Marriage of Canadians in the Philippines

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Closure: Due to the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, in-person Notary services will be suspended until further notice. Our mail-in service for selected notary services will continue. Usual mail-in service standard may not apply. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.

Affidavit in lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage

Any foreign national who wishes to marry in the Philippines is required by the Philippine Government to obtain from his/her Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage before filing an application for a marriage license. This certification affirms that there are no legal impediments to the proposed marriage.

Unlike the Philippines, the Government of Canada does not keep a central statistical registry of marriages and does not issue certificates of non-impediment.

On 26 March 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) issued Memorandum Circular No. 2021-004 indicating that the Philippine government has generally accepted Affidavits which attest that the foreign citizens are legally capable of entering into marriage. Further, the PSA stated that, local notarization of the Affidavit in lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage is now allowed during the pandemic.

Following the recent update from the PSA, Canadian citizens who wish to marry in the Philippines are no longer required to have their Affidavits administered at the Embassy. Instead, you may prepare an Affidavit to attest that you are legally capable of entering a marriage and have it notarized in the Philippines by a local notary public. The notarized Affidavit must be submitted together with all other documentary requirements directly to the Local Civil Registrar’s Office where the application for a marriage license is being filed.

Refer to the Affidavit form for a sample.

Please note, the Philippine authorities may not accept documents written in French.

Additional information

  • Although there is no validity period indicated on the Affidavit in lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, the Local Civil Registrar may not accept an Affidavit issued more than six (6) months prior to the date of marriage;
  • It should be noted that some Local Civil Registrars may not accept the Affidavit in lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage. It is your responsibility to check with the relevant Local Civil Registry Office whether they would accept the affidavit.
  • Permanent residents of Canada who do not hold Canadian citizenship may need to obtain a certificate or declaration from the Embassy or Consulate of their nationality within the Philippines;
  • Divorce decrees may not be automatically recognized in the Philippines. Canadian citizens who were previously married in the Philippines and are intending to re-marry in the Philippines after obtaining a divorce in Canada (or elsewhere) are advised to seek legal advice or contact the Philippine Statistics Authority to confirm procedures on how the foreign divorce decree can be recognized and enforced in the Philippines to ascertain that their succeeding marriage will be recognized as valid;
  • The Philippine government may require an official English translation of a divorce decree or death certificate; and
  • If both parties to the proposed marriage are Canadian citizens, each one must obtain an Affidavit.