A marriage registration certificate (marriage certificate) is one of the essential documents for applying for an Australian spouse visa. If you are planning to register your marriage with someone who is an Australian citizen in China, then the marriage registration is within the jurisdiction of the Chinese Provincial/City Foreign Marriage Registry.
An Australian citizen needs to provide supporting to prove that He/She is single before, and carry out corresponding notarization and certification for the successful registration of his/her marriage at their provincial or municipal foreign marriage registration office. This article provides an introduction that will help Australian citizens to prepare the documentation required for marriage registration in China.
Step one: The Documents Lists
Foreign Marriage Registration needs to be registered at the Chinese Foreign Registration Marriage Registry. Both parties can search and contact the relevant provincial/municipal foreign marriage registration office to obtain all required information, including the file categories, requirements detail for the different documents, and the recommended preparation processes.
According to the guidelines of the Central Government on foreign-related marriage registration, if one party is a foreigner or a Chinese with foreign nationality, the following five types of documents need to be prepared:
- Foreign identity document (may be needed)
Your passport or any other identity documents such as nationality certificate
- Foreign travel documents (may be required)
The Foreigner Residence Permit issued by the Chinese Public Security or the identity documents submitted by the foreign affairs department, or the residence permit certificates.
- Marital Status Documents (required)
Certified proof of marital status documents that are issued and authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese embassy or consulate in China.
- Proof of study (if applicable)
Secondary, junior, and undergraduate international students are generally not allowed to get married during their study periods. Other students (postgraduate, master student, etc.) who wants to marry a Chinese citizen must obtain an academic certificate of the institution and the academic transcripts of the institution.
- Proof of the End of Previous Marriage (if applicable)
The remarried person is required to provide a divorce certificate or the death certificate of the previous spouse.
Divorce documents must be certified by the country’s Embassy or Consulate in China or directly certified by the country’s embassy or consulate.
The Second Step: Document Process
The third type of documents: the document that proves your single status, is a document required by the registry. Local Foreign Marriage Registration Office will decide if other documents are needed according to the various Acts and regulations and personal circumstances of the Australian citizen. Both parties need to contact the relevant registration office in China in advance to scrutiny of relevant documents.
The following is a brief introduction to the preparation steps and caveats for the Single status document.
The three categories of Single Status Certificate are as followed:
- Single Status Certificate (required)\
- Single Status Statement/oath/ No Spouse Statement (may be required)
- Marriage Accessibility Certificate (CNI) (may be needed)
The Single Status Certificate is a document that must be prepared.
The full name of the Australian Single Certificate is ‘No Marriage Registration Record Certificate’, which is a written document to illustrate whether there has been a marriage registration in the relevant area at a certain time. The Australian Single certificate is used to prove the Single status of the Australian natural person’s, for the prevention of bigamy.
The certificate is issued by the Birth, Death and Marriage Registry (BDM) of the State/Region of the Australian State, and the Registry verifies the current marital status of Australian citizens by checking your official records in your state.
Note: The validity period of this document is 6 months from the date of the inquiry. It is necessary to plan your registration ahead to avoid expirations and the necessity of being reprocessed.
Take Parramatta as an example of the introduction of Single Status Processes.
NSW Birth, Death and Marriage Registry.
There are two places in Sydney:
Sydney Central Station: 35 Regent Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Parramatta Railway Station: 160 Marsden St, Parramatta NSW 2150
If you hand it in person: You need to provide three types of identity documents and application forms.
If someone is representing you, in addition to the above documents, your representative also needs to provide three types of identity documents, as well as your authorization form.
|Category 1||Australian born Australian citizen|
Australian birth certificate
Non-Australian-born Australian citizen
Australian citizen paper
New Zealand citizen paper and passport
New Zealand birth certificate
|Category 2||Australian driver’s license|
Passports from other countries
|Category 3||Medicare Card|
Centrelink or Veterans Affairs Card
Higher education institution identity document
|Category 4||recent utility bill (showing residential address)|
Note: Three valid documents in categories 1, 2 and 3 are required.
If the identity documents in Category 1 and Category 2 are not available, alternatively, you must provide at least 3 IDs with at least 2 of them must be from Category 3.
Fees are various based on the enquiry time and express services
|Enquiry Time(year)||Standard Fee||Expedited Services|
Single Status Statement / Oath / No spouse Statement
Australian citizen needs to meet with the requirements of the China Foreign Marriage Registry. He/She needs to make a declaration and sign the document in front of an Australian international notary attorney. The document needs to be notarized by the lawyer.
Note: Applicants need to fill out the Single Status Statement truthfully and check with the local foreign marriage registration office in China to ensure all the requirements are satisfied.
Besides, it is necessary to conform with the China Foreign Marriage Registry: whether a translation is required, and the translation should be completed in the corresponding translation agency in Australia or China.
If the translation needs to be provided in Australia, it must be translated and stamped by an accredited Level 3 Certified Translator. Please confirm with the local foreign marriage registration office whether it is necessary to notarize and certify the translation.
If the translation needs to be provided in China, it must be translated by the requirements of the local foreign marriage registration office in the Chinese translation agency.
Marriage Accessibility Certificate (CNI)
This document was issued by a statement made by an Australian citizen to confirm that there is no barrier to marriage between Chinese and Australian citizens. Please note that this certificate does not include the word “single”. The applicant must present the original of the identity document of both parties to the marriage. If one of the parties have been previously married, the original of the divorce certificate is required. Proof of marriage accessibility is bilingual in Chinese/English.
Similarly, it is necessary to confirm with the local foreign marriage registry whether the document needs to be notarized and certified.
Step 3: Document Notarization Certification
The Single Status Documents of Australian citizens are issued by Australian authority which is difference from the documents issued by Foreign Marriage Registration Offices in China. This is due to inability to identify the authenticity of the single status documents and notarization is required. Foreign Marriage Registration Offices in different regions have their own regulations on registration of foreigners and Chinese citizens. Therefore, it is recommended that the Australian citizens should contact their local foreign marriage registration department to ensure they are obtaining the correct documentation, keep updated with the latest registration requirements and seek consultation from professional.
Notarization of International Notary Lawyers
Contact a local Australian notary public lawyer for authentication of a non-official documents such as Single Status Oath, Single Status Statement and No Spouse Statement.
Note：The original of the Single Status Document does not require notarization.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Certification
Please Mail the documents that need to be certified and the application form to:
Sydney: Australian Passport Office Authentications Section, GPO Box 2239, SYDNEY NSW 2001
Melbourne: Australian Passport Office Authentications Section, GPO Box 2239, MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Note: The return envelope should be filled and placed in an envelope so that the certified documents can be sent back to the applicant or agent by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Certification fee: $83 per one
Processing time: approximately 11 working days. Time varies which includes the in and out mail time,will rely on the processing time by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Chinese Embassy or Consulate Certification
Note: The applicant must sign the item 8 (applicant’s signature office), the signature must be original, and Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China will not accept scanned or printed signature page.
Completed certification application form and required documents of certification
Chinese Consulate General in Sydney: 39 Dunblane Street, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia
9:00am-12:00pm on weekdays
Submit a certification application, Time and cost
|Time||4 business days||Receive on the third business day||Receive on the second business day|
When lodging the application, you choose to expedite your application and obtaining the certificated document according to the date displayed on the pick-up slip.
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