Jump to content

Weddings via Video Conference


Recommended Posts

18 minutes ago, graham59 said:

I don't know much about it (online marriage, leading to bringing 'home' your bride, or using your new status to enter the Phils), but it all sounds a bit optimistic to me. :89:

Who has done it ? :whatever:

Out of curiosity, I was looking into it.  It seems that Utah County in the state of Utah has come up with the most progressive online scheme.  I can't find anything about a physical meeting requirement.  However, there is this in the FAQ, and it might be relevant here.

  • If a couple is married in a web-conference ceremony how does that affect immigration or travel, especially during COVID-19 restrictions?
    This is a question for the countries involved, but a certified and apostilled marriage certificate may facilitate travel in spite of general travel bans. However, in terms of immigration, additional proof of a marriage relationship may be required by the immigration officials of the country in which a visa is being applied for. A Certificate of Marriage may not always be enough documentation.

https://www.utahcounty.gov/Dept/ClerkAud/WebCeremonyFAQ.html

  • Hmm thinking 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, HappyJack said:

I have a friend in this situation now.  Filipina, here in the Philippines met an American online.  They married using the Utah online wedding and are trying to meet.  Right now she could legally travel to Israel or Maldives.  Both countries are accepting vaccinated tourists and no visa is needed. Many people don't know that Filipinos can travel to Israel with no visa.  There is no Balikbayan visas now from what I understand.  As with everything here, the rules mean nothing and the foreigner who comes here trying to get in is at the mercy of the immigration officer they hand their passport to.

According to "The Family Code of the Philippines" your friends wedding might not be considered legal. The Code (Executive Order 209) stipulates that the couple and the official who is solemnizing the marriage be physically together (in the same place at the same time). However, based on the reply I received I believe that immigration is allowing online weddings if the couple is together and the official is in a different place. This is likely based on pending legislation in the Philippines:

In filing House BIll 7042, Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo proposed that the legal meaning of presence or personal appearance as an essential requisite for the validity of marriage be liberally construed to include virtual presence or presence through video conferencing, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This means that in a virtual marriage, the male and female spouses to be wed would be together in the same location but their presence before the solemnizing officer would be remote or virtual.

You can read the full article here: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1107498

Link to The Family Code of the Philippines: https://www.chanrobles.com/executiveorderno209.htm#.YTPCiNNKhpQ

 

In my original email to the BOI / POD I did put forth the scenario that the couple were together and that only the official was in a different location. Although I mentioned the Family Code in my original post, perhaps it was not clear enough and I apologize for any confusion. To clear things up here is the relevant part of what I specifically asked the BOI /POD:

 

The State of Utah recently passed legislation allowing weddings to take place via video conference. There are no State of Utah residency requirements, which therefore allows couples from anywhere in the world to get married. The weddings are performed by court officers / magistrates, they are fully legal and recognized as such in both in the USA and by many other countries. Both a digital and paper “Certified Marriage Certificate” is issued and an apostilled copy for international use can also be had.

In order to comply with "The Family Code of the Philippines" my fiancé and I would meet in a country where she is allowed visa free or visa on arrival entry  and, as mentioned above, the ceremony would be solemnized by a duly authorized official via video conference.

After our marriage we would travel back to the Philippines together, wherein I pray I would be able to get a Balikbayen visa on arrival.

Is what I proposed above allowed and would our marriage be recognized by the Bureau of Immigration as legal and valid? Would I then be able to return to my home in the Philippines?

 

Edited by Gator
Typo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

The US Visa forum I follow has a lot of discussion about online marriage and a section devoted to the Philippines too.  PM me if you want the name.

There are several who have used the Utah online marriage.  I can't recall if any Filipinas used it.  There are a several who married in 3rd countries, including at least one Filipina.

The bigger issue may be with getting the Filipina out of the Philippines to meetup or get married.  They are very strict now and if the Filipina does not have travel experience, it is tough.  The younger the Filipina, the harder it is.  They have been requesting CFO even though the traveler does not meet the traditional rules for needing CFO.  Also, finding countries to travel to is hard and changes frequently.  I don't think Thailand is an option now.

If you are able to accomplish the meetup, I don't think coming in as a Balikbayan is an issue, as long as you have the marriage license.  

Thanks for the info OMW, I'll certainly look into her getting a CFO. Sent you a PM too. 

I've known the lady in question for about 5 years, she is in her early 30's, has a government job there, owns properties (land that her family farms plus land with a house on it) and has a 10 year old son. Early last year she got a passport as she had planned on attending a work related conference in Thailand, but it was cancelled due to the Covidorama; so she has never left the country before.

