The cabinet on Tuesday approved new ministerial regulations requiring Thai citizenship seekers to pass a Thai language test, with fees for citizenship applications going up by twofold, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said.
Ms Rachada said that the Interior Ministry had proposed amendments to Thai citizenship regulations, which had been imposed since 1967.
The old regulations required applicants for Thai citizenship to have the ability to speak and understand Thai.
Under the new regulations, applicants must pass a Thai language test provided by a citizenship subcommittee or have certificates from the Education Ministry to prove that they had completed at least primary education in the kingdom.
Thai citizenship seekers who live in Bangkok can submit their request to the Department of Provincial Administration, while those in other provinces can do so at respective provincial halls. Those living abroad can contact respective Thai embassies or Thai consulates-general.
Deadlines for citizenship consideration are set at 90 days for local applications and 120 days for requests filed abroad. The deadlines can be extended twice, up to 30 days each. The old regulations did not set a deadline.
Fees rise from 5,000 baht to 10,000 baht for an application for adults, from 2,500 baht to 5,000 baht for children and from 500 baht to 1,000 baht for a citizenship certificate.