Hong Kong Marriage Requirements for Foreigner
Unlike the rest of the world, there are almost no special requirements for foreigner to register their marriage in Hong Kong. In other words, the same general set of marriage requirements will be applicable to both Hong Kong local resident and foreigner. Even better, wedding couples of any nationalities can enjoy this policy of minimal marriage requirements in Hong Kong.
Generally speaking, the marriage office basically allows anyone to get married in Hong Kong if they have no undissolved marriage or other impediments. Of course, it is necessary to meet the age requirements of at least 16 years old. If the bride or groom is below 21-year-old, a parent’s consent will be required. In terms of application documents, your identification documents like passport will be required. Depending on your situation, valid divorce papers or court documents would also be needed for the filing of your wedding application. Please make sure all required documents are filed properly because the marriage office will only start processing your application when the whole set of necessary papers is submitted. It may otherwise cause a great delay in your application and mess up with your wedding plan.
To get further insights of the requirements, it will be helpful to learn from the experiences of our previous foreigner couples and study their common difficulties encountered in their wedding journey in Hong Kong.
Why do foreigner couples come to get married in Hong Kong?
We have had a great variety of wedding couples coming from all around the world. We have talked to hundreds of foreigner wedding couples and helped them get married in Hong Kong. Let’s see some of their reasons behind their wedding plans in Hong Kong.
Different Living Place
As some of our wedding couples are living apart in different foreign countries, they are in need of getting married in a place where the marriage certificate is widely recognized internationally. This can facilitate their upcoming plans of joining their spouse.
In some situation, the groom and bride have different nationalities. It makes it very difficult for the wedding couple to register their marriage in either of their own countries due to the very strict local marriage requirements. In some countries, foreigners are not allowed to get married there.
Obviously, there will be some issues when the groom and bride have different religious beliefs. For example, we had some foreigner couples who practice Christianity and Islam respectively. Due to the different religious background, they are not allowed to get married in their country. Since the wedding in Hong Kong is not a religious ceremony, it will be a perfect place for these couples to marry in Hong Kong.
Use of Foreign Documents
In some countries, the local authority does not accept the divorce papers issued by a foreign entity. The wedding couples would have no recognizable divorce document for registering their marriage. Generally speaking, there is no such restriction in Hong Kong and quite a number of our foreigner couples could enjoy the recognition of their documents issued by competent authorities from their own countries.
Out of our surprise, some of our wedding couples chose to get married in Hong Kong for romantic reasons! Hong Kong is well known as its diversity of people from around the world and there are so many expats living here. Some of our wedding couples actually became acquainted in Hong Kong and started falling in love right in this city, making it a very special reason for them to tie the knot in Hong Kong.
Common difficulties of foreigner to get married in Hong Kong
As a wedding planner, we have daily conversations with numerous wedding couples from around the world planning to get married in Hong Kong. While there have been lots of excitements and joyous moments, we also identified some common challenges the couples would come across in the whole process from planning to the day they tie the knot. Here below are some lessons learnt, which may be useful in planning your own wedding.
No idea of how to get started
This is the single mostly asked question we have from our foreigner couples! We understand you might have been overwhelmed by lots of information out there but still have no idea of how to get thing started. We trust that the first step to do is find out the required application documents for your situation. In addition to your passport, there would be other required papers depending on your marital status. Getting ready for the necessary papers will make your planning much easier for sure. Feel free to learn more about how to get married in Hong Kong.
Getting a bank draft
In the application process, the wedding couple is required to pay the filing fees at the time the application is filed to the marriage office. We learnt from some couples that it is quite time-consuming and costly to issue an overseas bank draft in a bank because it is no longer common to use bank draft given the popularity of advanced electronic payment solutions nowadays. So this part of the requirements even makes the application process more difficult. That’s why we would take care of the payment to the marriage office when we file the wedding application on behalf of our wedding couples, trying to make everything easier.
Lack of Time
We have come across quite a number of couples who plan to register their marriage in Hong Kong in just a few weeks from the day they sought our help. Actually, the Hong Kong marriage office is quite strict on the application papers and it takes some time for us to work with the couples to get the whole set of required paperwork ready for filing. More importantly, the wedding appointment can only be reserved after the marriage office has approved the application. Simply put, it’s always advantageous to kick-start the process and get prepared early. The whole process will be a lot easier for you.
No idea of suitable hotel location
In planning your wedding trip, accommodation is obviously one of the first things to consider. Hong Kong is one of the places with the highest costs of living in the world. It would definitely be helpful to the wedding couples if they can stay at some cozy place with a balance of convenience and costs for their wedding. If necessary, we are happy to give some useful tips on picking your hotel based on the past experience of our foreigner couples.
Simple wedding for paperwork purpose
We have met some couples who have travelled a long way to Hong Kong for marriage registration because of the simplicity and wide recognition of Hong Kong wedding. They only wished to have a simple wedding mainly for paperwork purpose as they are going to have their big celebrations back in their countries. What they really want is only a simple wedding without much hassles but they have no idea about how to get everything started. We are very experienced in planning a simple yet memorable wedding in Hong Kong and offer different service options to meet the specific needs of our couples. If necessary, we could provide wedding witnesses to meet the requirements too.
Have other difficulties?
If you have any questions about your particular situation, please email us or simply leave your question at the side bar (scroll below if you are viewing on mobile). We will get you some answers in 24 hours 🙂