Guide to Getting Married in Hong Kong
Being married in Hong Kong as well as in many other countries offers certain benefits, the most noticeable is with the couple’s income tax. The marital status however does not include or have a direct effect on your residence status if you and your spouse are Hong Kong expats.
Legal Documents and Requirements:
- The basic requirements you need to get married is your valid passport and your birth certificate. However you need to be a heterosexual or being married to someone of the opposite gender, be of legal age of consent and this must be your first nuptial.
- The legal age of consent in Hong Kong is 21. However, you can still get married as long as your age is between 16 and 21 years old. You just need to provide a written consent of your father or legal guardian for getting married in Hong Kong. If your father is deceased, your mother can consent in his place, with the father’s death certificate attached to the letter. If the person who needs to provide consent lives abroad, check with your consulate and/or the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office beforehand to find out what documents you have to provide.
- If you and/or your fiancée is part of the armed forces personnel, you need to secure permission from the commanding officer before getting married.
- If you are a widow, you have to provide proof of former marriage and death certificate of the deceased spouse.
If you are legally separated or divorced, you need to provide a sealed certified copy of the court’s final divorce decree.
- The evidences of your marital status and your other legal documents can also be translated to English if necessary.
The process of registration
Print and fill up the “Information Required for Registration of Marriage” form that can be downloaded from the online service of the Immigration Department. To speed up the process, you can opt to fill it out and submit it online or hand carry it during your appointment with the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office. The fee for processing your application is HKD 305.
Obtain your notice of marriage before you wedding date proper. You need to make an appointment with the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office at least 17 days before the planned date. The appointment can be scheduled online through the online service of the Immigration Department. Hong Kong law stipulates that notices of marriage should be exhibited for 15 “clear” days (i.e. 17 days including Sundays) at the marriage registry. The 17 day period, allows people who might object to the marriage to write ‘forbidden’ on the copy of the notice, effectively hindering the marriage process. Only people who are authorized by law may object to the proposed marriage. This usually refers to parents and guardians of minors who plan on getting married in Hong Kong.
If you are not in Hong Kong but intend to marry there, you can obtain your notice for getting married in Hong Kong from overseas. The notice has a three months validity after the appointment with the registrar. If you are not married within this period, you will have to file another application.