Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage Paper

So you and your partner finally tying the knot, Congratulation! 


Whether you plan to marry here in the Philippines or there in Germany, first thing first: ask your german partner to go to Standesamt. This is their Local Civil Registry Office. They are the one who will provide you a checklist of requirement that you need to provide. The requirements are case-to-case basis and each Standesamt has different requirements. They are the best place to inquire regarding your situation. It's a long to-do list. But take a deep breath and tackle it one document at a time. 


In our case, the first document we tried to complete is his  "Ehefaehigkeitszeugnis" also known as his "Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage"To get this, the Standesamt requires me to provide the following in original copies unless specified:


1. Birth Certificate in SECPA 
2. Cenomar in SECPA (maximum of 6 months from date of issued)
3. Affidavit of Civil Status authenticated by our DFA
4. Community Tax Certificate
5. Copy of your Passport certified by the German Embassy
Note: For 21-25 years old, you are required to provide Affidavit of Parental Advise
          All these paper need to be translated to German by a Certified Translator.


After obtaining all the documents, I send it to him in Germany via courier. I was advised to do this and not by our local post office because the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) of the documents differs alot. Depending of your courier, it can reach to him by 2-5 days. Post office ETA is 3-4 weeks.


If you ask me, please do the same. If you plan to save the money (price difference of 1,000php or more), this is NOT the way to do it.  At least from my experience, the moment I send it -- I feel anxious on when exactly he will receive it (even if I have the ETA). The mixed emotions have created much stress to me (this is why I decided to create this blog). 


I will be updating my blog from time to time. Please stay tuned!

UPDATE:
Click here for the Part 2 of this topic. Enjoy!

39 comments:

  1. Good day! I would like to ask about Legal Capacity to Marry. I was married to a German but sad to say he passed away and now I found a new bf which is also a German. I already have all documents for the Fiance visa and plan to get marry in Germany. I am confused about this Legal Capacity to marry that my fiance asked from me. He told me that I can acquire this documents in NSO but NSo said they dont have this legal capacity to marry. I have already the BC,MC,DC, joint affidavit from my parents stated that i am a widowed and CEMAR to send to Germany for standesamt but my fiance asked this legal capacity to marry from me here in the Philippines. As i knew I can get the legal capacity to marry in Philippine Embassy in Berlin. Do you have any Idea where I can go here in Cebu or maybe Manila to have this Legal Capacity to Marry? I really need your help! Thank you so much and God bless!

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      Thank you for dropping by & congrats with your new love.
      As far as I know, the PH version of 'Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage' is our CENOMAR which you can get from NSO. But if you are looking for a document that is exactly named like that, then it is non-existent to our NSO system. We do not use that terminology in Ph in the first place. But since you are married before, of course, NSO will only issue you a CEMAR since you have a record of being married before. Your previous marriage Cert & Death Cert of your former spouse will be your supporting documents that you are legal to marry again. You can explain this to your Fiance.

      You can double check with the German Embassy Manila website under the visa section for the checklist of requirements. The Standesamt who will process your marriage also have the same list (except maybe written in German). For further informations, you can email the visa section regarding your concern(s) as they are the best individual(s) to clarify things for you. Good luck !!!

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  2. Hello Tattybear, Thank you so much for the reply and information, It really helps me, God bless!

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  3. hello and good day. My boyfriend who is a german citizen has been living here in the philippines for more than two years now. I just want to ask if it is possible for him to acquire a certificate of no impediment to marriage even if he is not in germany? he has no plans of going back to germany yet. We've been to the embassy in manila already but they were not able to answer all of my questions. All they can say is your boyfriend knows what to do. But actually he does not know to. please help. thanks a lot in advance...

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    1. Hello Anonymous,
      Thanks for dropping by. The 'Certificate of no Impediment to Marriage' is the same to the 'Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage' paper. Your German boyfriend can only get this in the Standesamt where he used to stay in Germany. In short, he needs to go back to Germany to get this since he will be required to apply for it in person.

