November 11, 2019 Catherine Mendoza 0Comment

Are you and your partner planning to tie the knot soon and considering doing it abroad? Well, if that is so, let me help you with how to do it step by step. Just as exactly as my husband and I did, particularly in Hongkong.

My husband, Chris, is German and as you know, I’m Filipino. After his engagement proposal to me in Sri Lanka in December 2017, we’ve been thrilled to talk and discuss how, when and where to get married.

We’ve been in a relationship for two and a half years now.

There were some options we looked into, for example, getting married in the Philippines Catholic Church, the traditional way ( I’m Catholic, baptized, yes! ) in Germany his home country or Hongkong. But we both wanted to avoid more hassle in being together.

So we have come to the decision of finally choosing Hongkong as the place of our wedding.

HERE ARE YOUR COMPLETE GUIDELINES

STEP 1. Go to the Hongkong Government official website and click on Marriage Registration.

  • Here you’ll find all the necessary and important information such as procedures, intended date of marriage and frequently asked questions.

STEP 2. CLICK ON Q7.

  • Q 7 Basically is the answer for both parties who wished to marry in Hongkong but live outside Hongkong. It will inform you to write directly to the Marriage Registration and Records Office.

The address is as follows:-

The Marriage Registration and Records Office
3/F, Low Block
Queensway Government Offices
66 Queensway
Hong Kong

However, should you think the snail mail would take a little time and you want a respond immediately, you may also send an email to the Immigration Department at the enquiry@immd.gov.hk requesting the form and information sheet.

STEP 3. SEND AN EMAIL

  • Why did I put this step 3? Well, this is a much faster way. This was what we exactly did. Usually, they reply soon so there’s no worry at your end.

What’s in your email?

  • This is your chance to let them know you want to get married in their country. Introduce yourself, include the dates and ask for more necessary pieces of information. You may check our sample here. You don’t need to copy, you can use it as your guideline or adjust the information.

STEP 5. RECEIVING A REPLY

  • It doesn’t usually take long before they reply and the reply contains all the information so you may begin to collect and prepare your documents. And send it back to them again, but this time not by email but via post/ airmail. Here’s the reply.

What’s in the airmail/post?

  • Completed signed form. ( attached in the email from them)
  • The duly completed Notice of Intended Marriage Form. Please note that this form must be notarized at the residency of one party who is sending. In our case, my husband Chris was the one who performed it. He had it notarized in Munich. The unnotarized form will not be accepted by the Marriage Registration in Hongkong office.
  • A Bank Draft of HK$305  / Php2,135 made payable to ‘The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. please check the current currency exchange)

Please send by post or through your local contact in Hong Kong to the following address :
Marriage Registration & Records Office
3/F, Low Block
Queensway Government Office
66 Queensway, Hong Kong
(Telephone Number  : (852) 2867 2787)

Takes up to 15 days the Marriage Registration Office response upon receiving your mail, so, in the meantime, you may start to collect all your other documents. And once you finally received a confirmation from them, that could be final. ( including your preferred dates and days of your wedding)

You should have at least 2 possible dates.

For example in our case

April 24, 2019, and May 01. 2019. It always depends on you as a couple.

And as for the venue of the wedding, they will be the one to choose it for you. THE COTTON TREE DRIVE MARRIAGE REGISTRY was our official venue.

Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry

You may click this link for the full overview of the Marriage Registration and Records Office reply to us.

STEP 6. PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS – This is the most vital part for both of you. Each document must be well prepared and submitted on the day when it’s necessary.

REQUIREMENTS NEEDED

FOR THE HUSBAND

  • Original valid passport ( visa if necessary)
  • Birth Certificate

FOR THE WIFE

  • Original valid passport ( visa if necessary)
  • Original Birth Certificate from PSA
  • Original NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]
  • 3 x color copies  NSO Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]

ALL DOCUMENTS MUST BE CLEARLY PHOTOCOPIED. We had 3 clear photocopies of each document. You may have more photocopies if you wished to.

As soon as you’re ready with all your important documents, I hope you have already booked your tickets to Hongkong.

