SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MARRIAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES
Any foreigner who wishes to marry in the Philippines is required by the Philippine Government to obtain from his/her Embassy a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage” before filing an application for a marriage license.
The Government also accepts an “Affidavit in lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.” The U.S. citizen must, execute this affidavit at the American Embassy in Manila by Obtaining a Legal Capacity to Marry in Embassy Manila are by appointment only.,or at the Consular Agency in Cebu Monday through Friday 9:00am – 11:00am no appointment needed.
The American must present his/her U.S. passport, and there is a fee of U.S. $50.00 for executing the affidavit. Philippine authorities will not accept any substitute document initiated in the United States.
Execution of the affidavit is a notarial act by the U.S. consular officer and, as such, the consular officer is authorized by Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 92.9b, to refuse to perform the service if the document in connection with which the notarial act is requested will be used for a purpose patently unlawful, improper, or inimical to the best interests of the United States.
Entering into a marriage contract with an alien strictly for the purpose of immigration to the United States for that individual is considered an unlawful act. Section 4221 of Title 22 United States Code provides penalties for individuals who commit perjury in an affidavit taken by a consular officer.
THE MARRIAGE APPLICATION PROCESS
Once an American citizen has obtained from the Embassy an “Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage,” he/she can file an application for a marriage license at the office of the Philippine Civil Registrar in the town or city where one of the parties is a resident.
The U.S. Citizen applicant will need to present:
(A) the affidavit,
(B) divorce decrees or death certificate(s) required to verify civil status and legal capacity to contract marriage,
(C) U.S. passport, and
(D) documentation regarding parental consent or advice, if applicable.
(Marriage applicants aged 18 to 21 must have written parental consent. Those aged 22 to 24 must have received parental advice.)
Philippine law prohibits marriage for individuals under the age of 18. A judge, a minister or other person authorized by the Government of the Philippines can perform the marriage.
Marriage to a U.S. citizen confers neither citizenship nor an automatic eligibility for entry to the United States. An immigrant visa is required for a foreign spouse to live in the United States.
Questions about filing an immigrant visa petition to bring a foreign spouse to the United States should be directed to the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the State Department’s Visa Office (202) 663-1225 or, while in the Philippines, to the U.S. Embassy immigrant visa unit in Manila.
FilAm Immigrations resources for: Fiancee Immigration, Marriage Immigration, Spouse Immigration, I-130 Spouse, Sponsorship Immigration, Immigration Services USA, Visa Immigration, Marriage Visas, USCIS Interview, USCIS Spouse,
How to Get Married in the Philippines
Getting married in the Philippines requires some preparation. Whether you are an alien or a local, you need to meet certain requirements. After you get your marriage license, you can have either a civil wedding or a church wedding, or both. Either would be legally binding under Philippine law.
Instructions | Step-by-step process
Get a certificate of legal capacity to marry. If you are a foreigner, you can provide either a certificate of singleness or – if this isn’t available in your country – an affidavit that affirms your freedom to marry. Visit your country’s embassy to execute the affidavit. Do so in person (though your fiance/e doesn’t have to be present). Bring your passport for identification. A fee may be required.
Get a statement of no objection from your embassy. The Philippines requires a “green light” from the foreigner’s country before he or she can marry. To obtain a statement of no objection, visit your embassy and ask for one. Each embassy will have its own procedure and requirements.
Get parental consent and/or advice. Ask your parents for written advice and/or consent. If either party is between 18 to 21 years old, parental consent is required. If either party is between 21 to 25 years old, parental advice is required. This can be waived if the parents appear in person at the ceremony and give their blessing.
Get a certificate of singleness for the Filipino fiance(e). Request for a Certificate of No Marriage or CERNOMAR from either the National Statistics Office or the e-Census web site. A CERNOMAR is proof that there is no record of marriage for the Filipino citizen who intends to get married. Visit a National Statistics Office or order online. In addition, get statements from two persons not related to the Filipino citizen, stating he or she is unmarried.
Apply for a marriage license. Go to the Local Civil Registrar in the city or town where either of the contracting parties lives. When applying for the license, submit your birth certificates, your affidavit of legal capacity to contract marriage, your partner’s CERNOMAR, your passport, divorce certificate (if applicable), death certificate (of previous spouse, if applicable), and letter(s) of parental consent or advice (if applicable). Wait for 10 days, during which a notice will be posted. After 10 days, get your marriage license. It should be valid for 120 days anywhere in the Philippines.
Schedule for a marriage ceremony. You can have either a religious or a civil wedding. Either would be legal under Philippine law. Show your marriage license. You may be interviewed. Schedule for an appointment date. Your marriage can be solemnized by a religious figure such as a priest or rabbi, a judge, or a mayor.
- Military personnel may need permission from the military.
One contracting party must be a Filipino citizen. Two foreigners cannot marry in the country. If you are both foreigners in the Philippines and you wish to marry, contact your embassy. A consul may be authorized by law to solemnize the marriage.
Instructions | Step-by-step process
The Internet, affordable travel and military service are making it easier than ever before for people from all over the world to meet, fall in love and get married. Problems arise, however, when people from two different countries want to get married. So what if you are a U.S. resident and you wish to get married in the Philippines? The requirements for getting a marriage license in the Philippines are not necessary difficult, but they can be time consuming if not properly planned for.
Things You’ll Need:
- Proof of citizenship in the United States
- Evidence that previous marriages are terminated (if necessary)
- Parental consent (if under the age of 18)
- Military approval (if either member of the couple is an active member of the military)
- Birth certificate of the individual residing in the Philippines
Visit the U.S. Embassy in Manila or the U.S. Consulate in Cebu City and request to see a consular officer.
Complete the “Affidavit in Lieu of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.” This form states there is no reason why you cannot be married and will then be sworn by an American consular officer. The charge for notarizing this document is $10. The bride or groom residing in the United States must have this form completed.
Visit the Local Civil Registrar in the location where the bridge or groom living in the Philippines lives.
Apply for the marriage license at the Local Civil Registrar. The resident of the Philippines will need to bring the affidavit obtained by the U.S. resident, documentation proving any previous marriages were terminated, the birth certificate or proof of residency for the resident of the Philippines and consent from the parents if either the bride or groom is under 18 years of age.
Observe the 10-day waiting period and then return to the Local Civil Registrar to obtain your marriage license.
Take your marriage license to a judge, priest or other authorized party within 120 days of issuance. The license can be used anywhere in the Philippines, not only in the township where it was authorized.
If a U.S. citizen marries a non-U.S. citizen the non-U.S. citizen will not be able to get a non-immigrant visitor visa in order to enter the United States because the marriage automatically defines him as an alien who intends to apply for citizenship.