So, you’re getting married to a German national, my friend? It seems like you’re making the sure the forever between the two of you.
After a very long time of saying “I love you,” you finally reach the point where you want to build lives together and spend the rest of your years as a married couple.
Gone are the days when you were mere sweethearts dating in the park savoring the sweet pancakes and ice creams. You decide to go to the next level of romance. Marriage.
Just so you know, getting married to a German national can be a bit complicated and quite tedious process. Especially with dealing with the two countries’ bureaucratic differences. Philippines and Germany have their own sets of laws the two of you should abide and respect.
Love isn’t the question here but the legalities involved are. You and your German bae should be familiar with the procedures followed to have a smooth flow of the marriage application and wedding later.
In this post, I am going to share the exact steps we did with my German husband from the very beginning of our wedding journey. If you are planning to have a civil wedding, you can copy the exact steps we did.
If you’re into church wedding, on the other hand, you should know the additional requirements in your church aside from what I will state here. Especially the amount of money needed to perform the rite/s.
Before we dig into the whole marriage thing, I am giving you the complete guide for download and print (ONLY for personal reference). Simply click the opt-in button below to grab your copy.
Getting married to a German national is a stressful adventure.
Heck, yeah! There are a lot of requirements needed from both of you which are simultaneously processed. That means when your bae commences, you start as well. At the end, you will both have them approved in lesser time.
How to get started?
Step 1: Your German partner should call his hometown’s Civil Registry for exact papers needed.
Usually, they require documents as per case to case basis. What lies the most importance is that your documents should have:
* Mayor’s signature should be seen for the proof of address.
* All documents should have their own German translation from a certified German translator (Übersetzer) recognized by the German Embassy. Plus, each copy should possess the translator’s stamp and signature.
* All documents should have the DFA Red Ribbon/Stamp to serve as authenticated copies.
* All documents should be sent to your German partner in hard copies. This will be presented for evaluation in the Civil Registry.
When my then-fiance called the nearby Civil Registry (Standeamt) for requirements, the officer-in-charge required me the following:
* Scanned copy of passport
* Proof of address (get the Mayor’s Certificate to ensure the mayor’s signature)
* NSO issued Birth Certificate
* NSO issued CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage)
Like I said, these copies required from me should have the four (4) important things. First, my proof of address should possess the Mayor’s signature. Second, I should hire a certified German translator for my documents on hand. Third, I should have them stamped from DFA Manila. Lastly, my German partner should have them in printed forms. Not scanned but hard copies of the documents.
To get the mayor’s certificate as your proof of address, there might be differences with how your hometown implements the procedures upon getting this. Just to make sure you’re on the right track, ask your hometown’s Mayor’s office personnel about the requirements.
In our barangay, I should get a barangay clearance with a photo printed on the top right corner with the clear purpose printed below. Further, an original copy of my recent cedula. If you didn’t take any cedula lately, better get one. If you already have, it’s okay.
In your barangay clearance, make sure your reason/s are clear and on point because the next set of documents will follow the same reason/s stipulated there.
From the barangay clearance that comes with your cedula, you will proceed to the town’s Police Station to get a police clearance. Again, they will follow your reasons printed in your barangay clearance.
Take note: There might be additional costs for this one compared to the general police clearance because of the “abroad purposes.”
After gathering your documents, you can proceed to the Mayor’s Office and get a Mayor’s certificate with the same reason/s your barangay stated in your clearance.
Once done, you finally have one document which will serve as your proof of address. Take that aside.
NSO documents (Birth Certificate and CENOMAR)
You have two (2) options to get your NSO documents. You can either go the nearest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) office or go to the nearby private agency who will take care of these papers.
What I did to make the process faster is through doing the second option. I went to the nearby private agency to take care of these two papers I needed. Allow 5 to 9 working days for this process though.
If you are in a rush and want to get these papers on the same day, on the other hand, better go to the nearest PSA office and file the documents yourself. Well, that is if you can allot 12 hours for this. You may also avail their online submission forms here.
Since I don’t want much hassle, I didn’t choose this hassle although I have to pay double the price. When you file these documents yourself, you can spend Php 150 for each document versus Php 300 for the private agency/online request via ecensus + working days before it is fully available to you.
But then again, you can choose which of these options sound convenient to you.
Scanned copy of your passport
If you already have your passport, good. Simply scan the page where your pretty face is. Make sure it is scanned well. The German Civil Registry will see this.
