Getting Married in Taiwan
People meet and fall in love everywhere in the world, and Taichung is no exception. Taichung now has a growing community of foreigners married to local citizens, and the issues and complications have become more widely publicised in recent years. Recent improvements to the laws have made it far easier for foreign nationals married to locals to obtain visas and Alien Resident Certificates, and the old rules making it easy for females marrying local males to become citizens, while making no allowances for foreign males marrying local females, have been overturned. It is still easier for foreign females to obtain local citizenship, as foreign males must undergo military service.
Many couples have some basic choices they need to make when getting married. The first is what juristiction to get married in. Some foreigners marrying locals do so in their home countries, both to assist with obtaining citizenship for the spouse in their home country and because the couple finds the marriage laws in that home country more to their liking. Others prefer to be married here in Taiwan.
Divorce laws, child custody laws, inheritance laws and taxes and citizenship requirements vary widely from country to country. Locally, divorce laws could be considered somewhat restrictive compared to most Western countries. Unlike most Western countries, in child custody cases it is usually the father who is awarded custody - not the mother. This difference is primarily due to the strong emphasis on maintaining family lineage and ancestor worship in Chinese society - though this is beginning to change.
It is recommended that the laws of your home country be compared to the laws here locally for all aspects you may be concerned with.
Another area that deserves consideration is where to hold the ceremony - and the kind of ceremony. Some prefer the local traditional Taiwanese style wedding, others a Western style wedding. Some hold their ceremonies here, others in their home country - and many in both. Remember, the legal registration and the ceremony are not always the same thing - often it is easier on family and friends of both parties if two ceremonies are held in their respective countries, regardless of the country the marriage is registered in.
See the links below for more information on the legalities of marriage in Taiwan.
Taichung District Court Notary Office
No.139, Sec. 1, Fengxing Rd., Tanzi Dist., Taichung City (04) 2539-4305 ext. 110~112
National Immigration Agency (downtown)
National Immigration Agency (Fengyuan District)
Information for Foreigners: Foreign Spouses (has a lot of information)