CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage)

If an American is planning to get married to a citizen of the Philippines, a major requirement that must be produced is a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR). This is a document from the Philippines government certifying that an individual is single. It cross-reference any recorded marriages of verified citizens against records of divorces, showing that a person could be legally married without committing bigamy.

CENOMAR are produced by the Philippines’ National Record Office. An American marrying a Filipina or Filipino must take care that they are doing so legally because doing so is a very sensitive issue in the Philippines. Philippine legislators have introduced legislation that requires a foreigner who intends to marry a citizen of the Philippines to prove they have both “moral” and financial capabilities. In 1990, the Anti-Mail Order Bride Law was passed in the Philippines to outlaw so-called marriage catalogs, where Filipino women would be offered for marriage proposals, similar to those that had been used for Eastern European brides-to-be in catalogs targeted at US men.

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