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Affirmation of Marital Status for British Nationals

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I applied for a copy of my decree absolute to my court in the UK.

I had the copy back this morning, but the decree absolute certificate haven't any court stamp.

Im getting a little worried is this normal not to have a stamp ? will a solicitor and the FCO office in Milton Keynes legalisation the document without a court stamp ?

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4 hours ago, dayo202 said:

I applied for a copy of my decree absolute to my court in the UK.

I had the copy back this morning, but the decree absolute certificate haven't any court stamp.

Im getting a little worried is this normal not to have a stamp ? will a solicitor and the FCO office in Milton Keynes legalisation the document without a court stamp ?

I would give the British Embassy in Bangkok a ring on 02 305 8333. Go through to Consular Section and chat with them before having to spend money on postage to and fro from the UK. With the way things keep changing here you may not need to go up that road! 

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On 12/24/2018 at 10:44 AM, worrab said:

No. You will need to visit the Embassy first to get their official stamps before going to the MFA. 

Now I'm confused as it says in the guidance notes from the FCO which is issued by the embassy in Bkk that a visit to the embassy won't be necessary once it's been returned by then and the Thai embassy 

 

That was from the link that Worab kindly gave 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714089/Legalisation_info_June_2018.pdf

Edited by silverdales

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44 minutes ago, silverdales said:

Now I'm confused as it says in the guidance notes from the FCO which is issued by the embassy in Bkk that a visit to the embassy won't be necessary once it's been returned by then and the Thai embassy 

 

That was from the link that Worab kindly gave 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714089/Legalisation_info_June_2018.pdf

Trust me......you will need to go to the Embassy as they have to see the documents before they sign off and officially stamp the Affirmation of Marriage.

 

I think that comment refers to other documents not required for an Affirmation of Marriage whereby you can go straight to the MFA.

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Ok, first time on this forum. Following on from this topic, for how long is the affirmation valid? Is there a certain amount of time I need to get the document certified by the MFA and get the marriage registered within? I have the added complication of living in Bahrain so am trying to do this while circumventing three countries. Thanks in advance.

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To add more confusion to this topic, I am now getting conflicting information from the embassy and a solicitor in BKK. The embassy says I need to get my decree absolute legalised in the UK, however the solicitor says this is not necessary. My original decree absolute is sufficient they say, and they will assist me at the embassy, with myself and my partner completing the process within 7 days, with myself being present on the first day and both of us present on the last day. Getting the docs legalised in the UK will involve me going there myself so obviously a process I don't want to go through if not necessary.

Does a solicitor have some special dispensation to avoid this, or am I getting misinformed? I have to say, I spoken to the embassy a few times on this subject and am not particularly impressed with the help i have received. Emails going unanswered and conflicting information, etc. Indeed, I just asked the lady on the phone if the requirement to get my docs legalised in the UK was a new requirement and she said she had been there three years and it had been a requirement ever since she had been there, despite hearing elsewhere it had only been a requirement since June 2018. Hence I thought I would try and enlist a solicitor, pay the fee and avoid getting tripped up. The company is Siam Legal International and I've seen mixed reviews but mostly positive.



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46 minutes ago, Seanyboy said:

To add more confusion to this topic, I am now getting conflicting information from the embassy and a solicitor in BKK. The embassy says I need to get my decree absolute legalised in the UK, however the solicitor says this is not necessary. My original decree absolute is sufficient they say, and they will assist me at the embassy, with myself and my partner completing the process within 7 days, with myself being present on the first day and both of us present on the last day. Getting the docs legalised in the UK will involve me going there myself so obviously a process I don't want to go through if not necessary.

Does a solicitor have some special dispensation to avoid this, or am I getting misinformed? I have to say, I spoken to the embassy a few times on this subject and am not particularly impressed with the help i have received. Emails going unanswered and conflicting information, etc. Indeed, I just asked the lady on the phone if the requirement to get my docs legalised in the UK was a new requirement and she said she had been there three years and it had been a requirement ever since she had been there, despite hearing elsewhere it had only been a requirement since June 2018. Hence I thought I would try and enlist a solicitor, pay the fee and avoid getting tripped up. The company is Siam Legal International and I've seen mixed reviews but mostly positive.



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Wow.............this does sound a bit of a mess.

Firstly, I have used Siam Legal in the past to get my then G/F's visa to visit the UK then to help me with opening bank accounts and getting my first extension of stay based on retirement. Could not fault their service.