However if you don’t have passport, get one in the nearby Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office. Before you do, make sure you already have the online appointment printed in A4 size paper along with the requirements with you. For the complete guide, get your copy below.
Note: Allow 30 working days before you can receive your passport.
Once you claim all of these documents, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Hire a German translator certified by the German Embassy Philippines only.
You cannot simply have someone translate these documents just because your friend is a a native speaker or has a C1 German course. The German Embassy has to certify that person to translate documents for you.
I hired Dr. Beatriz Kaamino-Tschoepke to translate my documents on hand. She simply requires scanned copies of your papers. No need to ship them. Other translators usually ask for the hard copies. That means you have to ship the documents you have for translation.
By the way, the German translating service can be a bit costly. Be prepare with the upcoming costs. Because the it will range from Php 3,000 to Php 10,000 depending on the number of pages you want them translated. In my case, I have six (6) pages all in all. So, I spent around Php 3,100 for the translation including the shipping fee via LBC.
To see the complete list of the certified German translators, you may visit German Embassy released PDF file. Start making emails and calls with them to compare prices just like I did.
For mode of payment and other concerns, simply call or email your translator and agree how will you pay and the expected date of delivery. After I paid the service, I had the papers after a week or so.
Take note: You don’t have to wait until your documents are stamped (have Red Ribbon) before you could have them translated. Simply send them to your hired translator. Anyway, it will only take a week for the translation before you send to DFA Manila.
My mistake was I waited for the Red Ribbon before I decided to have my documents translated. Consequently, my timeline was a bit delayed than expected. To save more time, do the reverse process. Have them translated before sending them for DFA Red Ribbon.
Just in case if your translator wants the DFA stamped documents, either make a plea *giggles* or simply do my mistake.
Step 3: Send your documents to DFA Manila for stamp/Red Ribbon.
After you have the translated documents with you, keep them. Have the original documents (NSO birth certificate, CENOMAR, Mayor’s Certificate) sent to DFA Manila through the official courier assigned per region.
Yes. That’s what I had found out this year. If you’re living in Cagayan de Oro like me, go to the only DHL near McDonalds Divisoria. In Cebu, on the other hand, send the documents through Air 21. If you’re living apart from these stated places, see DFA official site for more details.
Allow 1-2 months for this process. It usually takes time for DFA Manila to complete the procedures especially if you’re living outside Metro Manila.
Step 4: Send the documents to your German partner for filing.
If you already have the complete original papers as well as their German translations and the DFA Red Ribbon with you, you can send them to your partner.
Because I wanted to save money due to budget shortage, I went to Philippine Post Office and sent them to Express Mail. It took around three (3) weeks before my then-fiance before he received them in his letterbox.
To protect the documents from folding and other inevitable shipping issues, I placed a corrugated plastic board inside the long brown envelope before the post office sealed the package.
Step 5: Your German partner visit the Civil Registry to file for Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage.
You’re almost finished, my friend. Just a few steps away before your bae can finally fly and meet you. *blushes*
Anyway, your partner will gather all papers in one envelope and present them to the nearby Civil Registry for evaluation. When he presented the papers, he found out that the translated documents should have the translator’s signature. That’s what I have pointed out in the previous point. Make sure you have the Übersetzers signature after you receive them.
Fortunately, the person-in-charge considered the lengthy process we did before he came to the office. So, she approved all the documents along with the requested divorce papers.
Take note: If your partner is previously married, make sure he has the original copies of the divorce papers issued from court. Even if the Civil Registry will make a separate request for the latest one. The same thing if he is a widow.
Once done, he can finally book a flight and meet you for your upcoming wedding. Yes!
Step 6: Visit the nearest German Embassy to meet with the consul for Consular Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.
Finally, you meet in person and enjoy companionship. Given that he has already arrived in the Philippine islands, however, the process doesn’t end there. There is still a separate document both of you should process.
To do this, you have to set an appointment in either German Embassy Manila or German Embassy Cebu to meet with the consul and get the certificate needed.
Based on experience, it is faster if you meet with the German Embassy Cebu than in Manila. My partner found out that he has to wait for weeks before he could have the certificate after his arrival in the Philippine airport.
In Cebu, on the other hand, we will only wait for one (1) hour before the consulate releases the document. Obviously, we did the second option. I sent an email to the German consul Cebu for an appointment.