      If this is not an option for him for whatever reasons, you guys can consider marrying overseas where this document is not among the requirements needed (such as Hongkong -- you can check my post about that). But for your own good, please do make sure that he is really NOT married here in Germany (or anywhere else) or at least legally divorced if he is married before, otherwise, the German government will not recognize your marriage & will deny you any rights or priviledges in marrying a German citizen.

      Hope it helps. Good luck!

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    2. hello thank you so much for the response. by the way, you can call me ching. :) My bf is actually divorced and we had all his divorce papers translated in english. He assured me though that he never got married after that divorce anymore. I have read about the marriage in HK that you are talking about yesterday and we have talked about it already but I have so many questions about it. These are the few 1. will that marriage be honored, accepted, or legally accepted in the philippines and in germay? Will he be able to use that marriage for him to get a permanent residency visa here in the philippines? He really would love to stay in he philippines a little bit longer. Will there be no other complications after the marriage? He is alsoplanning to bring me to germany once the marrriage is settled will that marriage not be an impediment for him to take me in germany once we have decide to stay in his country? I really hope you could give me an advice about this. Once again thank you very much.

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    3. Hello again ms Ching,
      Thank you for dropping by again. The following are my answers to your questions -- hope it helps! :)

      #1 Yes, the marriage in Hongkong will be honored to both the German & the Ph government. After the civil wedding, you do need to visit your respective Embassy to make a report. I have no personal experience about this situation but I read a blog about this. Here is the link:
      http://mangoesandpears.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/getting-married-in-hong-kong-for-foreigners/

      #2 Yes, with that marriage license, your German partner can apply for a temporary/permanent residency here in the Ph. You can check the official website of the Bureau of Immigration for more information.

      #3 Usually, people do it the other way around: get their Ph partner in Germany first before going back to Ph to reside long term there -- mainly because getting you inside Germany is harder than for him to enter Ph soil. Though, I don't see anything wrong if you guys do it this way. However, when applying for the visa -- I believe he do need to be back in Germany. When you send your 'family reunion' application, the Embassy will send your German partner a letter informing of the said visa application and they will ask certain documents from him to which he will be given less than a month to complete and send it back (to the offices in Germany). The waiting period for the approval of the said visa are usually case-to-case basis -- they can be as early as 3 weeks after your visa interview or as long as 6 months or more.

      I wish you success to whichever path you pick. Good luck! :)

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    4. thank you so much....

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  4. Hello Guten Abend!

    I already send all the documents to be needed for getting a Legal Capacity and my Fiance passed it to the registry office lat October 7.. I would like to ask if how long it would take to process the documents until my fiance and I could get legal capacity..

    Danke Schön!

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      I have a part 2 of this post (underneath my signature there is a tiny link with part 2 on it or you can look it on your own & it was entered at July 2011). You can check it out! :)

      But to quickly answer your question: it is case-to-case basis. It depends on your documents, your fiancee documents & the Standesamt of your fiancee. Majority of those I know have waited for 2-3 months for their paper. Hope it helps! :)

      Delete
  5. Hi.I would like to asked about legal capacity to contract marriage coz Philippine consulate here in hongkong cannot issue me that certificate instead they told me abou cenomar.and my boyfriend still asking me a legal capacity

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    1. Hello Anonymous,

      I am so sorry for my late reply. I hope you were able to read a previous question from a fellow reader who have a similar question as yours. To reiterate:

      Cenomar is the Ph version of the 'legal capacity to contract marriage'. If you are looking for a document exactly written as 'Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage', then it is non-existent to Ph as we do not use the terminology.

      Good luck!!!

