US Online Marriage validity in the Philippines

Table of Contents

Are marriages solemnized online in the United States of America valid in the Philippines?

Yes. According to Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage celebrated abroad is valid in the Philippines provided that the same is also valid in the place where it was celebrated. Hence, if the marriage ceremony done online in the US is valid in the US, the same shall be valid in the Philippines.

Source: Article 26, Family Code of the Philippines.

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1987/07/06/executive-order-no-209-s-1987/

          “All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country”

Furthermore, when it comes to the solemnization of marriages, the Philippines follows the rule of lex loci celebrationis, which translates to “law of the place of the ceremony”. Under this rule, the law of the state where marriage is solemnized or performed will be observed.  This means a state will recognize a marriage performed or celebrated in another state as long as it follows the requirements set by the law of that state. (Garcia v. Recio, 418 Phil. 723)

https://lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2001/oct2001/gr_138322_2001.html

 

How to get your marriage registered in the Philippines

Part I. Choose the nearest Consular Office

If you are in the Philippines and you would like to report a marriage solemnized abroad, you can file the Report of Marriage with the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs, Consular Records Division in Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard, Aseana Business Park, Parañaque, 1714 Metro Manila or at any DFA-Regional Consular Office nationwide

Go to this link https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/directory#COS and note the Consular Office nearest to you. The directory given in the link are grouped by regions. It is helpful to select the region where you are and take note of the address of the Consular Office in that region.

Part II. Primary Documents Needed

  1. FIVE (5) ORIGINAL COPIES of the duly accomplished Report of Marriage Form typed or printed legibly in black ink, and signed by both husband and wife. Wives should indicate their maiden name as her last name in the form. Entries must be at the time of marriage of the spouses.Forms should be printed in A4 paper and must be completely filled out in black ink, signed, and notarized (Item 20 of the Form) with the notary public signing AND acknowledging that both parties (or the one living if the other party is deceased at the time of reporting with the Consular Office)  personally appeared before the notary public. This means that you have to personally appear before a notary public and acknowledge the truthfulness of the entries in the Report of Marriage Form.

 

  1. Original copy of the MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE and four (4) photocopies.Note: The Original copy of the marriage certificate should be submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Consular Affairs.

 

  1. BIRTH CERTIFICATES OF HUSBAND AND WIFE.
    • Foreign birth certificate of the alien spouse and four (4) photocopies.
    • Original copy of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Birth Certificate/s of the Filipino spouse(s) and four (4) photocopies.Note: If the Filipino spouse does not have a PSA Birth Certificate, he/she may request online through this link.
      https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Default.aspx

 

  1. VALID PASSPORTS AND IDS OF HUSBAND & WIFE
    • Passports of both husband and wife valid at the time of marriage
      Submit five (5) photocopies of the DATA PAGE of each passport.
    • Current/valid passport of both husband and wife.
      Submit (5) photocopies.

 

  1. Original or notarized copy of PROOF THAT THE SPOUSE(S) WAS/WERE FILIPINO(S) at the time of marriage
    (Examples:
    • Green card and/or permanent resident card,
    • Copy of US Visa – if travelled to the US as a tourist, for leisure or business purpose
    • Job contract or working permit – if working abroad at the time of marriage)

      This means that if both husband and wife are Filipinos at the time of marriage, each of them have to submit proof. If only the wife or the husband is Filipino, only that Filipino spouse has to submit proof.Note: If the Filipino citizen had acquired American citizenship after the marriage, also submit a notarized copy of the foreign naturalization certificate and four (4) photocopies.

 

  1. FIVE (5) recent passport size photos of both husband and wife.
    The photos should be in Philippine passport size (4.5 cm x 3.5 cm or 1.8 inches x 1.4 inches). Colored with white background. In standard close-up shot. It should in bare face (with no eyeglasses or any accessories that may cover the facial features). The picture should show left and right ears and not computer enhanced

 

  1. Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) (CRS Form No. 3) by the Filipino spouse.
    Submit the original certificate and four (4) photocopies.The CENOMAR is a certificate issued by the PSA to prove that the Filipino has no record of marriage in the civil registry. If the Filipino spouse does not have a Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR), he/she may request online through this link. https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Default.aspx

 

  1. PROCESSING FEE $25.00 to be paid in Philippine peso. Payable in cash at the Cashier of the Consular Office. This is non-refundable. (Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.)

