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Getting Married in Hong Kong

The wedding day is usually the most important day for millions of couples worldwide. It’s no different for expats who plan on getting married in Hong Kong. If you are familiar with the legal requirements, nothing prevents your marriage in Hong Kong from becoming a truly special time.
Getting married in Hong Kong is a fairly easy process, for locals and expats alike.

All in all, getting married in Hong Kong is quite simple, at least for heterosexual couples. There are no residential requirements. You simply have to observe a registration procedure with the Hong Kong Authorities. After that, you can choose from three ways of getting married in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong as in many other countries, the marital status entails certain benefits, especially for your Hong Kong income tax. However, if both you and your spouse are expats, your marriage does not have a direct effect on your residence status.

Legal Requirements

Generally speaking, all you need in order to get married in Hong Kong is a valid passport and birth certificate. However, you must be at least sixteen years of age and engaged to a person of the opposite sex. There are certain additional requirements if one of the following applies to you and/or your fiancé(e):

  • If you are between 16 and 21 years old, you are still a minor  according to Hong Kong law. Therefore you need the written consent of your father or legal guardian for getting married in Hong Kong. If your father is deceased, your mother has to consent to your marriage. If the person who needs to give his (or her) consent lives abroad, the process can become rather complicated. Please check with your consulate and/or the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office beforehand to find out which documents you have to provide.
  • Before getting married, you have to submit sufficient evidence for your marital status. If you are divorced, you need to provide a sealed certified copy of the court’s final divorce decree, translated into English if necessary. If you are widowed, proof of your former marriage as well as a death certificate of your deceased spouse is required.
  • If you are part of armed forces personnel, getting married in Hong Kong is only possible after you have secured permission from your commanding officer.

The Registration Procedure

You have to obtain a notice of marriage before you can tie the knot. Make sure to schedule an appointment with the Hong Kong Marriage Registration Office at least 17 days before the planned date. You can easily make an appointment through the online service of the Immigration Department.

On this website, you’ll also find a form labeled “Information Required for Registration of Marriage”. In order to speed up the process, fill out the form in advance and submit it online or bring it along to your appointment. The fee for processing your application is HKD 305.

If you have not arrived in Hong Kong yet, you can also obtain your notice for getting married in Hong Kong from overseas. Your notice of marriage is valid for three months after your appointment with the registrar. After that period, you have to file a new application.

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. During this period, people who are authorized by law may object to the proposed marriage by writing “forbidden” on the copy of the notice. This usually refers to parents and guardians of minors who plan on getting married in Hong Kong. However, this hardly ever happens and is therefore unlikely to hinder your personal wedding plans.

Important Contact Info

For any further questions concerning the registration procedure of getting married in Hong Kong, please contact the Marriage Registration Office directly:

Hong Kong Marriage Registration and Records Office

3/F, Low Block

Queensway Government Offices

66, Queensway

Hong Kong

Telephone: (+852) 2867 2787

Email:   enquiry@immd.gov.hk

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.