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International Travel

English

Country Information

Thailand

Country Information

Thailand
Kingdom of Thailand
Last Updated: January 12, 2017
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months from date of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

No, if your stay is less than 30 days

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever may be required if arriving from certain countries with yellow fever.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Thailand for additional information on U.S.-Thailand relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Royal Thai Embassy website for the most current visa information.

  • U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand.
  • Thai immigration officials may ask for your onward/return ticket.
  • Business travelers, teachers, retirees, and those planning to stay longer than 30 days should check with the Royal Thai Embassy about visa requirements.
  • If you overstay your visa, you will be fined.  You may also be arrested, detained, deported at your own expense, and banned from re-entering Thailand.

We strongly recommend that you carry a copy of your U.S. passport identification page and current Thai visa to help avoid detention by the Thai immigration police.

Thailand’s entry/exit information is subject to change without notice. For the most current information, please see the list of Thai embassies and consulates worldwide and The Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website

HIV/AIDS restrictions. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Thailand. However, these restrictions are generally not enforced. Please verify with the Royal Thai Embassy before you travel.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern. Several small-scale bombings occurred near some tourist locations in the Southern provinces in August 2016. In August 2015, an explosion near the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100. The State Department assesses that there is a continued risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including in Thailand.        

The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has banned political gatherings and placed restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened military presence throughout Thailand. Security forces have additional powers, including the right to control movement and search for weapons. Individuals—including foreigners—may be detained for publicly criticizing the NCPO or the monarchy. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor international and Thai media. Avoid areas where there are protest events, demonstrations, large gatherings, or security operations, and follow any instructions and restrictions that  local authorities Issue.

If a demonstration is expected to pass near the U.S. Embassy or Consulate facilities, Embassy and Consulate entrances and functions may be restricted. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites post information about particular demonstrations. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and safety messages.

Far Southern Thailand - Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla: Violence in these provinces has resulted in more than 6,500 deaths since 2004. Martial law is in force in this region. We prohibit our personnel from traveling to this region without prior approval.  We urge you to defer non-emergency travel there. If you must travel to these areas, you should exercise special caution.

For more information on terrorist threats against U.S. citizens worldwide and steps to take as a result of these threats, please see the Worldwide Caution.

Crime:

  • Crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching, and burglary occur in Thailand.
  • Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively rare. However, murders, rapes, and assaults against foreigners do occur.
  • Sexually motivated violence, committed by both Thai citizens and visitors, is most likely to occur at parties, bars, clubs, on beaches, or in other remote/isolated areas.
  • Traveling alone--Exercise caution, stay near other travelers and ensure that friends or family know how to contact you.
  • Taxi and “tuk-tuk” drivers may attempt to charge excessive fares or refuse passengers. You should either request that the driver use the meter or agree on the fare beforehand.
  • At the airport use only public transportation from the airport’s official pick-up area, cars from the limousine counters, or a car from your hotel.
  • Rental scams--Many rental motorbike, jet ski, and car companies will hold your passport until you pay for real or fictitious damages. We advise against using your passport as collateral.
  • Exorbitant bar tab scam--Some bars and entertainment venues will charge exorbitant prices for drinks or unadvertised cover charges and threaten violence if you don’t pay.
  • Other common scams--Scams involving gems, city tours, entertainment venues, and credit cards are common, especially in tourist areas.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by calling 191 or the Tourist Police at 1155 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +66 (0) 2-205-4000 or Consulate at +(66) (53) 107-777.  Remember that only local officials have the authority to investigate and to prosecute a crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws when traveling abroad. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Lèse majesté- Thais hold the monarchy in the highest regard. Making a critical or defamatory comment about the royal family is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years per offense. As an example, purposely tearing Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, may be considered a lèse majesté offense.

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Serious consequences include criminal conviction and imprisonment, particularly in the case of child prostitution. 

Commercial surrogacy is banned.

Illegal drugs carry severe penalties. Expect long jail sentences under harsh conditions, heavy fines, or execution for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Shoplifting can result in large fines and lengthy detention followed by deportation.

Domestic Issues--local police are reluctant to become involved. You may call the Family Services Emergency hotline by dialing 1300 from any Thai phone.

Political gatherings are banned. There are restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

Adventure Tourism, such as zip lining, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and off-roading, is popular in Thailand. However, safety standards, inspections and training may not be equivalent to those in the United States. Travelers should check the safety records of operators.

Possessing counterfeit or pirated goods is a crime in Thailand. For more information see the intellectual property section of the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Customs may enforce strict regulations on Buddha images, firearms, explosives, drugs, radios, books, and recordings, which might be cultural property and/or considered harmful to the public interest.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no known legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Thailand. However, LGBTI groups report that in the case of sexual crimes police tend to downplay sexual abuse claims from LGBTI victims.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Sidewalks and street crossings are not suitable for travelers with mobility issues. Newly constructed buildings, facilities and transportation equipment should be accessible for persons with mobility issues. However, enforcement of these provisions is not uniform.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Some victims of sexual assault or domestic violence find that Thai authorities do not handle such cases with as much sensitivity or consideration for privacy as they would expect in the United States. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical treatment is generally adequate in Thailand’s urban areas. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya, good facilities exist for routine, long-term, and emergency health care. Basic medical care is available in rural areas, but English-speaking providers are rare.

Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. You should consult with your local physician before traveling and also refer to information on medical tourism from CDC.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept upfront payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medicine for personal use is allowed as long as the amount does not exceed a 30-day supply and you bring the medicine with you. Do not mail medicine to Thailand without first confirming it will be allowed into the country. You can find customs and permit information from Thailand Customs and the Thailand Food and Drug Administration. 

