawyer. Of course an amphur will chase you away, if you go in and ask for a ID card. I am not sure the best place to start but, if you are in Bangkok, you might go along to the office at the Police HQ that accepts applications for Thai nationality. Even though they don't handle applications from people who are Thai by birth, as you are, they may be able to offer some advice and they certainly know who to contact at the Interior Ministry. I think your case will require special approval from the ministry, as it must now be only once in a blue moon that some one in your situation shows up to claim their citizenship nearly 40 years after the law was changed. Take a copy of the original unamended 1965 Nationality Act with you from the Council of State website referenced by Samran above. The entitlement by birth to any one born in the Kingdowm is extremely clear and difficult to argue against. If you really want this, be prepared to politely put up with official stonewalling but don't take no for an answer.

Edited by Arkady
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good advice samran, my experience was pretty much what you outlined

i applied for a birth certificate in australia and then for a passport. it was very quick and painless.

on the next trip to thailand, exited on the australian passport and entered on the thai.

i went to the local amphur in bangkok and waited for the fun to begin.

i needed numerous copies of the birth certificate and passport when applying to get on the tabien bahn, so make sure you have them, though there will be a lil old lady manning a machine im sure

i was then put on the house register but was unable to get a card made as the machine was broken.

there was some initial reluctance in putting me on the whole house registration as im a bit over 25 and my mother was not with me, however some smooth talking and waiing to the puu yais will sort it out (in all honesty having your own puu yai to help will cut the red tape, uncle is a pol. col)

if they give you any shit if you were born overseas, politely tell them where the king was born and that no one disputes his thainess.

after that, i went in a day later, had my photo and prints done and got a spanking new 'but bacha chorn' with an easy to remember number, 7 nines!!

waied to some puu yais some more, made some remarks about 'pum jai ben dek thai lal' and then bought 3 of those buddhas in the plastic boxes with the red felt for 300thb

dual nationality voila!


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