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How to: Get a Prenuptial Contract I Get Married I Get Divorced in China – HI-COM

What documents and steps are required to get married or divorce in China? How can expats arrange their marriage contract? Get all answers here!

How to Register Marriage in China

how to get married in china as expat

Chinese-Foreign Marriage Registration  

Congratulations! You found your one true love and want to get married / 结婚 jiehun. The rules may vary depending on your nationality and under which jurisdiction you want your marriage to be recognized under.


Marriage registration office of the local civil affairs bureau, (民政局Min Zheng Ju) in each jurisdiction.

What documents are required to get married in China?

For Both Partners

  • Marriage registration application form
  • Registration fee

For Chinese Partner

  • Certificate of birth
  • Hukou
  • Healthcare certificate (can obtain from the nearest hospital)
  • Signed statement of non-family relations within 3 generations with a future spouse
  • Certificate of Marriageability

For Foreign Partner

  • Current passport
  • Health certificate from a Chinese hospital designated by the marriage registration office
  • Residence permit
  • Certificate of marriageability*
  • Visa
  • For those who have been married before: divorce certificate*

*Documents that may requiring translation

What documents have to be translated before applying for marriage?

  • Certificate of marriageability
  • Divorce certificate (For those who have been married before)


You can translate these documents at HI-COM, all what you need to do is simply shoot us an email! All our quotes are free of charge.

Contact us at: [email protected]

About certificate marriageability:
One requirement that is generally applied to all people wishing to be married in China is the need for a Certificate of Marriageability. No this is not a certificate stating you are a good catch and would make an excellent husband or wife. It is proof that you are single, and not currently married. The Chinese is 单身证明 (danshenzhengming), which translates literally to “single certificate”.

It can be in the form of a statutory declaration, affidavit, or a certificate issued from your home country, depending on the rules applicable to where you come from. If you have previously been married, you will need certified and notarized translations of any applicable divorce papers or death certificate of your former partner, to accompany with your Certificate of Marriageability.

Marriageability certificate translation sample
certificate of marriageability
certificate of marriageability chinese certified translation


About Foreign-Foreign Marriage Registration in China

Since March 2019 Civil Affairs Department cancelled that provision. Nothing more recent suggests that the government notice has been lifted/amended. For the latest information, you should contact your local registry office (Civil Affairs Office or 民政部).


Arranging a Prenuptial Contract in China

arranging a prenuptial contract in China

Starting a family with a foreigner is of course very exciting, but legally speaking, things may not always run so smoothly. And when it comes to preparing a prenuptial agreement or ‘prenup’ (also called a marriage contract), it may cast a few negative shadows in the minds of those planning to tie the knot.

But nevertheless, it is a good idea to protect both of your assets from any not-so-happy endings. Signing a prenup not only will protect your existing assets and inheritance, but also will protect your spouse from any future debts you or your business may have.

Prenuptial Contract Preparation I Chinese-Foreign Couple

Step 1. Go to lawyer’s office

The process begins in lawyer’s or notary’s office. As the marriage will be legal in your country (and in China), you will need to have a lawyer or a notary who will draft a contract in your native language.

When it comes to a marriage contract, only the native language of you and your spouse counts (so for a French-Chinese marriage for example, no English documents are necessary).

The draft will be signed by the notary or a lawyer, as he/she will be liable for any mistakes in such an important document.

Step 2. Translate your marriage contract

The second step is to translate your prenup to Chinese (language of your spouse). For this you will need to call upon the services of a sworn translator who also has to sign the document and mark it with their official seal.

Step 3. Sign up

Congratulations! You are able to to sign your prenup! Remember to sign it before you sign your marriage license, otherwise this contract will have no legal effect.

Have already completed step 1 and in need of a sworn translator? Get your translation at HI-COM! Contact us today for your free quote!

Contact us at: [email protected]


Prenuptial Contract Preparation I Foreign-Foreign Couple

If both of you are foreigners who live in China, and you are not from the same country, you still can prepare a prenuptial agreement in China.

As long as foreigner-foreigner marriage cannot be registered in China these days we will talk about the postnuptial agreement. Below are the steps of preparing your marriage contract in China.

Step 1. Go to lawyer’s office

To prepare a prenup, one of the spouses must contact a lawyer/notary of his/her home country or an embassy/consulate. The lawyer/notary will draft a prenup in the native language of one the applicants.

Step 2. Translate your prenup

After that the marriage contract shall be translated to the native language of the second spouse by a sworn translator.

For this step you need a sworn translator means a translator authorized by the Court, the only actor capable of translating a document with a legal value.

Contact us today to hire one! All quotations are free of charge.

Our email: [email protected]

Step 3. Go to your local consulate or embassy

After translation and sealing done, both parties can schedule a meeting with the notary at one of their consulates, where all parties will sign it.

Viola! Now you are safe from unexpected moments if you would be divorcing.


How to Get Divorced in China?

how to get divorced in china

How can you apply to divorce in China?

First things first, can expats apply for divorce in China? The answer is yes, no matter if your marriage is foreigner-foreigner or foreigner-Chinese.

Below we describe the procedure and what documents you may need to get divorced in China.

How to Get a Divorce in China I Foreigner-Foreigner Couple

If your marriage is a foreigner-foreigner is considered as a “foreign-related marriage’ in China, hence divorce has to be processed with the court.

You can also apply for both types of divorce, namely “divorce by agreement” and “divorce by litigation”, but no matter what type of divorce you want to proceed you still have to go to court to get civil meditation statement a certificate that proves that divorce is legal.

Requirements to apply for a divorce as an expat in China

To apply for divorce in China at least one of the spouse must either obtain a foreign permanent residency in China and be physically present in China or resided continuously for one year.

