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Marriage in China

American citizens contemplating marriage to a Chinese citizen in China should review the following information. This information is given for general background reference only and while it is believed to be accurate, we suggest you or your fiancé/fiancée check with the Chinese Civil Affairs Office where you will be registering your marriage for the most current information.

Can foreigners get married in China? 
In order to marry in China, at least one party must have legal residence in China.  Two foreigners visiting China on tourist visas will not be permitted to register to marry.

What are the requirements to marry in China?
Regulations for marriage in China may differ significantly amongst different provinces, cities and townships.  Please contact the specific Chinese Civil Affairs Office in the city you or your fiancé/fiancée will register your marriage for the most current requirements.

U.S. citizens are usually asked to submit the following:

  • A valid passport with a valid Chinese visa;
  • If both parties are non-Chinese citizens, at least one must present a current Chinese residence permit;
  • A notarized "Affidavit of Marriageability" also referred to as a Single Statement.   This affidavit is available at the Consulate and is a sworn statement or affirmation that you are legally free to marry.  You must make an appointment for notarial services.   The notarial fee is USD $50.00. 
  • If you have been previously married, you will be asked to submit an original or certified copy of your final divorce or annulment decree; or death certificate, if you are widowed.;
  • Three marriage photos  of the couple( taken together ), red background;
  • Registration fee.

How do I get a Marriageability Affidavit? 

  • Step 1: Please read the instructions below
  • Step 2: Please make an appointment online (If you need more than one service during your visit, please be sure to make separate appointments.)
  • Step 3: Please complete the Marriageability Affidavit form (PDF)*, print it out and bring it with you to your scheduled appointment.  Please do not sign the affidavit, you will sign it in front of a consular officer.

Are there any restrictions on whom a U.S. citizen can marry in China?
Certain categories of Chinese citizens, such as diplomats, security officials, and others whose work is considered to be crucial to the state, are not legally free to marry foreigners.

In general, Chinese students are permitted to marry, however please be aware there are regulations which allow schools, universities, etc. to expel students who do marry.  Please note that at least one school has required a student to reimburse the school for tuition costs and other expenses when the student requests academic withdrawal to marry a foreigner.  Should your fiancé/fiancée still attend school, please contact the school directly for details.

Where do I register my marriage?
All marriages in China must be registered with the Chinese Civil Affairs Office (民政局 Min Zheng Ju), within the city or town where you or your fiancé/fiancée are registered.    Persons planning to marry should visit or call the appropriate office for complete details on registering your marriage. 

Marriage certificates are usually issued on the same day the registration takes place.  Marriages that are legal in the jurisdiction in which they were performed are legal in the United States.  It is not necessary to register your marriage at the Embassy or in the United States, nor do you need to re-marry in the United States.

Could I be the victim of marriage fraud?
The Consulate has received some reports of fraud committed against U.S. citizens by internet correspondents from China professing romantic interest.  While many Chinese citizens are sincere in their desire to marry and live with Americans they meet over the internet, there have been cases of where Americans have been victims of marriage fraud.

It is important to remember that immigrant visas to the United States are viewed by many Chinese as having great value, and it is not uncommon for people to enter into relationships for the sole purpose of obtaining a visa. In some cases, the Chinese national has hired a company to communicate with the American citizen for him/her, meaning that s/he has not actually written any of the e-mails that were sent to the American.  Likewise, the American citizen may unwittingly carry on telephone conversations with a paid consultant posing as the romantic interest.

Many of these consulting companies collect extremely high “consulting fees”.  These fees are collected from American citizens knowingly, or unknowingly, and often the Chinese national will tell the American that s/he needs tuition for English study, to pay for U.S. visa fees, etc., but actually uses this money to pay the relationship consultant.  In some cases, when the American visits China to meet their internet friend in person, a visa consultant accompanies the Chinese friend and presents the American with a demand for payment.  At times, when the American citizen has refused to pay, s/he has been threatened with physical violence or unlawful detention of either the Chinese or American citizen. 

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