What is the change? Thailand has instituted a requirement that marriage and birth certificates be legalized for all foreign nationals (non-Board Of Investment companies only).

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals applying for and renewing long-term dependent visas should account for the additional time to officially legalize marriage and birth certificates.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The new policy took effect Monday.
  • Visas/permits affected: Long-term dependent visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign employees of non-BOI companies applying for family members.
  • Impact on processing times: The legalization process can vary from several days to several weeks, depending on location and rules of individual embassies.
  • Business impact: The new requirement adds another step and additional time to the application process for long-term dependent visas. Visa applicants must complete the legalization process before they are able to file the in-country visa extension application.

Background: To fill the requirement, marriage and birth certificates must either be:

  • Officially legalized by the home country’s embassy in Thailand; or
  • Officially legalized by the relevant country’s foreign affairs ministry and subsequently authenticated by the Thai embassy in the country where the documents were first legalized.

Previously, the legalization requirement applied to foreign nationals of 21 countries, including India and most countries in Africa and South Asia. Authorities have expanded the requirement to all nationals because of the recent discovery of fraudulent filings.

BAL Analysis: The announcement will lengthen overall timelines for long-term dependent visas filed on and after July 17. BAL is contacting affected clients to make sure they complete the required legalizations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Thailand. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.