7 things every foreigner must know before getting married in Hong Kong
Nowadays, destination wedding has become very popular internationally. Some information shows that about one in four couples in many countries, including the United Kingdom and United States, goes for destination weddings.
Because of its simple procedure and high reputation, Hong Kong has been one of the most popular destinations for marriage registration. It is very common to see foreigner couples getting married in Hong Kong. If it’s also your plan to tie the knot in Hong Kong, read on to ensure you are aware of some important facts about marriage in Hong Kong.
1. Can tourists get married in Hong Kong?
There is no residential requirement to register a marriage in Hong Kong. No matter you are a tourist, employee with working visa or temporary resident, you are qualified to get married in Hong Kong. If you are not sure if you need a visa to travel to Hong Kong as a tourist, just contact our team and we will find out for you!
2. How to make a marriage application from outside Hong Kong?
For foreigners staying abroad, it is necessary to file a Notice of Intended Marriage within 3 months from the wedding day. You will have to complete the application forms and notarize them in front of a Notary before filing all required documents with the necessary fees to the Hong Kong Marriage Office.
The Notice will be good for 3 months only. After that time, you must file a brand new Notice if you haven’t still married. Therefore, it is important that the paperwork has been prepared properly or you may have to restart the whole application process from the first step again.
3. What are the required documents for wedding applications?
To file an application, your passports will be required. If you have been previously married, you must also provide valid documents showing that the previous marriages had been terminated. For those who are between 16 and 21 years old, a written consent from parent or legal guardian is also required. Teens younger than 16 are not allowed to get married in Hong Kong.
4. When should you arrive in Hong Kong?
After the application paperwork is done, you can prepare to book your flight and hotel! Generally speaking, you will only need to arrive in Hong Kong a few days before your wedding day for some formalities at the marriage office. Then you will be ready for the big day!
5. Who will administer your wedding ceremony?
For wedding ceremony held at the Hong Kong Marriage Registry, an official registrar of marriages will authenticate the wedding ceremony and sign on your marriage certificate. Two wedding witnesses are required in the ceremony. After the ceremony, you will receive the official marriage certificate immediately.
6. Is it possible to have extra copies of marriage certificate?
Yes. In case you need more copies of the marriage certificate, it can be ordered for an additional charge. It will take about 10 days for the marriage registry to process.
If you are using your marriage certificate outside Hong Kong, chances are you might wish to get an international authentication, such as the Apostille. No worries, your official marriage certificate will be qualified to get an Apostille Stamp from the Court.
7. Is same-sex marriage allowed in Hong Kong?
The short answer is no. Same-sex marriage is still not legal in Hong Kong yet. The Hong Kong government does not allow same-sex couples to get married legally as of the time of writing.
However, according to a landmark court case for LGBT rights in Hong Kong, the Court of Final Appeal gave transgender people the right to marry as their identified gender rather than their biological sex at birth.