Unconditionally loving someone is easy, but getting married might be a bit more challenging. From planning your wedding to submitting all the marriage documents required, it might take a while before you can finally hear the wedding bells ring.
Now, if you’re a Filipino tying the knot with a foreign partner or a foreigner who wants to marry in the Philippines, you and your better half must undergo more steps and other essentials before you say I do. But, don’t worry. We’ve come up with a complete guide that you can follow regarding the requirements needed to get married in the Philippines to a foreigner.
Basic Requirements for Foreigners to Get Married in the Philippines
Before considering where you want to get married, you must accomplish certain documents first. Here are the primary documents a foreigner needs to submit before getting hitched in the Pearl of the Orient.
Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage
One of the main requirements for foreigners marrying in the Philippines is to prove that they can legally marry a Filipino citizen. The certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage is the foreign equivalent of getting a Philippine certificate of no marriage or CENOMAR. This requirement is embedded in the Family Code of the Philippines.
Your respective diplomatic or consular officials will issue the certificate. Note that this certificate is only suitable for 4 months, so ensure you and/or your partner appropriately schedule your request.
This certificate is also an additional requirement for foreigners to have a civil wedding in the Philippines. Check out our previous article on Philippine civil wedding requirements to know more about this type of wedding setup.
For additional information on obtaining a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, contact the appropriate embassy or consulate.
Original or certified true copy of the birth certificate
You and your partner will need to secure original or certified copies of your birth certificates since this is also part of both civil and church wedding requirements for foreigners in the Philippines. It provides identification that you and your partner are using your true identities.
Foreigners can get their birth certificates online or physically from the country they were born in. They can do it by personally requesting a birth certificate from their local registry or processing their request online, through the mail, or their respective statistics agency’s (or embassy’s) hotline.
Valid passport or citizenship certificate
As one of the marriage requirements for foreigners in the Philippines, foreigners must also prove that they are true citizens of the country they’re from by submitting a valid passport or citizenship certificate.
Foreigners must present the original copy and submit a certified copy of their passport. To renew or claim their passport, they must visit their respective country’s foreign affairs departments or consulate.
Original or certified true copy of divorce decree, a judicial order of annulment, or death certificate of the deceased spouse (only if applicable)
Other requirements that foreigners need to get married in the Philippines include proving that they are legally single.
If the foreign national has a previous or deceased spouse, they must acquire a copy of the divorce decree, declaration of nullity of an earlier marriage, or death certificate.
Obtaining this will also prove that they are at legal capacity to contract marriage in the country. Please be reminded that this is only applicable to those who have either a divorced, annulled, or deceased spouse.
Submission of photos is required to ensure one’s physical appearance is consistent with their identity.
The photo must be formal with a clear or plain white background. Its size can be 1×1 or 2×2, depending on the requirement.
After you have successfully gathered the basic requirements, the next step is for you and your partner to check the local civil registry in the Philippines for other civil wedding requirements needed for foreign applicants. Remember that most of these requirements need your physical appearance before obtaining the records.
Needed Documents For Filipinos Getting Married to Foreigners in the Philippines
Now that we’ve listed what foreigners need to submit before planning the wedding ceremony, it’s the Filipinos’ time to know what documents they must prepare. Check out this list of requirements so that Filipino citizens can marry their foreign significant other in the Philippines.
PSA Birth Certificate
The PSA birth certificate is a legal document certifying–among others–one’s age, identity, and citizenship. Getting a birth certificate is easy and can be done online through the Philippine Statistics Authority Helpline. Ordering a birth certificate from the helpline costs 365 PHP.
PSA Certificate of No Marriage
Similar to the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage in the marriage requirements for foreign nationals, Filipino citizens will need to secure a copy of a CENOMAR from the PSA. The PSA certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) is given to Filipino citizens to state that they have never been married before. This certificate is also called No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness. PSA CENOMARs can also be ordered online through the PSA Helpline with an order cost of 420 PHP.
Filipino citizens must also present valid identification to prove their identity further. Valid IDs are also a civil wedding requirement. Favorably, IDs that work in the Philippines are easy to come by, and foreigners can also get some of them. Here are some of the government-issued IDs that you can quickly get.
- GSIS or SSS UMID Card
- Driver’s License
- BIR TIN Card
- NBI Clearance
- PNP Clearance
- Philhealth ID
- PAG-IBIG ID
- PRC ID
- Postal ID
- Voter’s ID
To have smooth transactions when you’re submitting your documents, always ensure that you have two different valid IDs that are up to date. Also, note that you must present the original and photocopy of your valid ID whenever necessary.
Community Tax Certificate
A community tax certificate or cedula is proof of residency and citizenship in the country.
A foreigner can also get this in the Philippines, but only if it’s an absolute requirement to get married or additional documentation to get a valid ID. Any local government unit can issue it to people who are of age and have paid a community tax. The cedula is only valid for 1 year so make sure you have an updated one. You can physically get your cedulas from the municipal or city hall where you reside.
