If you are a British subject, it is fairly easy to get married in the Philippines, but it does take a few weeks. The rules are slightly different depending on whether you are marrying another Brit, a Philippine, or another foreign national. The key is to go to the UK Embassy in Manila and apply for a certificate of no impediment, which is a legal document stating that you are not already married.
If you have been married before, you must gather your divorce papers (the originals) or a certificate of death of your previous spouse, along with your passport and visa, and a fee, paid in Philippine pesos. Check the UK Embassy website for specific fee amounts (as they change).
Go to the UK Embassy in Manila, located at 120 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig City 1634, and request a Certificate of No Impediment. This form states that there are no legal reasons why you should not be married in the Philippines (for example, if you are already married in Scotland).
The Embassy will hold this certificate for twenty-one days before giving it to you, so it is not possible to make a sudden decision to get married in the Philippines. This rule was put in place partly as a safeguard for Philippine women to protect them against being sold as mail-order brides to foreign nationals. If the Embassy has any reason to suspect a mail-order wedding, they will not grant you the Certificate of No Impediment. If this happens, you must remain in Manila for a period of twenty-one days before applying for a marriage license.
Once your certificate has arrived, go to the local civil registrar and apply for a marriage license. The form may be granted right away, but the license will be held for a period of ten days before you will have a chance to sign it and officially become married. After you receive your marriage license, if you are a British subject marrying a Philippine, you must return to the UK Embassy in Manila and apply for a visa for your new spouse in order to return to live together in the UK.
The UK consulate recommends posting a wedding announcement in an English-speaking newspaper in Manila while you wait for your Certificate of No Impediment to arrive.
Tips and warnings
- The UK consulate recommends posting a wedding announcement in an English-speaking newspaper in Manila while you wait for your Certificate of No Impediment to arrive.