The following diseases are present:

  • Dengue
  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Zika
  • Tuberculosis:
  • Influenza A (H5N1): 
  • Malaria

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Traffic accidents are common in Thailand. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, Thailand had one of the world’s highest traffic-related fatality rates. Bangkok and some parts of Chiang Mai have heavy traffic.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, reckless passing, and failure to obey other traffic laws are common in all regions of Thailand. Some drivers move illegally against the traffic, which moves on the left. Scooters and motorbikes commonly drive on the sidewalks during rush hour and other periods of heavy traffic. Commercial drivers commonly consume alcohol, amphetamines, and other stimulants.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles can be deadly. Riders may incur serious injuries when they are not wearing helmets or proper clothing and footwear. Use of motorcycle helmets is mandatory, but this law is seldom enforced. 
  • Use a pedestrian bridge to cross the road where one is available, including in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wireless Road and on Sukhumvit Road, where many pedestrians have been killed and several U.S. citizens seriously injured. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk. 
  • If you have a traffic accident, you should contact your insurance company for guidance in dealing with the other party and the police.
  • Emergency vehicles: Congested roads and a scarcity of ambulances can make it difficult for accident victims to receive timely medical attention

Public transportation:

  • Mass transit: In Bangkok, the BTS elevated "Skytrain," “Airport Rail Link” mass transit, and the underground MRT systems are reliable, inexpensive, air conditioned, and often faster than Bangkok traffic.
  • Bus system: Bangkok also has an extensive bus system, but buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety.
  • For hire vehicles: Cities outside of Bangkok typically have only rudimentary public transportation and usually do not have metered taxis.  In many cases, motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks, bicycle-powered rickshaws, and pick-up trucks will be the only options available for travelers without their own transport.
  • Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle services such as Uber or GrabTaxi exist, although such services are under legal review.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Rail Safety: While millions of people utilize the State Railway system within Thailand every year, poor track maintenance, outdated equipment and rails, and unmarked train crossings have caused accidents, train derailments, and delays.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Thailand’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

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General Information

Thailand and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since April 1, 2016.

For information concerning travel to Thailand, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Thailand.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Thailand.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website
Email: AskCI@state.gov

The Thai Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Office of the Attorney General.  The Thai Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. 

They can be reached at:

Office of the Attorney General
International Affairs Department
Rajaburi Direkriddhi Building
Government Complex
Chaeng Watthana Road, Laksi
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel : +662-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791 /
Email: inter@ago.go.th

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Thailand, the left-behind parent may choose to submit a Hague application to the TCA, either through the USCA or directly, or with the Central Juvenile and Family Court via an attorney.  The TCA can facilitate locating the child and can attempt to contact the taking parent to request a voluntary return on behalf of the left-behind parent.  The Hague application and supporting documents submitted to the TCA must be in English and, if feasible, in Thai.  However, please note that all documents submitted to the Central Juvenile and Family Court must be translated into Thai.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the USCA or the TCA.  However, applicants will bear the cost (200 Thai baht) for filing the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court and any other related court fees.  If the left-behind parent hires an attorney, attorney fees are the responsibility of the left-behind parent.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Thailand.  The U.S. Department of State can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application for return.

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Visitation/Access

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Thailand.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application for access.

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Retaining an Attorney

The TCA does not represent left-behind parents in court or assign a private attorney to represent left-behind parents. The role of the TCA is administrative and neutral. Left-behind parents should consider retaining an attorney to file the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court.

The Office of International Peoples’ Rights Protection may provide free legal services (English available).

Contact Information:

Office of the International People's Rights Protection
Office of the Attorney General
Government Complex (Building A)
Chaeng Watthana Road, Lak Si
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel: 0-2142-1532
Fax : 02149-9179-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791
Website: http://www.humanrights.ago.go.th/

E-mail: humanrights@ago.go.th

The Lawyers Council of Thailand may also provide legal services.  More information is available on their website (Thai only).

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation may help parents resolve both abduction and access cases. The Prachabodee Center, which is under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Human Development Foundation (Mercy Centre) provide informal, private, non-legally binding mediation services. Legally-binding mediation is only available through the courts. 

More information is available here for the Mercy Centre

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Thailand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Thailand.

A domestic adoption of a Thai child cannot be processed under Thailand’s laws and procedures implementing the Hague Adoption Convention.  A domestic adoption will not render a child eligible under U.S. law as a beneficiary of a Form I-800 petition or an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.  In certain circumstances, such an adopted child may be eligible for U.S. immigration benefits through approval of a Form I-130 petition, after two years of physical and legal custody.  For more information on this process, please visit the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Note:  Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Read about Transition Cases.


U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Thailand, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law. 

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Thailand obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Thailand:

  • Residency:  Prospective adoption parents (PAPs) must generally work with the central or competent authorities of their country of residence if they have been living in that country for at least six months prior to submitting their dossier to DSDW and will remain in that country until they finalize the adoption.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  PAPs must be at least 25 years old and 15 years older than the child to be adopted.  These requirements also apply when adopting relative children.
  • Marriage:  A PAP may be single or married.  Married PAPs must have been married for at least two years.  The marriage must be legally recognized.  Thai law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
  •  Income:  While there are no formal income requirements, PAPs must provide proof of income (e.g. tax returns, letters from employers stating income, bank statements, etc.) with their request (dossier) to the DSDW to adopt.

Other:  PAPs must be legally qualified under U.S. law to adopt a child.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Thailand must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption.  For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Thailand have determined that placement of the child within Thailand has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.  In addition to Thailand’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment:  One or both biological parents must relinquish parental rights of the child in writing. 
  • Abandonment:  The DSDW must attempt to locate the biological parent(s) and must report on their attempts and the result.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Children must be at least 15 years younger than the PAPs.  The DSDW advises that it is rare that a child under the age of one is available for intercountry adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  There are no specific requirements or exceptions when adopting siblings.  It is possible to adopt siblings together or separately.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  None specified.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  If PAPs seek to adopt from one of the four non-governmental organizations that Thailand has licensed to work with the Thai central adoption authority, the Child Adoption Center within the DSDW, the PAPs may be required to complete a six (6) month pre-adoptive placement.  This pre-adoptive placement may be completed in Thailand or in the country of residence.  The DSDW may waive this requirement when adopting a relative child. 
  • Other:  It is not possible to apply to adopt more than one Thai child at a time, unless the children are siblings or step-siblings.
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How to Adopt

WARNING:  Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention.  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Thailand before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Thailand’s Adoption Authority 
Child Adoption Center (CAC), Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW)

In addition, four non-governmental organizations are licensed to work with the CAC in cases where a child is to be placed abroad.  Contact information for each organization is available in the “Contact Information” section.

