How to Get Married (and Divorced) in Shanghai

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016 

under Community by Jane Polubotko


Hope you had a great Chinese Valnetine’s Day! In fact, we’re so confident that you’ve had a great Chinese Valentine’s Day that we’ve gone ahead and done a little research for you. You know what it’s like, this tough Shanghai life, eating instant noodles alone and having no one to cuddle with on a cold night. After yesterday, we know you’ve found a wonderful local woman/man to spend the rest of your life with, so it’s time to settle down in China and get married. Here’s how.

 

Get Married

 

Step 1: Make sure it’s a good idea.

 

We good? Zodiac signs compatible? Favorite bands match? Agree on which color M&Ms is superior? Hillary or Trump? Okay, we good.

 

Step 2: Verify ages


 

Make sure your future wife is over 20 and future husband is over 22. If you ask and they say “old enough,” go back to step 1.

 

Step 3: Collect the documents

 

Nothing shows your commitment to a person like wading through bureaucracy for them, pen in one hand, folder of small-print forms in the other!

 

For Chinese citizens (overseas Chinese included):

 

1)   ID Card (or passport, for overseas Chinese)

2)   The household registration

3)   If either of you lovebirds are overseas Chinese, you need to provide a certificate stating that you’re not directly or indirectly related to each other within the past three generations. This document is provided by the notary public office or competent authority located in the overseas resident's country, and certified by the consulate of the People’s Republic of China in that country.



For foreigners:

 

1)   Passport or any other valid travel document

2)   Certificate of his/her marriageability. Basically a document that states that you’re unmarried, divorced or widowed (it literally needs to have these words on the certificated) issued by notary public office. The translated version of this form needs to be certified by the consulate of the People’s Republic of China in your home country.

 

For both:

 

Three recent 2-inch pictures with your fiancé, make sure they aren't your typical face-squished-together selfie, because the rules require you to have at least half of your body visible in the picture (the only time we'll recommend a selfie-stick). No hats, masks or filters!

 

Step 4: Bring the documents and get you marriage certificate!


Address: Shanghai Civil Affair's Bureau, 3F, 82, Cáobǎo Road, Pǔtuó district.

上海市婚姻登记中心,  上海市普陀区曹宝路82号光大会中心三楼  婚姻登记受理大宁。

 

Working hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9 am till 4 pm, Tuesday from 9 am till 11.30 am and special dates, such as January 1st, May 5th, October 1st.

 

Congratulations! May you live long and prosper together in marital bliss, confident in your partner’s dedication and your ability to, together, take on the world!

 

Divorce


 

Step 1: Get married (see above)

 

Step 2: Reach the end of your relationship, a final, crushing realization that a mistake was made, and come to a mutual decision to separate.

 

Step 3: Collect the documents

 

For Chinese citizens:

 

1)   ID card

2)   Household registration

3)   Marriage certificate

4)   Divorce agreement signed by both parties

5)   Recent color picture of yourself (alone), half-body visible, no hats.


For foreigners:

 

1)   Passport

2)   Marriage certificate

3)   Divorce agreement signed by both parties

4)   Recent color picture of yourself (alone), half-body visible, no hats.

 

Divorce processing is run at the same place, but the time is different, presumably to avoid any awkward encounters in the corridors: Mondays and Thursdays from 1.30 pm until 4 pm.  No need for online reservations, but we would recommend you to call them first at these numbers:

64325087 (24 hour voice service)

962200 (service of civil affairs)

64325088 (human service during office hours).

 

Find out more information here: http://www.shmzj.gov.cn/gb/shmzj/node896/index.html (English)

http://app2.shmzj.gov.cn/sample/Smt-MrgGuide.aspx?id=1 (Chinese)

 

Step 4: Get back out there, tiger, there’re plenty more fish in the sea.

 

And when you find the right one for you, you can go back and start again at Step 1!

 

****


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