Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 20:
Population and Immigration
Immigration Department
Personal Documentation
Nationality Matters
Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Outside Hong Kong
Births and Deaths
Home Pages
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Table of Contents Constitution and Administration The Legal System The Economy Financial and Monetary Affairs Commerce and Industry Employment Education Health Food Safety, Environmental Hygiene, Agriculture and Fisheries Social Welfare Housing Land, Public Works and Utilities Transport The Environment Travel and Tourism Public Order Communications, the Media and Information Technology Religion and Custom Recreation, Sport and the Arts Population and Immigration History Appendices PRINT

Marriage registration in Hong Kong is governed by the Marriage Ordinance. All marriages contracted under the ordinance involve the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. There is no residential or nationality requirement for marrying parties but neither of them can be under the age of 16 years.

Normally, the Registrar of Marriages should be given at least 15 days' notice of an intended marriage and the marriage must take place within three months from the date of giving the notice. Before the introduction of the Civil Celebrants of Marriages Scheme, a marriage could only take place in one of the five marriage registries, or any of the 257 licensed places of public worship. In 2006, 38 603 marriages were celebrated in the marriage registries and 2 865 in licensed places of public worship.

An appointment to give notice of marriage to the Registrar of Marriages can be made through the Internet under the Electronic Service Delivery Scheme or the Interactive Voice Response System. During the year, over 98 per cent of the parties who filed their marriage notices on the first day of the notice-giving period did it through the system.

The Registrar of Marriages is also responsible for issuing Certificates of Absence of Marriage Records. During the year, 18 740 such certificates were issued.

The Marriage (Introduction of Civil Celebrants of Marriages and General Amendments) Ordinance came into effect on March 13, 2006, allowing marrying parties to engage a civil celebrant to celebrate marriages at any time and place other than the marriage registries and licensed places of public worship. During the year, 1 097 people were appointed as civil celebrants who solemnised 8 824 marriages.

2005 I 2004 I 2003 I 2002 I 2001 I 2000 I 1999 I 1998 I 1997