A step-by-step guide on how to get married in Dubai for Filipino couples

From application down to the day of your wedding, here are the information you need to say your 'I Dos' in Dubai

Are you one of the couples planning to get married in Dubai? While the current situation has made every errand and activity complicated, it does not mean that getting married to the love of your life is no longer possible.

My husband and I were among the COVID-19 couples that got to say our ‘I dos’ behind face masks, wore our rings for the first time on sanitized hands, and celebrated our memorable day observing physical distancing with a few of our loved ones.

It may be a little different, but you can still have a civil wedding during this pandemic. All you need is to be armed with enough information to make it happen.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get married in Dubai, as based on my experience:

Step 1 – Getting Certificate of No Marriage and Birth Certificate (should be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs)

If you’re planning to get married, among the major requirements you have to produce are your Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) and Birth Certificates, which you can get at the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

You can request for it either online or through a walk-in application. If you’re based abroad, online application is the ideal way to get your or your partner’s CENOMAR.

In our case, however, my husband was able to get our CENOMAR and Birth Certificates—and had them authenticated by DFA—personally because he went on a vacation in the Philippines in February and got back in early March, just in time before lockdowns and restrictions took place.

Since that is not plausible at this time, here are other ways on how to get these documents:

Online application for CENOMAR

1. Visit www.psaserbilis.com.ph

2. Click the button that says ‘Click Here to Request Now’

3. Fill out the Application Form and provide the following necessary information:

·       Number of copies requesting

·       Name (maiden name if married female)

·       Sex

·       Place of birth

·       Date of birth

·       Mother’s maiden name

·       Father’s name

·       Purpose of your request

4. You will be given a Batch Request Number and a Request Reference Number. The online payments can be done through credit card and select banks. For requests of CENOMAR from abroad, the payment costs $25.30 (Dh93 or P1,323)

5. The delivery of the CENOMAR to the UAE will take six to eight weeks after receipt of payment.

If someone will be requesting for your CENOMAR, do take note that they will need an authorization letter from you so the PSA can also deliver it to you. In this case, provide your representative with your authorization along with your original and photocopied valid ID.

Via Courier Processing

There are other companies that offer document processing services for OFWs. Philippine courier company LBC, for one, offers end-to-end service when it comes to document processing

They process documents from PSA, including the requirements for getting married in the UAE—the authenticated birth certificate and the authenticated CENOMAR.

This service from the LBC takes around four weeks, provided there is no problem with the document, and is inclusive of delivery straight to your home in the UAE.

Step 2 – Completing the rest of your requirements

According to the website of the Philippine Consulate General, here are the complete requirements for Filipino couples planning to get married in Dubai. Please make sure that all forms are typewritten in Block format:

1.              Accomplished online Marriage Application form

2.              One (1) Accomplished Joint Affidavit of Witnesses form (originally signed by 2 witnesses)

3.              Original and three (3) photocopies of DFA-apostilled PSA Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of both Bride and Groom Note: (CENOMAR is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance and it must be “For Marriage Purposes“)

4.              Original and three (3) photocopies of DFA-apostilled PSA Birth Certificate of Bride and Groom.

5.              Valid Passport Copies and Visa Copies of Groom, Bride, Witnesses

6.              Recent passport-size colored photos of bride and groom

7.              Original DFA-apostilled Affidavit of Parental Consent for applicants aged 18-21 or DFA-apostilled Affidavit of Parental Advice for applicants aged 22-25.

8.              Any other document that might be requested by the processor

Note: If parent is based here in UAE, personally appear at the Consulate to execute affidavit of parental consent/advice. Bring copies of passport and visa page.

In case the applicant was previous marriage and is now annulled, submit DFA-apostilled PSA Annotated Marriage Contract/Certificate, DFA-apostilled Court’s Finality, DFA-apostilled Court’s Decision and DFA-apostilled Advisory on Marriage (with “For Marriage Purposes”) in addition to the usual requirements stated above.

Note: The passport must be reverted to bride’s single or maiden name prior to submission of application.

