Guidance: Notarial and documentary services guide for the Philippines

Announcement

We will resume operations for our notarial services beginning Wednesday, 1 December 2021, subject to strict health and safety protocols. Our services will be limited to appointments and by credit card payment only.

Customers will be asked to confirm their vaccination status prior to visit. They must maintain physical distancing, practice good hygiene, and are required to wear face masks and shields at all times whilst inside the Embassy building. Those who have had a fever, a cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms of flu in the last 14 days will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Safeguarding the health and safety of our customers and staff remains our highest priority.

Please call us through our 24/7 hotline: +63 2 8858 2200 or our web contact form for any questions or concerns.

Overview

The British Embassy Manila can provide a range of notarial and documentary services for British nationals in the Philippines.

Where local notaries can provide services, the British embassy will not provide them. In many case local notaries or lawyers can provide services more cheaply, quickly and conveniently. We have produced an information note to explain our policy.

You must make an appointment for each service that requires your personal attendance. Please use the links after each service to make an appointment. Some services are available by local courier only.

Before booking an appointment or sending your documents, make sure you have selected the correct service and that the document will be accepted by the relevant authority. This could be the local town hall, registry office, tax authorities, immigration office or another authority either in the Philippines, the UK or a third country.

Services we provide in the Philippines

Consular staff in the Philippines can:

If you can’t find the service you are looking for on this page, please see services provided elsewhere.

What to bring to your appointment

See the individual services below for details of supporting documents to bring. Make sure you have acceptable proof of address and identity, and payment for any fees. Some services are only available by courier.

Payment

See the full list of consular fees

We only accept payment by Visa/Mastercard in Pounds Sterling (£) or in Philippine Peso (=P=) at this time. Refunds of consular fees are not given for notarial and documentary services that are not accepted by the requesting authority.

Proof of address and identity

For all appointments for notarial services, you will need to bring acceptable proof of your identity and address.

  • we accept passports as proof of identity

  • we accept billing statements, immigration cards, or a letter from your employer as proof of your address

Administer an oath, affirmation or affidavit

British nationals who wish to marry in the Philippines are no longer required to have their affidavits administered at the Embassy. Instead, you may have the affidavit notarised locally in the Philippines.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 2021-004, will allow local notarisation in the Philippines of the “Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.” Click the information note to download the circular.

Affidavit templates are available here.

We encourage British nationals to have these affidavits notarised locally, or visit the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website or enquire with the Local Civil Registry Office where you plan to be married for more information.

Same sex civil partnership or marriage

This service is for couples who wish to get married at the British embassy in Manila. For information on getting married or entering into a civil partnership, see getting married abroad.

If you and your partner don’t live in the Philippines, you need to have been there for at least 21 days before you can get married. You need to stay in the country for the 21 days.

You and your partner need to give notice of your marriage and sign a declaration that you’re legally allowed to marry.

You need to have been in the Philippines for at least 7 full days before you can give notice. This means if you arrived on Monday, you can’t give notice until the following Tuesday.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • your and your partner’s passports

  • proof that you’ve been in the Philippines for at least 7 full days, for example a utility bill, bank statement, passport stamp or boarding pass

  • proof that your partner is free to get married if they’re not British, for example a certificate of no impediment or a passport showing marital status

  • consular fees 10 and 12

If you or your partner have been married or in a civil partnership before, you’ll also need:

  • your original decree absolute or final order (this could be a printed PDF and covering email from the court) – if you’re divorced

  • your annulment certificate – if your marriage or civil partnership was annulled

  • your civil partnership dissolution – if your civil partnership was dissolved

  • your partner’s death certificate and marriage certificate – if you’ve been widowed

  • If your divorce, civil partnership dissolution or annulment took place outside the UK, you’ll need evidence that you or your ex partner lived in or were a national of that country at the time of the divorce.

The British embassy will display your notice publicly for 14 days. If nobody registers an objection, you can get married up to 3 months after the end of your notice period.

You and your partner also need to sign a declaration to say that you’re legally allowed to get married. The British embassy will give you the document to sign.

You both need to bring proof that you live in the Philippines or you’ve been there for at least the last 21 full days. This could be a utility bill, bank statement, passport stamp or boarding pass.

Your wedding ceremony will be at the British embassy in Manila on the date you agreed.

You’ll need to bring 2 witnesses to your ceremony. Your witnesses must:

  • bring photo ID

  • be 16 or over

  • know you or your partner

  • understand English well enough to follow the ceremony and read the marriage register

  • You, your partner and your 2 witnesses will sign the marriage register.

You’ll be married under UK law, so your marriage will be recognised in the UK but not in the Philippines or other countries where same sex marriage isn’t legal.

If your partner isn’t a British citizen, they can apply for British citizenship once they’ve lived in the UK for 3 years.

Book an appointment for same sex civil partnership or marriage at the British Embassy Manila

Convert a civil partnership to marriage

This service is for couples who wish to convert an existing civil partnership into marriage. For information on getting married or entering into a civil partnership, see getting married abroad.

You do not need to have formed your civil partnership in the Philippines, but you must have been living here for 28 days.

We can convert civil partnerships formed between a British national and a partner of any nationality.

Read what you need to know about converting a civil partnership and then book your appointment using the link below.

