With the rapid economic development of China, the communication between China and the world is getting more frequent and multiply, so more Chinese and foreigners have the chance to tie the knots. What documents are required to marry a Chinese mainland citizen? What is the process?  Can two foreigners get married in Chinese mainland?

Step one: documents preparation

To do the marriage registration in Chinese mainland, the first step is to collect documents, which is complex. Simply to say, you will need to collect documents for the Chinese mainland partner and the foreign partner(s). Here are tips which probably give a helping hand:

The Chinese mainland partner:

1. Resident ID card.

2. Household registration booklet (hu kou ben in Chinese).

Notes: (1). Confirm that the name, birthday, gender, and ID No. are correct and clear. (2). If you are divorced or widowed, change your marital situation on the household registration booklet and bring related documents. (3). Both the original copies and photocopies are required.

The Foreign partner(s):

1. Valid passport.

2. Unmarried affidavit, which is only valid for 6 months normally (provided by the embassy/consulate stationed in Chinese mainland or authenticated by the Chinese embassy/consulate to the foreign country).

3. Valid residence permit (optional).

Notes: (1). The valid visa and latest customs’ seal must be on the passport; if not, bring the old passport too. (2). If you are divorced or widowed, the divorce decree or the ex-spouse’s death certificates are required. (3). All those documents must have officially stamped Chinese translated master copies and photocopies.


1. Three photos of the marrying couple.

2. A signed statement that there are no shared direct family relations within three generations between the couple (will be provided and signed in the registration office).

3. Heath check reports from the designated hospital (only required in few cities).

Note: Photos must be bare hat. The size is 2 cun (Chinese measurement unit), and the background is red usually.

Step two: marriage registration

Usually, the non-provincial marriage registration departments are not accredited to approve your marriage application. You will need to go to the Provincial Foreign Marriage Office where the Chinese partner’s resident ID location belongs to. The foreign couple need to contact the Provincial Foreign Marriage Office where your resident permit locates. You must have continuously lived in the city for over 1 year. As most offices’ request, you will need to make an appointment.

After making an appointment and having all documents prepared, you can take the road to the marriage registration office. In the marriage registration office, the staff will examine all documents carefully and instruct you to fill in forms. In the meanwhile, they will ask if you are direct relatives within 3 generations.

After the careful review of all documents, the staff will make the 2 marriage certificates. One certificate’s holder is you and the other one is your partner. You will pick them up on the spot. And then, congratulates! You are officially married in the Chinese mainland. The whole process usually takes about 30-90 minutes.

If the couple both are foreigners living in China temporarily and hold valid resident permits for over 1 year, the documents and process are similar.

Is your marriage certificate valid legally?

Had officially registered in the Chinese marriage department and got the certificate, your certificate will have the legal effect in the Chinese mainland and some countries. But for most countries, you will need to translate and notarize them to immigrate, work, or study in the future.

What to do after getting the marriage certificate?

Since you already got the marriage certificate, you will need to translate them into your native language first. Maybe you or your Chinese spouse speak perfect Chinese and your month tongue, but you must pay a translation company to translate it. Most notary offices cooperate with translation companies, and they can do the translation and notarize at the same time. So, you will need to translate and notarize them in the notary office first, and then notarize them in the embassy/consulate in China.

Where to notarize marriage certificate?

All notary offices in China can notarize your documents, however, merely some are authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC to do it for your next consular notary. So, DO NOT go to a random notary office! Contact the notary office and ask if they are authorized, in case waiting your time and money.

How to notarize marriage certificate in Chinese mainland?

After translating and notarizing the marriage certificate in the notary office, you will need to notarize them in the foreign embassy/consulate. Generally, there are 2 types of notaries, namely single and double notary, which is the last step to legalize your marriage certificates in your motherland.

What are Single and Double Notary?

The consular notary is also called single notary. Simply to say, it is only notarized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China or their authorized departments. In addition to the consular notary, you will need to notarize your marriage certificate in the foreign embassy/consulate stationed in China, which is called double notary. To put it simple, the whole notary process includes 3 steps, which are the notaries of the notary office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, and the foreign embassy/consulate in China. You must do the single notary first and then the double notary. You cannot skip it! Most personal documents require the double notary.  If you are not sure, you can contact the foreign embassy/consulate in China. The three steps cost around 3-4 weeks in general.

The notary is particularly important if you have plan to immigrate, work, or study abroad in the future.  Apart from the marriage certificate, the similar process applies to the notary of the birthday certificate, death certificate, divorce certificate, relationship certificate, property certificate, diploma, non-criminal record, and other personal documents.

What can we do for you?

EliteRE has a professional team to help and instruct Chinese and foreigners to translate and notarize all kinds of individual documents. We offer the most professional, effective, and qualified notary service. If you need to translate and notarize your marriage certificate, birthday certificate, relationship certificate, death certificate, divorce certificate, property certificate, diploma, non-criminal record, and other documents, please contact us without any hesitate. Click to submit a request now.

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