EVENT TIMELINE

APRIL 17, 2019. ARRIVAL IN HONGKONG

We flew to Hongkong on April 17, 2019, a week before our wedding day, April 24, 2019. Sure we did some sightseeing first!

Note: It is important to give allowance to your preferred number of stays in Hongkong as the Registrar Office or DFA Hongkong may require you to come back or submit some additional documents if necessary.

APRIL 18, 2019. APPOINTMENT AT DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF MARRIAGES

We personally went to the Deputy Registrar of Marriages to submit our documents to be examined. We also had made an affidavit stating that there is no impediment of kindred or alliance, no other lawful hindrance to the marriage and that parent’s/parents’ or legal guardian’s consent is not required.

DOCUMENTS PRESENTED

  • The printout of the confirmation letter ( sent via email)
  • ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT. The bridegroom’s original travel document (the one used during your most recent arrival clearance to enter Hong Kong)
  • ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT. The bride’s original travel document (the one used during your most recent arrival clearance to enter Hong Kong)

Address:

3/F., Low Block, Queensway Road Government Offices, 66 Queensway Road, Hongkong. ( Counter 20)

APRIL 19-23. FREE DAY

As I’ve mentioned above, it is also nice to have some days allowance so that if ever they need more documents, you are available and can go anytime. Of course, this is your free day, you may go sightseeing or anything you want!

( stay tuned for my things to do in Hongkong, in my blog!)

APRIL 24, 2019. THE BIG DAY AT COTTON TREE DRIVE MARRIAGE REGISTRY

DOCUMENTS PRESENTED/ SUBMITTED

  • MARRIAGE FEE: $715HKD/ 5,005PHP (please check the current currency exchange)
  • Travel Documents, You and your partner

Note: Two adults are needed to stand as witnesses.

Please arrive earlier than the scheduled time. Our appointment time was 10:30 and along with our family members like Chris’ brother and sister in law, my mom, my eldest sister and Scott her son, and my youngest sister, Amber, we all arrived at least an hour before. Also, this to make sure you don’t miss anything.

If you didn’t have time to do some makeup and all your girly stuff, there’s a room provided for that. It’s free!

Once we arrived at THE COTTON TREE DRIVE, we, Chris and I were asked to enter the office for submitting the documents and for paying the required Marriage fee, $715 HKD/5,005PHP cash.

After everything’s set and done, our family members were then allowed to enter the ceremonial room as our guests and witnesses as we start the ceremony on our very special day.

However, Alex, my brother in law and my mother were our main witnesses, as required, which means they also had to sign our official marriage documents.

THE WEDDING CEREMONY

The wedding ceremony was quite fast, in fact, it was less than 20minutes. In the wedding ceremony, we read the vows to each other, signed the marriage contract, worn the ring to each other’s left ring finger and sealed it with a kiss. And took some pictures.

Note: You must bring the rings, without it, the ceremony won’t proceed and it must be worn on the left ring finger.

And we’re officially married as a couple.

Easy? Well, yes. Plus it’s smooth and totally hassle-free.

For the wedding celebration, Alex and Julia were the sweetest and most thoughtful people we know. They brought us a bottle of champagne and other drinks, a round wedding cake and a cute Pikachu balloon that our both families shared just right outside the Cotton Tree Drive.

After the wedding ceremony, our family picture.

Alex was also our main photographer since we didn’t hire one. And he absolutely did a great job, thank you, Alex!

AFTER THE WEDDING

So, we’re done here, are we? Hmm. I know you are excited and happy but wait, there’s some more to do.

On the same day after getting our marriage contract at THE COTTON DREE DRIVE MARRIAGE REGISTRY where we held our wedding ceremony, we must go to the Philippine Consulate General Hongkong to submit our documents so that our marriage will be valid and be officially recorded at PSA (Philippines Statistics Office), and Apostille Service Office in Hongkong to get officially notarized by Hongkong Government.

