Monday, January 6, 2014

A Guide to Marrying a Foreigner in Malaysia

This post is to provide an overview of the marriage registration procedures for a foreigner to marry a local Malaysian. We were lucky to find a useful blog while we were doing our research few months back providing the step-by-step procedures and it really came in handy and saved us a lot of hassle. Thanks to them, the process was so much easier for us. So for those planning to marry a foreigner in Malaysia, hope this post helps. =)

1. GET A SINGLE STATUS DOCUMENT FROM THE LOCAL MUNICIPAL OFFICE / EMBASSY
This was for Daniel (the foreigner). He asked about this document from the marriage license office in Huntsville but since he has never been married before, they had no records for him. He then emailed the US Embassy in KL to ask about this and was informed that he could get it at the embassy when he gets to Malaysia.

2. GET THE SINGLE STATUS DOCUMENT NOTARIZED BY THE EMBASSY.
We went to US Embassy in KL and it was quick coz Americans didn't have wait in line. He filled up the 'Single Status Affidavit' form, had it notarized, and paid a fee of USD50. All done within an hour. We then headed straight to Putrajaya for the next procedures. 


3. GO TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN PUTRAJAYA TO GET THE SINGLE STATUS AFFIDAVIT ENDORSED.
We knew that the office was closed between 12pm-2pm so we got there around 2.30pm. We registered at the guardhouse with our ID (IC/passport etc.) and went to the counter to get the endorsement. We waited for about 1 hour before the document was endorsed and made the payment of RM20.


4. GO TO THE JABATAN PENDAFTARAN PERKAHWINAN (DEPARTMENT OF REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE) AT THE 3RD FLOOR OF THE JABATAN PENDAFTARAN NEGARA (JPN) OFFICE AT PUTRAJAYA TO SUBMIT THE SINGLE STATUS AFFIDAVIT AND GET THE AUTHORIZATION LETTER TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE JPN OFFICE IN PENANG.
We were lucky that there was nobody there so we did not need to wait at all. We filled up a form and submitted copies of Daniel's passport, birth certificate, my IC, and the Single Status Affidavit. They didn't ask us any questions and after checking through all our documents, they issued us with a letter enclosed in a sealed envelope which we will have to submit to the Penang JPN office. We were done with everything by 4.30pm. So that's it for all the procedures that we had to complete in KL. All these procedures just to get him authorized to get married in Malaysia. The actual marriage registration procedures will have to be completed in Penang.


5. HEADED TO PENANG JPN'S JABATAN PENDAFTARAN PERKAHWINAN.
We couldn't start the application process in Penang until Daniel has resided in Malaysia for at least 7 days. He arrived on Monday and the soonest we could start the process was the next Tuesday. I've already gotten the marriage registration form in Putrajaya and filled up all our information before hand. We could have just gone straight to the High Court to take our oath but we weren't sure exactly what the procedure was so we went over to JPN first to find out what to do next.


6. WENT TO THE HIGH COURT TO TAKE OUR OATH.
After the officer looked through our documents briefly, he told us that we had to go to the High Court to take our oath. I was trying to finish as many things as possible before the government offices close for lunch break so we were driving around town as if we were on the amazing race. =P We went to the counter, waited for our turn to make the payment of RM4 then went up to 2nd floor to see the translator. Basically the translator just 'translated' the content of the marriage registration form and ensured that Daniel understands that he's gonna sign a paper to get married in Malaysia. She then signed, dated, and stamped on the form. This was done in half an hour.


7. WE HEADED BACK TO THE JPN OFFICE TO SUBMIT THE COMPLETED FORM
The officer checked through the completed marriage registration form (with the translator's stamp), copies of all our documents and attached each of our passport size photos. As we needed an 'express service' coz Daniel was gonna fly back to US in less than 21 days, the JPN officer gave us an 'express service' form that we had to fill up. 

8. WE WENT TO KOMTAR TO GET THE CHIEF MINISTER'S APPROVAL ON THE 'EXPRESS SERVICE'.
We went to the 3rd floor of Komtar, asked one of the officers about the 'express service' for marriage and was directed to the payment counter. After paying the 'express fee' of RM100, we were told to go to the CM's office at 25th floor. The secretary came out to get our forms and told us that she would call me after the form is signed by the CM. I thought it could be done on the same day but she told us that it would only be done the next day. That means we were done for the day, another successful morning for us: 10.45am JPN - 11.15am High Court - 12pm JPN - 12.45pm Komtar - 1pm Done. Once again, I was impressed by our government offices' efficiency.