  • Friends for All Children
  • Holt Sahathai Foundation
  • Thai Red Cross Foundation
  • The Pattaya Orphanage

Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Thailand as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or, 3) the adoption was completed.  Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  For more information, read about Transition Cases

The Process

Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Thailand must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements.  A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below.  You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may not confer immigration benefits on the adopted child (i.e. it is possible the child would not qualify for an immigrant visa if adopted out of order).

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Thailand
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt or gain legal custody of child in Thailand
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home


1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider  

The first step in adopting a child from Thailand is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases.  Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Thailand.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case.  The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations.  Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt  

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A.   Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Thailand as part of your adoption dossier.  Thailand’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Thai law. 

3.  Be Matched with a Child in Thailand 

If both the United States and Thailand determine that you are eligible to adopt and the DSDW has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the DSDW in Thailand may provide you with a referral for a child.  The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Thailand.  The DSDW will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child.  If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the DSDW in Thailand.  Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption 

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800).  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant. 

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Thailand.  A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities. 

WARNING:  The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Thai Central Authority (DSDW) in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Thailand where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Thai Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Thailand before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

5.  Adopt (or Gain Legal Custody) of Child in Thailand 

Remember:  Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Thailand, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Thailand. 

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Thailand generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  The DSDW matches the child with the PAPs.  Once DSDW is notified of their acceptance of the match, it forwards the application to the Child Adoption Board (CAB), part of the CAC.  After receiving official authorization from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, which oversees the DSDW, the DSDW schedules an interview between the PAPs and CAB.  (Note: If married, both PAPs must attend this interview.)  DSDW also issues the documents necessary for the child’s travel. 
  • Role of the Court:  There is no Thai court component.  Instead, PAPs may either sign a Memorandum of Agreement agreeing to fulfill the CAB’s and DSDW’s requirements to work with the accredited ASP to complete the six-month pre-adoption period, provide three required reports, and seek CAB’s approval prior to adopting the child in the country of residence or they may complete the six-month pre-adoption and reporting period in Thailand and, upon successful completion of that period, register the child with the appropriate local Thai District Office.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  The ASP assembles the application forms and supporting documents for submission to DSDW.
  • Time Frame:  Recent reports indicate that waiting periods range from approximately 24 to 30 months from the time the U.S. ASP submits the PAPs’ paperwork to the DSDW to the time the child is placed with the PAPs for the six month pre-adoption placement period.
  • Adoption Application:  PAPs and their ASPs must submit an adoption application to the DSDW.
  • Adoption Fees:  In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
  • Documents Required:  The following is a list of documents that the ASP must submit to DSDW on behalf of the PAPs, along with the adoption application:
    • Home Study – The home study must be conducted or endorsed by one of the DSDW approved agencies.  Any home study done by a non-DSDW approved agency must obtain an endorsement from a DSDW approved agency.  The non-DSDW approved agency must agree to supervise the six-month pre-adoption (or post-placement) period.  (To satisfy U.S. law, the home study must also be performed or supervised by a U.S. Hague accredited ASP.)
    • Confirmation Statement – The format of this document varies somewhat, but generally includes the ASP’s confirmation to supervise post-placement requirements.
    • Formal Commitment Statement – If the PAPs reside in Thailand, a DSDW social worker will supervise the pre-adoptive (or post-placement) period and conduct the three bi-monthly home visits.  Once DSDW is satisfied with the pre-adoptive placement, DSDW will report its findings to the CAB, who will approve the child for adoption registration.  PAPs must sign a Formal Commitment Statement acknowledging that they understand this process

      If the PAPs do not reside in Thailand, the ASP must formally commit to supervising a pre-adoptive placement in the country of residence for at least six months, conducting at least three bi-monthly progress reports, and providing those reports to the DSDW.

      In cases in which the adoption will be finalized outside of Thailand, the DSDW will issue a Memoranda of Agreement, which the PAPs sign. When adoptions are finalized in Thailand, DSDW issues a shorter version of this memorandum, not signed by the parents.

      • Medical Certificate – The certificate verifies the PAPs’ good physical health, mental stability, and infertility (if applicable).
      • Birth Certificates
      • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
      • Proof of Termination of Previous Marriages – Death Certificate of spouse or Divorce Decree.
      • Proof of Occupation and Income – For example, tax returns, letters from employers, and/or bank statements
      • Complete Financial Statement – The statement should indicate all assets and liabilities and may include tax returns, bank statements, and/or an explanatory letter from the PAPs.
      • Recommendations from Two Responsible Persons
      • Proof of ASP’s U.S. Hague Accreditation
      • Photographs of PAPs – Four (4.5 cm x 6 cm) photographs from each prospective adoptive parent and their children. 

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

  • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist.  Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents

6.  Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that you have adopted or obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, there are a few more steps to take before you can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If a Thai child does not already have a birth certificate when s/he is taken to live at an orphanage, officials at the orphanage will arrange for the issuance of a birth certificate with the local District Registration Office, either in the jurisdiction where the child was born, if known, or in the jurisdiction where the orphanage is located.

Thai Passport
An adopted child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so s/he will need a travel document (passport) in order to travel from Thailand.  The orphanage will arrange for the issuance of this travel document with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and present it to the adoptive family before the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

The passport costs 35 USD and processing takes two business days if picking up in person or five business days for delivery.  Obtaining the passport is part of the overall services provided by the ASP.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  After and adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Bangkok for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

[POST-ADOPTION/POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS]

Adoptive parents are required to register their adoption with the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

If prospective adoptive parents did not complete the six-month pre-adoption (post-placement) period in Thailand, then the U.S. Hague accredited ASP must submit to DSDW three bi-monthly reports detailing the child’s progress in adjusting to his or her new family and environment and his or her general welfare before the PAPs can finalize the adoption in U.S. state court. 

We strongly urge you to comply with Thai post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Thailand
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Thailand, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.  

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Thailand, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

POST-ADOPTION RESOURCES

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. 

