Marriage in China
Marriage in ChinaUpdated on Friday 10th April 2020
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Marriage in China is possible if at least one of the future spouses is a Chinese citizen or has a Chinese residence permit. The couple must submit the necessary documents at the marriage registration office together with a completed marriage registration form.
Our Chinese lawyers can help you obtain the certificate of marriageability and the marriage certificate. We will also help you with a complete list of the necessary documents, if you want to get married in China, so that the entire process is reduced to the shortest amount of time possible.
Modern day marriage in China
The principles that govern marriage in China have changed from those based on arranged marriages to ones that grant more freedom and legal rights to both partners. The Marriage Law issued in 1980 was an important step towards the modernization of marriage in the country and the influence of the western cultures has also shaped the way in which this legal union is perceived in China. Nowadays more couples in China choose to have western style weddings, as opposed to traditional Chinese weddings.
Although it is easier for Chinese nationals to get married in China, foreigners may also do so, if they wish to have a traditional Chinese wedding. However, at least one of the spouses must possess a residence permit in China in order for the marriage to take place.
Our law firm in China can help you obtain the necessary residence permit, if you are living and working in China and want to start a family there.
Requirements for obtaining the marriage certificate in China
A marriage registration application form must be filled in and submitted at the appropriate marriage registration office (belonging to the jurisdiction where the partner who has a residence permit is registered). The application form must also be accompanied by the following documents:
- if one of the spouses is Chinese - a certificate of marriageability for the Chinese partner, along with a birth certificate, household registration and health certificate;
- if one of the spouses has a residence permit - a valid passport, a Chinese residence permit, health certificate, a marriageability certificate.
If one of the spouses is Chinese, the couple may need a letter from the parents of the Chinese partner giving permission for their child to marry a foreigner. In addition to these documents, the couple will also have to pay a registration fee and present three photos of themselves, taken together.
The certificate of marriageability is a document that allows an individual to be legally married and proves that he or she is not already married in the home country.
The requirements for marriage applications in China may vary according to the marriage registration office. For assistance during this process and any further information, you can contact our Chinese attorneys.
Documents required to obtain marriage certificate in China
It is important to take note of the birth place of the Chinese citizen who is getting married. Each bureau of civil affairs covers a specific jurisdiction and the registration and issuance of Chinese marriage certificates can only be done at the appropriate office. Both spouses must personally appear at the appropriate Bureau of Civil Affairs.
The documents that need to be submitted at the bureau for a Chinese citizen are:
- the application form,
- a certificate of marriageability,
- birth certificate,
- household registration book,
- health certificate,
- the letter of permission from the parents allowing their child to marry (in certain cases).
For a foreigner, the documents needed are:
- their passport,
- the Chinese residence permit,
- health certificate,
- three photos of the couple together,
- payment of registration fee,
- the certificate of marriageability.
Let our attorneys in China assist you in preparing these documents.
Steps in obtaining a Chinese marriage certificate
The application process is relatively simple when acquiring a marriage certificate in China. The first step is the preparation of the necessary documents. It is important that all the required documents are completed because this will expedite the entire process. Next, an application form must be filled-up with the appropriate bureau of civil affairs, along with the submission of the needed documents.
Once everything necessary has been submitted, the bureau will then check if everything is in order. This might take a while, depending on the location of the local bureau of civil affairs where the application is filed. If everything is in order, the bureau will approve the application and issue the marriage certificate. The couples must personally pick up the marriage certificate issued. Our law firm in China has assisted many clients in obtaining a marriage certificate.
Documents preparation for Chinese marriage
Depending on the location or the chosen city in China, the persons need to fill the application form and to consider the following papers:
• the marriageability certificate which shows the single status of a foreign citizen; it can be issued by the Consulate or Embassy in the home country;
• birth certificates;
• available passport;
• the household registration book of the Chinese citizen you wish to get married with;
• the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage;
• the residency permit;
• the identification card.
As a reminder, you should consider translating the documents, and if you need assistance in this matter, you may solicit help from our lawyers in China.
Marriage registration for foreigners in China
In order to get married in China, the overseas citizen will need to prepare the notarized marriageability certificate and the residence permit besides the application form, the valid passport with the proper visas and the necessary photos. It is good to know that foreigners who wish to marry in China and do not speak Chinese, should ask for assistance from a translator at the Marriage Registration Office.
The marriage registration should be scheduled in advance, with about three weeks. Besides the preparation of the documents, a certain fee is necessary to be paid at the Marriage Registration Office in the chosen city. The entire registration process may take up about one hour if the officers have approved the papers.
How to obtain permanent residence after marriage registration in China
Overseas citizens who got married in China can apply for a permanent residence in the country if specific conditions have been fulfilled. First of all, the criminal record needs to be clean for both spouses. The couple will need to offer details about the incomes gained in the country for the last three years, in order to see if they can financially support themselves in China and if they had social contributions.
Our attorneys can help you with a number of legal issues concerning Family Law in China including divorce.