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Marriage in Hong Kong

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Marriage is a new stage of life which deserves appropriate planning. As Hong Kong has an independent government, marriage procedures differ from those followed in the mainland. Various types of weddings are celebrated in Hong Kong including civil marriages and religious marriages. However, gay marriage is not legal in Hong Kong, as of 2017.

Proceedings

The process of getting married in Hong Kong is rather straight forward and easy, whether you are a citizen or an expat. If both participants are expats, registering your marriage will not affect your residential status in Hong Kong in any way, however some income tax benefits do apply.

The first thing you will need to do is notify the Hong Kong Civil Status Office of your intention to get married. You can conveniently do that online at the Immigration Department’s website. To schedule an appointment, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport or identity card;
  • The names of both partners;
  • Proof of your celibacy (certificate of divorce or death certificate in case of a previous marriage);
  • Information about your address, age, profession and the names of your parents.

Note that parental consent is required if one of the two partners is less than 21 years old.

Once you have completed these formalities, the Civil Status Office will proceed to the publication of marriage banns for a period of at least 15 days. During this time, the notice of marriage will be displayed at the marriage registry and can be contested.

If all the conditions have been met, a certificate of capacity to marry will be issued. Note that the certificate is valid for three months from the date of issue. If you don't get married within the three months, you will need to apply for a new certificate.

Good to know:

You must be at least 16 years old to be eligible for marriage in Hong Kong. There is no peculiarity in terms of nationality or place of residence.

Celebrate your marriage

Marriage in Hong Kong can be celebrated before an officer of the Civil State or in a place of worship, or any other place authorised by the Hong Kong authorities. You must, however, inform the marriage registration office. Your marriage must be registered in Hong Kong and at least two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present.

It is recommended that you make an appointment with a Civil Status officer at least 17 days prior to your scheduled wedding date if want your wedding to be celebrated by a public officer. The same applies to the booking of a wedding hall. Note that weekends and public holidays are the most popular time, which, in turn, will affect the cost of your celebration.

  Attention:

You will not be allowed to marry, neither at the Civil Status Office nor in a place of worship, without a marriage registration certificate.

 Useful link:

Hong Kong government
Wedding venues for hire

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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