If applicant’s husband or wife is deceased, submit DFA-Authenticated (red ribbon) Death Certificate, DFA-Authenticated (red ribbon) Marriage Certificate/Contract in addition to the usual requirements stated above.

Note: The passport must be reverted to bride’s single or maiden name prior to submission of application.

If the applicant, whose current residency is outside UAE and Philippines, submit Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (LCCM) certificate issued from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate which has jurisdiction over the place of residence.

In our case, since we are both based here, we were not previously married, we don’t have parents here, and we are aged above 25, the only requirements we submitted are those in items 1 to 6.

In addition, since my husband had not yet received his new Emirates ID at the time, he just prepared his renewed labor contract to show that his residency has been renewed and has not expired. Although the processor did not ask for it, it’s good to prepare everything you have to validate your residency in the UAE just in case.

Step 3 – Appointment prior to submitting your requirements at the Consulate

Due to the current situation as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Consulate now reiterates strict no-appointment-no-service policy. Those planning to submit their requirements should set an appointment at https://dubaipcg.dfa.gov.ph/application-for-marriage-license-certificate-of-legal-capacity-to-contract-marriage

Everyone is required to present the appointment’s QR code that is sent to the registered email before they can be allowed to enter the premises of the Consulate.

The schedule of application is 8 AM to 4:30 PM. However, for appointments scheduled on Monday to Wednesday, the applications will only be accommodated in the morning, as the weddings will be held in the afternoon.

Keep in mind that the scheduling is on a first-come-first-served basis. In our case, we applied for an appointment in early May, and the next available schedule at the time was May 31.

Step 4 – Going to the Consulate to personally submit your requirements 

Visit the Consulate only on your scheduled appointment, not a day earlier or later, because you will not be entertainment. As mentioned, visitors must present the appointment’s QR code before they are allowed entry.

After you have submitted your documents and the processor has confirmed that they are complete and valid, they will give you the available dates for the wedding. In our case, the processor just got back to us on our wedding date via a phone call because she still had to check what dates had already opened up. She gave us two dates, June 21 and 24, and we picked the former.

We also did not have to attend a pre-marriage counseling due to the current situation, and also because we are over 25, according to our processor. However, I believe this could be a case-to-case basis, so it is better to confirm this with them.

Step 5- The date of your wedding

As of now, mass weddings are still not conducted at the Consulate due to the threat of the pandemic. Ceremonies are now done one or two at a time, unlike before where there are 20 couples getting married altogether in the hall.

As for our case, we were the only couple scheduled for that particular time.

Based on our observation, precautionary measures were strictly observed. We had our temperatures taken, and we were required to wear face masks and apply sanitizer upon entry.

Inside the hall, there were only four chairs, two for us and the other two at the back for the witnesses. A rostrum was also placed in front of us for the solemnizing officer, who conducted the ceremony in about 20 minutes.

After the ceremony, we were allowed to stay for 10 more minutes or so to take photos. We were asked not to take long because another couple was on queue to get married as well.

Please be informed that you also need to bring three copies of you and your partner’s passports on the day of your wedding, and submit it to the assigned consular officer.

Step 6 – After the ceremony

Prior to the ceremony, the consular officer had us and our witnesses sign the marriage certificate. She told us it will be valid for a year until we get our final marriage contract from PSA.

After the ceremony, the Consulate will send the marriage documents to DFA for onward transmittal to PSA for registration. We were told that we will receive an email containing a dispatch number after three to four months, which will allow us or our representatives in the Philippines to process the release of our marriage certificate from PSA.

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan gathers stories on a wide array of topics, particularly on the Philippines, UAE, Saudi, and Bahrain—which are published on The Filipino Times Newspaper, The Filipino Times Website, and The Filipino Times Newsletter. She also presents the news on cam in the pre-recorded daily broadcast of The Filipino Times Newsbreak—a run-through of the most important events of the day, reaching 5,000 to 20,000 views—to deliver stories to audiences inclined to audio-visual content online. For recommendations and story pitches, you can reach her at [email protected]

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