Like their foreign partner, Filipino citizens must also submit a formal 1×1 or 2×2 picture for further identification. Make sure that the photo is clear with a plain white background.
Death Certificate (only if applicable)
Filipinos who were widowed must also submit a death certificate of their previous husband or wife. Submitting this document also proves that they can be legally married to another person. To obtain a death certificate, order one through the PSA Helpline for 365 PHP.
Parental consent for ages 18-21 years old is a requirement for Filipinos who want to get married. Both parents must appear in person to allow their kid to marry or sign an Affidavit of Consent. The affidavit must also be signed by two witnesses and be notarized by a lawyer. In any situation where one of the parents has passed away or is absent, the one parent is allowed to sign the affidavit. Filipinos and foreigners cannot get married in the Philippines if they don’t have this requirement.
If a Filipino citizen is 22 to 25 years old, they will still need to submit written parental advice. To obtain this, parents need to physically appear or write written parental advice stating they know their child is getting married. If both or one parent disapproves of the marriage, the child must provide an affidavit stating that they informed their parents, but they disapproved. Processing the marriage license will approximately take three months if the parents disagree with the marriage. Take note that this document also needs to be notarized by a lawyer.
Once the stated documents are completed, you are now clear to prepare for the next exciting part — applying for a marriage license.
Most civil registrars do not require this document, but it’s better to be prepared just in case someone asks for it.
A barangay certificate is another legal document that is easy to get. This certificate states that you are a legitimate resident of your barangay and includes the reason for obtaining this document. Go to your respective barangay halls to get this certificate. There are specific requirements and a small fee that you need to fulfill before getting a barangay certificate, so make sure you accomplish them thoroughly.
Marriage License Application
A marriage license is a legal document that newlyweds-to-be need to acquire before getting married anywhere in the country. It’s one of the can’t miss marriage requirements for foreigners and Filipinos in the Philippines.
When you and your partner are done preparing the documents above, you may now start applying for a license. Here’s what you need to do to obtain the permit.
- Visit your local civil registry office.
- From there, get and fill in the application form. Ensure that the left side of the paper will be completed by the groom and the right side by the bride.
- Submit all required documentation and send it to the local town hall or city hall.
- After submitting all the requirements, get and keep the claim slip.
- Take the seminars you need to take, as you’ll need the attendance certificate to get your marriage license.
Couples who have applied for the marriage license will get the license after 10 days. Note that the marriage license is only valid for four months from the date of issuance, so plan your wedding ceremony accordingly.
Church Wedding Requirements You Need To Prepare
Do you envision yourself getting married in church? If you do, you must prepare for additional church wedding requirements foreigners need before getting hitched in the Philippines.
In a country with a religious background, most couples prefer to have a church wedding ceremony. The Philippines boasts various churches and parishes all around the country officiating weddings. Along with the requirements we’ve already listed, here are some of the additional requirements for church weddings:
- Canonical Interview
- Certificate Attendance to a Pre-Marriage Seminar
- Certificate of Freedom to Marry
- Marriage Banns
- List of Principal Sponsors
For a complete and detailed list of these requirements, pop in our previous article about catholic wedding requirements.
Other Marriage Requirements You Might Need
Now that we’ve discussed all the basic marriage requirements in the Philippines for foreigners, you’ve probably realized that getting married may take a lot of effort and time. But don’t let this hinder you from starting this new chapter in your life!
When you’re all set in obtaining the marriage license, you can follow through with other agreements with your partner or prepare for further marriage requirements that foreigners might need here in the Philippines.
You and your partner might come from different countries and social statuses. If you and your partner want to safeguard your properties, finances, and assets, you might want to sign a prenuptial agreement with your partner. A prenuptial agreement in the Philippines is a binding contract that couples sign before marriage to protect each other’s assets. Signing this contract will protect both parties in any way possible should their marriage fail. It will also prevent them from paying off any debt owed by either half during their marriage.
After marriage, you also need to update your marital status. When upgrading your marital status, it is not required that you change your name from your maiden name to your married surname on all of your official documents. Hop on to our previous article on how to change your marital status in the Philippines.
Bring Your Dream Wedding to Life
Tying the knot with your significant other is one of the best things people wish for.
Now that we have listed the requirements for foreigners to get married in the Philippines, it’s time to prepare for the wedding bells to ring.
Achieve another milestone in your life by carefully applying the information we have given you in a nutshell. Not only will this help you in planning your wedding, but it will also ease your mind on what documents you must prepare before the ceremony. What are you waiting for? Get up and bring your dream wedding to life.
Author: Aldaia Auman
Aldaia brings ideas to life through writing. Her love for writing began when she finished the pentalogy novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians. When she isn't writing, most of her time is spent watching movies and TV series, playing video games on consoles like Valorant, Horizon, The Sims, and GTA V, hanging out with friends, and sleeping.