Marriage (Bureacracy) Advice

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Marriage (Bureacracy) Advice


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Old 12th June 2013, 07:52 AM
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Default Marriage (Bureacracy) Advice

Six months on from joining this forum and making my first thread here. I have returned for some additional advice from veteran expats...

I have now been living with my wonderful Filipina girlfriend for just over 4 months in Malaysia. She first came to visit on a 'tourist visa' in February - although I had to jump through a variety of hoops for that to happen (including getting a letter of invitation from the Philippines embassy in KL and also going through an 'interview' with Filipino immigration on the way out, where they interviewed us both separately to ensure our stories coincided and to make sure I was not some dodgy people trafficker).

After my mahal left the country the first time (and got her passport stamped) she did not have any problems leaving the Philippines again - however on her fourth visit to Malaysia (the tourist visa is only good for 30 days so we kept popping back to the Philippines so that it would be renewed) Malaysian immigration informed us that she could not keep coming into the country on the tourist visa.

This prompted me to start a process to get her a 'dependent-visa' which involved getting a letter from the British High Commission stating that she was my common-law wife. After jumping through some other bureaucratic hoops the Malaysian authorities finally gave her a 1 year dependent visa - which has made me ever so happy!

Anyway, I am now thinking about what I need to do to convert my mahal from 'common-law' wife status to real wife status.

As I am also Catholic (albeit not practicing currently) I had thought about doing a small church wedding in the Philippines but have heard that that can be a drawn out process involving marriage counselling 'lessons' from a priest in advance. As I am based in Malaysia - I am not sure I can spare the time for something like that. Is this information correct - or is there a way to circumvent the process (i.e. donation to the church/priest for example?). Can anyone fill me in on the realities of something like that?

If we decide not to go down the 'church' route can anyone advise on the practicalities of an 'official/legal/state' marriage? Is it relatively straightforward to organise and what kind of fees are involved? Does it require me to spend much time in the Phils prior to the wedding?

Thanks for your advice in advance.
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Old 12th June 2013, 11:06 AM
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Nobody has answered you yet... I have a family member "women" and she married a man from Canada I remember that they had to go through her local Barangay, home town and check to see if she has been married before and I'm not sure but I think they had to also take a blood test, I could be wrong on this, once the women is checked out to or certified single, then the marriage can happen, I don't recall anything spoken about marriage counseling, I do know that they don't believe in divorce and to get the marriage annulled or a divorce would be costly.
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Old 12th June 2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mcalleyboy View Post
Nobody has answered you yet... I have a family member "women" and she married a man from Canada I remember that they had to go through her local Barangay, home town and check to see if she has been married before and I'm not sure but I think they had to also take a blood test, I could be wrong on this, once the women is checked out to or certified single, then the marriage can happen, I don't recall anything spoken about marriage counseling, I do know that they don't believe in divorce and to get the marriage annulled or a divorce would be costly.
The foreigner must also go to his Embassy and get either an Eligibility Certificate or Affadavit of Eligibility. The US has gone to the Affadavit and it's not accepted in Manila, Davao and Makati (they still want the Eligibility Certificate).

Once both parties have all of the above, they then apply for a Marriage License in the town/city they intend to marry. It takes 10-12 days to receive the license. You then have 120 days to close the deal (married by a Judge or Mayor).

Getting married within the Catholic Church can be quite a hassle (Baptismal Certificate, Confirmation Certificate, etc.). Also, if you are divorced, I do not believe that they will perform the ceremony.
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Old 13th June 2013, 01:30 AM
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Thanks for the advice!

I guess that I would have to physically go to the British Embassy/High Commission in Manila to get the Eligibility Certificate? Any idea if I can apply for it remotely - or if an eligibility certificate issued by the High Commission in KL would apply in the Philippines?

As mentioned I live in KL and my girlfriends family are from Pampanga (so I usually fly to Clarke) - will have to plan a longer trip to get that sorted out I guess.

Luckily neither of us have any complications of previous marriages/divorces to worry about...