9. COLLECTED OUR FORMS FROM KOMTAR AND SUBMITTED TO THE JPN OFFICE TO GET THE DATES FOR THE REGISTRATION CEREMONY.
We went back to Komtar on Dec 13 to collect our forms that has been signed by the CM and took the forms back to Penang's JPN. After checking all our documents again, we finally got to select the dates for our marriage registration ceremony. There are only 3 slots available per day between 9am-11am and the earliest date possible we could select was 23 Dec 2013 so we reserved our slot. 

10. MARRIAGE REGISTRATION CEREMONY AT JPN.
Both our families arrived JPN at 9.30am and waited for our turn for the solemnization ceremony. We paid RM20 for the marriage certificate and another RM10 for the endorsed copy for Daniel to bring back to the States. The entire ceremony took less than 20 minutes and all we had to say was 'YES', 'NO', and 'YES, I DO'...lol!! 


All in all, this whole process took us 1 day in KL and 1.5 days in Penang with visits to 6 different offices. Glad that everything went smoothly and best of all, we had both our families present to celebrate our 'big' day. =)

7 comments:

Jeniffer Meng Huai said...

Hi, discovered your blog while I'm doing research in marrying a foreigner in malaysia. May I know how many days it took since Daniel first arrived in Malaysia?

I need to know roughly how long it took so that my fiancee can book the flight.

Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you. :)

Khai Shing said...

Hi Jennifer, below are the timelines:

Dec 2, 2013 (Mon): Arrive Malaysia
Dec 3, 2013 (Tues): Step #3 and #4 at Putrajaya
Dec 11, 2013 (Wed): Step #5 - #8 in Penang
Dec 13, 2013 (Fri): Step #9
Dec 23, 2013 (Mon): Marriage registration ceremony

So the whole process took approximately 3 weeks for us. Hope this helps! 😊

Jeniffer Meng Huai said...

Hi Kai shing,

Thank you for your prompt reply. I have just called the JPN Melaka for clarification and they said if i am going to adopt the "Express Service" we can just proceed #5 - #8 in Malacca without the 7 days wait. Thank god because my bf can only be here for 10 days.

Anyway, thank you for your prompt reply and i enjoy reading your blog! :)

♥ Dhurghadevi Raja ♥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥ Dhurghadevi Raja ♥ said...

Good day Kai Shing

I'm super glad I'd found a fellow Malaysian married an American!! ���� My husband and I got married last year and we've sent out our i130 forms for spouse visa. I know since we're Malaysians we are required to send our birth certificate and it is in bilingual Malay/English
The NVC wanted the birth certificate to be fully in English. The Jabatan Pendaftaran Malaysia told me that we can do the translation from local court. It means the translation copy will be notarized by court only. Do I still need to get JPN or any government offices stamped on my translation copy or just the court stamp will do?

Also I would love to hear your immigration process since we've been married for 7months now and still waiting for i130 to be approved
All the best in your endeavors

Thank you
Dhurghadevi

Khai Shing said...

Hi Dhurghadevi,

Congrats on your marriage! I went through the I-130 process back in 2014 but I remember submitting the birthcert (bilingual) that I obtained from JPN (had to apply for new one), and they didn't ask for it to be fully English, and my I-130 was approved. Not sure if they changed the rules. For your case, I would think it should be sufficient just having it notarized by the court.

We completed the I-130 process but put a pause on the DS-260, as I'm currently in the US under work visa. So unfortunately, I don't really know too much about the marriage-based process.

We submitted our I-130 around Feb, and received the approval around July. I'm guessing you're engaging a lawyer to help with this process. Are you currently in Msia or US?

♥ Dhurghadevi Raja ♥ said...

I see, currently I'm still in Malaysia waiting for i130 to be approved:( We'd sent the forms last October and still on the first step. Apparently many October filers are still waiting on the line too. The next step is NVC process which is why I need clarification on the birth certificate. Thank you so much for clearing my doubts. And no we did not get any help from lawyers. Will that make the process to move faster?

I've been searching numerous blogs looking for a fellow Malaysian getting a spouse visa and I'm glad I bumped into your blog. Thank you so much for your clarification. Hope to hear hear from you soon. Once again best wishes on your marriage and career too :)