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Marrying a local...

JingWei (30 posts) • 0


Technically you can get married in China without registering your marriage at your embassy / consulate but it means that your own country will NOT consider you married. So better do the registry part, which is the most complex part.

Chinese side of the marriage procedure is fairly straight forward:

The chinese spouse need her ID and Hukou while the foreigner need passport and a legalized translation of the "being single" certificat. The administrative marriage is to be done in the capital of the province where the Chinese spouse has her/his hukou, at the main provincial office for marriage. It is NOT the chinese that requires the health certificat, it has been dropped at national level a few years back, but some embassies still have this requirement. The administrative marriage can be done in a few hours when you have all the paper ready.

Foreigner side.
It is the foreigner side that can slow down the process. You NEED to start the foreigner side before the chinese. What you need depends of your own country requirement to register the marriage officially.

There is only one thing to do, find your nearest consulate and ask them what you need to do. As an example my country (France) interview the bride-to-be as a prerequisite of the "certificate of marriage capacity" which I find is a shocking intrusion in and limitation of my freedom (to marry who I want).

Some embassies / consulate will make the process easy while other will drag it on for ages. If your embassy is easy going and your chinese spouse's hukou is not at the other end of the country the process can be done in 2/3 months. If your embassy is being difficult about it, it can take 6, 9 or even 12 months to do the process.

So really the question is, where are you from Ocean and where is your Chinese Fiance's hukou.

On a practical note, after the marriage you can apply for a "visiting relative" visa in Kunming. You should be able to have a visa allowing you to stay a year in china and be multiple entries (ask for it). Fee depends of your country of origin but expect something similar to your student visa fees.

OceanOcean (1181 posts) • 0

Thanks JingWei. Very useful. I'm British and fiancee is a 'minger (Kunminger!). So it "should" be relatively straightforward, I think. Your advice is much appreciated. Thanks to you (and others) for taking the time.

Danmairen (510 posts) • 0

I was looking into the options for staying and working in China after the official marriage certificate has been issued. It looks AWFULLY complicated in the threads I found online and not even close to being as easy as JingWei said. Can anyone who's already been through this part offer some information and advice? I still have 7 months left on my Z-visa but if it's anywhere near as complicated as I'm thinking right now I better get the ball rolling soon.

lummerlaoshi (130 posts) • 0


You can apply for a marriage visa once you get married. My marriage visa lasts for one year at a time, allows for multiple entry, but does not allow for official work. You would still need to get a work visa if you wanted to work for a school (full-time...part-time gigs are a bit more, um, flexible). To apply for a marriage visa, you will need to have your marriage certificate (ours is a red book), your spouse's hukou, a temporary resident registration form (if you spouse is not from Kunming...else, the hukou should be fine), your spouse's ID, 4 photos (2-inch size), your passport, your registration form (form given to you after you register your place of residence in Kunming), the application forms filled out (you can get them there and fill them out, then attach photos at the application office), and copies of eve ofrything above (I would bring 3 copies to be safe). Take all of this to the immigration office on Beijing Lu (just south of Dong Feng Dong Lu, near Nan Ping Jie). If you are walking along Dong Feng Dong Lu away from Nan Ping Jie, you will turn right on to Beijing Lu (where all the construction is going on) and you will see the office on your left. Note: The officers at the office intially said they could not process a marriage visa which is total bull so be persistent, especially with government clerks.

Anonymous Coward (328 posts) • 0

I was married in 2008 to a Shandong woman. We applied at an office in Jining. At that time, all we needed was my passport, a translated document from the embassy of my country proving I was single, and a photo of the two of us for our marriage certificates. I can't remember what I paid for the certificate showing marital status, but the cost of the Chinese paperwork was something like 10rmb (plus cost of translation and photos). It was pretty straightforward. I'm surprised to learn that it can take up to a year for the office to approve the marriage. I am quite certain mine took no more than a day.

miamichelle (1 post) • 0

ask your fiancee to call 3149914, the office which is responsible for foreign marriage registration in KM, you will get information from them

OceanOcean (1181 posts) • 0

I got my marriage certificate today (took half an hour and cost 9RMB!) and plan a celebration later in the year. Thank you all once again for your advice and help in negotiating the hurdles.

tigertiger - moderator (5084 posts) • 0

Congratulations, crazy guy.

If you ever want advice, don't ask me. I am still trying to work it out after 7 years ;-)
It is a cultural thing, Mars and Venus, let alone E W. We are not meant to work it out.

As my brother once told me: "We will never understand the rules, as soon as it looks like we are starting to understand the rules, the women change them".

Wish you every happiness.

JJ and Janice (324 posts) • 0

There are 3 Rules about dealing with women - - and none of them work!!

Cheers - - JJ (Please don't tell Janice!!)

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