Getting married in China

Are you planning to get married in China? There are several things you need to consider.

Dutch requirements for marrying or entering into a registered partnership

If you are a Dutch national and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18 and you marry abroad your marriage will not be recognised in the Netherlands until you are both 18 years old.
  • You and your partner may not already be married to or have a registered partnership with someone else.
  • If you are under guardianship you will need the permission of your guardian or of the limited jurisdiction judge ('kantonrechter').
  • The following family members are forbidden to marry each other or enter into a registered partnership with each other: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.

Obtaining permission from the country in which you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership

Are you planning to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad? If so, check whether this is permitted under the law of the country in question. To find out, you should consult the foreign authority responsible for conducting marriages and registering partnerships. You cannot marry at a Dutch embassy or consulate abroad.

Documents required for marriage or registered partnership outside the Netherlands

The foreign authority that conducts your marriage or registers your partnership can tell you which documents you require. These may include a copy of your birth certificate and a declaration of marital status

Registering a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

You can register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Dutch register. To do this, contact the municipality of The Hague’s Foreign Document Department.

Legalisation of a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

If you wish to register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Netherlands you will probably first need to have your foreign certificate legalised. This can be done by the authorities in the country where you were married. The Dutch embassy or consulate in that country may then also need to legalise the marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. You can find out more about what you need to do in the legalisation information for that country.

Marrying in this country or region

Marrying in China is possible in case one of the partners is an official resident of China. The marriage is registered at the “Marriage Registration Office of Civil Affairs” (民政局婚姻登记处) in the city where one of the partners is registered as a resident.

For an overview of all the requirements and necessary documents, you will need to contact the Marriage Registration Office of Civil Affairs (民政局婚姻登记处). In General Dutch citizens are asked to provide a valid identity document and a proof of the current marital status.

Getting a declaration of marital status

Deregistered from the Netherlands?

In case you are an official resident of China holding a valid visa or residence permit and you are deregistered as a resident from the Dutch population register (BRP), the Embassy in Beijing or Consulate-General in Shanghai or Guangzhou can issue a declaration of marital status. More information on applying for this kind of declaration can be found on our website.

Not deregistered from the Netherlands?

In case you are not an official resident of China and you did not deregister yourself as a resident from the Dutch population register (BRP), the Embassy in Beijing or Consulate-General in Shanghai or Guangzhou cannot issua a declaration of marital status. In that case you will need to apply for a (international) proof of your marital status in the municipality where you live. This document needs to be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, and after that by the Chinese Embassy in the Hague.

Disclaimer

Peking, 2013. Aan de informatie op deze pagina kunnen geen rechten worden ontleend.