How do Brits marrying in TW get single certificate?

A long time ago it was impossible to get the single certificate from the British Office in Taipei, and from what I can see things haven’t changed.

Where can British citizens get the single certificate from, and is it possible to get it without going back to the UK? I have family in the UK who can help me apply. I’m working in Shanghai at the moment, but will be returning to Taiwan to get married in March.

I did this recently. You apply at your local city in England and provide the details of yours and your partner so they can put the notice up. After a few weeks you get the certificate. You send it to the FCO to legalise it, this takes a few days. You then send it to the Taiwan Representative office in UK to authenticate it, this also takes a few days.
The first bit I had to do in person, as is the rules of my city (Norwich). The rest I did online and posted.

My wife translated the single certificate here in Taiwan and we had to take it to a legal firm to be legalised so the registration office could read it. This was done in a day while we waited.

The Banqiao registration office accepted the documents no problem.

Best check your city’s rules on giving notice as they’re all different

I would endorse everything that has been said already by James D. the document is a certificate of no impediment which you get from the local Registrars Office in the UK town you live in, unfortunately it does require attendance in person. Your home town may apply a different rule, give them a call and ask. Once you have the certificate the remaining process as described can be done by family members ( my daughter did mine) all worked out pretty simple. My wife did the necessary translations and we got a lawyer here to notarise them.
Another thing you need if you don’t have one is a chinese name so you can sign the marriage certificate.
Maybe as you are in Shanghai drop in to the British Consular Office there see if they can provide the necessary paperwork.

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The British Consulate in Shanghai can’t offer documents for Brits getting married in Taiwan, checked already. Thinking about it, it might be easier for me and my partner to do the marriage paperwork in China, and then return to Taiwan and re-register it there. I know friends who have done that in Japan, but never in China. This presents two possible problems though. Firstly, two foreigners can’t get married in China. Obviously they don’t consider TW citizens foreigners, but she doesn’t have a Chinese ID number or Hukou in the Mainland. Problem two is that when a Taiwanese marries abroad, they have to have it certified by the Taiwan office in that country, but there is no Taiwan office in Mainland China.

Is it impossible to make an appointment in England and make a quick trip there? The rest can be done remotely after that…

Hi how did you manage to get a certificate of no impediment without being a resident in the UK? I just asked all the local registry offices in my area for the certificate and they all say I can’t get one if I’m registered as living abroad.

Hi was this a certificate of no impediment? I’ve just been refused one in the UK because I’m not a resident here anymore, and don’t have a specific date for the wedding, which they said they also needed. Were you able to provide both those things?

When I did this, my local office also said they couldn’t give me one because I don’t live in the UK on the phone, they don’t realize that they are the only people who can give certificates to people living in Taiwan. Basically, just go to the UK, stay with family for 30 days until you are eligible to apply for the single certificate, and then when you apply just give your family’s UK address. They won’t ask if you are a UK “resident”, they’ll just ask for your address. If they ask why you need the certificate just say because you plan to go to Taiwan to get married soon. Don’t need to lie, just don’t tell them everything. It’s not like they aren’t allowed to give the certificates to non residents anyways, they just don’t understand the rules and try to enforce a rule that doesn’t seem to exist.

Also, I know people who didn’t wait 30 days in the UK to apply for the single certificate, and the local council were none the wiser, I guess they don’t check these things.



I didn’t tell them I was living abroad already

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This sounds like an uninformed bureaucrat. As meishijia said, you might need a local address, but IIRC I just told them that I was resident abroad.

The certificate of no impediment simply shows that you have no record of being married under UK law. It’s not supposed to be a cast-iron guarantee that you’ve never been married anywhere else.


I returned from Taiwan in 2016 and obtained a CNI from the local office. It needs to be an office that corresponds with a residential address; I gave my father’s because he still lives in the town where I grew up, though I think you may be able to just cite a previous address, it’s really about connecting you to the most appropriate office, nothing more.

I also had to obtain the divorce records from the US to show my marriage there to a US citizen had ended.

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