Image : http://www.flickr.com
The availability of religious institutions to carry out various marriages in Thailand is one of the reasons the country is popular not only to 'mainstream' couples but also to minority ones who would like to tie the knot in the Kingdom following their own religious and cultural traditions. True enough, foreign couples with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds flock to the Land of Smiles to get married hassle free. Let us take the case of Muslim couples or a Muslim marrying a Non-Muslim.
Muslim couples who would like to get married in Thailand under Islamic Marriage procedures will be happy to find out that the procedure is quite simple and straightforward. Some embassies would require their Muslim citizen to get married under the Islamic marriage before it issues the Affirmation of Freedom to marry which is a requirement for the Thai marriage. If the Muslim party is marrying a Non-Muslim, the non-Muslim should be converted into Muslim first before the marriage takes place. This conversion procedure normally takes 10-15 minutes. Muslim couples have the option to do Muslim marriage or Thai marriage while in Thailand whatever they would like to accomplish while they are here or depending on the purpose of the marriage if any other than true love.
Muslim marriage in Thailand can be accomplished in a day. The couple would have to call the National Islamic center in Bangkok for an appointment. The requirements for the marriage include:
b. Divorce certificate (if any)
c. Photos (1.5x1.5, 6pcs)
The marriage takes place in a mosque so you would have to dress appropriately. If you are bringing guests with you, inform them about appropriate clothes for the occasion. The ceremony usually lasts for an hour or two. A certificate will be issued by the marriage officer to the couple after the marriage. This document is English so it's no more necessary to translate it into Thai.
The fees that you have to anticipate are government fee which is around THB 4000 and transportation fee as the center is quite far from the city center. If you are using a visa agent then you also have to expect service fees.
If you are new in Thailand and you have a tight schedule, it would be wise to enlist the services of marriage professionals who will assist you with organizing your Muslim marriage i.e. liaising with the Islamic center on your behalf and accompanying you the center for the actual marriage registration. You have to be aware about language and cultural barrier in Thailand so it's best to have a Thai and English speaking person with you to walk you through the marriage process.
George M. Londob works for G.A.M. Legal Alliance, Thailand's 5-Star Legal Services Provider with offices in Bangkok and Phuket. G.A.M. Legal Alliance is a full-service law firm that provides a wide range of legal and visa services. Reach G.A.M. Legal Alliance at +(66) 2-611-2881, or firstname.lastname@example.org