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Thailand
Consular Section
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 205-4000
Fax:  (66-2) 253-6250
Email:  visasbkk@state.gov
Internet: https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/bangkok/

U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, Thailand
387 Wichayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Tel:  001-800-13-202-2457 (outside the U.S.), 1-800-202-2457 (inside the U.S.)
Fax:  (66-53) 252-633
Email:  conschiangmai@state.gov
Internet:  https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/chiang-mai/

Note:  The U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai does not handle adoptions.  All adoption cases are handled by the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

Thai Adoption Authority
Child Adoption Center (CAC)
Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW)
255 Rajvithi Road
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 354-7500 ext. 412-419
Email:  adoption@loxinfo.co.th

In addition, four non-governmental organizations are licensed to work with DSDW's Child Adoption Center in cases where a child is to be placed abroad:

Friends for All Children
104/8 Soi Ronnachai 2, Setsiri Road
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 279-1059
Fax:  (66-2) 617-1995
E-mail:  ffac_thailand@hotmail.com

Holt Sahathai Foundation
850/33 Soi Sukhumvit 71                   Mailing Address
Sukhumvit Road, Wattana                 P.O. Box Nana Nua 1478
Bangkok 10110, Thailand                   Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 381-8834-6
Fax:  (66-2) 381-8837
E-mail:  sahathai@asiaaccess.net.th

Thai Red Cross Foundation
Vajiralongkorn Building
King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital
Henri Dunant Road, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 256-4178, (66-2) 256-4207 ext. 201
Fax:  (66-2) 256-4277
E-mail:  trcch@redcross.or.th
Internet:  redcross.or.th/trcch

The Pattaya Orphanage
P.O. Box 300
Pattaya Post Office, Pattaya City
Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel:  (66-38) 423-468, (66-38) 416-426
Fax:  (66-38) 416-425, (66-38) 716-204
Internet:  thepattayaorphanage.org

Embassy of Thailand
The Royal Thai Embassy
1024 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Tel:  (202) 944-3600
Internet:  thaiembdc.org

Thailand also has consulates in: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Office of Children’s Issues

U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AdoptionUSCA@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
E-2 2 $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 6 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
I $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 $15.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
R-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 60 Months
V-2 None Multiple 60 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 60 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Note: Bangkok is divided into 36 districts. Marriage, birth and adoption certificates must be requested from the district office that recorded the original certificate. Districts in Bangkok are listed below under Visa Services.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. The issuance of birth certificates in Thailand began in Bangkok in 1917. Records of birth are often lacking for people born in Bangkok before World War II and for those born in other areas of the country up until the 1970s. Birth Certificates are issued by "Amphur," (geographic subdivision roughly equivalent to a county in the U.S.) district authorities having jurisdiction over the place of birth. There may be a fee for this service.

A Thai citizen older than 15 and born in Thailand, whose birth was not registered, must present in its stead a household registration, together with a Thai national identity card ("bat prachachon"), and may also be required to submit additional proof of the claimed relationship.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available. These are issued by the "Amphur" district authorities where the marriage or divorce took place. Thai diplomatic missions issue consular marriage and divorce decrees. The validity of these decrees depends on local law in the jurisdiction in which the marriage or divorce occurs. Most jurisdictions in the United States do not recognize these decrees as valid.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Thailand.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certificates are issued by the Nai Amphur of the district of registration. The adoptive parents, accompanied by two witnesses, must legally register the adoption with the registrar of the Amphur.

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police certificates are obtainable from:

Section 3, Sub-Division 2. General Staff Division
Special Branch
Royal Thai Police Department
Rama I Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Residents of Thailand requesting a Thai police certificate will need to present two recent photographs (2 inch x 2 inch), the original and a copy of his/her passport, identification card, household registration, name change certificate (if any), marriage and divorce certificate (if any). Thai males aged 17-45 must also present military record or proof of exemption from military service.

Non-residents should send their requests to the Royal Thai Police Department at the above address with the required documents and a fingerprint taken by a police authority at their place of residence.

Normal processing time is two to three weeks. There is no processing fee.

Prison Records

Available, from the First Section, Second Division, Scientific Branch, Police Department, Bangkok or the Penitentiary Department, Bangkok.

Military Records

Please check back for update.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update.

Other Records

Not applicable.

 

Visa Issuing Posts

Bangkok, Thailand (Embassy) -- All visa categories

Mailing Address:
APO AP 96546-7200

Street Address:
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Tel: 011 (66-2) 205-4049

Chiang Mai, Thailand (Consulate General) -- Nonimmigrant visas, except K

Mailing Address:
Box C, APO AP 96546-4040

Street Address:
387 Wichayanond Road
50300 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tel: 011 (66-53) 252-629

Visa Services

Bangkok handles immigrant visas for all of Thailand and nonimmigrant visas for the following provinces:

  • Amnat Charoen
  • Ang Thong
  • Ayutthaya
  • Buri Ram
  • Chachoengsao
  • Chai Nat
  • Chaiyaphum
  • Chanthaburi
  • Chon Buri
  • Chumphum
  • Kalasin
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Loei
  • Lop Buri
  • Maha Sarakham
  • Mukdahan
  • Nakhon Nayok
  • Nakhon Pathom
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Narathiwat
  • Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Nong Khai
  • Nonthaburi
  • Pathum Thani
  • Pattani
  • Phang Nga
  • Phattalung
  • Phetchaburi
  • Phuket
  • Prachin Buri
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Ranong
  • Ratchaburi
  • Rayong
  • Roi Et
  • Sa Kaeo
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Samut Prakan
  • Samut Sakhon
  • Samut Songkhram
  • Saraburi
  • Satun
  • Si Sa Ket
  • Sing Buri
  • Songkhia
  • Suphan Buri
  • Surat Thani
  • Surin
  • Trang
  • Trat
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Uthai Thani
  • Yala
  • Yasothon

Chiang Mai issues nonimmigrant visas for the following provinces:

  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Lampang
  • Lamphun
  • Mae Hong Son
  • Nan
  • Phayao
  • Phelchabum
  • Phichit
  • Phitsanulok
  • Phrae
  • Sukhothai
  • Tak
  • Uttaradit

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 684-8493 (202) 459-9536

Chicago, IL (312) 664-3129 (312) 219-8663

Los Angeles, CA (323) 962-9574 (323) 962-2128

New York, NY (212) 745-1770 (212) 754-1907

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone
+ (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049
Emergency
+(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000
Fax
+(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103
Thailand Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Thailand
Kingdom of Thailand
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

6 months from date of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

No, if your stay is less than 30 days

VACCINATIONS:

Yellow fever may be required if arriving from certain countries with yellow fever.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

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Embassies and Consulates

EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Thailand for additional information on U.S.-Thailand relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Royal Thai Embassy website for the most current visa information.

