Saying I Do to the love of your life and promising life together is one of the best chapters in a Couple’s Life. If you are a Filipino and a Foreigner couple planning to have a wedding in the Philippines, this guide is for you. Here are steps on how Filipinos and foreign nationals can get married in the Philippines.
Filipino to Filipino weddings is easier to process. If you are getting married to a Foreign National, then your partner would need a Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage or a document that equals that. It will prove that your partner is indeed single and can marry you and that no one objects to your Marriage. You don’t want to experience “Itigil ang Kasal” scenes like the movies, right? So follow these steps to your happy ever after.
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Steps On How Filipinos and Foreign Nationals Can Get Married in the Philippines
STEP 1: Get a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (Foreign National)
This is a certificate stating that there are no legal impediments on your Marriage with your Foreign Spouse. Your foreign partner can marry as there are no objections of Marriage in the town s/he resides; s/he is not married to another person or is already divorced, etc.
Foreigners may get it in their Consulate or Embassy based in the Philippines. Getting it may take a day in some Embassies, but there are others like Switzerland 4-6 months. Make sure you have an appointment and that documents are complete for a faster transaction. Filipino Fiancés can’t claim in on behalf of the foreigner.
Common Requirements in getting a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage
1. Certificate Of No Impediment (CNI) to Marry – This can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office in the foreigner’s place of residence. Getting a CNI depends on your home or country as they will make a notice and check if there are no objections if your partner is to be wed. It’s kind of like the public notice from getting a marriage license. The foreigner can also get this through the Embassy in the Philippines.
2. Original Passport or Birth Certificate
3. Divorce Decree absolute or death certificate of a deceased spouse, if applicable – should your Foreign partner be divorced, a divorce decree stating that the Marriage is terminated should be submitted. If the foreigner is widowed, provide the Death Certificate of the spouse.
4. Processing Fee
Specific requirements from the Embassy
- Australian Nationals can read this to get a CNI.
- For British Nationals, this is the instructions for Marriage in the Philippines.
- Canadian Embassy issues a Statutory Declaration in place of the Certificate, here’s the requirement
- The Chinese Embassy issues an Affidavit in lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, here are the requirements and how to apply.
- German Nationals can check these instructions.
- For Japanese Nationals, here are the requirements.
- Swiss Nationals may read this to request for a legal capacity to marry.
- US Citizens can’t get a Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage but an Affidavit In Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage. You’ll need to book an appointment here and follow this guide.
For other nationalities, you can ask your Embassy on what to submit for to get a Legal Capacity to Marry. It usually is valid for 6 months.
STEP 2: Getting a Marriage License
Apply for a marriage license in the local civil registrar office in the hometown or the residence of the Filipino partner.
Main requirements in getting a marriage license (both parties)
- Marriage License Application Form – you can get this from the civil registrar’s office
- PSA Birth Certificate – the Foreign partner, can submit a Birth Certificate from his/her country
- CENOMAR – PSA Certificate of No Marriage, your foreign partner needs this too (just to make sure they haven’t indeed married to another person in the Philippines)
- Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counseling – both of you needs to attend the seminar together
- Valid IDs
- Personal Appearance
- Community Tax Certificate or CEDULA
- Parental Consent or Advice – if Filipino partner is aged 18-21, parental consent is needed. Parents need to have an appearance or make an Affidavit of Consent that is signed by 2 witnesses. For those 22-25 years old, your parents need to appear at the local registrar or make a sworn statement stating that you informed them, but they refused.
Pay for the license fees and wait for 10 days to get your marriage license. Why 10 days? It will be that waiting period as your Marriage will be publicly posted to check if no one will be against your Marriage. A marriage license will be valid for 120 days from the issue date and can be used anywhere in the Philippines.
STEP 3: Prepare for a Marriage Ceremony
Choose whether you will have a Civil Wedding or a Religious Wedding. Usually, Civil Marriages are faster and easier to process. A marriage license and a solemnizing officer are needed. For Church weddings, you may be asked to submit additional requirements like Baptismal and Confirmation Certificates, Pre-Cana Seminar, Marriage Banns (usually for 3 Sundays), and many more.
As per the Family Code, the one who can be solemnized by the following:
- Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction;
- Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect;
- Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31 of the Family Code;
- Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32 of the Family Code;
- Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10 of the Family Code
In the Philippines, common solemnizing officers are judges, mayors, pastors, and priests.
STEP 3: Get Married
Book a place where to get married (e.g., a Mayor’s Office, Church, Temple, or Open Court). In the presence of the solemnizing officer and at least 2 witnesses of legal age, say your I DOs. Don’t forget to sign the Marriage Contract.
STEP 4: Get your Marriage Contract or Certificate
The church or the office of the solemnizing officer will submit your Marriage Certificate for registration. After that, you’ll get a copy of your Marriage Certificate. You may also want to register your Marriage at your partner’s Embassy or Consulate. You may be able to get PSA copies online.
I hope you find this helpful if you are a Foreign-Filipino couple. Should you want to get married here, you’ll need more than 2 weeks. Just prepare your necessary documents so that it will be smooth. A day or two is necessary at the Embassy, another 1 or 2 days for applying for a Marriage License and attending a Seminar, 10 days of wait for your Marriage License, and another day for the Marriage Ceremony.
May this Guide on How Filipinos and Foreigner Nationals Can Get Married in the Philippines aid you in a happy ceremony as you are united as one. Congratulations in advance! Have a fruitful couple and family life.
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About the Writer
Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.