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How to get Thai citizenship? 

how to get Thai citizenship
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Many foreigners are moving to Thailand for multiple reasons, but the process of becoming a Thai citizen can be complicated. Moreover, foreigners undergo naturalization to become Thai, which may take years to finish. This article will explore how to get Thai citizenship and the legalities involved in the process.

Who can get Thai citizenship?

Under the Thai Nationality Law, the following persons can obtain Thai citizenship:

  • A person born to a Thai father or mother, whether within or outside Thailand.
  • A person born in Thailand can become a Thai citizen but is subject to exemptions. 
  • A woman not of Thai nationality who is married to a Thai national.
  • A foreigner who qualifies for naturalization.

What is naturalization? 

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen becomes a citizen of a new country. Foreigners become citizens through the legal process of naturalization imposed by the Thai nationality law, wherein they acquire the country’s nationality and the rights entitled to them as its citizens. It is a long and deliberate process that involves various steps, including verifying residency, evaluating police records, and demonstrating knowledge about the country. 

What is the process of naturalization in Thailand? 

The naturalization process to become a Thai citizen is applied at the Special Branch Bureau of the Royal Thai Police Headquarters or the Immigration Bureau. Foreigners applying for naturalization must qualify based on the criteria of the Thai nationality law, submit the necessary requirements to the respective government offices, and undergo a legal process that may take anywhere from one to four years.

Does Thailand allow dual citizenship?

Thailand allows dual citizenship as the national law does not restrict Thai nationals from holding more than one nationality and does not require the rejection of a former nationality to obtain Thai citizenship. 

Thai citizenship requirements

Naturalization is the process by which a foreign citizen becomes a citizen of a new country. A person applying for naturalization must meet the following requirements as part of the process to get citizenship in Thailand:

  • Must be an adult  (at least 20 years old) under Thai law and the law under which the person has nationality.
  • No criminal records.
  • Provide evidence of regular occupation in Thailand.
  • Be a permanent resident in Thailand for at least five consecutive years with supporting documents.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Thai language as prescribed in the regulations.

How to get Thai citizenship in 5 steps

The following five steps can be followed to become a citizen of Thailand.

Step 1. Approach the police headquarters

All naturalization applications are processed at the Special Branch Bureau of the Royal Thai Police Headquarters. Approach the police headquarters where you are located to receive the checklist of the documents you need to submit and inquire about the application process to get Thai citizenship.

Step 2. Gather the necessary documents

Complete the application form and gather all necessary supporting documents, like a passport, residency permit, proof of income, and police clearance.

Step 3. Submit your application

Submit the completed application form and all necessary documents for verification to the Special Branch Bureau. Then, pay the application fee of and provide your fingerprints.

Step 4. Prepare for interviews

To cross-examine your application, the Special Branch Bureau, the National Intelligence Agency, and the Ministry of Interior will conduct initial interviews in Thai. Moreover, applicants will undergo a final interview, sometimes requiring them to sing the national anthem before being recommended for approval by the Minister.

Step 5. Wait for the decision.

The last step on how to get Thai citizenship is to wait for the decision to be published in the Royal Gazette upon the Minister’s approval.

How long does the application take?

The application to become a Thai citizen has no fixed time frame. It can take anywhere from one to four years to complete, and there is no definite reason why the waiting period varies for each applicant.

Thai citizen application costs

Paying the citizen application fees is part of the process to obtain Thai citizenship. The Thai citizenship application fee is ฿ 10,000 ($272) for adults and ฿ 5,000 ($136) for children. There are additional fees of ฿ 1,000 ($27.22) for the certificate of naturalization and ฿ 2,000 ($54.44) for the Thai citizenship recovery application fee.

Documents needed to become a Thai citizen

You will have to submit copies of documents required in the process to get Thai citizenship, including:

  • Your passport;
  • Your alien book or residence certificate;
  • Your house registration;
  • Your work permits;
  • Pictures of yourself;
  • Proof of paid income tax for the last three years;
  • Proof of employment;
  • Marriage and birth certificates (if applicable);
  • Copies of the ID cards of two Thai citizen guarantors;
  • Any additional required documents.

Scoring criteria for Thai citizenship

Thailand uses a point system to score applicants as part of the process to get Thai citizenship. You will need between 50 and 100 points to qualify. Below is the scoring criteria:

  1. Age: People between 40 and 50 get the highest score (10 points).
  2. Education: Higher degrees earn the most points (15 points).
  3. Income and job security: A minimum income threshold is imposed on different job levels (25 points).
  4. Residency: Applicants who are legal residents in Thailand for longer years get higher scores (20 points).
  5. Thai language skills: Speaking, reading, and writing Thai (15 points).
  6. Thailand knowledge: Understanding Thailand’s culture, history, and symbols (10 points).
  7. Personality and appearance: A small score (5 points) based on your personality and attitude towards Thailand.

Get Thai citizenship with Own Property Abroad

Do you want to obtain Thai citizenship? Own Property Abroad assists you and ensures a seamless and hassle-free process of becoming a citizen in Thailand.

For further information on how we can assist you, kindly drop your details below or email us at hello@ownpropertyabroad.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can foreigners get Thai citizenship by marriage?

Yes, foreigners can get Thai citizenship by marriage. A woman who is not of Thai nationality but who is married to a Thai national can apply for Thai citizenship.

How to get a Thai passport?

Only Thai citizens can get a Thai passport by making an appointment at a local passport office and submitting the application requirements.

Can foreigners get Thailand citizenship by investment?

No, foreigners cannot get Thailand citizenship by investment. The most common way to get Thai citizenship is primarily through blood rights, such as being born to a Thai father or mother. Foreigners can also apply for Thai naturalization if they qualify.

What is the difference between citizenship and residency?

The difference between citizenship and residency is that citizenship is a permanent legal status that grants rights, privileges, and protections within a country. In contrast, residency is a permit to live in a country, which can be temporary or permanent.

Written by Emmanuel Jason Casas

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