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Getting Married in Hongkong as foreigners- a comprehensive guide

My husband and I planned and got married in Hongkong. Besides the smooth preparation, it’s also one of the wisest decisions we’ve ever made as a couple. And because of that experience, I’ve decided to write this comprehensive guide to help you make your wedding preparation easy. If you and your partner are thinking of getting married in Hongkong as foreigners, I hope you’ll also have less hassle in undertaking one of the best days in your lives.

But let me get this straight. This post is for you only if;

  • You’re a Filipino or a foreigner in Hongkong
  • You and your partner are planning to get married in Hongkong
  • You and your partner are both foreigners

*Note: It’d be best if you follow all the steps I wrote here as it’d play a vital role in a smooth marriage process abroad; otherwise, you can click any topic on the table of contents. ✨

Updated October 2022

Getting Married in Hongkong as foreigners- a well thorough plan

If you have been thinking about getting married in Hongkong over a hundred times, you’re not alone. Besides, like my husband and I, we also planned it meticulously.

Furthermore, I’ve read some stories about people who planned to marry Hongkong as a foreigner before, yet, unsure if it would work. I, as a Filipino who wanted to get married in Hongkong and my husband, who is German, were both new to this concept of marrying in Hongkong, let alone abroad.

We looked into a few options. For example, getting married in the Philippines Catholic Church, the traditional way (I’m Catholic, baptized, yes! ), or in Germany, his home country, or Hongkong. We also wanted to be less stressed and less hassle. A wedding for us means not having too much pressure on our heads.

Therefore, we finally decided to choose Hongkong for our wedding.

Spoiler alert: It turned out better than we expected.

A step-by-step guide

STEP 1. Go to the Hongkong Government’s official website and click on Marriage Registration.

  • First, you’ll find all the essential information, such as procedures, intended marriage date, and frequently asked questions.

STEP 2. CLICK Q7 & send an email.

  • Second, Q 7 contains frequent questions and answers for foreigners or Filipinos who wish to get married in Hongkong but live outside the country. It will inform you to write directly to the Marriage Registration and Records Office.

However, the snail mail would take a little time; thus, we sent an email to the Immigration Department at enquiry@immd.gov.hk requesting the form and information sheet.

What’s in your email?

  • Please take this as your chance to inform them that you want to get married in their country. Introduce yourself, include the dates, and ask for more necessary information. This is my sample; check it if you wish to for your guidance and reference.

STEP 4. RECEIVING A REPLY

  • The good news is that it doesn’t usually take long before they reply, and the reply contains all the information, so you may begin collecting and preparing your documents. And send it back to them again, but this time not by email but via post/ airmail. Here’s the reply.

Sending wedding documents to Hongkong via post

  • Completed signed form. ( attached in the email from them)
  • The duly completed Notice of Intended Marriage Form. Also, notarize this form at the residency of the person sending it. In our case, my husband Chris was the one who performed it. He had it notarized in Munich.
  • A Bank Draft of HK$305  / Php2,135 made payable to ‘The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (Please check the current currency exchange)

    *Note: The Marriage Registration will not accept the unnotarized form in the Hongkong office.

Where to send:
Marriage Registration & Records Office
3/F, Low Block
Queensway Government Office
66 Queensway, Hong Kong
(Telephone Number  : (852) 2867 2787)

Further, it took up to 15 days for the Marriage Registration Office to respond upon receiving our mail, so, in the meantime, we started to collect all our relevant documents. And once we finally receive a confirmation from them, that could be final. 

( including our preferred dates and days of our wedding)



Choosing the wedding dates and venues

Step 5- choosing the wedding date(s) and venue(s)

We chose two (2) possible dates for the wedding-this was an essential requirement.

For example,

April 24, 2019, and May 01. 2019. It always depends on you as a couple.

On the other hand, we didn’t choose the wedding venue. Unfortunately, this didn’t fall into our hands. They selected it for us and informed us about it.

Soon, we learned that the Cotton tree drive marriage registry was our official wedding venue. It was simple and solemn. And we liked it.

