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Law prohibiting marriage to foreigners over the age of 50 proposed to Thai Cabinet

The Ministry of Interior are bringing a new proposal before the Cabinet prohibiting foreigners over the age of 50 from marrying Thai nationals.

According to a Ministry spokesperson, statistics show that many older foreigners are marrying much younger Thai women, which is not appropriate and often leads to many problems.

“Many older foreigners seem to marry Thai women so they can stay in Thailand under less strict requirements. Instead of needing to meet the requirements of 800,000 baht in the bank they only have to show 400,000 baht a year when married to a Thai. Additionally, many of these people seem to come to Thailand simply to marry much younger girls. In many cases they are old enough to be their father. I am concerned that these people are attempting to circumvent the rules by marrying innocent Thai women. If these people don’t have enough money to retire then they shouldn’t be here and become a burden to Thailand,” Tawatchai Suksoom of the Ministry of Interior stated.

He added that the measure is not discriminatory as it will apply to both men and women, but admitted that the proposal would mainly affect Thai women and foreign men.

Thai nationals cannot be prohibited from marrying older foreigners abroad, however Thai embassies will warn them of the possibility that Thailand will not recognize the marriage if they return to Thailand, he noted.

It is expected that the new law will be brought before the Cabinet for approval at the beginning of next month where it will then be proposed to Parliament. The law will not apply retroactively but only to marriages that take place after the new law comes into effect. Tawatchai advised Thais living overseas to provide proof to their Embassies that they were married before the law came into effect so as to avoid any potential problems.

The new law is in line with similar laws in Cambodia and Laos as part of the upcoming ASEAN integration in 2015 and is expected to pass Parliament with ease and should take effect on May 1st, 2011.


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