GoKunming Forums

Steps for getting married

Matt (2 posts) • 0

Hi everyone, hope someone can help.

Basically, I'm planning on getting married next year and getting the certificate of marriageability from the British consulate in Chongqing is no problem.

The government here have told me that the certificate of marriageability needs to be authenticated and have the Chinese embassy stamp on it. The consulate in Chongqing don't offer that service.

I was wondering if any British citizens have recently got married here and could shed some light on how they got around this problem.

Thanks a lot

JanJal (1117 posts) • 0

I have had the same problem, that my consulate does not provide courier or agent service to arrange authentications from my home country.

I'm not from UK, but the basic process is same for all.

The original document needs to be authenticated in foreign ministry of UK (I assume in London). They can prove, that whoever signed the document was authorized to do so.

There is a catch, that the original document may not necessarily be signed by the British consulate in Chongqing - they may only act as an agent to fetch it from some bureau in UK. Have you confirmed this? Between the lines I read that you don't yet have it.

If the original document was signed by some other entity than UK consulate or other bureau directly under UK foreign ministry, it may be need to be notarized first in whatever city it was written, and only then authenticated by foreign


At least in my home country, a consulate is not qualified to tell whether a person is marriageable or not - they can only authenticate some other bureau's signature.

Next step is to authenticate it at Chinese consulate in UK (again I assume London). They can prove, that whoever authenticated it at the foreign ministry of UK, was authorized to do so.

There is no entity in China who can authenticate the signature from UK's foreign minstry - the Chinese consulate in UK is the only place who can do that. Simlarly Chinese bureaus in China will not accept anything that is not authenticated by China's consulate in UK.

Then you are done - save Chinese translation, which in my case was done internally by the bureau

that registered our marriage in China - specifically Baoshan, Yunnan.

You can opt to mail the certificate (with needed support documents - not sure if your passport is needed) to UK and have someone else do the authentications there on your behalf, and then mail it back to you.

michael2015 (728 posts) • 0

Find a Chinese Agent in your home country, who specializes in Chinese Embassy or Consular Authentication services. Even I lived in the USA - the Consular office somewhat near my home refused to do a particular authentication and directed me to do it directly at the Chinese Embassy - a few thousand km away. The Chinese Embassy refused to take mail-in authentication requests - but the agent (also a few thousand km away) had a rep in Washington DC - so for a few hundred dollars per document - they would act as proxies.

Proxies offer Chinese Embassy or consular authentication services. For the USA, the proxy agent cost about USD 100-400 per document, depending on complexity. UK should be considerably less expensive.

You also need to fill out the consular or embassy forms and send them with your package AND prepay (use a credit card from your home country, if possible).

As with all proxy agents - similar to taobao shopping - do your research to try to minimize online wire fraud.

1. Get your authenticated certificate of marriageability from your consulate.

2. Take it to the formal gov/municipal translation agent in KM - have the document translated and the translated copy notarized.

That MAY fly as an alternative to shipping it to a Chinese proxy agent in your home country.

Haali (1176 posts) • 0

I don't remember it being that complicated. You just have to sign an affadit in front of a consulate worker in Chongqing, get your wedding photos done, and go to your wife's hometown to get the marriage certificates.

Liumingke1234 (3297 posts) • 0

I agree. When I got married 10 years ago I did the same thing. The changes must have been recently in the last 2 or 3 years.

JanJal (1117 posts) • 0

I got married 4 years ago in Yunnan and the regulations were very clear then, and I believe long time before.

Chinese authorities, for example the ones who decide whether you get married, are not legally bound (or even allowed) to accept foreign documents that are not authenticated by the Chinese embassy in the country where the original document was written (and previously authenticated by an entity that the Chinese embassy recognizes).

Example: if you write an affidafit in front of a foreign consulate's worker in Chongqing, to give that document any legal validity in China, the entity that uses the document (in Kunming for example) must recognize the specific consulate worker in foreign consulate in Chongqing - which is hardly ever true.

I would argue, that 10 years ago or so, laws in China were bent or ignored and not only in this area.

In Michael's alternative option, the local Chinese notarization would only authenticate that the translation was done by valid translator - it does nothing to authenticate the content or source of the document.

But he's right saying that it may still fly. In many areas Chinese officials are still ignorant of regulations or just incompetent, so they may be fooled by this trick.

Liumingke1234 (3297 posts) • 0

Makes me glad I got married back then. A simplier time.

AlPage48 (1281 posts) • 0

When my daughter got married here in Kunming 3 years ago all she got was the document from the Canadian Consulate in Chongqing.

She got it translated and notarized in Kunming and that was the end of it.

@Matt, have you phoned the consulate to ask them their normal procedure?

Hotwater (205 posts) • 0

This authentication rule might be a new one. Fellow Brit here & this is all I had to do in 2014...

1) get certificate of no impediment from British consulate in Guangzhou. It was issued as a bilingual document.

2) get passport translated at notary office in Nanchang

3) go with wife, her hukou, my certificate to registry office in Nanchang, fill in form, pay small fee, photo taken together & book issued.

Had to get married in Nanchang as wives hukou is Jiangxi.

Disnt need certificate of no impediment notarizing or authenticating.

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