The Australian spouse visa for a Thai national is an option for taking your Thai wife back to Australia once you have registered your marriage in Thailand. Note that this is a temporary visa and you will need to be an Australian citizen or and Australian permanent resident.
This is not for a traditional Thai wedding where it has not been registered but for registered marriages only. This does become confusing to some who think that the Thai ceremony is legally binding without due registration, to apply for a visa on it.
The application process takes about 12 months to complete in Thailand. This is about the same length of time as a US visa in Thailand and but longer than the British visa application. The following are the requirements for this Australian visa.
- You must live together as a couple;
- You will have to prove that it is a genuine and ongoing relationship;
- You both must have freely consented to the marriage;
- The marriage has to be legal both in Thailand and also in Australia;
- Your Thai wife must exceed the health requirements such as a TB test;
- Your wife will have to have no criminal record;
- Your Thai wife meets the Australian government character requirements.
Note that if you have been married in Thailand for longer than 2 years and have a child or been married for longer than 3 years with or without a child, you can apply for the 5 year partner visa. Speak to an immigration lawyer in Thailand about this option.
You will need to provide proof that you have been married for longer than 3 years and prove that you have lived together as husband and wife for all of this period. These would include joint bank accounts, telephone or internet accounts in your names at the same address. You will also need to provide photos of you together as a couple at the address. Again take legal advice on what will be needed as this is merely a guide to the process with its options.
Forced marriages or arranged marriages are very problematic. These would not be allowed in Australia or in Thailand. The marriage has to be based on free will and you will also need to have met each other. See the requirements for marriage in Thailand on this website. Note however that same-sex marriages are not allowed in Thailand or in Australia. You can however apply for a partner visa based on a same-sex couple in Australia. This is very complicated and best not to try the application on your own.
Polygamous marriages in Thailand have long since been outlawed and this is also not allowed in Australia. The reason for mentioning this is that someone might want to apply for a partner visa for his ‘minor wife’ or second wife.
If you are not certain as to the process for the Australian visa then speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information and guidance.