Legal Requirements for Getting Married in the Philippines
Allow least 31-41 days from arrival in the Philippines to wedding date to process paperwork (21 days to obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage and 10 days for posting the marriage application, prior to the wedding ceremony and an additional 10 days to receive the Marriage Certificate). We recommend giving yourself more time due to weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
- Original or certified copy of birth certificates
- Valid Passports
- Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage/Certificate of No Impediment*/Affidavit declaring that each party is free to marry (sworn in your resident country to save time or visit your Embassy in the Philippines)
- Divorce or death certificates, if applicable
- Written advice and/or a marriage counseling session, if applicable (see Age and Relation, below)
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
Legally recognized weddings preformed in the Philippines include civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies performed by registered churches or religious sects. Religious officiates require that either the bride or groom be affiliated with that church or sect. Marriage by proxy is not allowed.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 22 years of age. Underage couples must be at least 18 years of age and have parental consent. Couples between the ages of 22-24 must request written advice from their parents or guardians. If the bride or groom is between the ages of 18-25, a marriage counseling session is required. They cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses of legal age must be present.
Take all paperwork to your Embassy in Manila or Cebu and the local Civil Registrar in the Philippines. An appointment may be necessary. US Citizens: Manila (select “Request notarial and other services not listed above.” Print the confirmation of your appointment and bring with other documents).
Your Embassy can provide you with a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage/Certificate of No Impediment *. Some nationalities can receive this from the Embassy or local Registrar in their home country, to be forwarded to their Embassy in Manila. Keep in mind that some certificates expire. UK residents will find that the certificate is valid for 3 months. The application process in the Philippines will take 21 days.
The Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage must be brought, along with all other necessary documents, to the local Civil Registrar’s Office to apply for a Marriage License. There is a waiting period of 10 days prior issuing the Marriage License. Keep this in mind, when setting the wedding date. Once you have received the Marriage License, it is valid for 120 days.
For Religious Ceremonies, it is not necessary to apply for a Marriage Licence. Instead, contact your place of worship prior to leaving on your trip, and bring all the necessary documents directly to your marriage officiate.
- There is a 10 day waiting period from the date of the ceremony to issuing a Certificate of Marriage.
*A Certificate of No Impediment, is also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or a Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form).
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in the Philippines” in the subject line.