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Old 13th June 2013, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ILoveAFilipina View Post
Thanks for the advice!

I guess that I would have to physically go to the British Embassy/High Commission in Manila to get the Eligibility Certificate? Any idea if I can apply for it remotely - or if an eligibility certificate issued by the High Commission in KL would apply in the Philippines?

As mentioned I live in KL and my girlfriends family are from Pampanga (so I usually fly to Clarke) - will have to plan a longer trip to get that sorted out I guess.

Luckily neither of us have any complications of previous marriages/divorces to worry about...
I would contact the British Embassy in Manila and see about appointments and fees. https://www.gov.uk/notarial-and-docu...he-philippines

The US Embassy charges us $50 for a notarization. You will probably have to go in person as a notarization is essentially legally witnessing your signature.

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Old 13th June 2013, 07:02 AM
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Not sure but I think the Barangay stations also provide notary republic functions and I think just take donations. US embassy has gone into the stratosphere for just a notary republic function, I remember paying $20 in the middle 90's and thought that was a bit much but now $50, dang.

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Old 13th June 2013, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mcalleyboy View Post
Not sure but I think the Barangay stations also provide notary republic functions and I think just take donations. US embassy has gone into the stratosphere for just a notary republic function, I remember paying $20 in the middle 90's and thought that was a bit much but now $50, dang.
You get a filipino notarization almost anywhere. But for a US Notary, the Embassy/Consulate or a US Military officer with notary powers (i.e. a JAG) are the only way to get a US Notarization outside of the US. Even if you had a stateside notary power and came over here, technically you would not legally to be able to use it. It sucks, because if you do a Power of Attorney or a US Application that needs notarization you will have to engage one of the 2 above options.

So for 99% of us in-country, the Embassy in Manila or maybe the Consulate in Cebu are our only options for obtaining a US Notarization.
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Old 13th June 2013, 12:57 PM
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When I went to the US Embassy I showed them my divorce papers and we showed letters as proof of knowing each other for 2 years, and the only comment was "I also like the Moody Blues" as I was wearing my In Search of the Lost Chord t-shirt. Don't remember the price in 1994, but it was fast and we were on the road that day. The church accepted that although I was a divorced Lutheran, since marriage is not a sacrament in the Lutheran Church, I could have a Catholic wedding. This was because I had taken the adult confirmation course in the USA, was baptized Catholic in the Philippines and bought two new fans for the church. After applying for the marriage license there was a ten day wait, and we needed every day to get the wedding organized. It took an entire day to get the bridesmaids gowns, another whole day to arrange for photography and video, a day of animal shopping to get 3 pigs and a piece of beef, another full day to get the proper wedding invitations listing all of the sponsors, another full day helping Father Peralta get the proper paper work to allow him to perform the church wedding for a divorced man etc etc. One day we did get two things done, a barong tagalog for me and setting the actual date. Due to local superstitions we could not get married on the 17th because the number ends on a downward stroke, so we settled for the 18th, much luckier day. All the Filipinas I spoke to prefer a church wedding, think it is more meaningful, good excuse to dress up and party with everyone they know. [

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Old 15th June 2013, 07:20 PM
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I just celebrated my 1st anniversary on the 13th. That was for a civil ceremony done in Manila at the courthouse. Had to do what everyone above already said, including the marriage counseling.

We didn't have to get a blood test, though.

January, we had a church wedding that included me getting Baptized and receiving Communion into the Catholic church. Made my "donations" to various people, and it was no problem.

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Old 17th June 2013, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakc130 View Post
I just celebrated my 1st anniversary on the 13th. That was for a civil ceremony done in Manila at the courthouse. Had to do what everyone above already said, including the marriage counseling.

We didn't have to get a blood test, though.

January, we had a church wedding that included me getting Baptized and receiving Communion into the Catholic church. Made my "donations" to various people, and it was no problem.
Out of interest - what sort of ballpark are we talking here in terms of 'donations'.

Thanks
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