Planning on tying the knot in Hong Kong or legally registering your wedding? Read on for our step-by-step guide to marriage registration, so you can be officially recognised as ‘the missus’ with the Hong Kong government!
Step 1: Book your appointment
Give yourselves a 15-day (excluding Sundays) to three-month window to obtain your Certificate of Registrar of Marriage. The easiest way to book your appointment with the Registrar of Marriages is online. Select a preferred appointment location and check what documents and personal particulars you’ll need in the Information Required for Marriage Registration (Form MR21B). Speed up your processing time at the appointment by submitting your deets directly online to the Immigration Department at least one day before your appointment with the Registrar. If you’re not a web hack, you can also book your appointment to give your Notice of Intended Marriage the old school way, and dial 3102 3883 (open 24 hours). Either the bride or groom must be in attendance at the appointment to give Notice of Intended Marriage.
Step 2: Verify your documents
Now that you’ve booked your appointment and have Form MR21B sorted, it’s time to head to your selected Registrar of Marriages office. After verification of all documents and a $305 filing fee, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Registrar of Marriages. This wedding licence allows a three-month window for executing your nuptials, and becomes void upon expiry.
Step 3: Solemnise your marriage
Hurrah! It’s time to line up your DJ for Kool and the Gang’s Celebration! To make your wedding official, you’ll need a civil celebrant of marriages to seal the deal. Marriages can be validated by a minister at a licensed place of worship, at the Registrar itself, or by a competent civil celebrant of marriages. If you opt to celebrate your wedding at the Registrar, check the available capacity for marriage ceremony here. Fees for marriage at the Office of the Registrar are $715 for weddings during office hours, and $1935 for Saturday afternoons and Sundays.
Step 4: After the solemnisation
Congratulations! According to the Hong Kong Marriage Ordinance, you are legally married. You owe it to yourselves to take a short honeymoon break as a newly married couple. (Maldives, anyone?)
Did you know?
- Marriage registries close in a Signal 8 typhoon signal or a Black Rainstorm Warning. You can attend the Registrar within two hours after the cancellation of these signals. Or, if the time is outside office hours, go along at the same appointment time the following day.
- You have to be 16 to marry in Hong Kong. However, those aged between 16 and 21 are considered minors. Marriages for this group must have the full consent of parents or legal guardians.
- You have five Marriage Registries to choose from. Locations: City Hall, Cotton Tree Drive, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun.
- Under the Hong Kong Marriage Ordinance, transsexuals who have undergone a full sex reassignment surgery (SRS) have the legal right to wed.
- There are no residential requirements for either party, nor are there any nationality restrictions.
You’ll find more about booking your appointment for giving notice of an intended marriage on the GovHK website, details about marriage registration in Hong Kong on the Immigration Department website, and legal information on the Hong Kong e-legislation website.
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