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  6. It's been 5 months and going six this april but we still don't get back the documents. This makes me feel sad. :(

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I am guessing right now that they required your Background check while applying for the Legal Capacity document, this is why it is taking this long. But if it helps you feel better, the time when you apply for your Family Reunion Visa -- it would be a smoother one as you are done with the background check. :)

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    2. Thank you so much. But if in case the documents already comes back then, my fiance couln't come this coming months as he gonna get really busy and he can't no longer get vacation this time, so we're changing plan istead of marrying here in Philippines, he ask me to just to t there and get a fiance visa. Do you think it's a good idea? Can I get a visa much faster incase I apply for it and already have all the requirements passed? How long does it takes?

      Thank you so much in advance.

      Delete
    3. Hi again Anonymous,

      There is no right or wrong answer here, just a question of timing. The process of Fiancee visa is totallý different compare to marrying in the Ph then applying for the Family Reunion Visa later on. You can check the requirements in the official website of the German Embassy Manila.

      You need to attend a German School who will prepare you for the A1 exam by Goethe Makati. Although I know it is possible to self-study for the said exam, I still recommends attending the school for future purposes (this will be very beneficial to you when you continue your Integration school here in Germany). The A1 Certificate is one of the requirements for Fiancee or Family Reunion Visa (you need to take this eitherway). How long or how much will depend on the school where you wish to enroll.

      I heard that Fiancee Visa can take upto 6 months. But it is possible getting the visa as early as 3 months based on the experience of my friend. She was already done with the Background check up and just needed to submit her A1 Certificate those times.

      I personally believe that the only time that someone will fail a Fiancee Visa is when the couple have not meet yet in person. Other than that, should be fine -- just don´t expect it to be a smoother ride in terms of paper work.

      So at the end, the decision lies with the 2 of you (and his busy schedule, of course) on which one is better for your situation: marrying in Ph or in Germany. Good luck to both of you!

      Kind Regards.

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  7. Hallo, I have a very important question. Does my German Fiance's birth certificate needs a legalistation by the philippine ambassy in germany?

    Hope for your fast respond. Thanks.

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    1. Hallo Anonymous,

      If this is for the purpose of marrying in the Philippines, the German Birth Certificate need only an english translation made & signed by a certified German translator. You can check the requirements from the cityhall where you plan to apply for your Marriage Certificate. Hope it helps!

      Delete
  8. Hi Tattybear,

    I can see that you have a lot of helpful replies and I hope you would be able to help me too. :)

    My fiance and I plan to marry this August and when he went to the Standesamt he was told that apart from the documents listed in the German embassy website that they would need from my end, I need to send him a copy of my parents' marriage certificate, birth certificate of my siblings, my baptismal certificate and a certificate of my first day of school (the last one I really find odd, if that makes any sense). He was also told that once my docs were handed to them, they will look at it and then send it back here in the Philippines and have it double-checked by their authorities. The timeline would take 4-6 months.

    We are really feeling deflated because of this, and we have been engaged for more a year now. I was thinking, maybe the lady at the registrar's office didn't explain things very well or maybe they have become stricter. Are those extra docs really necessary?

    We are also exploring other options like get married in HK or Denmark. What would you advise?

    Thanks so much in advance!

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    1. Hi CLeo and thank you for dropping by.

      The documents being asked from us (PH partners) are case-to-case basis. They are dependent on the Standesamt where our Fiance (German Partners) lives.This is not the first time I heard that they ask so many things (some to which we find unimportant). I can only assume that the 4-6 months timeline given includes the Background Check-up. Ideally the only time you start planning on which exact day to marry is when your Fiance get his Legal Capacity document paper (and vacation leave from work).

      I think the best suggestion I can give you is to ask yourselves:
      -- who do you want to witness the wedding?
      I know that the only part important in marrying is that this is legal, but I am pretty sure that we have a few special someone whom we wanted to share this moments with.
      -- What kind of wedding both of you wish to have?
      The more elaborated it is, the better to have it done in the Philippines as everything is more affordable.
      -- When do you want to held the wedding?
      If it a MUST in August this year, then yes, an alternative option it is as there won't be enough time to finish the documents on time. (My wedding took us a year to prepare. To save time, I was also studying A1 for the exam while waiting for our big day. Now: 2 years after the wedding, I still think it was worth the wait. But okey, this is me).

