June 03, 2014

Marriage Procedures for Foreigners in the Philippines

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    If you and your Filipino fiancé/fiancée wish to get married here in the Philippines, there are only a few steps you need to accomplish before you tie the knot.

    Step 1 – Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage Certification

    Get a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage issued by a diplomatic or consular representative of your country.

    This is in accordance with  Article 21 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which states:

    “When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.

    Stateless persons or refugees from other countries shall, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity herein required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing such capacity to contract marriage.”

    You must appear personally before a consular officer.

    Step 2 – Marriage License Application

    The marriage license can be applied at the office of the Philippine Civil Registrar of the city where your Filipino partner is a resident. The following documents must be presented:

    • Certificate of legal capacity

    • Passport

    • ID picture

    • Copy revised family registration or expulsion (if there is marital status in the past)

    • Documentation of parental consent or advice if applicable

    For the Filipino applicant, the following documents must be presented:

    • Birth certificate or Baptismal certificate. If widow or widower, certified true copy of death certificate of late spouse

    • Community Tax Certificate

    • ID picture

    • Certificate of Family Planning and Marriage (the couple are required to attend a counselling seminar before the certificate is issued)

    Marriage applicants aged 18 to 21 is required to submit written parental consent. Applicants aged 22 to 24 must have received parental advice.

    Before the marriage license is released by the registrar’s office, there is a ten-day waiting period to inform the public about the upcoming marriage and to entertain objections if there are any.

    The marriage license is only valid for 120 days from the date issued and may be used anywhere in the Philippines. If it has not been used during that period, it automatically expires.

    Step 3 – Marriage Ceremony and Marriage Registration

    The marriage ceremony must be solemnized by an individual with proper legal authority such as a priest, a judge, or any other person authorized by the government of the Philippines. After the ceremony, the presiding official, the husband, the wife, and at least 2 witnesses of legal age must sign the marriage certificate.

    Within 15 days after the marriage, the marriage certificate must be forwarded to the city hall and registered at the local civil registry where the Filipino spouse resides.

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