How to get married in Shanghai? (From personal experience)

Yep, I have decided some time ago to tie the knot and getting married with my Chinese babe.

Although marriage in China is an easy process, however getting all the necessary paperwork can be very time consuming and most of the information I found online at that time were either outdated or simply … wrong.

So this is how we did it:

– First, make a phone call to the Shanghai Municipal Marriage Service Center.  I was surprisingly happy to discover (via my wife) that they had English answering service, so we were able to note down what documents are needed from both my side and hers.

– Second, start preparing the documents on our ends, the documents requested were as follows:

For foreigners:

1) A valid passport (obviously!)

2). A declaration of single status issued by city hall in Tunisia and approved FIRST by ministry of foreign affairs and THEN by the consulate of People’s Republic of China in Tunisia. Once done, that document is valid for six months and should be send to one of the transla

For Chinese nationals (with hukou in Shanghai):

1) The hukou and ID card;

2) The signed statement of having no spouse and “neither direct blood relative nor collateral blood relative within three generations with the other party” (easy to verify if marrying a foreigner innit?).

Once the documents of both parties are ready, we headed to the Marriage Registration Center of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau where the procedure was as follows:

a) initial check on the IDs and certificates that we provided

b) Pay 5 RMB

c) After acceptance, both parties shall fill in the “Declaration for Marriage Registration Application”

d) Re-examination (again!)

e) registration in order to issue the marriage certificate

f) attend the “ceremony” to get the marriage license where an employee from Shanghai Municipal Marriage Service Center will come and asks us a series of questions (in Chinese to my wife and in English to me):

– Are you doing this of your own free will?

– Do you agree that marriages are based on equality?

– Do you believe that women have the same rights in marriage as men?

There were also a couple of other questions but I cannot recall them.  And at last in a very business-like manner, we get the verdict that “According to the law of the People’s Republic of China, you are now married. Congratulations.”

After we both signed the license, the same employee will give to each one of us the marriage license (a.k.a 结婚证)

Et voila ! I am now officially in the club of married men 🙂

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