Acquisition of Thai Citizenship


Acquisition of Thai Citizenship

By: Magna Carta Law Office

A person who is born with parents who both hold Thai nationality automatically acquires Thai nationality, whether or not they were born inside or outside of Thailand. A person born with one alien parent does not automatically acquire Thai citizenship. Citizenship depends on the immigration status and the marriage status of the parents. A person born to either a father or a mother of Thai nationality, whether born within or outside Thailand, may apply for Thai citizenship.

A foreign person who would like to obtain Thai Citizenship must go through the naturalization process. The application to change to Thai citizenship must be filed with the competent official according to the form and in the manner prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations. The approval or denial of the application is at the discretion of the Interior Minister.

An applicant who wishes to apply for naturalization as a Thai citizen must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Must be of legal age in accordance with the Thai law and the law under which he has nationality;

  2. Must have a good behavior;

  3. Must have a regular occupation;

  4. Must have resided in the Thai Kingdom for a consecutive period of not less than five years on the day of filing the application;

  5. Must have knowledge of Thai language as prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.

The qualifications 4 and 5 do not apply to the following;

  • The applicant has rendered distinguished acts or deeds for the Kingdom of Thailand;

  • The applicant is a child, wife, or husband of a person who has been naturalized as a Thai or has recovered Thai nationality;

  • The applicant previously had Thai Nationality;

  • The applicant is a husband of a Thai national.

Foreign applicants residing in Thailand with children who are not of legal age in accordance with Thai law may concurrently apply for such naturalization for his children. In this case, such children shall be exempt from possessing the qualifications 1, 3, 4 and 5.

A person of Thai nationality, who is married to a foreigner and has acquired his/her spouse’s nationality, do not lose his/her Thai nationality unless he/she wishes to renounce his/her Thai nationality by declaring his/her intention to the competent authority, or his/her Thai nationality is revoked by the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand. A person, who has renounced Thai nationality, may apply for recovery of Thai nationality if the marriage has been dissolved for whatever reason. The application must be filed with the competent official according to the form and in the manner prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations.