Easier to marry her in the uk or the Philippines?

Hi I'm looking to marry my Filipino girlfriend and was just wondering is it better and easier to marry her in the uk or the Philippines?

Hi leopardspot1,

Welcome to Expat.com :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the England forum for more visibility and interaction with the members.

I also invite you to post the same thread on the Philippines forum so that you can have more information on the marriage formalities there.
Then you can decide where it will be easier for you to get married.

All the best,

Expat.com Team

Firstly, consider who else you would want to be present at the wedding. Covid aside, it would be expensive but possible for your family to travel there. Her family, however, would probably not be able to get visas to visit the UK and in any case the cost of such a visit would be enormous in relation to what most filippinos earn and to what most things cost there.

Secondly, how long can you spend away? An essential document for getting married outside the UK is the Certificate of No Impediment that the British embassy provides. It takes three weeks, and they will only begin the process once you have been in the country for at least three weeks. So if it is not possible for you to be away from your job for that length of time you might prefer a wedding in the UK. Alternatively, you might visit for long enough to apply for a CNI and then return during its period of validity.

Thirdly, would your spouse want/need to work as soon as she arrived in Britain? If she arrives as a fiancee she is not allowed to work: after marriage she can then apply for a visa as a spouse and then work. If you marry abroad then she has this visa and the right to work as soon she enters the UK.

I agree with most of what Voyager_2002 says but can't find anything on the UK government's website about having to be in the Philippines for three weeks before you can kick start the process of obtaining an Affirmation of Marital Status (the correct name for the Certificate of No Impediment he refers to). I accept that things may vary from country to country, but when I got married in Thailand in 2019 I booked my appointment at the British Embassy a couple of months in advance and arranged a flight that arrived in Thailand just a couple of days before the appointment.

It seems that thanks to Covid you no longer even need an appointment at the British Embassy if you're marrying in the Philippines - you just swear an affidavit and have it notarised by a local lawyer. From the British government's website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati … hilippines

"British nationals who wish to marry in the Philippines are no longer required to have their affidavits administered at the Embassy. Instead, you may have the affidavit notarised locally in the Philippines."

Thanks to retiree for the update: my information dates from at least 15 years ago so I am confident that he is correct, and that both the procedure and the name of the document have changed since then.