Non-Chinese Getting Married in China

Is it possible for foreigners to get married in China?

Yes, it is possible for foreigners to get married in China; one of the couple must reside in China and present a Chinese residence permit. If the couple is on L visa, it is not likely to register to get married.

I am Not Chinese. Can I marry a Chinese person in China? How do I register my marriage? What are the formalities?

It is possible to marry in China if one person is of Chinese nationality. It is also suggested that you consult Chinese embassy for the most up to date information.

Step 1: Submit the required documents

The Sino-foreign couple must go together, in person to the appropriate marriage registration office and submit a completed marriage registration application form (available at the marriage registration office). The appropriate marriage registration office will be the one in the jurisdiction in which the Chinese partner is registered (the location of the hukou). Together with the application form, the couple must submit a number of other documents:

Chinese Partner
(1) A certificate of marriageability (2) A certificate of birth (3) Household registration book (hukou) (4) A health certificate (obtainable from a regional-level local hospital) (5) A letter from the parents of the Chinese partner giving permission for their child to marry a foreigner (this letter should include the index fingerprint of both parents below their signatures and date)
Foreign Partner
(1) A current passport (2) Chinese residence permit (3) A health certificate from a local hospital designated by the marriage registration office (4) Three photos of the marrying couple, taken together (5) A registration fee (6) A certificate of marriageability.

Item 6 requires further explanation. Basically, the marriage registration office needs a form from the foreign partner's home government stating he/she is not already married in his/her home country. Every foreign government has its own version of this type of form with its own requirements for obtaining one. Couples will need to check the embassy website of the foreign partner's home country in China for details on how to obtain this kind of certification. (Chinese translations must accompany foreign-language documents.)

Note: Application requirements may vary from office to office. When an individual visits the appropriate marriage registration office to pick up an application form and find out which local hospital(s) the foreign partner must receive a check-up at, he/she should also check to see if the office's requirements differ from those listed here.

Step 2: Wait for the good news

It takes the marriage registration office about an hour or so to review the submitted documents and approve the application.

Step 3: Collect the certificate

Once the marriage registration office approves the application and registers the marriage, it will issue a marriage certificate to be picked up by the couple.

Living in China after Marrying a Chinese Spouse

Usually when married to a Chinese you are entitled to a one-year L visa, obtainable by presenting your marriage certificate (or authorized translation and if not Chinese), wife’s identity card, registration of residence certificate (you must register where you live at your local police station), passport and fee at your local visa office. On an L visa you can’t legally do paid work or study an officially recognized course in China, so if you want to do either of these you should apply for the appropriate visa. For more detailed and up-to-date visa information, contact Chinese embassy or consulate in your country.

Permanent Residence in China

Permanent Residence is difficult to obtain. Foreigners who want to apply for permanent residence in China should obey Chinese laws, be healthy and have no criminal records. In addition, they should also meet some other requirements to obtain Chinese permanent residence. Read Chinese permanent residence requirements.

Note: The information on this page is for reference only. For up-to-date and detailed information about China visa, please contact Chinese embassy or consulate in your country.

Hi, I'm Gavin Van Hinsbergh
I updated this article on May 18, 2012
See all my travel articles
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Questions and Answers About Non-Chinese Getting Married in China

thierno 2014-02-11
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I get married in Guinea embassy in beijn. My wife n me are both guinea nationality. How can i register my mmarriage to get chinease certificate or natorial certificate?
Hi Thierno, sorry, we are a travel agency. We are not able to help you on this issue. Please consult the local Public Security Bureau or the Bureau of Civil Affairs. Whitney Liao replied on 2014-02-12
eamon 2013-06-14
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i am a cameroonian and i love my chinese gf. i have an X visa . we want to get married what advise can you give me
Dear Eamon, We listed the process of how to get married in China for the foreigners, please read the detals. Please click: For your situation, I suggest you'd better ask the Chinese Embassy directly and I regret that I could not give you more inforamtion. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-06-14
Mari-Helen 2012-07-13
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Hello! I have a quick question about getting married in China. I am planning to get married to by fiancee, but neither of us are Chinese, nor we are from the same county. My fiancee has a residence permit, he is a student there, whereas I applied for a tourist visa. Is it possible to get married under those circumstances? I have already prepared the needed documents (affidavit and birth certificate), but when I searched online, I read that I should have a working -visa. Is that true? Where could I get an authentic information about foreigner-to-foreigner marriages in China?Thank you!Best regardsMari-Helen
Hi, I searched the internet and found that, if you want to get married and stay in China, a working visa is needed. You can visit this website to get more detailed information: Hope it helps. Yours, Candice Candice Song replied on 2012-11-22
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