Procedures and Documentation

Information about the marriage procedure in Hong Kong, as well as the documents required for the legal process...

Whatever type of marriage ceremony is being planned, a written notice of marriage must be given to the authorities at a marriage registry. For marriages that are to take place at a marriage registry, appointments for giving notice of marriage can be made online or by telephone.

The exact date and time of the ceremony should be fixed in advance of this application, either with the Registrar at the appropriate marriage registry or with the civil celebrant who will officiate or the minister if it is to be a religious service.

At least 15 days prior to the intended marriage, and no more than three months before, one or both parties should go in person to the marriage registry (if they are planning a ceremony at a marriage registry or in a place of worship) or make their application directly to their civil celebrant of marriages (if that is the route chosen).

The following documents must be provided for both parties:

  • evidence of identity - such as passports and/or Hong Kong Identity cards which clearly show their full names
  • evidence of current marital status; in the event of a previous marriage a sealed certified copy of the final divorce decree must be provided
  • widows and widowers must provide the former marriage certificate and death certificate of the spouse
  • evidence of consent from the relevant person if either party is under 21
  • details of current occupation
  • evidence of age, such as a birth certificate
  • full name of both parents for both parties
  • proof of current address
  • the necessary fee to process the application

Any documents supplied which are not already in English or Chinese must be accompanied by certified translations (signed by a notary public in Hong Kong or a solicitor of the High Court in Hong Kong). Documents may be submitted by post if neither party is able to go in person (for example because they are out of the country) but there are further requirements on arrival in Hong Kong and these should be checked with the Immigration Department.

Notice of marriage

The notice of marriage is valid for three months after its receipt by the Registrar. At the end of this period it becomes void and new notice must be given. Notices are displayed at the marriage registry where they are filed and also at the Marriage Registration and Records Office. After posting the notice, 15 "clear" days (17 days including Sundays) must elapse during which time anyone who is authorised by law to do so may file a written objection to the proposed marriage with the Registrar of Marriages. In the event of an objection the Registrar of Marriages will decide if the objection is valid. Should the Registrar decide that the objection is valid either party may appeal to the Court of First Instance. The court's decision will be final. If no valid objection is received by the end of the waiting period, the marriage may take place.

Note: US Armed forces personnel must have written permission to marry from the senior overseas area commander of their particular branch of service. In these cases, registration of marriage may take up to six weeks.

Overseas notice

If the marrying parties are both abroad and want to get married in Hong Kong a notice of marriage can be given by letter which must be sent to:

  • Marriage Registration and Records Office
    3rd Floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices
    66 Queensway, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2824 6111
    Fax: 2877 7711

The Marriage Registration and Records Office will send a Notice of Marriage form which should be filled in and sent back by registered post as soon as possible. A request for an appointment for the marriage can be made at the same time. Both signatures need to be authenticated by a Public Notary in the place of residence. The Marriage Office will confirm the appointment for the marriage ceremony by letter.