How to marry a foreigner in Malaysia [Part 2/3]
One stop post about what, where, how to get hitched for interracial, international couples in Malaysia.
It has been nearly 2 years since we (Malaysian, British) made an effort to wed and paused our effort due to the pandemic. Here is another post about how we restarted our marriage application and the obstacle course we had to run through to get married. We hope this article will help ease any mixed-nationality marriage applications, especially between a Brit and a Malaysian.
Still following the steps as shared in Part 1/3, this is a more detailed breakdown of what we did.
Change NRIC address (optional)
Based on what we knew about the government policy to wed, Malaysian citizens have to wed in the town as stated as their address on their national identity card. So, to wed in our current residential area, I changed my NRIC address from my hometown, Terengganu, to our current residential address in Kuala Lumpur (This was done to reduce the need to travel interstate for our marriage registration).
Obtain "proof of bachelorhood"
My "guai low" fiancé had to produce evidence that he is not married back in his home country. This was supposed to be a document given and verified by his embassy, but was told his embassy does not provide such services. Hence, he:
- Downloaded and print a statutory declaration for marriage template provided by the British government.
- Went to a Commissioner of Oath (found one at our local UTC-Urban Transformation Centre) to swear that item 1 is true. He had to also provide his passport for identification.
- Got item 1 verified by the British High Commissioner (BHC), just for legitimacy purposes. The BHC will also provide a complementary letter to the Malaysian government to request for assistance to enable our marriage, after verifying item 1. You will need proof of address (bank statement or utility bill).
Both of you will have to be present at BHC with your identification card and passport to complete point 3 above.
Recertify supporting documents
This was done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Putrajaya. Documents are accepted in English or Bahasa Malaysia, so if your documents are in any other language, you may need it to be translated by a certified translator. Documents that are needed to be verified by the MFA for the foreigner in the relationship are:
- Statutory declaration for marriage (again, i know~ i rolled my eyes too)
- Letter from the BHC
Once we arrived at MFA, only one of us was allowed to register and enter the consulate. The process was quite speedy. Bring your documents in, they'll give you 3 copies of your ticket number as they call you at different times to process your documents. Everything was verified and stamped in about half hour.
Obtain Permit to Marry from Immigration Department
We skipped this step as he had an employment pass. This step may be applicable to non-Malaysian students or visitors in Malaysia who are trying to get married. So do find out what you need according to your status. There may not be a centralised website to list everything you need to do or documents to prepare, but there are sufficient information provided on different websites if you know where to look.
Obtain and submit Marriage Application Form
Once we have completed the steps above, we proceeded to the JPN( Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) - National Registration Department to begin applying for your marriage certificate. It may be helpful to have booked an appointment with JPN before going there. A printed appointment letter is useful to have to ensure your service slot is reserved, although they may accept walk-ins.
Service at JPN Putrajaya was friendly and swift. We walked up to to the service desk, where an officer helped check if we prepared all necessary documents, and then provided us with the marriage application form to fill and our ticket number. These were the documents we needed before submitting the form:
- One passport photo each.
- Original NRIC for Malaysian, original passport for non- Malaysian
- Copy of said NRIC and passport
- Statutory declaration of marriage for non-Malaysian
- Letter from the BHC
- Birth certificate for non-Malaysian (plus photocopy)
The application itself was free of charge, but the marriage ceremony with the registrar will be RM30.
JPN Putrajaya offered to marry people every weekday. So it was easier to book the next available date while we were here. However, you can choose to get married at any other JPN, with a reference letter provided by JPN Putrajaya.
On the event day, we were told to just bring 2 more people as marriage witnesses, and bring along all our respective identification card or passport. If you're getting a foreign witness, remember to also prepare a photocopy of their passport. The other regulations mentioned was to dress appropriately (e.g. no jeans, slippers, revealing clothings), and to only have 6 other guests, excluding the bride and groom, and their witnesses.
For anyone referring to this post to get hitched in Malaysia, hope these info helped. We understand how confusing it may get. It ain't too bad actually. JPN do provide sufficient guidance and information if you ever walk-in to inquire about all this. All the best and have fun on your quest! Take time to tour the town while you're doing all the above, cos why not!
Stay tuned for deats of the ROM event itself in part 3.
Notarial and documentary services guide for Malaysia Documents, certificates, and letters available at the British High Commission in Malaysia.GOV.UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Malaysia: statutory declaration for marriage if you are single Declaration for confirming that there are no legal reasons why you should not be married in Malaysia.GOV.UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office