The U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, states that the requirements for getting married in the Philippines, if you are a U.S. Citizen, are as follows:
Philippine law requires a citizen or subject of a foreign country to
obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, issued by
the diplomatic or consular offices of his or her country, prior to the
issuance of a marriage license in the Philippines.
As American consular officers are specially prohibited from
certifying that any U.S. citizen has the capacity to marry, the
Philippine government has agreed to accept as substantial compliance
with the Philippine law, an Affidavit in Lieu of Legal Capacity to
Contract Marriage ("affidavit"). The Affidavit attests to the absence of
any legal impediment to the marriage and is sworn to before an American
consular officer. Therefore, U.S. citizens wishing to marry in the
Philippines must appear personally before a consular officer, either at
the U.S. Embassy in Manila or the U.S. consulate in Cebu City and
complete the Affidavit concerning their own capacity to marry. There is
a $10.00 service fee, subject to change, for the notarial service.
The procedure to marry in the Philippines is as follows:
Secure the Affidavit in lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to
Contract Marriage from the American Service Branch of the U.S. Embassy
in Manila or from the U.S. consulate in Cebu City. If both the bride and
the groom are U.S. citizens, each one must obtain an Affidavit.
Apply for the marriage license at the Local Civil Registrar from the municipality where either the bride or the groom habitually resides. The documents necessary for the marriage license are:1. the Affidavit for the U.S. citizen bride or groom
2. the death certificate or divorce decree which shows the termination of any previous marriage(s) of the bride and/or the groom
3. the birth, baptismal or residency certificate for the Filipino bride or groom, and
4. the parental consent or advice, if either party is under age.
Philippine law prescribes a ten-day waiting period from the filing of the Application to the issuance of the marriage license. The license is valid for 120 days and maybe used anywhere in the Philippines.
Present the license to a person authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, such as judge, justice of the peace, priest or minister of religion.
A female U.S. citizen may have her passport ammended to indicate her
married name. She should bring her passport and a certified true copy of
the Marriage contract to the Passport 7 Citizenship Office of the U.S.
Embassy in Manila or the U.S. Consulate in Cebu City. This amendment is
not obligatory and there is no fee for this service.
Marriage of a foreign national to a U.S. citizen does not automatically
confer United States citizenship upon the alien spouse. He or she must
be petitioned by the U.S. citizen spouse as an immigrant to the United
States. An alien spouse is almost never eligible for a non-immigrant
visitor vista to the United States. In almost all cases, the existence
of the marital relationship between the U.S. citizen and the alien makes
the alien spouse an intending immigrant to the United States and, by
definition, ineligible for a temporary visa.
When filing the petition, the following documents must be submitted:
1. a certified copy of the marriage certificate
2. proof of U.S. citizenship
3. a certified copy of evidence of termination of any prior marriage(s) for either spouse, if applicable, and
4. $75.00 or its equivalent in pesos, to cover the statutory fee for filing the petition.
It can take anywhere from two to four months from the date the petition
is approved by INS to the date of the issuance of the immigrant visa. If
a field investigation is required, the time period may be even longer.
Therefore, a U.S. citizen should not plan to take the alien spouse back
to the United States immediately following the marriage. The
non-resident US citizen spouse should be prepared to leave the alien
spouse behind to complete the required documentation.
Because of the time involved in processing the petition and the
application for an immigrant visa, those individuals living in the
Philippines on assignment, either government or private, are advised to
initiate the required documentation for their spouse's and/or
step-children's visas as far in advance of the anticipated rotation date
Note: A separate visa petition must be filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for each child of the alien spouse under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage who wishes to immigrate to the United States. Those children 18 years of age and older at the time of the marriage must be petitioned by the alien spouse after he or she becomes legal permanent resident in the United States. Under U.S. immigration law, only step parent'schildren under the age of 18 at the time of their natural parent's marriage to a U.S. citizen are considered a ?child? of the U.S. citizen for immigration purpose.
It is possible to file a petition for an alien to enter the U.S. as the
fiancée of an American citizen. The procedure is similar to the
procedure for filing a petition and obtaining an immigrant visa for an
alien spouse although, fiancée petitions must be filed in the INS office
within the U.S. nearest to the petitioner's residence. The petitioner
will be asked to submit evidence of his or her U.S. citizenship and
evidence that he or she has met the fiancée in person within the last
two (2) years. He or she may also be required to present evidence of the
bona fide of the relationship with the fiancée.
When approved, the petition will be forwarded to the Immigrant Visa
Branch of the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The Philippine fiancée will
subsequently be provided by the Embassy with instructions on how to
proceed with his or her fiancée visa application. Again, the time period
from the date the petition is approved by INS to the date the visa is
issued is approximately two to four months and can be longer if a field
investigation is required.
The fiancée visa grants the fiancée six months from the time of issuance
to enter the U.S. Upon entry, the fiancée has ninety days in which to
marry the petitioner. Once the marriage has taken place, the alien
spouse can apply to adjust status to that of legal permanent resident at
the INS office nearest to his or her place of residence.
Note: U.S. immigration law concerning the children of an alien fiancée is not the same as that concerning the children of the alien spouse. The U.S. citizen fiancée does NOT have to file a separate petition for each of the alien fiancée's unmarried children under 21 at the time the alien fiancée enters the U.S. The U.S. citizen only needs to indicate the names and date of birth of the children in the appropriate block on the petition for alien fiancée. The children will automatically be included in the petition. Unmarried children over the age 21 can be separately petitioned by the alien fiancée after he or she has adjusted status in the U.S. to that of legal permanent resident.
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