Legal Capacity

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Under Philippine Law, a foreign national marrying a Philippine citizen must first obtain a Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, from their respective consular office (or embassy) before a marriage license is issued to the contracting parties. The legal capacity can be obtained either at the American Embassy in Manila, or the American Consular Agency (formerly the American Consulate), located in Cebu City, Cebu. The following are the requirements for the issuance of this document:

  1. American fianc :

    1. U.S. Passport or Birth Certificate.

    2. Proof of termination of prior marriage, if any.

    3. Permission from the appropriate unit command, if active military.

  2. Philippine fianc e:

    1. Photo ID / Student ID / Work ID (Name and photo must be shown).

    2. Authenticated Birth Certificate from the NSO (National Statistics Office).

      1. If between the ages of 18 and 24, and having not been previously married, a written parental consent form (signed by either parent or legal guardian) must be filled out and signed, and then notarized.

    3. Proof of termination of previous marriage, if any.

    4. Birth Certificates of children, if applicable, from the NSO.

    5. Evidence of a valid relationship with the American fianc .

Very Important: If your fianc e has children, she must bring any NSO authenticated birth certificates for the children as well, to the interview. If she does not, you will not be issued your Legal Capacity.

Both parties (fianc and fianc e) must visit the American Consular Agency to fulfill the requirements (above) and to return for an interview with John Domingo, the Consul officer. The American Consular Agency is only open to receive incoming phone calls between the hours of 8am and 9am. Applications are accepted between the hours of 9:00am and 11:00am, Monday - Friday, except on American and Philippine holidays. The American Consular Agency is located on the ground floor of the Waterfront Hotel at #1 Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City. The local telephone number is (32) 231-1261. From the US, dial 011-63-32-231-1261. The time zone is GMT +8 hours, or Hong Kong Time. There is no adjustment for Daylight Savings Time, throughout the year.

Advice: We always suggest for the American Citizen to bring a certified copy of his birth certificate, in addition to his US Passport, when coming to the Philippines to marry. Also, it's better to have extra copies of any paperwork you may need. Too often, mistakes have been made only to add to other delays, which can seriously hamper wedding plans.

Additionally, we suggest being at the American Consular Agency by 9:00am, when they are scheduled to open. (Generally, it is not so busy that you need to be there very early. We just suggest doing so, in case of problems arising.) You will have to provide them with all information needed (in accordance to the requirements, above), along with $35 USD or approximately Php 1925 (at the current exchange rate) and the filled out application. (Bring exact change either in USD or Php, as they will not give you change.) You will then be asked to return, probably between 11:00am and 11:30am, to meet with the Consul Officer, John Domingo.

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Revised: 01/31/09 17:02:07 +0800