      I have a blog topic about marrying in HK. You can check it out to give you an idea how the process of documents go. As for marrying in Denmark, I heard that it is getting more complicated: marrying is the easy part, but to get you to stay legally in Germany is a different story. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who married in Denmark recently -- so I cannot give you an overview of the documents needed. It is best that you research on this further so you can weigh which is better: HK vs Denmark wedding.

      Good luck to the both of you and happy planning for your wedding! :)


      PS. It would be nice if you update me on which is your final decision and how you guys decided on it. That is if this is not too much to ask. :)

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  9. Hi Tattybear,

    Thanks so much for the reply. Well, after some thought and reading, sadly we have decided to do swallow the bitter pill and do the long wait. We decided to push the wedding back to December this year to give time for his legal capacity to be released. We read in some blog posts that it might get difficult if I apply for family reunion visa if we get married in HK or Denmark.

    It's really sad for both of us initially to push it back to December but we thought it's better to do this instead.

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    1. Hi again Cleo,
      Thank you for the update.
      I went thru all that too and I can only assure you that the Long wait is worth it.
      You can consider attending a language School to prepare you for the A1 exam (to save you time in the near future). The exam itself is not difficult, but the language is very tricky. If you can advance yourself to A2 or higher, the better. Language is one of the most common barrier when living in Germany as not everyone can speak English. No kidding!
      If you are like me who do not cook while living in the Philippines, do learn how to cook your favorite meals. And yes, do enjoy your time with Family and friends while you are still in the Philippines.
      In the mean time, happy planning for your wedding! :)

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  10. Hello Tattybear,

    I saw your blogs on google and I read some messages.Its nice!! I have German fiancee and where planning to get married in Philippines this May..He prepare his birth certificate, certificate of no impediment and community Tax return, and get marriage visa.Its that all he must secure in his place? And then we must get legal capacity to contract marriage in Embassy Manila?Do I need to accompany him to get this paper (legal capacity) to embassy and do we need to have appointment? Hope you can share your views and you can help me..Thank u very much.


    Liz

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    1. Hi Liz and thank you for dropping by. Likewise, thank you for your Kind words and it is well appreciated.
      Your fiance might Need to have his Birth Certificate translated by a certified translator (this can be done in the Philippines too).
      You can go ahead to the cityhall where you plan to apply for the marriage license to get the requirements. They will provide you a checklist.
      And yes, with the legal capacity that he have now (from Standesamt), he can proceed to the German Embassy to have it translated to english (it is called as the 'Consular Certificate of the Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage'). It is not a requirement for you to join him when he go to get the Legal Capacity, but if you wish to join, no one is stopping you either. He can walk in without appointment and just say the purpose is for his legal capacity.
      We have a different experience though: with my hubby's paper, he send his documents to me by post, then I was the one who visited German Embassy Cebu to have this done. Hubby did write an authorization letter. but the good Consule only read it and return it to me (he did not make any copy).
      It doesn't matter how we do it provided that at the end, we get to submit the document to the cityhall. To remind, there is 10-12 days posting days (after your Seminar at the cityhall) before they release your marriage license (and finally can marry, yahoo!!!). The number of days are inclusive of Weekends. I have another blog Topic page for this entitled: Marriage License Application Requirements. You can check it out too.
      Thank you and good luck!!! Happy planning on your wedding day! :)

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  11. Hi Tattybear,

    It has all sunk in now and yes we are doing the long way and it's for the best. :)

    I have taken German classes in Goethe Insitut and planning to continue learning. My fiance has been helping me and I agree that learning the language is important. I noticed too that not all speak English when I visited...plus his Oma doesn't speak English so we always have to have someone interpret. Hehe!

    By the way, there have been forums that say if you're a graduate of a 4-year course, you need not take the language exam?

