Getting married in Hong Kong is perhaps one of the fastest way to get reunited with your loved one who happens to live in a country different from yours. Most likely, it goes with the fact that the process to get the paperwork accomplished is much easier than doing it here in the Philippines. For example, when a Filipina is marrying a German (my case), it would take at least 3 to 5 months to process all the papers for his legal capacity to contract marriage or Ehefähigkeitszeugnis. Your German fiance will also have to visit the German Embassy in Manila to pick up the the certificate of legal capacity to marry. This would need another 2 to 3 days. After he has secured his Ehefähigkeitszeugnis, it is time to start your application at the locality where you are based. If you wanted to have a grand wedding or even a simple one with your immediate family around, be mindful that this would take so much time. This is why, for a Filipina and a foreigner, getting married in Hong Kong is the fastest route to take.
Getting married in Hong Kong was something we never thought of for some time. Chris and I had been thinking about the next step in our relationship, and it means, we wanted to take a leap towards being together, proximity wise and of course, legally. With him being German and I, a Pinay, many would expect we will tie the knot either in DE (or NL where he is based) or in the Philippines. This is something we also consider but, behind the ideas of doing this where we should, the trail for the paperwork needed from us (from my side with 90% of this burden), is quite overwhelming. I have a full time job that requires I oversee every single detail that is to be done and this makes this really challenging. Added to this is the complicated schemes involved in marrying a foreigner in the Philippines. So we thought of many possible options, getting married in Hong Kong being one.
But why get married in Hong Kong, you may ask…
- We are convinced the process is quick and that it does not involve the stress of having to deal with many government office-hopping and the fees it incurs trying to get the marriage license (which will, of course, demand tons of paperwork beforehand, plus under the table stuff to accomplish so quickly). “More fun in the Philippines!” as he would always say. 😀
- Hong Kong is a member of the Apostille Convention. That means that there is no need to go through the lengthy process of having your marriage certificate “red-ribboned” or notarized to be considered genuine in many countries. Other than the 2-3 month wait for your marriage records to be available at the National Statistics Authority (formerly NSO), you must have it red-ribboned by the DFA. That consumes time again. In Hong Kong, you can get your marriage certificate right after the ceremony, have it sealed by an apostille service, and after 2 days, it is good to go. (that is how our research have gone so far). An Apostille is issued by a designated authority in a country where the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents is practiced.
- It is an all-in trip for us (wedding, honeymoon, and travel to a neutral ground). 🙂
- The communication with the government authorities in Hong Kong is much more smoother than in the Philippines.
If you and your better half want to make the process swift so you can be together faster, skipping the red tape and countless processes in PH, then the option getting married in Hong Kong is for you.
So since Chris and I are considering this option, we decided to give the process a try.
How to get started?
The first step is the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an example of what we did:
What is amazing about transactions related to getting married in Hong Kong is the prompt and complete replies to your queries. I sent an email March 25th and received a reply 3 days later, all with complete information and instructions. (Other than what to write exactly on the “Surname, Name” box of the Page 1 of the form. I will talk about this more on my next entry, as I am trying to figure out what to do exactly. Now, I am waiting for the email in response to my query).
Though there are available forms you can download from links you find on blogs online, I suggest you send an email of inquiry. The forms you download may be outdated. I have confirmed this as Hong Kong sent me an updated one. The reply from the HK Government is quite lengthy, but be sure to read them thoroughly as it contains useful, specific information essential to completing the process.
After you have read the instructions, it is time to prepare for the paperwork.
What do you need to get your wedding schedule?
The following should be enclosed in an envelop:
- Photocopies of your and your bf/gf’s birth certificate (International Birth Certificate if the same document isn’t in English)
- Photocopy of your passports
- Photocopy of CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) for the Pinay partner
- Notarized Page 1 of the Notice of Intended Marriage
- Pages 2 and 3 of the Forms sent by the HK government (if both of you were never married)
- Bank draft worth HK$305 as the fee for giving and exhibiting the notice. (I will talk about this in another blog entry soon)
The complete set of requirements should be sent to
The Marriage Registration and Records Office
3/F, Low Block Queensway Government Offices
66 Queensway, Hong Kong
I sent our application through express mail, and paid ₱ 917.00 with maximum 7 days for the door to door delivery. You see, it was delivered on time. 🙂
I received a reply from this email address: email@example.com about the update of our request. However, we were told that we need to send a new notarized copy of the Page 1 as I actually MUST put my middle name on the form (which is confusing for me as it just clearly asked for the name / given name only). I felt like.. ‘Ah! Why didn’t it say so clearly”, but I had to comply anyway. 🙂 I sent a reply to HK regarding the middle name and hope to get a clear explanation why. 😀
It is only after all requirements are met that Hong Kong will send to you the possible wedding date. 🙂
Are you also planning to get married in Hong Kong? Drop me a line for some queries. I would be happy to help you out.
For the complete information, may it with papers, hotel, budget, itinerary, route guides in Hong Kong, etc.. please browse the posts on this link.
Thanks for dropping by! 🙂