The Hoops we Jump Through to Renew Visas

The Hoops we Jump Through to Renew Visas


It’s not always easy living in Thailand as Immigration keep a strict eye on visitors. For tourists it is not so bad as there are generally here only a short time. But, if you are working here then there are many hoops that you have to jump through in order to satisfy the requirements for Immigration. You would think that once you marry a Thai person that your troubles are over. But, these renewals can be just as arduous. In fact, some of their requests can be downright weird. Take this picture sent in by Jonny Votek. He said he was in the Nong Khai Immigration to a renew his marriage visa. On the wall was this list of visa requirements. Take a look at Number 11. A photo of the house is acceptable, but why on earth do they need to have a photo of your lovely Thai wife in the bedroom?! Isn’t that going a bit too far?

16 thoughts on “The Hoops we Jump Through to Renew Visas

  1. my wife and i have become circus performers since making endless visits to jomtien immigration, our experiences have been extroadinary. our last marriage visa took us 5 visits including one forced on us because they or bangkok hadnt processed the paper work, but it was all smiles. two ironies have occurred, we both thought a marriage visa was for life so when we did a ninety day report i was two days away from a fine, they allowed me a 60 day extension, which when added to the eventual second marriage visa has given me a total of 17 months, i did not think it possible. our last ninety day report took just 5 minutes, again i did not think it possible, but be prepared they now need copies of your O visa and your passport,and u have to complete a new form. on a positive note i think jomtien immigration has vastly improved in the past year, but i so hate going.

  2. The US immigration will ask for photos of any kind that will proof the marriage is not a bogus one. Though I believe the intention is the same for Thai immigration, I agree it is rather peculiar to specifically ask for a photo in the bedroom.

  3. Requiring this crap every year is ridiculous. They just changed the required docs to show proof of marriage overseas. I have 5 marriage extensions already. Why are we not in a database of some sort to make it easier? People are regularly turned away in Ubon for having not quite the right pics they want.

  4. This was my first time applying for Marriage extension. Went to Chiang Mai immigration, with the huge pile of documents, and I had 3 things missing: Household registration of my daughter (they didn’t believe she stays with her mother and me), photo with me and my wife together (no bedroom requirement, or even photo of house, but next time I will bring the whole album to be sure) and my wife to be there personally for an interview. This last one was the deal breaker, as she was taking care of our (then) 1 months old daughter and the immigration officer (even after consulting with her superior) refused to give an appointment or have the interview without queueing.

  5. And one would think they quit suspecting its fake after a couple has a baby but apparently not, as I hear from a friend…

  6. A female immigration officer (i.o.)once confided to us that looking through the photo albums was the only sanook (fun) aspect of her demanding job! My wife was not impressed and complained that it was an unnecessary invasion of privacy and it implied we were suspected of deception. The i.o. just smiled. No photo in the bedroom was needed, but they wanted a photo of our clothes hanging together in the wardrobe. We explained that we have separate wardrobes. The “answer” was to mix our clothes together “just for the photo”. After a few seconds everyone burst out laughing and the i.o. just said ‘Oh, my pen rai – forget it” 555

  7. I have done 25 extension of stay based on marriage and they never asked me for a photo in the bedroom.

    In Bangkok

  8. I think it is time our government should talk to the Thai’s. If my wife has an ‘indefinite leave to remain’ stay stamp from the UK, then Thailand should do the same for my passport. It should be proof after 5 years (been married 11 years and in Thailand nonstop and working for 9 years.)

    1. I just hope they don’t take over the terrible British terminology. “Leave to remain”. Really? Is the visa called “Exit to enter”? Then the house papers must be “Evict to reside”. Gotta admit, it’s keeping up with the British reputation for dry humor.

  9. Last year was the first time in 12 years that we were asked for a photo of us together. .. for a non-O visa (working visa). I thought it weird … can’t you see we are together? We have 2 kids and a house! And all the immigration officers in Phuket know us. Any photo would do, but it had to be printed on proper photo paper … printout from the computer was not allowed. My next renewal is in a couple of months, let’s see what’s changed this year!

    1. Well done so far, Khun Tim. It all depends on the mood of the immigration officer – sometimes it goes smoothly, another time they will decide to have a bit of “fun” with the applicant. Keep cool 🙂

  10. Disabuse – since when did ‘leave’ stop having two meanings in British English? i.e. ‘permission’ as well as ‘depart’.

    On another note, I find it incredible (though not entirely shocking) that these signs talk about ‘wife’s’ document if it’s unthinkable (even if admittedly rarer) that a non-Thai woman marries a Thai man.

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