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Marriage in China

Getting Married in China

In order to get married in China, at least one member of the couple must reside in China. Two foreigners on tourist visas are unlikely to be able to register to marry.  The eligibility age for marriage in China is generally 22 for men and 20 for women. 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.

To register your marriage in Shanghai, please direct inquiries to the Marriage Registration Office at 3rd Floor, Room E; #82 Cao Bao Lu (Tel: +8621 6432-5087).  In other cities, please contact the local civil affairs office (Min Zheng Ju).

Upon receipt of an application to register a marriage, the civil affairs office must ascertain that both parties are eligible to marry.  The American partner to a marriage in China will generally be asked to submit a current passport, Chinese residence permit, Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry and a certified translation of this affidavit.  The Chinese partner must submit their Family Registration Book (Hu Kou Bu) or residence permit, and Chinese National ID card (Shen Fen Zheng).

To receive an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry, you are required to appear in person at the U.S. Consulate.  You will need to make an appointment and you must bring your U.S. passport and some form (or photocopy of) your fiancé/fiancée’s I.D.  Please use our online appointment system to make a notary appointment for this service. 

The fee for an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry is the same as a notary in our list of common fees.  Questions relating to marriage in China are addressed in our ACS FAQ.

Please note the U.S. does not have a central marriage registration system.  The requirements for legal marriage and divorce differ from state to state.  You should contact your state government for more information about how a foreign marriage or divorce will be treated in your state.

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