You may click this link for the complete overview of the Marriage Registration and Records Office reply to us.

STEP 6. Time to prepare your documents. – This is the most vital part for you and your spouse. Prepare and submit each record on the day when it’s necessary.

Getting married in Hongkong for Filipinos and foreigners – requirements, documents, etc.

For the foreign spouse

  • Original valid passport ( visa if necessary)
  • Birth Certificate

For the Filipino spouse

  • Your original valid passport ( visa if required)
  • Original Birth Certificate from PSA
  • Original NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR)
  • 3 x color copies of NSO Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR)

*NotePhotocopy all the required documents. We had three (3) clear photocopies of each document. You might have more photocopies if you wish to.

Furthermore, as soon as you’re ready with all your essential wedding documents and butterflies in your stomach as you’re tying the knot, I hope you have already booked your tickets to Hongkong.

Timeline

APRIL 17, 2019. Arrival in Hongkong

We flew to Hongkong on April 17, 2019, a week before our wedding day, April 24, 2019. Sure we did some sightseeing first!

Friendly tips: It would be best to give allowance to your preferred number of stays in Hongkong as the Registrar’s Office or DFA Hongkong may require you to come back or submit some additional documents if necessary.

APRIL 18, 2019- Appointment at Deputy Registrar of Marriages office

We went to the Deputy Registrar of Marriages to submit our documents for inspection. Besides that, we also made an affidavit stating that there was no kindred or alliance impediment, no other lawful hindrance to the marriage. Moreover, the consent of the parent’s/parents’ was not necessary.

Documents for Hongkong wedding to submit

  • The printout of the confirmation letter ( sent via email)
  • ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT. The bridegroom’s original travel document (the one used during your most recent arrival clearance to enter Hong Kong)
  • ORIGINAL VALID PASSPORT. The bride’s original travel document (the one used during your most recent arrival clearance to enter Hong Kong)

Address:

3/F., Low Block, Queensway Road Government Offices, 66 Queensway Road, Hongkong. ( Counter 20)

APRIL 19-23. FREE DAY

As I’ve mentioned above, it is also lovely to have a days allowance so you can go anytime if they need more documents. Of course, this is your free day; you may go sightseeing around Hongkong or good food tripping. Anything you want!

On the other hand, we took this opportunity to explore the country. I’ve been to Hongkong before, but it’s my husband’s first time. So, our wedding was a vibrant chance we surely didn’t want to let it slide!

APRIL 24, 2019.

The wedding day at Cotton tree drives the Marriage registry.

Our appointment time was 10:30, along with our family members like Chris’ brother and sister-in-law Julia, my mom, my eldest sister Gem, and her son, Scott, and lastly, my youngest sister, Amber. We all arrived at least an hour before. Also, we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

If you didn’t have time to do some makeup and all your girly stuff, there’s room for that. It’s free; it’s one of the benefits I thought was very thoughtful about getting married in Hongkong as foreigners.

Once we arrived at THE COTTON TREE DRIVE, Chris and I entered the office to submit the documents and pay the required Marriage fee, $715 HKD/5,005PHP cash.

When everything was settled in the ceremonial room, then the family members could soon enter.

On top of that, as required, Alex, my brother-in-law, and my mother were our main witnesses, which means they also had to sign our official marriage documents.

*Friendly reminder: Arrive early as possible. The officers in charge were strict in terms of delinquency. Also, it’s your big day!

Documents for Hongkong weddings to submit.

  • MARRIAGE FEE: $715HKD/ 5,005PHP (please check the current currency exchange)
  • Travel Documents, You and your partner

*Note: You will need two adults to stand as witnesses.

The Hongkong wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony was quite fast. It was less than 20 minutes. After we read the vows to each other in the wedding ceremony, signed the marriage contract, wore the ring to each other’s left ring finger, sealed it with a kiss, and voiWe were officiallyally married!

Most importantly, we took some pictures, of course!

That’s all.

What can I say? I believed that getting married in Hongkong as foreigners had its perks. Moreover, it’s relatively smooth and drama free. Therefore, it was an excellent day!

