Getting a bank draft is one of the important things to do to kick off your process of having your wedding in Hong Kong. You need this for the filing of application for your Notice of Intended Marriage or simply referred to in Hong Kong as “The Notice”. We applied in February and got married in Hong Kong in April 2017. I have posted a list of documents to submit to complete the process here.
I got asked a number of times about where and how to get a bank draft for the wedding in Hong Kong, so I think it is better to answer these queries at once. Please be mindful, however, that I am talking about my experience which could vary from yours, e.g your location in the Philippines 🙂
When we started preparing for our wedding in Hong Kong, we read countless blogs, noted the necessary information and highlighted the details which we might have forgotten otherwise. (That’s why mein Mann would joke about me and my OC approach to all our papers) I have read that most couples (Filipino – Foreign) who married in Hong Kong had their bank draft from BPI or Wells Fargo. Philippine banks can issue drafts but, be sure to get yours from banks accredited by Hong Kong. You can ask this from the Marriage Registration Office through email.
There are lots of BPI branches here, however, they no longer issue bank drafts in HK dollars. And since I no longer maintain an account there, I was looking for some other options. There was also no Wells Fargo branch where I am living, so you can only imagine how worried I became when I found out that I can’t get one from BPI anymore, unless, of course, I will open an account there with a specific balance to avail of the service.
After searching for possible alternative, I discovered that Maybank issues drafts accepted in Hong Kong. Other than that, it is also an affiliate of Wells Fargo, so, basically, it’s a great alternative. The only concern was, Maybank does not issue drafts in Hong Kong dollars, so you have to get one in US dollars. With this, you have to add HKD100 on the top of HKD305 as a handling fee. I was advised by the IMMD in Hong Kong that we had to pay a total of USD53 for the application fee. Maybank also charge USD7 as the processing fee. So, expect to spend USD60 for the application.
To get a bank draft from Maybank, you must have an account in the branch where you intend to get your draft. (Which goes with all banks, I supposed). I am just lucky a close friend of mine knows someone who works in one of the branches, so he agreed to use his personal account to get my transaction through. (Speaking about the importance of networking 😀 )
I guess, one thing that might worry you when getting the bank draft is the fact that the payee’s name might be too long to fit the paper. Remember to have your bank draft payable to The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. What the bank did was abbreviate the name to “The Gov’t of the Hong Kong Special Admin. Region“. Don’t worry, abbreviating the name, if done correctly, won’t cause you problems. 🙂
It took me about 45 minutes to have this entire process completed. 🙂