2024 Updated - Step by step guide for marriage in Hong Kong

I just used the very useful step by step guide for marriage in Hong Kong originally posted in 2009 (Step by step guide for marriage in Hong Kong) and thought I’d help post an updated version having found some changes along the path. Thanks to @BlackAdder for the original.

The main differences are around the time it takes for certain steps (they only confirm your date around 3 weeks in advance of the ceremony now), and some updates to locations and requirements. TL;DR - It’s still the simplest way for Brits to get married to Taiwanese, but it’s processed slower than previously.

Why get married in HK?
Because it’s a memorable place to tie the knot, Brits don’t need a Certificate of No Impediment (which you do in Taiwan) and because there is no confusion as to whether a HK marriage is recognized in the eyes of the UK government (something of debate when a Brit gets married in Taiwan).

How soon could I get married in HK?
If you started the paperwork today you feasibly be married (if very organized) 3 to 4 weeks later - providing they have a marriage ceremony slot available for you.

How long will I be in HK?
There is paperwork to complete before you get to HK, but in terms of time in HK itself: you have to appear at the HK Immigration Office 2 days (minimum) before your date of marriage. After your wedding ceremony you will have to go to the Taiwan Representative Office to authenticate your marriage certificate. You get it back two working days later. The quickest trip in and out of HK would be 5 working days (including flights), but you can shorten this to 3 or 4 if you ask a friend in HK to collect your final paperwork from the Taiwan Representative Office (TECO)

For example:

Monday: Morning = Fly to HK. Afternoon = Appear at the HK Immigration Office (located in Central HK).

Tuesday: Free Day.

Wednesday: Morning = Marriage ceremony. Afternoon = Take your marriage certificate to be authenticated at the Taiwan Representative Office (get there before 2pm). You get it back 2 working days later.

Thursday Free day

Friday = Collect your authenticated marriage certificate from the Taiwan Rep Office (between 4pm – 5pm). Fly home later that evening.

Note: Check there are no National holidays while you are in HK. If there are you will need to account for the lost working day.

The best day to get married
At the time of writing, a weekday or Saturday morning marriage costs HK$715 (NT$2,869) and a Sunday marriage costs HK$1,935 (NT$7600). These prices are the same as they were when @BlackAdder made the original post 15 years ago,

If you get married on a Wednesday you shouldn’t need to stay in Hong Kong over the weekend (this factors in the time needed at the Taiwan Rep Office after the wedding).

Note: If you get married on a Friday, as we did, you can visit the Taiwan Rep Office after the wedding and ask for a Hong Kong based friend or relative to collect the authentication paperwork at a later date. You don’t need to collect in person, but somebody will.

A weekday trip makes for a cheaper stay as hotels are typically more expensive at weekends.

Choosing the date of marriage
They will tell you your timeframe after they have received and processed your application to be married. Your options of marriage date will be 15 days after they have processed you application and within 3 months. Within that timeframe you can request 2 preferences or marriage date and time.

When choosing a date, remember that some dates are considered lucky or unlucky. The luckiest dates will likely be fully booked a few months ahead of time.

Choosing the time of Marriage
If you get a morning marriage ceremony you will have enough time to get over to the Taiwan Representative Office to start the authentication of your marriage certificate the same day. This is important if you are on a tight timeline.

Choosing the location of marriage
You have two choices within HK:
City Hall Marriage Registry
Cotton Tree Drive Registry

We got married at Cotton Tree Drive because it’s located within pleasant gardens that make for nice photographs afterwards.

What happens at the marriage ceremony?
On your wedding day you need to arrive at least 15 minutes before your ceremony. You and your 2 witnesses need to complete some simple paperwork (‘I am who I say I am and here is my passport’ type of stuff) and pay the wedding fee (see above). You can have as many people attend the ceremony as you like – but you must have 2 witnesses over the age of 18 with passports or HK ID cards. You also need your visa for entry into Hong Kong with you.

You are called into a room and a clerk tells you what is going to happen.

The official walks into the room and gives a 2 minute speech about the laws governing marriage.

You exchange rings (optional).

Each of you then reads a statement/oath from a card. You can choose English or Mandarin Chinese. Each of you can choose your preferred language (they don’t have to be the same).

They then announce you are married.

The official leaves the room and returns 1 min later with 2 copies of the marriage certificate. You and your witnesses sign both copies. The certificate (x2) is written in both English and Chinese (bilingual). You get to keep one copy and the registry keeps the other.

The whole ‘ceremony’ takes no longer than 10 minutes. At no point in the ceremony were we asked to say anything other than the oath and there was no mention of any vows. I guess you could ask in advance if you have any special requests.

How much does the HK trip cost?
Costs are approximate at time of writing Jan 2024

  1. Notarization of form in Taiwan: NT$750
  2. TPE – HKK Return and four nights in a 4 star and fairly centrally located hotel (HK Island) = NT$16,000 (each).
  3. iPermit for HK (Taiwan citizen only) (Previously NT$800, but now free!)
  4. HK Marriage Immigration Office fee: HK$315 (NT$1,200)
  5. HK Marriage Registry Fee: Weekday HK$715 (NT$2,700) or Weekend HK$1,935 (NT$7,700)
  6. Wedding Rings: Optional.
  7. HK Shopping: Whatever you can afford.
  8. HK meals & General Fun: HK is expensive compared to Taiwan. We found equivalent food and drink to be about 50% more expensive. A beer will cost $80-100NT in a 7/11 and as much as $400NT in a bar.

Step by step guide for getting married in HK.

