My husband, Daniel, is an American. We got married here in the Philippines last 2012. Since then, people who want to go through the same process kept asking me questions about the requirements. So, I thought of writing a post about it for me to able to explain everything in detailed.
I understand that getting married is one of the few most exciting events in one’s life. But before you go crazy with other details like rings, gowns, tuxedos, flowers, cakes, receptions, catering, invitations, etc., you have to complete the legal documents that you need before getting married. Please note that the requirements needed in obtaining a marriage license depend on one’s civil status and residence or nationality. In this post I will be sharing the step by step process in getting a Marriage License in the Philippines.
First, both the American and the Filipina Fiancée need to prepare the following documents to be able to proceed with the marriage registration.
American Fiancé/ Fiancée need the following:
- Passport – 2 photocopies
- ID – 2 photocopies
- Latest Date of Arrival – 2 photocopies
- Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage or Certificate of Legal Capacity
- Certificate of No Marriage CENOMAR or Certificate of Singleness
- Divorce certificate or Spousal Death Certificate (1 original and 2 photocopies) should the foreigner had been married before. Original copies are required.
- Parent’s Consent or Advice should the foreigner is between the ages of 18 and 21, he/she needs to obtain a written consent from his/her parents or guardians in accordance with Philippine law on age requirements for Marriage.
- Military Approval should the US citizen is an active member of the military.
- Naturalization Papers should the Foreigner is a naturalized Citizen – 1 original and 2 photocopies
Filipina Fiancé/ Fiancée need the following:
- Birth Certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO)
- Certificate of Registration from the Local Civil Registrar
- Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness
- Parents’ Consent or Parental Advice
- Certificate of Attendance
- Barangay Certification or Barangay Clearance
- Death Certificate of Deceased Spouse should the Filipino/ Filipina is a widow or widower
- Certificate of Finality of Annulment from the Court should the Filipino / Filipina is annulled
Second, given that you already have the mentioned documents above and the foreigner (American in our case) has already secured the required affidavit (Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage) from his respective embassy in the Philippines, then you can now start with the basic steps in getting a Marriage License in the Philippines;
1.) Schedule a Pre-marital seminar at the City Health Department or Municipal Health Department and pay the necessary fees.
2.) Attend the Pre-marital Seminars conducted by the Municipal Health Department or City Health Department and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
3.) Get your Certificate of Attendance for the seminar you have attended
4.) Get and fill out Application for Marriage License (Form 90)
5.) Attach all the necessary documents needed (these are the basic requirements mentioned above)
6.) Submit the Application and the attached documents
7.) Get Claim Slip
8.) Wait until the application had been posted by the posting officer
9.) Get the Marriage License
There is a 5-day to 2 weeks waiting period from the filing of the Application to the issuance of the marriage license, but it can be considerably more depending on whether any of your paperwork has any issues and the schedules of the officials whose approval you will need. Note that the marriage license has 120-day validity period and maybe used anywhere in the Philippines.
During the marriage ceremony, you have to present the license to a person authorized to solemnize your marriage, such as judge, justice of the peace, priest or minister of religion to consummate your marriage.
Even though the application for marriage license may be tasking, it will always be good to know that a marriage well-celebrated and well-prepared-for will always be worth the wait and the effort. It is not important how long and tedious the preparation is; what matters most is being married with the person you truly love.