Secondly, I am surprised at the lack of help from the Embassy. Did you speak with someone from Consular Services who are the ones in the know? I am not sure why this would take 7 days though as all is done in 20 mins with the Affirmation of Marriage once you have all the correct documents. 

The process via the UK would not need you to go back there but will involve you needing either family or friends there to help out and will take about 3 weeks and cost around £80 to obtain including all fees, couriers etc. 

The Affirmation for Marriage you can do yourself with the aid of computer, obviously, and a printer and costs you nothing. 

The legalisation process for the decree absolute is only required by the Embassy so they can then officially stamp the Affirmation of Marriage. The MFA do not want to see the decree absolute, just the Affirmation and the colour photocopy of your Passport, ( done by the Embassy).

PM if you need more info.  

 

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Wow.............this does sound a bit of a mess.
Firstly, I have used Siam Legal in the past to get my then G/F's visa to visit the UK then to help me with opening bank accounts and getting my first extension of stay based on retirement. Could not fault their service.
Secondly, I am surprised at the lack of help from the Embassy. Did you speak with someone from Consular Services who are the ones in the know? I am not sure why this would take 7 days though as all is done in 20 mins with the Affirmation of Marriage once you have all the correct documents. 
The process via the UK would not need you to go back there but will involve you needing either family or friends there to help out and will take about 3 weeks and cost around £80 to obtain including all fees, couriers etc. 
The Affirmation for Marriage you can do yourself with the aid of computer, obviously, and a printer and costs you nothing. 
The legalisation process for the decree absolute is only required by the Embassy so they can then officially stamp the Affirmation of Marriage. The MFA do not want to see the decree absolute, just the Affirmation and the colour photocopy of your Passport, ( done by the Embassy).
PM if you need more info.  
 
Sorry if I didn't make it clear, the 7 days refers to the solicitor completing the marriage process from start to finish, including translations, going to the MFA, etc. The problem I have is that I don't really have anyone i can get to go to the Thai embassy in the UK for me, only my parents who are both in their 70's, so I will have to go myself.

As far as I know the lady I spoke to was from consular services, and she said that legalising the decree absolute had always been a requirement (3+ years) to get the affirmation stamped. This conflicts with what I have read regards various other foreigners getting married in Thailand. She also said I may need other documents such as criminal record checks, medical certificates etc, for the wedding, but that was down to me to check with the Thai authorities. It sounds like a minefield, hence why I spoke to a solicitor, who says none of this is necessary.

I guess I will have to get both the solicitor and the embassy to confirm in writing exactly whether the decree absolute needs to be legalised. If they conflict then I will have to put them on to each other. It is cheaper to pay the solicitor than pay for a flight back to the UK so I hope it is not required.



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On 11/3/2018 at 10:48 PM, The Names Bond said:

One of my mistakes was that I had not typed an apostrophe in the word "mother's. 

bloody  ridiculous!!!

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3 hours ago, Seanyboy said:

Sorry if I didn't make it clear, the 7 days refers to the solicitor completing the marriage process from start to finish, including translations, going to the MFA, etc. The problem I have is that I don't really have anyone i can get to go to the Thai embassy in the UK for me, only my parents who are both in their 70's, so I will have to go myself.

As far as I know the lady I spoke to was from consular services, and she said that legalising the decree absolute had always been a requirement (3+ years) to get the affirmation stamped. This conflicts with what I have read regards various other foreigners getting married in Thailand. She also said I may need other documents such as criminal record checks, medical certificates etc, for the wedding, but that was down to me to check with the Thai authorities. It sounds like a minefield, hence why I spoke to a solicitor, who says none of this is necessary.

I guess I will have to get both the solicitor and the embassy to confirm in writing exactly whether the decree absolute needs to be legalised. If they conflict then I will have to put them on to each other. It is cheaper to pay the solicitor than pay for a flight back to the UK so I hope it is not required.



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You do not have to go to the Thai Embassy. The easiest way is to courier the document from FCO to the Thai Embassy. This you can do online when making the arrangements/payment with the FCO. Then get your parents to send a SAE to the Thai Embassy with the £10 payment, cash or postal order. then the Thai Embassy will send the documents to them and all they have to do then is arrange DHL/Fedex or whoever to get the documents couriered back to you in Thailand. No need to fly to the UK. Only used courier for security and speed.

