Are you planning to tie the knot in Hong Kong? Here's what you should know!
26 February 2014| Last updated on 20 September 2017
Getting married in Hong Kong is an easy process, whether you are a resident or an expat. Just follow the Hong Kong marriage registration procedure and you’ll be married in a jiffy. If both parties are expats, the marriage will not affect your residential status; instead it may benefit you with regards to income tax. You can choose from three ways of getting married once you met the legal requirements.
It is relatively easy to get married; all you need is a valid passport and birth certificate and you have to be at least sixteen years of age. If you are between 16 and 21 years old, you have to obtain written consent from your parent or legal guardian. If your legal guardian resides outside of Hong Kong you may need legal accompanying documents as additional proof. Please see your consulate or embassy for country specific requirements.
If you are divorced, or if you were previously married and your spouse is now deceased you will have to provide sufficient proof that you are free to marry. This proof has to be a divorce decree or a death certificate, respectively translated in English.
At least 17 days before you get married, you must apply for a notice of marriage. First schedule an appointment with the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office through the Immigration Department’s online service. Your notice of marriage will be valid for three months; thereafter, a new application must be made. The notice of marriage must be displayed at the marriage registry for a minimum of 15 days to allow family to contest the marriage.
Hong Kong Marriage Registration and Records Office
3/F, Low Block
Queensway Government Offices
Tel: (+852) 2867 2787
Email: [email protected]
There are three places where a wedding may take place; the registry office, a place of worship or any other location of your choice. Wherever you decide to have the wedding, at least two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present at the time of the wedding, additionally an interpreter should be there if one of the parties getting married does not speak English or Chinese.
Marriage at the registry office
If you decide to marry at the registry office, arrange a time and date while you are filing your notice. Weekends and public holidays are the most popular times to get married and the cost of the marriage certificate reflects this. It is essentially cheaper to get married on a work day. Office hours for the marriage registry can be found on the Government website>>
Wedding in a place of worship
Should you get married in a place of worship, it must be a government licensed venue and a minister must be present to perform the ceremony. List of licensed wedding venues>>
A civil ceremony is officially called ‘civil celebrants for marriage’ and can be conducted at an array of venues including hotels, restaurants, garden and the beach. The ceremony has to be conducted only by a practicing solicitor or a notaries public who meets the statutory criteria to be a civil celebrant. No marriage should be celebrated in the absence of a Certificate of Registrar of Marriages. All the Information for a civil ceremony can be found on the leaflet for marrying parties>>