AT THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL, HONGKONG

DOCUMENTS PRESENTED/ SUBMITTED

  • Original Marriage contract/certificate issued by the Hong Kong SAR Registry
  • 3 x color copies Marriage contract/certificate issued by the Hong Kong SAR Registry 
  • Original NSO authenticated Birth certificate of the wife;
  • NSO authenticated Birth certificate of the wife;
  • 3 x color copies NSO Birth certificate of the wife;
  • Original NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]
  • NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]
  • 3 x color copies  NSO Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]
  • Original Valid passport/ travel documents of the spouses; and (husband and wife)
  • 3 x color copies Valid passport/ travel documents of the spouses; and (husband and wife)
  • Original Duly accomplished Report of Marriage form. ROM
  • 4 x copies of ROM

After successfully submitting our documents, we were informed by the officer in charge that our marriage certificate will be available after 3 months at PSA Philippines. That long, yes. However, of course, you may do a follow up at PSA Philippines in case you need it soon for fixing and preparing your visa. ( Like mine to Germany) You will be given a voucher including the telephone number and email address information to raise your concern or to merely follow up.

You may also ask any other things that concern you such as changing last names, among others.
For more information, you may check their

Civil Registry Unit Fee: $280HKD/ 1,960PHP ( This is for the consular service that you need to pay upon submitting your documents). (please check the current currency exchange)

Official website: http://www.hongkongpcg.dfa.gov.ph/index.php

Address: 14/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty, Hongkong

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/z9txQYE5xr12

Do you need an appointment at Philippine Embassy Hongkong? NO. Just go there. They are open from Mondays to Fridays except Holidays.

APOSTILLE SERVICE OFFICE AT HIGH COURT

DOCUMENTS PRESENTED/ SUBMITTED

After the wedding, we received 3 copies of our marriage certificate which was the ones we brought at Apostille Service to have it Apostilised.

$125/HKD/875PHP fee for each Apostille. We had 2 Apostille documents. (please check the current currency exchange)

An apostille is a special form of notarial certification in the international authentication procedure. … The apostille certifies the authenticity of a public document, signature or stamp“- Google

For more information, you may visit their

Official website: https://www.judiciary.hk/en/court_services_facilities/apostille.html

Address: Apostille Service Office“, High Court Registry, Room LG115, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong 

Do you need an appointment at Apostille Service Office? NO.Just go there. They are open from Mondays to Fridays except Holidays.

APRIL 25, 2019. RETURNED TO APOSTILLE SERVICE OFFICE AT HIGH COURT.

Within 24 hours later, we were able to get back our marriage contract officially apostilled.

And we’re done! We just waited 3 months for our marriage certificate issued at PSA Philippines. That’s all you need to do!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Getting married in Hongkong as a foreigner or any destination is quite simple and smooth. Just make sure to follow the steps and prepare all the necessary documents to avoid inconvenience.

Getting married in Hongkong as a foreigner is quite simple and smooth. Just make sure to follow the steps and prepare all the necessary documents to avoid inconvenience.

Please note that any invalid or incomplete documents will not be accepted and processed. Coordinate well with the people in charge. Also, don’t fake your documents.

How much did we spend in total? For the wedding fees and all necessary documents, = $1550HKD / 10, 850(plus small fees for photocopies in Hongkong )

(please check the current currency exchange)

For our wedding dinner, we dined in at the Tiffin Restaurant at Grand Hyatt Hongkong. They served a sumptuous dinner buffet at HK$728 / Php5,096 per person. (please check the current currency exchange)

The wedding dinner At Tiffin Grand Hyatt Hongkong

You may check their official website for more information.

Friendly tips: Make a list of important things you need to prepare such as documents to keep track of everything’s that not to be missed. Also, for each place that you need to go to like Philippine Embassy Hongkong and Apostille Service Office at High Court, you can already check it out and visit even before the day that you need to be there so that it won’t consume all your time in case you can’t find the right direction on the day of your appointment. It was actually my husband’s idea that worked well for both of us!

And that’s all! I hope this post will help you plan your special day. Just remember that some processes may vary or have changed. All that’s written here are based on personal experiences. If you have any questions or if I have missed anything, please feel free to comment down below and I’ll make sure to get back to you!

Thank you for reading! If this post has been helpful to you, I’d be more than happy if you could share it! Much love! x