What you will need to bring with you:

  • original British passport

  • original passport of your partner

  • original civil partnership certificate

  • proof of residence, such as an employer’s letter or bank statement

  • consular fees 12 and 15

Please call us through our 24/7 hotline: +63 2 8858 2200 or our web contact form to set an appointment.

Make a certified copy of a document

This service is for customers who need certified photocopies of British passports.

British passports

British passports are the only documents the consulate can certify. We are unable to certify UK birth, death, and marriage documents due to copyright reasons. Find out more information on legalising UK documents here.

What you will need to bring with you:

Book an appointment to make a certified copy at the British Embassy Manila

Minor child’s passport

If you require a certified copy of your minor child’s passport you must provide written authority from both parents together with your original passports. Your minor child does not have to be present provided both parents are present and provide evidence you are related as claimed. Where only one parent can be present, you must provide a letter of authorisation from the absent parent plus their original passport.

What you will need to send:

  • a covering letter explaining what the document/certificate is to be used for

  • minor child’s original valid British passport

  • written authority from both parents together with your original passports

  • evidence you are related as claimed

  • proof of identity/address

  • consular fee 6

  • pre-paid courier envelope for the return of all original documents and the certificate issued by the consulate

We aim to complete the service within three working days of receiving complete supporting documents and fees.

Prepare a document in English or the local language

Adoption

If you are not habitually resident in the UK, you will not be adopting under UK adoption law, you will need to follow the adoption process in the country where the adoption is being conducted. You will require a letter of no objection which merely states that you are not habitually resident in the UK and that therefore the British Embassy in Manila has no further role in your undertaking an adoption abroad. Click here for guidance on Inter country adoption and list of designated countries.

For more details, please see our information on adoption in the Philippines

What you will need to submit:

  • a covering letter explaining what the document/certificate is to be used for

  • a sworn statement from a lawyer. The suggested standard wording for such statement is: “I confirm that I have received independent legal advice and with reference to all circumstances of my particular case and in light of existing UK law, I can confirm that I am not habitually resident in the British Isles”

  • a clear copy of the adoptive parent’s valid British passport

  • consular fee 2i.

We aim to complete the service within three working days of receiving complete supporting documents and fees. Please contact the Consular Section to set an appointment.

Download information note

We have produced the following information note that you can download free of charge to present to the local authorities

Changes to notarial services in the Philippines

This file is in an OpenDocument format

Services provided elsewhere

Life Certificates

We no longer provide life certificates for British nationals claiming a British pension abroad. Please refer to the list of people working in a recognised profession who can do this for you.

Renunciation and Naturalisation or Registration as a British citizen

We also no longer handle applications for renunciation and naturalisation or registration as a British citizen. All applications are now handled by the UK Visas and Immigration.

Legalise a signature or seal

Legalisation is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine – an essential part in the preparation of UK public documents for use overseas. Legalisation does not certify the authenticity of a document, nor does it endorse or approve the contents of a document. The document is legalised by attaching a stamped official certificate (an ‘apostille’) to it.

Documents originating in the United Kingdom must be legalised by the Legalisation Office before it can be used in the Philippines. These documents need not be legalised or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in London. Alternatively, the requesting local authority may wish to verify the Apostille certificate issued by the Legalisation Office at https://www.gov.uk/verify-apostille.

There is no requirement for the British Embassy in Manila to re-legalise or add the Embassy seal/stamp on the Apostille certificate (issued by the Legalisation Office).

Documents originating in the Philippines do not have to be legalised by Department of Foreign Affairs before they can be accepted in the UK.

UK degree certificates

The British Council in the Philippines can provide the certification services. For more information, please call +63 (2) 555 3000 or email them at [email protected].

UK birth, death & marriage certificates

Please visit General Register Office website to order a copy of a UK birth, adoption, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate.

UK police certificates

Please visit Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website to apply for UK police certificates.

UK driving licences

Please visit DVLA website for information on how to renew UK driving licences.

Certify your fingerprints

Please visit the Metropolitan Police UK website for more information.

Pension certificates

Please visit State pension to know how to get and claim State pension.

Taxation and UK national insurance contributions certificates

Please visit HMRC website for more information.

Good conduct certificates (except for Hong Kong)

Please visit Disclosure and Barring Services previously CRB website for more information.

Certificates confirming British nationality

Please visit UK Visas and Immigration website for more information.

Philippine documents

Please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website for information on authenticating Philippine documents.

Services provided by an English-speaking lawyer in the Philippines:

  • witness signatures/administer declarations on powers of attorney
  • witness signatures /administer declarations on wills (unless it is a court probate document)
  • witness signatures/administer declarations on company documents
  • witness signatures/administer declarations on name change deed polls and similar documents
  • certificates or statements of law in the UK
  • certified photocopies of foreign documents including passports, educational documents and ID documents
  • certify your identity for British banks, building societies and other institutions
  • other local professionals may sign life certificates for state pension requirements. To check the required criteria, please visit our information on state pensions.

Data Protection

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office holds and uses data for purposes notified to the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998. Such personal data may be disclosed to other UK government departments and public authorities.

Disclaimer

This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. Accordingly the FCDO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. For all notarial and legalisation services it is the responsibility of the customer to ascertain the precise requirements of the person requesting the notarial or legalisation service and to satisfy themselves that the service provided by the embassy/consulate will be accepted.

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