Thai Citizenship Application Process 2023
Foreigners who have stayed in Thailand for a considerable amount of time have come across many obstacles in attempting to extend their stay, starting a business, or owning properties in the Kingdom, not having to mention the hassle of filing a report every 90 days. One way to eliminate those hurdles is to become a Thai citizen through naturalization.
Criteria for Thai Citizenship
Those interested in applying for naturalization as a Thai citizen must meet the following criteria:
- Be of legal age both in Thailand (20 years old) and in the applicant’s home country
- Have a resident permit or certificate of foreign identity or have the name registered in the civil registration
- Have been residing in Thailand continuously for at least 5 years from the date mentioned on the resident permit or certificate of foreign identity or civil registration document
- Have a stable occupation with a work permit/work certificate issued by the Office of Work Permit or Provincial Employment Office with the minimum income as follow:
- If the applicant has no relations to Thailand, he/she must have an income of at least 80,000 Baht/month
- If the applicant has relations to Thailand, such as being married to a Thai national, has a child with Thai citizenship, or graduated higher education from an educational institute in Thailand, he/she must have an income of at least 40,000 Baht/month
- Have evidence of personal income tax payment for at least 3 years
- Be well-conducted without criminal record by undergoing the criminal background check by related authority
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Thai language (able to sing the Thai National Anthem and Thai Royal Anthem)
New Law to Acquire Thai Citizenship
New law demands foreigners to pass Thai Language Test to acquire citizenship.
On January 11th, 2022, the government representative announced the cabinet’s approval of the draft amended ministerial regulation on measures, procedures, and application of Thai citizenship, naturalization as a Thai citizen, renunciation of Thai nationality, recovery of Thai nationality, and related fees to conform to the present circumstances.
The revised regulation requires foreigners seeking Thai citizenship to demonstrate Thai language proficiency with the ability to speak and understand Thai. The applicant must pass the test from the subcommittee appointed by the citizenship screening committee. Alternatively, the applicant must provide a certificate issued by an educational institute certified by the Ministry of Education stating the applicant’s record of completing the primary level of education in Thailand at a minimum. Previously, the applicant only needed a certain level of Thai language knowledge without having to take the test.
Where to Submit the Application
Places to submit the application for Thai citizenship, naturalization as a Thai citizen, renunciation of Thai nationality, and recovery of Thai nationality:
- An applicant whose domicile is registered in Bangkok can apply at the Department of Provincial Administration.
- An applicant whose domicile is registered in another province in Thailand can apply at the Provincial Office.
- An applicant who resides in a foreign country can apply at the Thai embassy or Royal Thai Consulate in your area.
Application form and documents required:
- A foreign woman married to a Thai husband applying for Thai citizenship must submit an application form (SorChor.1) with evidence such as an identity card, marriage certificate, and photo.
- A Foreigner seeking to naturalize as a Thai citizen must submit an application form (SorChor. 2) with evidence such as an identity card, photo, work certificate, and education certificate.
- Application to naturalize as a Thai citizen for a foreigner who is an incompetent person, a minor, or is adopted by a Thai national must submit an application form (SorChor. 3) with evidence such as a copy of a court order appointing a guardian or proof of incompetence.
- The Thai citizenship application fee for adults is 10,000 Baht, increased from 5,000 Baht.
- The Thai citizenship application fee for children under the legal age of a naturalized Thai citizen is 5,000 Baht, which increased from 2,500 Baht.
- The certificate of naturalization as a Thai citizen is 1,000 Baht, increased from 500 Baht.
- The Thai citizenship recovery application fee is 2,000 Baht per time, which increased from 1,000 Baht.
The timeframe for application verification and consideration is 90 days. In case of an application submitted outside of Thailand, the process must be completed within 120 days. Nonetheless, the officers can request to extend the timeframe twice with valid reasons where each extension should not exceed 30 days.
More details will be explained once the new law comes into force. For further information on the application process and required documents, please contact us for assistance.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.