One of the legal process a Filipino immigrant should do after getting married and after giving birth in a foreign country is to apply for report of marriage and report of birth to Philippine Consulate General/Philippine embassy that has the authority over the locality where it took place. It applies to whether married to a foreign national or to a fellow Filipino as long as you got married abroad or overseas.
I’m a Filipino and was married to a U.S citizen early last year 2017 and on the same year I gave birth to our first baby here California. So with all these things that had happened, we decided to report our marriage and to report the birth of our baby to the consulate before our first anniversary and before our baby reached her first birthday. We wanted our marriage to be registered legally in the Philippines and be able to change my status in all my records there as well. We also want our baby to have her own legal records as a Filipino citizen too.
These are all about the report of marriage application from the definition, importance of filing the report to all the requirements needed. A separate article will be for the report of birth.
REPORT OF MARRIAGE
A Legal Document Application
What is it about?
It is a legal registration requirement for a married Filipino citizen overseas to report marriage that had occurred in a foreign country with the Consulate General/Philippine Embassy. This is mandated by Civil Registry Law Act 3753 and also covered on Family Code of the Philippines (sec.664). The Family Code states that “records of marriages whether performed by the Philippine Consular Officer or by the local religious or civil authorities shall be kept and transmitted to the Philippine Civil Registrar through the Department of Foreign Affairs”.
Why is it important?
- Filing the report of marriage is the way to register the marriage in the Civil Registry of Philippines Statistics Office formerly known as the NSO. This means a change of your status and records in the Philippines.
- Once you filed this report you will have a record or a certificate of marriage registered in the Philippines so whenever you need to change certain things in the Philippines such as insurances that require a marriage license then you can be able to provide one.
- The report of marriage will be one of the evidence in changing legal documents such as renewing a Philippine passport. A change from using maiden surname to your married surname will only be possible if you filed this report.
With all these in mind, I started to search online about the requirements for the report of marriage and report of birth applications. I found the official website of the consulate and I was surprised that the information I needed was so easy to find.
What are the requirements for Report of Marriage?
- First and foremost you have to check if the marriage you want to report is under the jurisdiction of the consulate through the consulate’s finder site that can also be found on the official website (if within U.S). In this way when you apply to the right consulate the process of any legal documents will be faster.
- Fill-up the report of marriage form
FYI: The last name of the wife should be the maiden name; The information of the witnesses should be written in both boxes of husband and wife; All the required documents are listed on the consulate’s website, you can print it as your guide or checklist. This is the preview of the lists:
FYI: The cover letter is not necessary if the applicants, both husband and wife will go personally to the consulate or walk-in application; Don’t miss to read the “note” that was included on the pdf file found in the last paragraph of the page “how to file a report of marriage” consulate’s website; Follow strictly what it says on the list depending on your case for example if it says 5 copies for each legal document then complete each.
What are the ways of filing the report of marriage?
- Walk-in application or personally apply (bost husband and wife) to the consulate/embassy.
- Through mail or courier
- Getting a scheduled appointment to the Philippine Consular Outreach event assigned by consulate.
How much does it cost?
Both report of marriage and report of birth cost $25 each application
Since I and my husband have no any records of marriage before and didn’t have any kids we only need to submit certain documents that applies on our case. We live in Solano County in California so we went to the Philippine Consulate General base in San Francisco. The consulate which is located in 447 Sutter Street,San Francisco, CA 94108 is 24 miles away from where we live and we drove off for about an hour to get there. We made sure to arrive as early as possible so we can be first in line.
What is the Consular’s Service Hours?
Check the official website of the consulate before going and make sure to bring every necessary required documents for any of your application.
What are the process in filing the report?
The consulates flow chart procedure when filing a report of marriage in San Francisco, California can be found easily on their website.
We arrived in the embassy at 9 a.m and we were asked to head to the 2nd floor going straight to the separate lane for applicants with baby or senior applicants. I took a blue ticket number from the stall in the front of the waiting room and we waited for almost 20-30 minutes before an officer called our turn. By then I informed her that we’ll be filing both report of marriage and report of birth so then she asked first about the requirements for the report of marriage. I handed down the folder of the requirements which I prepared separately from the other application. As per the rules of submission, only copies shall be given or surrendered to the consulate but all original document is a must to bring for validation of each document copies. After everything has been validated, the officer asked us to proceed to 6th floor for the next step. I submitted the document to the cashier window and I was instructed to wait until the document has been verified before I pay the fee. After 20 minutes or so I was called and informed to edit some of the information which I missed to fill up. Then after I completed editing I submitted it back and an officer checked it before I was told to pay the $25 fee. After paying I got the receipt with the information of the time of release of the document, at 4 p.m basically 4 hours after.
We went for a walk and took our lunch. As we walked around the city, we discovered things that were new to us like the public painting expo and the lady monument in San Francisco which symbolizes one of the historic events of the Philippines. Our waiting time was indeed well spent.
Thirty minutes before 4 p.m we went back to the embassy in 6th floor, I was about to call for the officer when I read the label in a box near the cashier’s window stating “place the receipt for document release and wait for your name to be called” and so that’s what I did. We seated and waited for their call. After probably 15 minutes the officer called my name and gave me the document. I was expecting to see a Philippine certificate of marriage but it wasn’t what I expected, it was a copy of all the forms I submitted just compiled, stamped and signed by the Deputy Consul General. The officer told me that the consulate will send our filed report to the Civil Registry in Philippine Statistics Office in Manila and then after 6 months I can request online for the true copy of our Philippine marriage certificate.
We filed both report of marriage and report of birth that same day. The process for report of birth will be in a separate post. Have you ever filed a legal document to any consulate? Its one of the experiences that is worth to share for others who are on the same boat to gain knowledge and background of the process.