• Requirements for marrying a foreigner in the Philippines

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    What are the requirements before my Australian boyfriend and I could get married here in the Philippines? Is it possible for us to get married in a place that is different from the city where our marriage license will be issued?
    CT

    Dear CT,
    Articles 2 and 3 of the Family Code of the Philippines enumerate the essential and formal requisites of marriage, to wit:

    “Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:

    (1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and

    (2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (53a)
    “Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:

    (1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;

    (2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and

    (3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.” (53a, 55a)

    However, since your boyfriend is a foreigner, in addition to the foregoing, it shall also be necessary for him to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage issued by his diplomatic or consular officials. If he is considered to be a stateless person or refugee, he shall submit, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity, an affidavit stating the circumstances showing his capacity to contract marriage. The certificate of legal capacity or the affidavit is required before you will be issued a marriage license (Article 21, Family Code of the Philippines).

    Once you have complied with the requirements and you were issued a marriage license, you and your boyfriend may validly contract your marriage anywhere in the Philippines and not necessarily at the place where your marriage license was issued. According to Article 20 of the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage
    license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines for a period of one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of issue and shall be deemed automatically cancelled at the expiration of the said period if the contracting parties have not made use of it.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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