*Note: You must bring the rings; the ceremony won’t proceed without them, and you should wear them to your spouse’s left finger. As advised by the officer in charge.

Married in Hongkong, officially.

That’s all? Yes. Easy? Setting aside the collection of essential documents and securing the date, amongst many others. Yes.

Alex and Julia were the sweetest and most thoughtful people at the wedding celebration. They brought us a bottle of champagne and other drinks, a round wedding cake, and a cute Pikachu balloon that both our families shared and enjoyed just right outside Cotton Tree Drive.

Alex was also our main photographer since we didn’t hire one. And he did a great job. Thank you, Alex! You’re the best!

Important things to do after the wedding

After the wedding, we thought we had already finished everything. But wait, there’s more. Yep. Apparently so, there was a long list of tasks after getting married in Hongkong.

On the same day we received our marriage contract at The Cotton tree drive marriage registry, we headed to the Philippines Consulate General Hongkong to submit documents.

What is this for?

For the validation of our marriage. Also, to have a record of it at the Philippines Statistics Office (PSA), known before as NSO.

*Note: This only applies to Filipino married in Hongkong.

At the Philippine Consulate General, Hongkong

Address: 14/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty, Hongkong

Civil Registry Unit Fee: $280HKD/ 1,960PHP ( This is for the consular service you need to pay upon submitting your documents). (please check the current currency exchange)

Official website: http://www.hongkongpcg.dfa.gov.ph/index.php

What to do: Show up yourself and tell them you will submit your documents for the wedding in Hongkong. They know this part of the process and they’d also help you all throughout. So no fret.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/z9txQYE5xr12

*Note: This only applies to Filipino married in Hongkong.

Documents after the Hongkong wedding to submit

  • Original Marriage contract/certificate issued by the Hong Kong SAR Registry
  • 3 x color copies Marriage contract/certificate issued by the Hong Kong SAR Registry 
  • Original NSO authenticated Birth certificate of the wife;
  • NSO authenticated the Birth certificate of the wife;
  • 3 x color copies NSO Birth certificate of the wife;
  • Original NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino nationals only]
  • NSO authenticated Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino citizens only]
  • 3 x color copies of NSO Certificate of no marriage record (CENOMAR) [required for Filipino citizens only]
  • Original Valid passport/ travel documents of the spouses; and (husband and wife)
  • 3 x color copies of Valid passport/ travel documents of the spouses; and (husband and wife)
  • Original Duly accomplished Report of Marriage form. (ROM)
  • 4 x copies of ROM

    *Note: This only applies to Filipino married in Hongkong.

Filipino Traveling to Germany Checklist on Pinterest 2

Related read: Filipino traveling to Germany-things you cannot overlook


Other essential steps and things to do

After successfully submitting our documents, the officer in charge informed us that the marriage certificate would be available at PSA Philippines after three (3) months.

That long?! Well, don’t panic. It’s the Philippines’ style. YES. That’s the price of getting married in Hongkong or abroad as a Filipino or a foreigner. But, who cares?

However, you may follow up at PSA Philippines if you need to fix and prepare your visa soon. ( Like mine to Germany) She handed me a piece of voucher including the telephone number and email address information to raise your concern or to follow up merely.

You may also ask about other things that concern you, such as changing last names. I believe that the Consul in Hongkong was highly familiar with Filipino married in Hongkong. She didn’t take so many detours and explained to me carefully about the things to do.

*Note: This only applies to Filipino married in Hongkong.

At the Apostille Service office at the high court, Hongkong

What to do: Bring your documents to them to get notarized officially by the Hongkong government.

Address: Apostille Service Office “, High Court Registry, Room LG115, High Court Building, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong 

FEE: $125/HKD/875PHP for each Apostille. We had 2 Apostille documents. (please check the current currency exchange)

Official website: Court service Apostille

Documents to submit

  • Three (3) copies of the marriage certificate. We acquired this after the wedding.

What is this for?

An apostille is a special form of notarial certification in the international authentication procedure. … The Apostille certifies the authenticity of a public document, signature or stamp “– Google

After 24 hours, we returned to the Apostille service office at the high court to pick up our documents. The marriage contract was necessary to submit to the Apostille service for an apostille.

