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Marriage Registration

Updated: 2014-07-07

Administration of Marriage

 

Administration of marriages is handled by municipal Civil Affairs Bureau (Minzheng Ju). Normally, you will have to go to the office in the jurisdiction in which the Chinese partner is registered on her or his hukou though there are a few reports that couples have been able to marry in an office local to where the Chinese partner is living. It is in the nature of the Chinese system that there can be such variations in the implementation of the rules, so it is always worth checking on procedures when you visit to collect an application form.

The persons marrying must be of marriageable age: for men that is 22 years and for women 20 years old, except that persons may marry younger with parental permission. Persons must not be married to another person at the time of marriage: having more than one husband or wife in any country is not permitted under Chinese law. Marriages can only be between a male and a female, not two persons of the same gender.

 

The Marriage Application

 

The application is equivalent to a civil marriage in many western countries but it is entirely administrative, there is no ceremony at all. The event normally takes well under one hour, sometimes as little as 15 minutes.

 

You should obtain the forms and complete them in advance. So then you can attend the Civil Affairs Bureau – and in some cities you will have a special section for 'international marriages' - and submit the application with the following (there are notes and explanations after the list):

Both: Single Status Certificate, If applicable, finalized divorce papers or death certificate of ex-spouse for the widowed

Both: Birth certificate

Together: Three official style photos of the couple together – shops doing visa photos do these and know the required format

Together: The fee

Chinese person: Household registration book (hukou)

Foreigner: Passport

Foreigner: Notarised translations in Chinese of all originals not in Chinese (except the passport. There are official translators who provide this service in China.

When everything is completed satisfactorily, you will leave – as a married couple! You will either be given you marriage certificate as you leave or you might be asked to collect it in a few days.

 

Documents to be included with applications:

 

1.One Marriage Registration Form , completed and signed by the applicant himself.

2.Photocopy of applicant's passport.

3.The original and photocopy of the notarized and Secreta of State certified Affidavit of Single Status.