  • U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand.
  • Thai immigration officials may ask for your onward/return ticket.
  • Business travelers, teachers, retirees, and those planning to stay longer than 30 days should check with the Royal Thai Embassy about visa requirements.
  • If you overstay your visa, you will be fined.  You may also be arrested, detained, deported at your own expense, and banned from re-entering Thailand.

We strongly recommend that you carry a copy of your U.S. passport identification page and current Thai visa to help avoid detention by the Thai immigration police.

Thailand’s entry/exit information is subject to change without notice. For the most current information, please see the list of Thai embassies and consulates worldwide and The Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website

HIV/AIDS restrictions. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Thailand. However, these restrictions are generally not enforced. Please verify with the Royal Thai Embassy before you travel.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

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Safety and Security

Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern. Several small-scale bombings occurred near some tourist locations in the Southern provinces in August 2016. In August 2015, an explosion near the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100. The State Department assesses that there is a continued risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including in Thailand.        

The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has banned political gatherings and placed restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened military presence throughout Thailand. Security forces have additional powers, including the right to control movement and search for weapons. Individuals—including foreigners—may be detained for publicly criticizing the NCPO or the monarchy. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor international and Thai media. Avoid areas where there are protest events, demonstrations, large gatherings, or security operations, and follow any instructions and restrictions that  local authorities Issue.

If a demonstration is expected to pass near the U.S. Embassy or Consulate facilities, Embassy and Consulate entrances and functions may be restricted. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites post information about particular demonstrations. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and safety messages.

Far Southern Thailand - Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla: Violence in these provinces has resulted in more than 6,500 deaths since 2004. Martial law is in force in this region. We prohibit our personnel from traveling to this region without prior approval.  We urge you to defer non-emergency travel there. If you must travel to these areas, you should exercise special caution.

For more information on terrorist threats against U.S. citizens worldwide and steps to take as a result of these threats, please see the Worldwide Caution.

Crime:

  • Crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching, and burglary occur in Thailand.
  • Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively rare. However, murders, rapes, and assaults against foreigners do occur.
  • Sexually motivated violence, committed by both Thai citizens and visitors, is most likely to occur at parties, bars, clubs, on beaches, or in other remote/isolated areas.
  • Traveling alone--Exercise caution, stay near other travelers and ensure that friends or family know how to contact you.
  • Taxi and “tuk-tuk” drivers may attempt to charge excessive fares or refuse passengers. You should either request that the driver use the meter or agree on the fare beforehand.
  • At the airport use only public transportation from the airport’s official pick-up area, cars from the limousine counters, or a car from your hotel.
  • Rental scams--Many rental motorbike, jet ski, and car companies will hold your passport until you pay for real or fictitious damages. We advise against using your passport as collateral.
  • Exorbitant bar tab scam--Some bars and entertainment venues will charge exorbitant prices for drinks or unadvertised cover charges and threaten violence if you don’t pay.
  • Other common scams--Scams involving gems, city tours, entertainment venues, and credit cards are common, especially in tourist areas.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by calling 191 or the Tourist Police at 1155 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +66 (0) 2-205-4000 or Consulate at +(66) (53) 107-777.  Remember that only local officials have the authority to investigate and to prosecute a crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws when traveling abroad. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Lèse majesté- Thais hold the monarchy in the highest regard. Making a critical or defamatory comment about the royal family is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years per offense. As an example, purposely tearing Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, may be considered a lèse majesté offense.

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Serious consequences include criminal conviction and imprisonment, particularly in the case of child prostitution. 

Commercial surrogacy is banned.

Illegal drugs carry severe penalties. Expect long jail sentences under harsh conditions, heavy fines, or execution for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Shoplifting can result in large fines and lengthy detention followed by deportation.

Domestic Issues--local police are reluctant to become involved. You may call the Family Services Emergency hotline by dialing 1300 from any Thai phone.

Political gatherings are banned. There are restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

Adventure Tourism, such as zip lining, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and off-roading, is popular in Thailand. However, safety standards, inspections and training may not be equivalent to those in the United States. Travelers should check the safety records of operators.

Possessing counterfeit or pirated goods is a crime in Thailand. For more information see the intellectual property section of the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Customs may enforce strict regulations on Buddha images, firearms, explosives, drugs, radios, books, and recordings, which might be cultural property and/or considered harmful to the public interest.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no known legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Thailand. However, LGBTI groups report that in the case of sexual crimes police tend to downplay sexual abuse claims from LGBTI victims.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Sidewalks and street crossings are not suitable for travelers with mobility issues. Newly constructed buildings, facilities and transportation equipment should be accessible for persons with mobility issues. However, enforcement of these provisions is not uniform.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Some victims of sexual assault or domestic violence find that Thai authorities do not handle such cases with as much sensitivity or consideration for privacy as they would expect in the United States. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

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Health

Medical treatment is generally adequate in Thailand’s urban areas. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya, good facilities exist for routine, long-term, and emergency health care. Basic medical care is available in rural areas, but English-speaking providers are rare.

Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. You should consult with your local physician before traveling and also refer to information on medical tourism from CDC.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept upfront payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medicine for personal use is allowed as long as the amount does not exceed a 30-day supply and you bring the medicine with you. Do not mail medicine to Thailand without first confirming it will be allowed into the country. You can find customs and permit information from Thailand Customs and the Thailand Food and Drug Administration. 

