Last year, my French partner (now husband) and I entered into a civil partnership (PACS) in France.

A couple of months later, we started discussing doing future projects as a couple (e.g., buying a house together, investing or doing business together, planning for vacations in Asia, etc.) and finally considered getting married after looking carefully into the differences between PACs and marriage in France not only for our future projects but also for our relationship. It makes quite an important life marker to have your relationship legally recognized by the state and by your families.

On 11th May 2024, we finally tied knot at the Mairie of Roubaix as a same-sex couple, witnessed and joined by our families and friends.

To Filipinos who are considering marrying a citizen in France, here are the steps I took that might help you with your journey:

Steps to Marry a French Citizen as a Filipino in France

Getting married in France as a Filipino to a French citizen involves several legal steps and documentation. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

1. Collect Required Documents

Ensure you have all necessary documents for both the Filipino and the French citizen.

For the Filipino:

  • Birth Certificate: Authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and then legalized by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR): Issued by the PSA, also legalized by the DFA.
  • Affidavit of Singleness: Notarized in the Philippines and legalized by the DFA, or issued by the Philippine Embassy in France.
  • Valid Passport: Copy of the passport’s data page.
  • Proof of Residency in France: If applicable.
  • Legal Capacity to Marry: Issued by the Philippine Embassy in France.

For the French Citizen:

  • Birth Certificate: Issued within the last three months.
  • Proof of Identity: National ID card or passport.
  • Proof of Address: Recent utility bill or lease agreement.
  • Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage (Certificat de Coutume): Issued by the town hall in France.

2. Obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage

  • From the Philippine Embassy in France: The Filipino partner must secure a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage. This document confirms that the Filipino citizen is legally free to marry. Required documents include the birth certificate, CENOMAR, passport, and affidavit of singleness.

3. Submit Marriage Application

  • At the French Town Hall (Mairie): The French partner should submit all necessary documents, including the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry for the Filipino partner, to the local town hall where the marriage will take place.
  • Publication of Banns: The town hall will publicly announce the marriage intent for at least 10 days.

4. Attend Possible Interviews

  • Interviews: The town hall might conduct interviews with both partners to verify the legitimacy of the relationship.

5. Civil Marriage Ceremony

  • Schedule the Ceremony: Once the banns are published and any waiting period is observed, schedule the civil marriage ceremony at the town hall.
  • Ceremony: Attend the ceremony with two witnesses. Since the ceremony will be conducted in French, a translator might be necessary if you’re not fluent.

6. Obtain the Marriage Certificate

  • Livret de Famille: After the ceremony, you’ll receive a Livret de Famille, an official record of your marriage and any future children.
  • Marriage Certificate Copies: Obtain multiple copies of the marriage certificate from the town hall.

7. Report the Marriage to the Philippine Embassy

  • Register the Marriage: Notify the Philippine Embassy in France of your marriage. Provide the marriage certificate and other necessary documents to update your marital status in the Philippines.

8. Post-Marriage Legalization

  • Update Civil Status: Ensure your marital status is updated in both French and Filipino civil records.
  • Residence Permit: Apply for a residence permit at the local prefecture if the Filipino partner plans to reside in France.

9. Additional Considerations

  • Name Change: If you plan to change your name after marriage, update all legal documents, including your passport, national ID, and bank accounts.
  • Prenuptial Agreement: If desired, draft and notarize a prenuptial agreement before the marriage.

By carefully following these steps and ensuring all documentation is properly prepared and submitted, a Filipino citizen can successfully marry a French citizen in France.

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