Getting married in Hong Kong

Marriage in Hong Kong
Updated 2023-01-14 19:48

There are many reasons why you may want to get married in Hong Kong. You could be a long-term expat and have finally met the love of your life in this exciting city. Or, you may have simply stopped by Hong Kong on one of your travels and found the city to be the perfect wedding destination. Whatever your reasons may be, here's what you need to know about getting married in Hong Kong as an expat.  

How to get married in Hong Kong as an expat

The process of getting married in Hong Kong is rather straightforward 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 under 21 years of age.

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 these 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.

Celebrating your wedding in Hong Kong

When it comes to celebrating your wedding in Hong Kong, you will have a variety of options.

A lot of couples choose to celebrate their weddings by booking a wedding package with one of Hong Kong's many hotels or other venues. You will find a lot of luxury hotels in the city, including the Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, The Peninsula Hong Kong, and more. Both luxury and mid-range hotels in the city offer wedding packages that include the use of the venue, catering, decorations, photos and other related services. The pricing of these packages varies a lot depending on the venue you choose, your requirements, the number of guests, etc. Generally, however, weddings in Hong Kong aren't cheap. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. And according to, the average cost of getting married in Hong Kong comes down to over HK$ 360,000 (over $45,900).

But, if you want to search beyond classic wedding venues, there are lots of other options to consider.

Hong Kong is home to stunning natural landscapes. The city is washed by the South China Sea and has a beautiful coastline with a number of picturesque beaches, from Repulse Bay to Millionaire's Beach in Sai Kung. Beach weddings are popular in Hong Kong and quite easy to organize.

If you love nature, you will be happy to learn that there are lots of hiking trails, parks and nature reserves in Hong Kong where you could take your festivities. As the weather in the city stays warm throughout the year, outdoor weddings are relatively easy to plan and arrange.

Hong Kong is home to some of the world's tallest skyscrapers, and the city's skyline is a fascinating sight. There are a number of rooftop restaurants and bars in Hong Kong where you can hold both low-key and chic wedding celebrations.

Another popular destination for weddings within the city is the Victoria Harbour Waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Avenue of Stars. By day, it's a stunning promenade where you will see Hong Kong's celebrities immortalized in handprints and statues. By night, it hosts the Symphony of Lights, the world's largest permanent light and sound show with 42 participating skyscrapers.

Good to know:

It is recommended that you make an appointment with a Civil Status officer at least 17 days prior to your scheduled wedding date if your wedding is 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.


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

Getting a Dependent Visa to Hong Kong

If one of the spouses is a Hong Kong citizen or permanent resident, the non-resident spouse can apply for a Dependent Visa in Hong Kong. To be granted a dependent visa in Hong Kong, you will need to provide proof that you are a dependent of your spouse who is a Hong Kong permanent resident or a resident not subject to a limit of stay.

You will need to meet the following conditions:

  • Prove that your relationship with the visa sponsor is genuine
  • Present a clean criminal record from your previous places of residence
  • Provide proof that your visa sponsor will be able to support you financially and offer suitable accommodation for the length of your stay

If your application is successful and you are granted residency in Hong Kong, you will be able to seek employment in the region.

Learn more about your visa options in Hong Kong. You can also check Hong Kong's Immigration Department website.

Getting married in Hong Kong: FAQ

Can I get married in Hong Kong as a tourist?

You don't need to be a Hong Kong resident to get married in Hong Kong. So, yes. You can get married in Hong Kong regardless of whether you are a tourist, an employee on a working visa, a student, a temporary resident, etc. However, if you will be traveling to Hong Kong for the first time to get married, make sure to check if you need a visa.

Can I apply to get married in Kong Kong from another country?

If you are residing abroad, you will need to file a Notice of Intended Marriage within three months from your desired wedding date. You will also need to complete the necessary application forms and have them notarized. You will then need to file them with the Hong Kong Marriage Office and pay all the related fees.

Note that your Notice of Intended Marriage is valid only for three months. Once this period is over, you will need to apply for a new Notice. To avoid delays, make sure to have all your paperwork in order before filing for the Notice of Intended Marriage.

What documents do I need for a wedding application in Hong Kong?

To file a wedding application, you will need your passports. If you've been married before, you will also need to provide documentation proving that your previous marriage has been terminated. If you or your partner are under 21 years of age, you will also need to provide written consent from your parent or legal guardian.

When should I arrive in Hong Kong after filing a wedding application?

In general, once your application is approved and you know the date of your wedding, you can arrive in Hong Kong just a few days before the big day. This will be more than enough to handle all the remaining formalities. However, it all depends on how you want to celebrate your wedding.

Who will be administering the wedding ceremony in Hong Kong?

If your wedding takes place at the Hong Kong Marriage Registry, it will be administered by the official registrar of marriages, who will authenticate the wedding ceremony and sign your marriage certificate. Note that you will also need to arrange for two witnesses to be present at the ceremony. You will receive your marriage certificate right after the official marriage ceremony takes place.

Can I celebrate my marriage in a licensed place of worship in Hong Kong?

Yes. If you plan to celebrate your marriage in a licensed place of worship, make sure to consult the officiating minister for the exact date, time and place of the wedding. You will then be able to make an appointment booking for a registry or office you choose to give the notice of the intended marriage. Note that this works on a first-come, first-served basis, and your appointment will most likely be within 12 working days from the next working day of the date when you make the appointment.

Can I get copies of the marriage certificate in Hong Kong?

Yes, if you need more copies of your marriage certificate, they can be ordered at an additional charge. Note that your application for extra marriage certificate copies will take about ten days to process.

Good to know:

If you plan to use your marriage certificate outside Hong Kong, you will most likely need to get an international authentication for it, also known as Apostille. This is not a complicated process — but it may take some time, so keep this in mind.

Is same-sex marriage legal in Hong Kong?

No, same-sex marriage is still illegal in Hong Kong. At the time this article is written, the Hong Kong government does not allow same-sex couples to get married legally.

If you are a same-sex couple willing to get married in Asia, your best option would be Taiwan. In 2019, Taiwan became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in Asia.

Can a transsexual person get married in Hong Kong?

Under Section 40 of Hong Kong's Marriage Ordinance, every marriage is a union of one man and one woman. In accordance with the Court of Final Appeal judgment in the judicial review case of W v The Registrar of Marriages (FACV 4/2012), if a person has received a full sex reassignment surgery (also known as full SRS), this person will be considered to be of the sex to which they have been re-assigned after surgery.

According to the Registrar of Marriages, transsexual persons who have undergone full SRS are eligible to marry a person of the opposite sex. The sex of the party intending to get married will be determined based on the identification document they present (identity card, driver's license, valid travel document, etc.).

If you have any further questions about getting married in Hong Kong, make sure to check the Hong Kong Marriage Registrar. You can also ask fellow expats about their experiences of getting married in Hong Kong. Check out Facebook groups like Expat Hong Kong, Hong Kong Expats, and others. Also, check out's Hong Kong Forum.

Useful links:

Hong Kong Government Official Website

Hong Kong Immigration Department Website

Hong Kong Marriage Registrar

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.