Jenifel Baliday-Alavazo 25 January 2012
Listed in : Marriage Preparation
Tags : documents, marriage, preparations
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Requirements if You're Marrying a Foreigner

Secure these additional paperwork in case you'll be exchanging I Do's with a foreigner.

Love knows no bounds, race or even nationality. When two people fall in love and commit to marriage, the boundaries dissolve and the barriers collapse. The same cannot be said, however, for the marriage laws in our country. Interracial marriages necessitate additional requirements and bureaucratic involvements--check these extra requisites below.

Legal requirements

First off, a foreigner who wishes to marry a Filipino needs to obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (also Certificate of No Impediment or Certificate of Freedom to Marry or Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry depending on term used by their country) issued by diplomatic or consular representatives in their embassy here in the Philippines before filing an application for a marriage license. This is in accordance to Article 21 of the Family Code of the Philippines stating: "When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials."

To get the document, the foreigner must make a personal appearance before a consular officer at their embassy. Requirements may vary from one embassy to another. Visit or call your fianc?'s embassy and ask beforehand the list of documents to be submitted. Once you receive the certificate, you may apply for a marriage license.

Church clearance and other requirements

If you will be married in a church, you need to go to the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Arzobispado de Manila (121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila--near Manila Cathedral) to secure clearance. Again, getting this document entails a list of requirements--which may vary depending on the foreigner's nationality. The clearance can then be submitted to the parish office of your chosen church upon filing of application for the wedding. Also, each parish may have a different set of additional prerequisites (aside from the clearance). For example, Japanese nationals require a separate clearance from CSSR (Traveler's Life Bldg., T.M. Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila). Chinese citizens can get clearance from St. Jude Parish (J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila).

Give your chosen parish church a visit or a call to inquire about additional clearances or documents needed according to your partner's citizenship. Also, supplementary clearance papers are needed according to specificity of your fianc?'s status (i.e. military personnel, widower, divorcees, non-Catholics, etc.) before your chosen church gives the go-signal to your wedding ceremony.?

It would greatly help if you secure multiple copies of your documents, say three to four copies of annotated birth certificates and CENOMARs, to avoid going back to NSO to get additional copies. Also keep photocopies of all legal documents for personal safekeeping, in case documents get misplaced or lost. Verify all the information you have given as well as the documents you have received and spell-check for errors. Lastly, ask for receipts for money paid and documents submitted for purposes of proof.

If you feel overwhelmed with the intricacies of burgeoning paperwork, remember that marrying to the one you love most will make everything worth it.? After all, love conquers all, even cultural and racial differences, and yes, even additional paperwork burdens and bureaucratic red tape.

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