Marriage certificate translation

Dear All,
I married (Taiwanese wife, Anglican church) in the UK last year and am in the process of registering our marriage here in Taiwan.

I have our marriage certificate here and recently received my UK criminal record check. I know both of these must be translated into Chinese and sent to the TECO office in the UK for verification.

My question is can my wife do the translation herself, or do these have to be formally translated and notorized for them to be valid. If it’s the former, this would obviously make things much easier.

Thanks in advance,


Yes, there is no problem getting your wife to translate the documents as both the marriage certificate and criminal records check are already notified. You will need to get them authorised by both the Foreign Office and the T.R.O in the UK though and believe me, that can be a pain in the arse! Both you and your wife have to be present at the TRO but anyone can take the documents to the Foreign Office. The queue there though is something to be believed!

Thanks for such a quick response!

So it’s the TRO and not the TECO I need to go through… And we have to be there in person… That could be a problem as we’re very busy here in Taiwan.

Just one more question. Why do we need to get anything verified by the FO? I haven’t heard of that.



Hi Chris,
I am assuming that you got married in the UK and are wanting to register your marriage here and make it all legal before applying for a Residency Visa re marriage. Any documents from the UK have to be sent to or taken to the Foreign Office in London and their legalisation department for processing. Each item costs

Spot on with the assumption!

And thanks a lot for the pointers. You’re right. Looks like it’s going to take a long time to get this sorted out. Having to be there in person is very problematic. I’d better get my wife to follow up on that troublesome detail as it’ll have a serious impact on my plans.

Thanks again,


Just did a google search for the TRO and found their site:

At the bottom, “Legalization of Document”, you arrive here:

It seems like they “strongly recommend” visiting in person for this part of the process, but it isn’t mandatory.

Hmmm. A long time…

It’s always best to as prepared as possible for something like this. As I said, I went into the TRO in London personally but was told that I could not get the marriage certificate notified without my wife being present! I really do hope that you can find a way through all the bullshit that so often comes out of Embassies, Consulates etc and get this done in a more convenient and quicker way but be prepared for the bull!! :loco:

Thanks a lot for the help.

I’ll follow up with what actually happens.



So, I called the TRO using Skype (gotta love technology!), and spoke to a very nice lady called Mrs Brown. According to her, the updated rules state that you don’t need to go to their offices in person, so I can do things remotely. Requirements include:

  1. Paperwork:

a. U.K. marriage certificate original copy + Chinese translation (can do by yourself)

b. U.K. criminal background check (no translation req’d)

c. Spouse’s household registration showing single status (less than a month old)

d. Application form(s)

  1. Procedure:

A. Prepare envelopes with forwarding addresses from the FCO to the TRO, and from the TRO back to you + all necessary fees for legalization of documents + postage costs.

B. Write up clear instructions for the FCO to follow. They will legalize the English version of the marriage certificate and the criminal record check, then forward the complete package to the TRO.

C The TRO also need written instructions for how to proceed with the documents. They will legalize the English and Chinese documents, and will return them to you.

D. After receiving these documents, go back to the household registration dept. and present the legalized documents. The household registration will then be updated to “married” status.

E. The next step should be to take this to either the FAP, or MOFA (not sure which, yet) to update the ARC to one based on marriage.

Let’s see what happens…

C.J., how did you get the UK Criminal Background Check. A friend wants to marry hs lovely girlfriend but thinks he can’t get the Backgrond Check without physically returning to the UK. Is this true, or can you at least give us the details of the agency you dealt with so that we can check ourselves.


Your friend doesn’t have to get this in person. I assume he’s from the U.K., so here goes:

BTCO explains here: … 7970814740

3019B can be downloaded here:

Address to send to etc., are included in the 3019B PDF file

Hope that helps.


… forgot one thing. The police need a key bit of ID from you included in your application.

I went to the BTCO in Taipei. They photocopied the main page of my passport and put their stamp and signature on it. This worked fine.