Thursday, April 10, 2014

White Wedding - So, You're Marrying A Foreigner?

I'm pretty sure when little girls were little, most of them, dreamed of a white, church wedding. If not, after watching American romantic/chick flick movies, they would want a white, church wedding.

At least, I wanted a white, church wedding. The problem with having a white church wedding here in Malaysia is, it's not as easy as it seems. You see, MOST churches that are built from the ground are Catholic churches and these are the quintessential churches with white marbled floors, chapel like architecture. 

You see, since Malaysia is an Islamic country, you don't find many churches on the ground. Most churches operate from shoplots and only a few Protestants church are on the ground and its more of a hall rather the chapel type that catholic churches are famous for and also some Methodist church, etc. 

What society failed to tell us was, in order to get married here, you or your spouse, have to be a Catholic. I wanted a mass for my wedding so, I've been attending the RCIA since last year; 2013 and I will be baptized this 2014 Easter. So, I will be having a Mass for my wedding. The church that we chose was St. Ignatius in Kelana Jaya. It's big enough for a comfortable ceremony and small enough to be intimate. 

So, here's the requirements for a marriage here. Besides, worshipping here, there are requirements. 

I spent 3 hours in Putrajaya just to get documents to get marry. That 3 hours is not to register my marriage, just to enquire about the documentation! I spent 1 over hours at Jabatan Pendaftaran Malaysia giving me a whole checklist.

Then, another 1 hour plus at Immigration Department just to get another checklist. You need to go to the Immigration Department only, if you're marrying a foreigner.

Anyways, If you're marrying a foreigner and you're Malaysian, I hope this will help! I wished that someone had told me what to do and etc and I hope this will help you. 

Don't expect to get everything done in a week because it's IMPOSSIBLE. It took me 2 months of travelling between NIGERIAN EMBASSY-JPN-WISMA PUTRA-JPN-IMMIGRATION-WISMA PUTRA-PALACE OF JUSTICE- NIGERIAN EMBASSY-JPN. Be prepared to drive from Ampang embassies to Putrajaya. 

My job is pretty much flexi hours hence, most Mondays and Tuesdays were used for running around KL and Putrajaya. And I'm glad to say that we FINALLY made it!!! Our ROM is on the 6th May 2014.

I suggest to do everything in Putrajaya because Wisma Putra is 5 minutes drive from JPN and the Palace of Justice and Immigration are all walking distance from JPN. So, it's quite convenient to a certain extent. Depends on how you see it. Most MALAYSIAN government offices are really efficient and I'm very impressed. They're doing a very good job and even The Fiance is very impressed. 

Identify the visa on his/her passport. (Student/Work) 
If he/she is a STUDENT, then you're in luck and you should read on. Work visa, I will be unable to help you. 

Before you start, you should allocate 1 day to go to the immigration department and JPN (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara) to collect the documents. 

FIRST, You need a consent from the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT. You need a form called PERMOHONAN PENGESAHAN PAS BAGI TUJUAN PERKAHWINAN WARGANEGARA ASING. You will have to fill 2 similar forms. 

Please take note of the requirements before heading back to the Immigration. The Immigration in Putrajaya closes for lunch between 1-2PM and either than that, it was a breeze dealing with them. It was one of the fastest, and most effective government department. 

Secondly, you need to go to JPN with all your documents. I would suggest that you get your spouse to get a CONFIRMATION OF MARITAL STATUS stamped by their embassy in Malaysia and then attested by Wisma Putra. Once you have all the documentation, you can go to JPN. 

And you need a translator, to translate the second page (for foreigners) and you can run over to the next block in Putrajaya called the Palace of Justice to get a court translator to sign off for about 5RM. Please dress appropriately and if you have relevant documents, make sure that their embassy stamps it and get wisma putra to attest it. 

If you're marrying a Nigerian, you will have to go to JPN and request for a "Pengesahan Status Perkahwinan" and then, get it attested by Wisma Putra. 

You will have to write 3 letters and then submit it at the Nigerian Embassy. They will call you for an interview on Thursdays and then, only, they will stamp and attest your spouse's marriage documents. 

Once everything is done correctly, and JPN gives you a "Surat Temujanji Upacara Perkahwinan"
You have to set a date with them, 21 days after the day you submit your documents to JPN. Please check the names and the details before leaving the counter. 

If you need more clarifications, please inform me. 
I hope that this helped. You can drop me an e-mail HERE

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