Afterward, we booked a flight to Cebu and arrived the night before the schedule (9 am is the earliest appointment schedule, by the way). When the office finally opened, we personally met with the Honorary Consul Franz Seidenschwarz and paid an amount Php 1,500 approximate for the certificate.
Special note: It would make a great impression to the consul if you, as a future wife, can speak a bit German. It proves you give importance to the German culture and your German husband-to-be. It is like if you hear a foreigner speaking Filipino, you’d feel the same, right? I simply said “Vielen Dank” (formal way of saying thank you in German) after our meeting. The consul felt surprised.
Before noon, the office asked my then-fiance to return to claim it. That’s all.
Yes, oh heck, yes! You’re done. You have all the original documents on hand before you can proceed to the next and the most important step.
The Philippine Local Civil Registry (LCR)
Back in Germany, your partner has already did a lot there. In the Philippines, both of you will file for another set of documents before you can get to the LCR office, located in the municipality hall in your hometown.
What to prepare to filing for Marriage License Application?
Aside from the documents you have, make sure you file for CENOMAR for your partner. This is a separate requirement from the LCR before he or she approves your application.
Honestly, this was the part where we encountered problems because we didn’t know we have to do it. Fortunately, the Local Civil Registrar approved our plea to have the CENOMAR submitted in the later date. We convinced him to approve our marriage license application although the last document will be submitted late.
Our experience doesn’t have to be the same as yours. Before you visit your town LCR, have the complete documents with you.
Marriage License Application requirements as per LCR
* Two (2) copies of Marriage License Application forms (filed within the LCR office)*
* Original birth certificates + photocopies
* Original divorce papers and the translated ones (make sure your German partner have the translated divorce papers or at least the international version with him) + photocopies
* NSO issued CENOMAR (yours and your partner’s) + photocopies
* Original copy and photocopy of your cedula (make sure you filed it within the town where you want to get married)
If you are getting married to a German national when you’re below 25 years old, you need to write your mother or your guardian’s name printed for consent purposes. Since I got married at 25, I have my mother’s name printed in my marriage license application form and in our Certificate of Marriage (LCR copy) after our civil wedding.
When the local civil registrar approves your application, you can finally wait for ten (10) days before your marriage license release. By then, you can have your wedding ceremony at least 10 days or more as well.
Let’s say, the LCR approves it on December 29, 2017 you will receive the marriage license on January 9, 2018. That means you can set your wedding date at least January 9 and forward. Not before January 9.
After the marriage license release, now what?
Of course, your wedding! You can finally make your relationship more serious and legal. Since we chose a civil wedding ceremony, the whole preparation wasn’t as dramatic as it sounds.
We only booked a function room where we could have the wedding reception. The booking we have at De Luxe Hotel comes with 20% off for the room for bride and groom as well as the decorations, music, and food. So, we also availed all of these offers for only Php 14,000 good for 50 people.
I had a few friends to do the emceeing and assisting the guests. In general, our wedding was really, really simple. But we both loved the experience. It remained meaningful to us until now.
The wedding rings was also simple and cheap as well as our wedding attire. I got my white dress at SM Department Store and my white heeled shoes at Gaisano Mall. My husband’s barong and white inner shirt from Gaisano Mall as well.
Getting married to a German national is worth the experience.
Reading the whole post will seriously make you crazy. It will overwhelm you. But if you take a look at it in a different angle, you realize that it doesn’t sound that bad.
It also means you’re serious with your relationship and building life with each other. Because the whole process will cost you a lot of money, effort, time, and trust.
When we did months ago, we faced a lot of difficulties. But because of love and high level of desire to spend time together for the rest of our lives, we succeeded.
We might have differences of experience when you start filing your own documents. Yet, the flow of procedure will likely be the same. As well as the feeling you will both have while you do them.
Although we were both exhausted from all the bureaucratic requirements, at the end, we felt contented and peaceful. Because after almost four (4) years of long distance relationship, we finally reached the point where we seal everything we have. The love and care as well as trust and commitment as a married couple forever.
Before you leave this post, I have a few things to remind you. 1) Grab your complete guide to the whole marriage process of getting married to a German national, 2) Share your thoughts of this post in the comment section below, and 3) share this post to your friends and family who might need this information. Vielen Dank!
Ich wünsche Ihr glückliche Hochzeit, mein Freund/e und danke für lesen meinem Beitrag. I wish you the happiest marriage, my friend and thank you for reading my post. Ich hoffe auch den hiflt Ihr mehr. (I hope it helps you a lot, too.)