What documents are required for divorce in China as an expat couple?

  • Divorce agreement signed by both parties
  • Marriage certificate*
  • Passport
  • Residence permit or visa
  • Police registration certificates
  • Property ownership certificates (for Chinese real estate only)
  • Birth certificates (for minor children only)

* Certified translation is required if you obtain a marriage certificate or birth certificate that was issued abroad of China.

Contact us today to get your translation done! All quotes are free of charge. Our email: [email protected]


How to Get Divorced in China I Chinese-Foreigner Couple

For the couple where one of the spouse is Chinese citizen and application type is “divorce by agreement” going to court might not be nessesary. Couple can register divorce in the marriage registration office instead.

However is allocation type is “divorce by litigation” further steps mignt be finding a lawyer and file with the court.

What documents are required for divorce in China as a Chinese-foreigner couple? 

For Both

  • Divorce agreement signed by both parties
  • Marriage certificate*

For Chinese Partner

Hukou and ID card

For Foreign Partner

  • Passport
  • Residence permit or visa
  • Police registration certificates
  • Property ownership certificates (for Chinese real estate only)
  • Birth certificates (for minor children only)

* Certified translation is required if you obtain a marriage certificate or birth certificate that was issued abroad of China.

Contact us today to get your translation done! All quotes are free of charge. Our email: [email protected]

Marriage certificate translation sample

marriage certificate translation sample

What documents may require certified translation for foreign nationality children in China when Going to School

China does not automatically recognize the authenticity of a given legal document, be it a diploma or school report, in its original language. Whether applying for kindergarten or school, it’s often required that a translation is made of requisite documents and that it is made by a company that has been vetted, and is licensed, by the Chinese government.

After years of experience, HI-COM is able to clarify what kind of documents may require translation for non-Chinese children living in China. To remove any unwanted surprises, below is a list of examples where a certified translation is needed in China.

List of documents

  • Certificates of previous vaccinations
  • Academic transcripts
  • School reports
  • Diplomas
school marks certified translation

Translation sample

school marks sertified translation to english

What documents may require certified translation when applying for a bank loan from outside of China

If you are applying for loan outside of China, but from a Chinese bank, you may be asked for translated and certified documents such as bank statements. A full list of documents is below:

List of documents

  • Bank statements
  • Evidence of any additional income
  • Payslips & tax returns
  • Proof of home address

What documents are required to be translated for foreigners to inherit property in China and abroad when in China

  • Death certificate
  • Kinship certificates
  • Inheritance certificate



How to Get a Document Notarized in China

As the Chinese economy grows, and more education and business opportunities open up, more and more people from countries all over the world are coming to study, work, and build a life for themselves in China. This has led to a sharp increase in the number of Chinese diplomas, birth certificates, marriage certificates, visas, and residence permits being issued to non-Chinese nationals. If you belong to this growing group of people, your home country may require you to have your official Chinese documents translated into your home language and also notarized by the Chinese authorities.

Cases when you may need notarized translation

  1. A potential employer in your home country would like to check that your diploma(s) you obtained in China is genuine and official.
  2. You got married in China and you need to make the marriage legally recognized in your home country.
    However please note that marriages registered in China may already be legally recognized in your home country without the need for a translation – please check this with your consulate or local authority.
  3. Birth certificate. Your children were born in China and you intend to move them to your home country in the future.

Before taking any concrete actions, it is important to find out whether your translated documents need to be notarized at all. It may be sufficient just to have them certified by a translation agency, the details of which can be found in this article.

If you are certain that your Chinese documents need to be notarized, then it is first of all important to note that any document that was issued by the Chinese Government and originally drawn up in Mandarin must be notarized in China by an officially recognized notary.

To ensure you are completely clear on the process, HI-COM did some thorough research for you and visited three different notaries in China, to ensure the information received was consistent.

Here is how to notarize a document in China

Step 1:

First of all, you will need to head to your local notary in China. You will need to go there in person with your passport and the original copies of the documentation that requires notarization.

Q: But what if I can’t get there myself? Is there a solution?

If for whatever reason you cannot go in person, someone must go to the notary on your behalf with a letter of authorization written in Chinese and signed by you. An example of this authorization letter is shown below:

How to: Get a Prenuptial Contract I Get Married I Get Divorced in China - HI-COM

Q: It’s ok, I can get there myself – do I need to book an appointment?

Normally it is not necessary to book an appointment with the notary, but you may need to wait in a queue for some time before you get served.

Q: I don’t speak Chinese, will this be an issue when I visit the notary?

If your level of Chinese is on the low side, we strongly recommend bringing a native Mandarin speaker with you, or someone with a very high level of spoken Mandarin, to make the process as smooth as possible.

Step 2:

After you have explained your requirements to the notary, they will then take care of the entire translation and notarization process. Therefore you cannot bring a translated certificate to the notary and then have it notarized. To notarize Chinese documents you shall provide the original copies.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the translation will range between 60 to 1000 RMB, depending on the size of the documents to be translated.  The cost of the notarization will range between 100 to 600 RMB.

Also make sure you allow at least seven full working days for the translation and notarization process.

Q: What languages can be handled in this process?

Most notaries can notarize Chinese documents as well as prepare the translations from Chinese into English, French, German, and Spanish. For other languages, you will need to check with your local notary.

We hope you find the above information useful, and if you need any help finding a notary near you in China, shoot us a mail and we will do our very best to help!

Please note: all the above information was deemed correct at the time of publication, and may be subject to change at a later date.

Once again, if your documents do not require notarization, a certified translation will most likely be sufficient.  More about Certified translation 


In need of certified or sworn translation services? Contact us today to get your translation done! All quotes are free of charge. Our email: [email protected]

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