    Vielan dank!

    Cleo

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    1. Hi again Cleo,

      I actually have a blog entry re: your question (''German Language Required or Not?'' is the Name of the said entry). Anyway, to answer: It used to be that if an applicant have a College or University diploma of any 4 years course is already good enough. However, since 2007, the German Embassy requires anyone applying for a Marriage visa or Family Reunion Visa to obtain the A1 certificate. And so, here we are now. hehe. :)

      Let me know if you have any other questions & I will try my best to answer it. For now: Enjoy your day. :)

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  12. hallo..
    thank you to this blog.. its help me lot..me and Bf gathering all the said document for Legal capacity to contract marriage . hopefully i collect it before the wedding date.. mari..-.-

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    1. Hello Mari,
      Glad to be able to help somehow.
      Normally, couples wait to get their Legal Capacity document first before deciding on which day to marry since at some cases, it can take months. But true enough some can get it less than a week (really depends on the Standesamt of your boyfriend). Just the same I wish you well. Good luck and happy planning for your big day!!!

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  13. Hello Tata bear,

    I'm here again. It ill be 6 months then this coming 19th June pero wala parin ang legal capacity. I'm getting stressed and tired on waiting for it. But i hope it will come back here soon. :<

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    1. Hope everything works well. No worry and it is worth the wait.
      Good luck!!! :)

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    2. Same tayo saan sa germany saiyo? late registered kaba?

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  14. Hello tata bear ask ko lang po after the background check is done how long you need to wait tell the date of marriage is being released? Kasi po na background check ako nong august tapos till now wala pa development its almost 6 months and days na wala pa resulta if nasaan na ang papers or ano na ba. Looking forward to your response. Tnx.

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    1. Hi. I assumed you are Bella as both of the queries are the same. (see below).
      If not, my apologies and send me a message. Thanks!

      Delete
  15. HELLO ASK KO LANG I APPLY FOR FIANCEE VISA AND MY BACKGROUND CHECK IS ALREADY DONE LAST AUGUST 5.

    ASK KO LANG HOW LONG I NEED TO WAIT TELL THE DATE OF MARRIAGE IS BEING RELEASE SINCE I ALREADY HAVE MY BACKGROUND CHECK DONE. UNTIL NOW KASI WALA PA DEVELOPMENT OR UPDATE. ITS ALMOST 2 MONTHS NA NGAYON. SINCE NA BACKGROUND CHECK AKO.

    THANK YOU.

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    1. ~~ replied via email ~~
      thanks for dropping by

      Delete
  16. Hi Tattybear,

    I find your blog as informative as it is. truly very helpful. I hope you can shed me some of my problem. My girlfriend is formerly a Filipino citizen but she has now acquired her German citizenship and has been separated and divorced in Germany form more than 5 years. We are planning to get married in the Philippines. What documents needed to obtain "legal capacity to marry" in Nordhorn Germany. Do i need to submit some documents in Germany for us to marry in the Philippines? Would my CENOMAR and Birth Certificate enough as proof of my legal capacity? by the way i'm single and 30 years old.

    thank you very much.

    jerlexx

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    1. Hello Jerlexx,

      Thank you for your kind words. As for your question: you need to ask your girlfriend to go to the Standesamt and get the list of requirements she needed to get her ''legal capacity to marry''. With this, yes, she will be needing some PH documents from you. It is best that you wait for the requirements before sending any document to Germany to save some money and time as the requirements differ from standesamt to standesamt.
      Wishing you both all the best! Good luck!!!

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  17. Hi,please give me some advise,we are applying for legal capacity for contract marriage,backround check is done and they found out that ung birth certificate ng sister ko ay may error sa spelling sa last name,which means hindi kami pareho ng spelling,anu po ba ang dapat namin gawin,

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    1. Hi. I don't have experience with your case. though normally kung mali ang spelling ay pinapa correct na lang eto. Good luck.

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