Is a Thai marriage recognised in the UK?

In Thai culture, there are different types of wedding, the ones that have been officially registered and ones that have been performed by a village elder and/or monks. For a Thai marriage to be recognised in the UK, it must have been officially registered so that you are legally married. Also, it is important to understand that your future Thai wife will still require the correct visa to enter the UK. If you are planning on entering the UK for a short holiday this will be UK Tourist Visa, but if you are planning on moving to the UK permanently she will require a UK Spouse Visa.

In order to be legally married in Thailand, a British citizen will need to obtain an Affirmation of Freedom To Marry certificate from the British Consular. In order to get this, the British citizen will need to bring his or her passport and proof that previous marriages have been dissolved – copies will not be accepted. This document needs to be signed and then translated into Thai. The translation service is NOT offered by the British Consular Section.

Any Thai Registrar will require authentication of British Consular’s official signature as well as a certified translation in order to register the marriage. Assuming that everything is correct, the registrar will then register the marriage and issue a Thai marriage certificate. For the Thai marriage to be recognised in the UK it must be valid under Thai law and the marriage needs to be registered at an Amphur Office.

One important note is that a Thai marriage certificate will be written in Thai language which will not be accepted by the British Consular Section. In order for it to be accepted, you will need to obtain a “sworn translation” of the certificate. Once this has been obtained, it can then be present to the Consular Section who will then arrange for your marriage to be officially recorded in the UK. This is something that we can assist you with to make the process as simple and efficient as possible.

For a Thai marriage to be recognised in the UK, there are some important factors that you must remember. Firstly, a religious ceremony that has not be registered at the Amphur will not suffice. Obviously, as in any country in the world, marriages in Thailand should be performed in accordance with local laws. If you are unsure of what these are you can ask questions of the Thai authorities or we can do this on your behalf as part of our service. One final point to appreciate is that the British Embassy cannot perform marriages in Thailand and has no authority to do so.

If you are planning to get married in Thailand that we can assist you throughout the process. Also, if you require visas for visiting the UK or moving to the UK we can again help. For more information, you can call us on +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: or alternatively contact us via our website.