Finished! We just had to wait three months to issue our marriage certificate at PSA Philippines. That’s all you should be thinking about next!

Getting married in Hongkong – expenses to look out for

How much did we spend in total, you might wonder? For the wedding fees and all necessary documents, = $1550HKD / 10, 850 Php
(plus small fees for photocopies in Hongkong )

As you can see, it’s not that much scrutinization to compare to if we choose to marry in the Philippines church. Of course, that will surely come later or not, as I hope to have a beach wedding when everything’s settled.

Also, as stated above, the total amount’s just the average amount you should expect to spend. Please allow a bigger allowance. The amount also doesn’t include the Airbnb dining out, shopping, etc.

Significantly, splurging a bit was also part of the plan. Getting married in Hongkong as foreigners meant, it was time for luxury!

We dined at the Tiffin Restaurant at Grand Hyatt Hongkong for our wedding dinner. They served a sumptuous dinner buffet at HK$728 / Php5,096 per person. (please check the current currency exchange).

Final thoughts of getting married in Hongkong as foreigners

The wedding abroad didn’t come easy peasy. We had to prepare and tire ourselves to ensure everything would turn out alright. As you’ve read, while all Hongkong wedding documents were relatively lesser than the traditional ones, I, particularly as a Filipino, had to substantiate every requirement.

As a woman, I had to ensure things would turn out smoothly. I had some jitters, too, like most women who would have their big day. Nonetheless, I’m grateful that our wedding in Hongkong exceeded our expectations.

Insider tips for a smooth Hongkong wedding

#1: To some extent, disclosing to the immigration officer in the Philippines the purpose of your travel to Hongkong is somewhat not necessary. For several reasons why- Telling them the real reason may be a cause for your offload. That could happen.

That being said, when my family flew to Hongkong for our wedding, I advised them that the purpose of the trip was only fun and leisure, in case the immigration asked them.

I’m not saying you should; Ie, I only meant you’re really just traveling, arent’ you?

#2: Make a list of essential things you must prepare, such as documents or requirements for your Hongkong wedding. The plan will help you keep track and not miss crucial pieces.

#3: In addition to those mentioned earlier, try to visit the places or locations you need to go to before going there on your appointment day—Philippine Embassy Hongkong and Apostille Service Office at High Court.

Therefore, it would be best if you could already check it out beforehand so that it won’t consume all your time if you can’t find the right direction on the day of your appointment. It was actually my husband’s idea that worked well for both of us!

#4: Lastly, remember to complete all your requirements or documents. They will not acknowledge or accept if you have a missing piece. Coordinate well with the people in charge. Most importantly, don’t fake your documents. Never do that!

Faqs – answered

  • Do you need an appointment at Apostille Service Office?
    NO
    . Just go there. They are open from Mondays to Fridays except for holidays.
  • Do you need an appointment at Philippine Embassy Hongkong?
    NO. They are open from Mondays to Fridays except for holidays.
  • We’re both Filipinos and we want to get married in Hongkong. Is that possible?
    Absolutely yes! Getting married in Hongkong as foreigners means being a non-resident of the country. Therefore, whether you and your spouse are both Filipino or one is a foreigner and another is Filipino, then yes.

Hongkong travel/tourism advisory

Hongkong now accepts fully vaccinated tourists. Starting September 23, Hongkong government lifted the quarantine requirement for inbound passengers. However, there will be some necessary steps and procedures to complete, such as taking an antigen test 24 hours prior to the arrival.

For more detailed information, you may refer to Hongkong government website here.

Personal notes

I know it’s long and took your time to read the whole article. But I really do hope this article will help you plan your special day. Just remember that some processes may vary or have changed. I wrote this article based on personal experiences and thorough research.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comment box, and I will reply to them as soon as possible. But please refrain from sending me a message on social media as I rarely check spam or request messages.

Lastly, if you liked this article, I’d highly appreciate it if you could share it with someone who you think also needs it! Thanks a bunch!

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