How to Obtain the Legal Capacity to Marry in the Philippines

Updated March 23, 2017

Americans can get married in the Philippines to a citizen of that country or another American. The Filipino government requires a license from every person wanting to marry within their country. However, before you can get a license to marry in the Philippines, you must get an affidavit that serves as your legal capacity, or permission from the Filipino government, to marry.

Go to the Philippines at least two weeks prior to the nuptials in order to allow time for the license to process. Hold all wedding plans until the licensing process is complete.

Take your spouse to the American Embassy in Manila. Bring along your passport to serve as identification. Have a parental consent letter with you if either future spouse is between the ages of 18 and 21. Provide the embassy with proof of correspondence if the couple has never met in person, as seen in Internet relationships.

Fill out the affidavit for the license, formally called the Affidavit in Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry. If either applicant was previously married, they must provide proof that the previous marriage has been dissolved. Otherwise, show the consular officer aiding you in the process your passport and £19 for the filing fee. The affidavit you receive is the legal capacity needed to marry in the Philippines.

Take the affidavit to the Philippine Civil Registrar office in the town you will be married in. The registrar will also need to see the same documentation that the consular officer required. Wait 10 days for a decision on the license.


Marriage applicants age 21 to 25 must receive a letter of advice from their parents in order to obtain the affidavit that leads to the marriage license.


The Philippines, like any other country, does not tolerate fraudulent marriages to receive citizenship. Doing so could lead to perjury charges and a denied affidavit.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport
  • Parental consent documentation for applicants ages 18 to 21
  • Proof of correspondence for couples who have never met in person
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About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.