The following diseases are present:

  • Dengue
  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Zika
  • Tuberculosis:
  • Influenza A (H5N1): 
  • Malaria

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Traffic accidents are common in Thailand. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, Thailand had one of the world’s highest traffic-related fatality rates. Bangkok and some parts of Chiang Mai have heavy traffic.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, reckless passing, and failure to obey other traffic laws are common in all regions of Thailand. Some drivers move illegally against the traffic, which moves on the left. Scooters and motorbikes commonly drive on the sidewalks during rush hour and other periods of heavy traffic. Commercial drivers commonly consume alcohol, amphetamines, and other stimulants.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles can be deadly. Riders may incur serious injuries when they are not wearing helmets or proper clothing and footwear. Use of motorcycle helmets is mandatory, but this law is seldom enforced. 
  • Use a pedestrian bridge to cross the road where one is available, including in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wireless Road and on Sukhumvit Road, where many pedestrians have been killed and several U.S. citizens seriously injured. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk. 
  • If you have a traffic accident, you should contact your insurance company for guidance in dealing with the other party and the police.
  • Emergency vehicles: Congested roads and a scarcity of ambulances can make it difficult for accident victims to receive timely medical attention

Public transportation:

  • Mass transit: In Bangkok, the BTS elevated "Skytrain," “Airport Rail Link” mass transit, and the underground MRT systems are reliable, inexpensive, air conditioned, and often faster than Bangkok traffic.
  • Bus system: Bangkok also has an extensive bus system, but buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety.
  • For hire vehicles: Cities outside of Bangkok typically have only rudimentary public transportation and usually do not have metered taxis.  In many cases, motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks, bicycle-powered rickshaws, and pick-up trucks will be the only options available for travelers without their own transport.
  • Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle services such as Uber or GrabTaxi exist, although such services are under legal review.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Rail Safety: While millions of people utilize the State Railway system within Thailand every year, poor track maintenance, outdated equipment and rails, and unmarked train crossings have caused accidents, train derailments, and delays.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Thailand’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

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General Information

Thailand and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since April 1, 2016.

For information concerning travel to Thailand, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Thailand.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Thailand.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709

Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website
Email: AskCI@state.gov

The Thai Central Authority (TCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Office of the Attorney General.  The Thai Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. 

They can be reached at:

Office of the Attorney General
International Affairs Department
Rajaburi Direkriddhi Building
Government Complex
Chaeng Watthana Road, Laksi
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel : +662-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791 /
Email: inter@ago.go.th

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Thailand, the left-behind parent may choose to submit a Hague application to the TCA, either through the USCA or directly, or with the Central Juvenile and Family Court via an attorney.  The TCA can facilitate locating the child and can attempt to contact the taking parent to request a voluntary return on behalf of the left-behind parent.  The Hague application and supporting documents submitted to the TCA must be in English and, if feasible, in Thai.  However, please note that all documents submitted to the Central Juvenile and Family Court must be translated into Thai.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the TCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the USCA or the TCA.  However, applicants will bear the cost (200 Thai baht) for filing the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court and any other related court fees.  If the left-behind parent hires an attorney, attorney fees are the responsibility of the left-behind parent.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Thailand.  The U.S. Department of State can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application for return.

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Visitation/Access

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Thailand.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application for access.

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Retaining an Attorney

The TCA does not represent left-behind parents in court or assign a private attorney to represent left-behind parents. The role of the TCA is administrative and neutral. Left-behind parents should consider retaining an attorney to file the Hague application with the Central Juvenile and Family Court.

The Office of International Peoples’ Rights Protection may provide free legal services (English available).

Contact Information:

Office of the International People's Rights Protection
Office of the Attorney General
Government Complex (Building A)
Chaeng Watthana Road, Lak Si
Bangkok 10210, Thailand
Tel: 0-2142-1532
Fax : 02149-9179-142-1637
Fax : +662-143-9791
Website: http://www.humanrights.ago.go.th/

E-mail: humanrights@ago.go.th

The Lawyers Council of Thailand may also provide legal services.  More information is available on their website (Thai only).

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

Mediation may help parents resolve both abduction and access cases. The Prachabodee Center, which is under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the Human Development Foundation (Mercy Centre) provide informal, private, non-legally binding mediation services. Legally-binding mediation is only available through the courts. 

More information is available here for the Mercy Centre

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Thailand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Thailand.

A domestic adoption of a Thai child cannot be processed under Thailand’s laws and procedures implementing the Hague Adoption Convention.  A domestic adoption will not render a child eligible under U.S. law as a beneficiary of a Form I-800 petition or an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.  In certain circumstances, such an adopted child may be eligible for U.S. immigration benefits through approval of a Form I-130 petition, after two years of physical and legal custody.  For more information on this process, please visit the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Note:  Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008.  Read about Transition Cases.


U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Thailand, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law. 

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, Thailand obliges prospective adoptive parents to meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Thailand:

  • Residency:  Prospective adoption parents (PAPs) must generally work with the central or competent authorities of their country of residence if they have been living in that country for at least six months prior to submitting their dossier to DSDW and will remain in that country until they finalize the adoption.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  PAPs must be at least 25 years old and 15 years older than the child to be adopted.  These requirements also apply when adopting relative children.
  • Marriage:  A PAP may be single or married.  Married PAPs must have been married for at least two years.  The marriage must be legally recognized.  Thai law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
  •  Income:  While there are no formal income requirements, PAPs must provide proof of income (e.g. tax returns, letters from employers stating income, bank statements, etc.) with their request (dossier) to the DSDW to adopt.

Other:  PAPs must be legally qualified under U.S. law to adopt a child.

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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Thailand must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption.  For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Thailand have determined that placement of the child within Thailand has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.  In addition to Thailand’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment:  One or both biological parents must relinquish parental rights of the child in writing. 
  • Abandonment:  The DSDW must attempt to locate the biological parent(s) and must report on their attempts and the result.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Children must be at least 15 years younger than the PAPs.  The DSDW advises that it is rare that a child under the age of one is available for intercountry adoption.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  There are no specific requirements or exceptions when adopting siblings.  It is possible to adopt siblings together or separately.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  None specified.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  If PAPs seek to adopt from one of the four non-governmental organizations that Thailand has licensed to work with the Thai central adoption authority, the Child Adoption Center within the DSDW, the PAPs may be required to complete a six (6) month pre-adoptive placement.  This pre-adoptive placement may be completed in Thailand or in the country of residence.  The DSDW may waive this requirement when adopting a relative child. 
  • Other:  It is not possible to apply to adopt more than one Thai child at a time, unless the children are siblings or step-siblings.
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How to Adopt

WARNING:  Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention.  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Thailand before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Thailand’s Adoption Authority 
Child Adoption Center (CAC), Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW)

In addition, four non-governmental organizations are licensed to work with the CAC in cases where a child is to be placed abroad.  Contact information for each organization is available in the “Contact Information” section.