  1. Send an e-mail to Hong Kong Immigration Office asking for information on getting married in HK: enquiry@immd.gov.hk or follow steps on this page. There are some extra steps for divorced persons - www.immd.gov.hk/eng/marriage/Registration_of_a_Marriage.html#b&secondTab

  2. They took around a week to reply to my email requesting the forms.

  3. Complete the form: ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’. Important note - your names on the form must match your name in your passport for entering Hong Kong. My wife only used her Chinese name, but her passport listed both her Chinese and English names - both are needed for the form. This set us back about 2 weeks.

Take the form to your nearest local Notary Public in Taiwan. You need to sign the form in the presence of the Notary.

Note: You are not asking the Notary to notarize the information on the form is accurate. You are only asking them to witness your signature/s. The Notary will stamp the form with a Notary seal. The cost of notarization varies from office to office, but we paid NT$750.

  1. (a) Complete the form: ’Marriage Registration and Records Office – Information required for Registration of marriage in Hong Kong ’.

  2. (b) Divorced persons, as I was, also need to fill out another form and send a copy of your certificated of divorce which also needs to be notarized at the Notary. You’ll need to bring along the original to Hong Kong.

  3. Make copies of your passports (identity page only).

  4. Go to your local Taiwan bank and get a cheque written out for HK$315, made payable to ‘The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’.

  5. Make sure you have 2 witnesses that can join you on your wedding day. They must be over 18 years old and have their passport or HK identity card (if they reside in HK) with them on the wedding day.

  6. Write a cover letter with your telephone number, e-mail address, preferred marriage location, preferred marriage date/s and time.

  7. Make copies of everything for your personal record. Then send the above by registered mail to:

Births & Deaths General Register Office/Marriage Registration & Records Office,
3/F, Low Block,
Queensway Government Office
66 Queensway
Hong Kong

  1. Wait…

In @BlackAdder 's original post in 2009, they got confirmation of their date and location within about 2 weeks. A friend who got married in 2018 had the same timescale. We had to wait 2 months. According to the staff they will now only confirm the date 20 days before the ceremony. That obviously makes booking flights and hotels more challenging and expensive. It made getting witnesses especially difficult as friends couldn’t take time off work. In the end, after a lot of emailing and pestering, they gave us the exact date and location we requested. I guess they are under-resourced and need more time to process things.

  1. (a) Book your flight and hotel - the marriage immigration office advises not to do this until your date is confirmed, so book options you can cancel. Anywhere around Central HK is convenient for the steps you need.

  2. (b) Book an appointment at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office for the authentication of your marriage certificate. I did this via email to info@tecos.org.hk. More info here: www.tecos.org.hk/marriage-certificate/ but it’s a terrible website, so I couldn’t work out how to book online. They will not allow walk in appointments as was previously the case.

  3. Taiwan citizens need an ‘iPermit’ visa for Hong Kong. Taiwanese apply online here: www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/pre-arrival_registration_for_taiwan_residents.html. Brits don’t need a visa for Hong Kong.

  4. Arrive in Hong Kong and appear at the HK immigration Office 2 (or more) days before your marriage ceremony. The office closes at 16.45pm. Your witnesses do not need attend.

Take your passports, iPermit (if Taiwanese), originals of divorce certificate if applicable, and a copies any correspondence you’ve had with the HK Immigration Office. One of you (you choose) will be asked to raise your hand and read an affidavit from a card.

It states you know of no reason why you can’t be married. They then give you an official letter stating you are cleared and ready for marriage. Take this letter with you when you go to your marriage ceremony.

Check the Chinese names - perhaps an issue with traditional and simplified Chinese reading abilities in the office, but they got my wife’s name wrong and we nearly didn’t spot it. That would have made our marriage in Taiwan invalid.

  1. Attend your marriage ceremony! Take your letter (see above), passports, wedding fee (HK cash is fine or Octopus card) and make sure your 2 witnesses have their passports or HK ID with them, as well as arrival slips/visas.

You will get your marriage certificate at the ceremony.

  1. After getting married, head over to the Taiwan Representative Office with your marriage certificate and passports. It’s located 15 mins walk from Cotton Tree Registry. You need to get there before 2pm if you want everything back the following day.

Central Plaza,
18號 Harbour Rd,
Wan Chai,
Hong Kong

Before going in to the Taiwan Rep Office, you need to get copies of your documents. From memory, make 2 x copy of:

a. Your ‘hot off the press’ wedding certificate
b. Your passports (identity page only)
c. Your iPermit (if Taiwanese)
d. The arrival slip you received when you landed in HK (unless Taiwanese).

At the Taiwan Rep Office you will complete the authentication forms. The authentication cost HK$130.

If you can’t collect it in person, you can give the receipt (a slip of paper) to a friend who can. We did this because we weren’t going to be in Hong Kong the following Tuesday when it would be ready.

Note – They should ask you, but be sure to tell them to authenticate the photocopy of your marriage certificate. This is fine for use in Taiwan. If not, they may authenticate (stamp) your original marriage certificate.

  1. Return to the Taiwan Rep Office the following day (between 4 – 5pm) to collect your authenticated photocopy of your marriage certificate. Your Hong Kong marriage paperwork is now complete.

  2. Back in Taiwan, you need to register your marriage within 1 month. This may require a visit to the MOFA (not always necessary apparently) but certainly a visit to the county office where your wife/husband is registered.

From start to finish, this whole process took 3 and a half months. But it’s still been a lot faster, required less paperwork (which is hard to believe!) and cost effective than friends that have chosen to go the other root of getting a Certificate of Non-impediment from their home country.

I hope this updated version is helpful for somebody out there!


Could you add a section about finding a willing partner?