Part III. Additional Requirements

The requirements under this section depends upon the different circumstances on the marriage or the parties of the marriage.

9. If the Report of Marriage is filed after 12 months of the date of marriage, a NOTARIZED AFFIDAVIT OF DELAYED REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE must be accomplished. Download the form of the Affidavit using the link provided below and fill it up accordingly stating the reasons of the delayed registration. Thereafter, have it notarized. The affidavit must be executed and signed by both parties and duly notarized by any notary public. Submit four (4) original signed and notarized affidavit.
Link to the Affidavit:
https://newyorkpcg.org/pcgny/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Affidavit-for-Delayed-Registration-of-Marriage.pdf

 

10. If the Report of Marriage is filed after 12 months of the date of marriage, a NOTARIZED Affidavit OF Two (2) Disinterested Persons must be submitted. An Affidavit of Two (2) Disinterested Persons states that a marriage has happened and that it was not registered right away for the reasons stated therein. The affidavit must be executed and signed by two (2) individuals who are not related to the husband or wife and duly notarized by any notary public. Submit four (4) original signed and notarized affidavit.
An example of the Affidavit is provided in this link. You can copy this Affidavit and fill up the details therein.
https://1drv.ms/w/s!Am9Su_tSUyeIg4IgW5csmKwSnq0qUw?e=CfJLnm

 

11. If any or both of the spouses is a widow or widower, submit the death certificate of his/her former husband or wife. It has to be a PSA-issued DEATH CERTIFICATE for Filipino spouse. Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies.

 

12. If the Filipino spouse had a previous Philippine marriage annulled, submit:

    • Amended PSA Marriage Certificate, with Annotation of Annulment
      Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies. The Filipino spouse may request online through this link. https://www.psaserbilis.com.ph/Default.aspx
    • Judicial Decree of Annulment
      Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies.
    • Certificate of Finality
      Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies.

      The Regional Trial Court or Family Court who granted the annulment issues the Judicial Decree of Annulment and the Certificate of Finality. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) must authenticate both of these documents.

13. If Foreign Spouse was previously married to another foreigner, submit the foreign Divorce Decree

 

14. If the Filipino spouse was previously married to a foreigner and a divorce was validly obtained abroad by the foreigner, submit:

    • Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce
      Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies
    • Certificate of Finality.
      Submit one (1) original or certified true copy and (4) photocopies

      The Regional Trial Court or Family Court who granted the judicial recognition of foreign divorce issues the Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce and the Certificate of Finality. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) must authenticate both of these documents.

      There is no divorce in the Philippines, but when a divorce is validly obtained abroad by an alien spouse from his or her Filipino spouse, the Filipino spouse shall have the capacity to remarry under Philippine law. However, the divorce obtained abroad must be passed upon judicially by a Philippine court, to prove its validity, before the Filipino spouse can remarry under Philippine law.

Part IV: Steps

  1. Complete all the documentary requirements.

 

  1. Request for appointment via email from the Consular Records Division before proceeding to the nearest Consular Office. Send email request with attached scanned copies of the documentary requirements to this email address ( for initial verification and appointment schedule) : crd-us@dfa.gov.ph

    Important! All applicants must secure an appointment before going to the Consular Offices.

 

  1. Once documents are pre-evaluated and an appointment is scheduled, go to the nearest Consular Office and submit the documents to the Civil Registration Unit.

 

  1. The Civil Registration Unit processor will assess the submitted documents and ensure the completeness.

 

  1. The applicant shall pay the consular fee at the cashier. Consular fee: USD25 to be paid in Philippine currency

 

  1. After payment, the applicant shall have the receipt (in Step 5) photocopied five (5) times and return to the Civil Registration Unit processor to present the receipt. The applicant shall be given the original receipt and a copy of the Request Form.
  2. Step 7: The submitted Report and supporting documents will be transmitted to the concerned Foreign Service Post (Embassy/Consulate General) for registration.

 

       Processing period: Approximately 3 to 5 months

About the author 

Atty. Gerald S. Manog, JD

Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines

IBP Cebu Chapter

Attorney’s Roll Number: 76026

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