  • Friends for All Children
  • Holt Sahathai Foundation
  • Thai Red Cross Foundation
  • The Pattaya Orphanage

Note:  If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Thailand as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or, 3) the adoption was completed.  Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  For more information, read about Transition Cases

The Process

Because Thailand is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Thailand must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements.  A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below.  You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.  Adoptions completed out of order may not confer immigration benefits on the adopted child (i.e. it is possible the child would not qualify for an immigrant visa if adopted out of order).

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Thailand
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt or gain legal custody of child in Thailand
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home


1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider  

The first step in adopting a child from Thailand is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases.  Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Thailand.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case.  The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations.  Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt  

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A.   Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Thailand as part of your adoption dossier.  Thailand’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Thai law. 

3.  Be Matched with a Child in Thailand 

If both the United States and Thailand determine that you are eligible to adopt and the DSDW has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the DSDW in Thailand may provide you with a referral for a child.  The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Thailand.  The DSDW will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child.  If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the DSDW in Thailand.  Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption 

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800).  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant. 

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Thailand.  A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities. 

WARNING:  The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Thai Central Authority (DSDW) in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Thailand where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Thai Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Thailand before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

5.  Adopt (or Gain Legal Custody) of Child in Thailand 

Remember:  Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Thailand, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Thailand. 

The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Thailand generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  The DSDW matches the child with the PAPs.  Once DSDW is notified of their acceptance of the match, it forwards the application to the Child Adoption Board (CAB), part of the CAC.  After receiving official authorization from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, which oversees the DSDW, the DSDW schedules an interview between the PAPs and CAB.  (Note: If married, both PAPs must attend this interview.)  DSDW also issues the documents necessary for the child’s travel. 
  • Role of the Court:  There is no Thai court component.  Instead, PAPs may either sign a Memorandum of Agreement agreeing to fulfill the CAB’s and DSDW’s requirements to work with the accredited ASP to complete the six-month pre-adoption period, provide three required reports, and seek CAB’s approval prior to adopting the child in the country of residence or they may complete the six-month pre-adoption and reporting period in Thailand and, upon successful completion of that period, register the child with the appropriate local Thai District Office.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  The ASP assembles the application forms and supporting documents for submission to DSDW.
  • Time Frame:  Recent reports indicate that waiting periods range from approximately 24 to 30 months from the time the U.S. ASP submits the PAPs’ paperwork to the DSDW to the time the child is placed with the PAPs for the six month pre-adoption placement period.
  • Adoption Application:  PAPs and their ASPs must submit an adoption application to the DSDW.
  • Adoption Fees:  In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
  • Documents Required:  The following is a list of documents that the ASP must submit to DSDW on behalf of the PAPs, along with the adoption application:
    • Home Study – The home study must be conducted or endorsed by one of the DSDW approved agencies.  Any home study done by a non-DSDW approved agency must obtain an endorsement from a DSDW approved agency.  The non-DSDW approved agency must agree to supervise the six-month pre-adoption (or post-placement) period.  (To satisfy U.S. law, the home study must also be performed or supervised by a U.S. Hague accredited ASP.)
    • Confirmation Statement – The format of this document varies somewhat, but generally includes the ASP’s confirmation to supervise post-placement requirements.
    • Formal Commitment Statement – If the PAPs reside in Thailand, a DSDW social worker will supervise the pre-adoptive (or post-placement) period and conduct the three bi-monthly home visits.  Once DSDW is satisfied with the pre-adoptive placement, DSDW will report its findings to the CAB, who will approve the child for adoption registration.  PAPs must sign a Formal Commitment Statement acknowledging that they understand this process

      If the PAPs do not reside in Thailand, the ASP must formally commit to supervising a pre-adoptive placement in the country of residence for at least six months, conducting at least three bi-monthly progress reports, and providing those reports to the DSDW.

      In cases in which the adoption will be finalized outside of Thailand, the DSDW will issue a Memoranda of Agreement, which the PAPs sign. When adoptions are finalized in Thailand, DSDW issues a shorter version of this memorandum, not signed by the parents.

      • Medical Certificate – The certificate verifies the PAPs’ good physical health, mental stability, and infertility (if applicable).
      • Birth Certificates
      • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
      • Proof of Termination of Previous Marriages – Death Certificate of spouse or Divorce Decree.
      • Proof of Occupation and Income – For example, tax returns, letters from employers, and/or bank statements
      • Complete Financial Statement – The statement should indicate all assets and liabilities and may include tax returns, bank statements, and/or an explanatory letter from the PAPs.
      • Recommendations from Two Responsible Persons
      • Proof of ASP’s U.S. Hague Accreditation
      • Photographs of PAPs – Four (4.5 cm x 6 cm) photographs from each prospective adoptive parent and their children. 

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

  • Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist.  Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents

6.  Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that you have adopted or obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, there are a few more steps to take before you can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
If a Thai child does not already have a birth certificate when s/he is taken to live at an orphanage, officials at the orphanage will arrange for the issuance of a birth certificate with the local District Registration Office, either in the jurisdiction where the child was born, if known, or in the jurisdiction where the orphanage is located.

Thai Passport
An adopted child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so s/he will need a travel document (passport) in order to travel from Thailand.  The orphanage will arrange for the issuance of this travel document with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and present it to the adoptive family before the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

The passport costs 35 USD and processing takes two business days if picking up in person or five business days for delivery.  Obtaining the passport is part of the overall services provided by the ASP.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  After and adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Bangkok for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.  Read more about the Medical Examination.

[POST-ADOPTION/POST-PLACEMENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS]

Adoptive parents are required to register their adoption with the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

If prospective adoptive parents did not complete the six-month pre-adoption (post-placement) period in Thailand, then the U.S. Hague accredited ASP must submit to DSDW three bi-monthly reports detailing the child’s progress in adjusting to his or her new family and environment and his or her general welfare before the PAPs can finalize the adoption in U.S. state court. 

We strongly urge you to comply with Thai post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

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Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Thailand
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Thailand, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.  

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Thailand, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

POST-ADOPTION RESOURCES

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. 

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents. 