I did all this in Nov 2018 and got married in Dec. Total cost for all UK, Embassy and MFA comes to around £160. Once the documents are back, make an appointment with the Embassy for the first stage, then go to MFA for translations and their stamps. If you use an agent there then I would advise on 2nd floor at top of the stairs. 2100 baht for all translations and stamps then they will post back to you EMS.

Personally I would do this avenue to make sure you have covered your bases and could be done in 4 or so weeks. And is cheaper than Siam Legal or getting it wrong.

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If you use the agent in the MFA and ask them to post it back to a Thai address by EMS .. how long until you get it back? It was my understanding if you wait yourself it's next day? Thanks 

21 hours ago, worrab said:

You do not have to go to the Thai Embassy. The easiest way is to courier the document from FCO to the Thai Embassy. This you can do online when making the arrangements/payment with the FCO. Then get your parents to send a SAE to the Thai Embassy with the £10 payment, cash or postal order. then the Thai Embassy will send the documents to them and all they have to do then is arrange DHL/Fedex or whoever to get the documents couriered back to you in Thailand. No need to fly to the UK. Only used courier for security and speed.

I did all this in Nov 2018 and got married in Dec. Total cost for all UK, Embassy and MFA comes to around £160. Once the documents are back, make an appointment with the Embassy for the first stage, then go to MFA for translations and their stamps. If you use an agent there then I would advise on 2nd floor at top of the stairs. 2100 baht for all translations and stamps then they will post back to you EMS.

Personally I would do this avenue to make sure you have covered your bases and could be done in 4 or so weeks. And is cheaper than Siam Legal or getting it wrong.

9

Edited by silverdales

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36 minutes ago, silverdales said:

If you use the agent in the MFA and ask them to post it back to a Thai address by EMS .. how long until you get it back? It was my understanding if you wait yourself it's next day? Thanks 

9

It would be 2-3 days not next day I'm afraid. You leave the papers with the MFA and then they will tell you when to come back. We went to MFA on a Tuesday after the Embassy saw the agent, (good English spoken by her), paid the fee and had the documents back by EMS  on the Friday.

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You do not have to go to the Thai Embassy. The easiest way is to courier the document from FCO to the Thai Embassy. This you can do online when making the arrangements/payment with the FCO. Then get your parents to send a SAE to the Thai Embassy with the £10 payment, cash or postal order. then the Thai Embassy will send the documents to them and all they have to do then is arrange DHL/Fedex or whoever to get the documents couriered back to you in Thailand. No need to fly to the UK. Only used courier for security and speed.
I did all this in Nov 2018 and got married in Dec. Total cost for all UK, Embassy and MFA comes to around £160. Once the documents are back, make an appointment with the Embassy for the first stage, then go to MFA for translations and their stamps. If you use an agent there then I would advise on 2nd floor at top of the stairs. 2100 baht for all translations and stamps then they will post back to you EMS.
Personally I would do this avenue to make sure you have covered your bases and could be done in 4 or so weeks. And is cheaper than Siam Legal or getting it wrong.
Ok, thanks for that info, useful to know.

However, another interesting conversation with the Embassy Consular Department yesterday when I tried to get them to commit in writing that I needed to get my Decree Absolute legalised.

I spoke to a different lady from the day before and explained the previous days conversation about how she had said that I needed my Decree Absolute legalised. I was then told that this information was absolutely incorrect, and as long as my Decree Absolute was issued by a UK court, the the original document alone was suffucient. I was then challenged to find anything on their website which specifically said this was required to get the affirmation stamped. I explained that this was the argument I had had the previous day, so she put me on hold whilst she went to check with the head of the Apostille Department. She came back after checking and said that she was 100% correct. She refused to put it in writing as for some reason they are not allowed, but gave me her name and took my details, and told me refer back to her in the case of any issues.

Also, the same day, I received an email from my solicitor saying that he had just done an affirmation that day at the British Embassy using only the original Decree Absolute.

So I guess you "pays your money and takes your choice". My problem is that I am on a very tight timescale for unusual reasons. My Fiance is recently pregnant and we both living in the Middle East. As I'm sure you're aware, pregnancy out of wedlock is illegal there so I have had to send my Fiance back to Thailand until we are married. I have an appointment at the Embassy already, and risk missing it if I send the docs back to be legalised, should it not all go smoothly.

If it is specifically written somewhere that the original UK issued Decree Absolute needs to be legalised to get the affirmation stamped, then I stand corrected but I think I will take my chances. Below is a screenshot of the email I received from my solicitor yesterday.20190105_091524.jpeg

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