How to Marry a Cambodian Woman – What is required by Cambodian Law.
Find a Cambodian Woman
- 1. Find a girl that speaks English. (or enroll her into a local English school)
- 2. Get her a Cambodian passport (if she doesn’t have one already). Cost $120.
Make an appointment with your embassy. Ask for an “Affidavit for Eligibility to Marry.”
Get Paperwork to Get Married
Request a marriage applications from the Legal and Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA) of the Kingdom of Cambodia, located at 3 Samdech Hun Sen Street, Sangkat Tonle Basac, Khan Chamkamorn, Phnom Penh. The application form lists seven supporting documents that must be provided by foreigners and attached to the application. The application also says that foreigners must legalize five of these documents at their respective embassies.
Upon obtaining and certifying the necessary documents, fill out the application form, and submit it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reviews and gives advice on the application and accompanying documentations of the foreign applicant, and if all documents are in order, the application is forwarded to the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry of Interior will review and register the application of the foreign applicant that was forwarded from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and inform appropriate officials in the province, city, district, khan and commune where the Cambodian applicant is domiciled about the marriage application, before providing feedback and returning the application to the foreign applicant. The foreign applicant must then submit the application to the civil registrar at the commune/sangkat where the Cambodian applicant is permanently domiciled. The Cambodian applicant will also need to submit the marriage application to the civil registrar at the commune/sangkat where they are domiciled, together with the marriage application of the foreign applicant.
The civil registrar at commune/sangkat has the duty to review and decide on the marriage applications of foreigners and Cambodians based on the laws and related regulations of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The U.S. Embassy plays no role in determining whether a marriage application is approved or refused, and cannot represent U.S. citizens in this process, or in any way influence the decision of Cambodian authorities on marriage applications.
New Marriage Requirements
According to new marriage requirements issued on by the Government of Cambodia on March 7, 2011, males wishing to marry Cambodian women must:
- Be under 50 years of age, and
- Have a monthly income of at least US $2,500
With the Yellow Paper from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Marriage Certificate, you are now officially married, but you need a ceremony with pictures (for Visa purposes)
Quick and Dirty Ceremony
1. Get the Bride’s Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.
2. Go to any Photography Store located all over Phnom Penh.
3. Pay to have full garb marriage pictures made.
4. Go to Wat Ounalom in Phnom Penh.
5. Find a Monk (If you don’t know one already, it’s easy, just walk in and start asking the first one you see. Seriously.)
6. Get the monk to do a brief marriage ceremony where they tie strings around your wrists, etc.
7. Take Pictures of the ceremony. Get the two of you and especially the family in both posed and candid shots.
A Note Regarding Marriage Ceremonies
The quick and dirty Ceremony is used to obtain her Visa. You can explain to the Consular Officer interviewing you (he will obviously see the pictures as “not exactly real”) that you just did a quick ceremony here, but the real ceremony will take place in your country (at a later undetermined date) as per the tradition of your family.
Let your Bride/Bride’s family handle this. A Phnom Penh Wedding may cost something like $5000 (or more). A countryside wedding can be done for only $2000.