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Thailand
Consular Section
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 205-4000
Fax:  (66-2) 253-6250
Email:  visasbkk@state.gov
Internet: https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/bangkok/

U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, Thailand
387 Wichayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Tel:  001-800-13-202-2457 (outside the U.S.), 1-800-202-2457 (inside the U.S.)
Fax:  (66-53) 252-633
Email:  conschiangmai@state.gov
Internet:  https://th.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulate/chiang-mai/

Note:  The U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai does not handle adoptions.  All adoption cases are handled by the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

Thai Adoption Authority
Child Adoption Center (CAC)
Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW)
255 Rajvithi Road
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 354-7500 ext. 412-419
Email:  adoption@loxinfo.co.th

In addition, four non-governmental organizations are licensed to work with DSDW's Child Adoption Center in cases where a child is to be placed abroad:

Friends for All Children
104/8 Soi Ronnachai 2, Setsiri Road
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 279-1059
Fax:  (66-2) 617-1995
E-mail:  ffac_thailand@hotmail.com

Holt Sahathai Foundation
850/33 Soi Sukhumvit 71                   Mailing Address
Sukhumvit Road, Wattana                 P.O. Box Nana Nua 1478
Bangkok 10110, Thailand                   Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 381-8834-6
Fax:  (66-2) 381-8837
E-mail:  sahathai@asiaaccess.net.th

Thai Red Cross Foundation
Vajiralongkorn Building
King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital
Henri Dunant Road, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel:  (66-2) 256-4178, (66-2) 256-4207 ext. 201
Fax:  (66-2) 256-4277
E-mail:  trcch@redcross.or.th
Internet:  redcross.or.th/trcch

The Pattaya Orphanage
P.O. Box 300
Pattaya Post Office, Pattaya City
Chonburi 20260, Thailand
Tel:  (66-38) 423-468, (66-38) 416-426
Fax:  (66-38) 416-425, (66-38) 716-204
Internet:  thepattayaorphanage.org

Embassy of Thailand
The Royal Thai Embassy
1024 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Tel:  (202) 944-3600
Internet:  thaiembdc.org

Thailand also has consulates in: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Office of Children’s Issues

U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  AdoptionUSCA@state.gov     
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
E-2 2 $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 6 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
I $15.00 Multiple 6 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 $15.00 Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
R-2 $15.00 Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 60 Months
V-2 None Multiple 60 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 60 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Note: Bangkok is divided into 36 districts. Marriage, birth and adoption certificates must be requested from the district office that recorded the original certificate. Districts in Bangkok are listed below under Visa Services.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. The issuance of birth certificates in Thailand began in Bangkok in 1917. Records of birth are often lacking for people born in Bangkok before World War II and for those born in other areas of the country up until the 1970s. Birth Certificates are issued by "Amphur," (geographic subdivision roughly equivalent to a county in the U.S.) district authorities having jurisdiction over the place of birth. There may be a fee for this service.

A Thai citizen older than 15 and born in Thailand, whose birth was not registered, must present in its stead a household registration, together with a Thai national identity card ("bat prachachon"), and may also be required to submit additional proof of the claimed relationship.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Available. These are issued by the "Amphur" district authorities where the marriage or divorce took place. Thai diplomatic missions issue consular marriage and divorce decrees. The validity of these decrees depends on local law in the jurisdiction in which the marriage or divorce occurs. Most jurisdictions in the United States do not recognize these decrees as valid.

Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Thailand.

Adoption Certificates

Available. Certificates are issued by the Nai Amphur of the district of registration. The adoptive parents, accompanied by two witnesses, must legally register the adoption with the registrar of the Amphur.

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Police certificates are obtainable from:

Section 3, Sub-Division 2. General Staff Division
Special Branch
Royal Thai Police Department
Rama I Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330

Residents of Thailand requesting a Thai police certificate will need to present two recent photographs (2 inch x 2 inch), the original and a copy of his/her passport, identification card, household registration, name change certificate (if any), marriage and divorce certificate (if any). Thai males aged 17-45 must also present military record or proof of exemption from military service.

Non-residents should send their requests to the Royal Thai Police Department at the above address with the required documents and a fingerprint taken by a police authority at their place of residence.

Normal processing time is two to three weeks. There is no processing fee.

Prison Records

Available, from the First Section, Second Division, Scientific Branch, Police Department, Bangkok or the Penitentiary Department, Bangkok.

Military Records

Please check back for update.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update.

Other Records

Not applicable.

 

Visa Issuing Posts

Bangkok, Thailand (Embassy) -- All visa categories

Mailing Address:
APO AP 96546-7200

Street Address:
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Tel: 011 (66-2) 205-4049

Chiang Mai, Thailand (Consulate General) -- Nonimmigrant visas, except K

Mailing Address:
Box C, APO AP 96546-4040

Street Address:
387 Wichayanond Road
50300 Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tel: 011 (66-53) 252-629

Visa Services

Bangkok handles immigrant visas for all of Thailand and nonimmigrant visas for the following provinces:

  • Amnat Charoen
  • Ang Thong
  • Ayutthaya
  • Buri Ram
  • Chachoengsao
  • Chai Nat
  • Chaiyaphum
  • Chanthaburi
  • Chon Buri
  • Chumphum
  • Kalasin
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Loei
  • Lop Buri
  • Maha Sarakham
  • Mukdahan
  • Nakhon Nayok
  • Nakhon Pathom
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Narathiwat
  • Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Nong Khai
  • Nonthaburi
  • Pathum Thani
  • Pattani
  • Phang Nga
  • Phattalung
  • Phetchaburi
  • Phuket
  • Prachin Buri
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Ranong
  • Ratchaburi
  • Rayong
  • Roi Et
  • Sa Kaeo
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Samut Prakan
  • Samut Sakhon
  • Samut Songkhram
  • Saraburi
  • Satun
  • Si Sa Ket
  • Sing Buri
  • Songkhia
  • Suphan Buri
  • Surat Thani
  • Surin
  • Trang
  • Trat
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Uthai Thani
  • Yala
  • Yasothon

Chiang Mai issues nonimmigrant visas for the following provinces:

  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Lampang
  • Lamphun
  • Mae Hong Son
  • Nan
  • Phayao
  • Phelchabum
  • Phichit
  • Phitsanulok
  • Phrae
  • Sukhothai
  • Tak
  • Uttaradit

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 684-8493 (202) 459-9536

Chicago, IL (312) 664-3129 (312) 219-8663

Los Angeles, CA (323) 962-9574 (323) 962-2128

New York, NY (212) 745-1770 (212) 754-1907

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone
+ (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049
Emergency
+(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000
Fax
+(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103
Thailand Country Map

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Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.