Even though she's a little over 30 years old,  her parents offered to write a letter (notarized) giving their permission for her to not only leave the country, but also giving  their permission to marry me and their blessing on the marriage as well. The letter might seem superfluous, but we know how conservative Filipinos can be and how respectful they are to elder family members. Therefore it might carry some weight with an immigration official. The more paper you can put in front of them the better (especially blue notes, LOL, but I wouldn't do that nor would I ever suggest anyone else to do it). 

 

Edited by Gator
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, graham59 said:

I would very much like to see an account of somebody (foreigner) who has successfully gained entry to the Philippines in the way the O.P. has described. 

Barring any unforeseen circumstances and unless someone else beats me to it, I'll update you in early December as we are looking to do this at the end of November. Two weeks or so in Thailand first to get all the docs DHL'd to us .....aaaannnnnd of course to do what honeymooners do (stock tip = buy stock in Vitamin V, lol).  It is all pending right now, still have a few travel related details to work out and the answer from BOI about surrendering my passport. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, HappyJack said:

I told her to get a copy of the marriage certificate and register it here with the PSA.  Then get a copy of the PSA marriage certificate and send it to the husband where he can apply at the consulate for a visa to enter the Philippines since he is married to a Filipina.

Ok, now I'm totally confused (I know, nothing new, lol). After my above posts I decided to look into what you meant by getting a "PSA marriage certificate". My research led me to the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, which would have jurisdiction over Utah marriages. Reading through the checklist of requirements for submitting a Report of Marriage it mentioned "For online or proxy marriage". So I decided to send an email to the legal department at the consulate. 

Here is the relevant part of that email:

It is my understanding that due to the pandemic the rules for marrying a Filipino national have been relaxed somewhat. According to the Family Code of the Philippines, the couple and the official must be physically present in the same place and at the same time. Reading online it now appears that online video conferenced marriages are now allowed. 
 
Also, in reading through the checklist of requirements for submitting a Report of Marriage (ROM) to the consulate for the PSA, item 4 states: For Online or Proxy Marriage - One (1) original and four (4) photocopies of a notarized Affidavit of Explanation, stating that the marriage was held online and that the Filipino spouse was not in the U.S. at the time of marriage.
 
Needless to say I'm somewhat confused as to the legality of online / proxy marriages. So my questions to you are: If the husband and wife must still be physically present and if the official who would solemnize the marriage can be in another location? Or ..... can all parties be in different locations (proxy marriage)...... Specifically, can my Filipino fiance be in the Philippines, the official be in the state of Utah (where video conferenced weddings are legal) and me be in my home state in the USA?
 
Once I get a reply from them I'll update accordingly. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

I think you are saying that they have never met physically but got married online?

This is interesting.  I have not heard of anybody doing this on the US Visa forum.  I will ask.  Seems like the best way to meet because it is almost certain she will not be allowed to travel.  Maybe if she is older and has travel experience.

It might be illegal in some cases, but a requiring a CFO certificate is required by law when a Filipino is travelling overseas for purposes other than tourism.  I know it is a hassle but after some time I believe in the concept.  It is not about a "jealous official".  It is is about protecting Filipinos from being trafficked or be made slave labor, etc.  It has happened, a lot.

If your Filipina friend met an American online, never met him physically, and married him online, my opinion is that that circumstance should not be allowed.  Two people should meet and spend time together before marriage commitment.  If that is allowed, they might as well go back to mail order brides.

 

Correct, they have never met because of Covid.  Every flight he had was cancelled.

I was married in the states.  We filed the marriage with the consulate in NY so we are registered in the Philippines as married and have legal PSA stamped marriage certificates.  As is stands now, a foreigner needs a PSA marriage cert or a PSA birth cert for a child with his name as the father sent to a Philippine consulate in America to get a 9a tourist visa to come be with his family. 

And as far as I am concerned NO ONE should be able to offload someone who has paid for their flight, paid for their hotel and has money in their pocket and is on their way to a vacation they earned.  The officials could care less about trafficking, they just say you cant go because they can.  It is what you see here all the time...NO NO NO.  It is about control.  That's the way it works here.  Control the people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, HappyJack said:

I was married in the states.  We filed the marriage with the consulate in NY so we are registered in the Philippines as married and have legal PSA stamped marriage certificates.  As is stands now, a foreigner needs a PSA marriage cert or a PSA birth cert for a child with his name as the father sent to a Philippine consulate in America to get a 9a tourist visa to come be with his family. 

I opened a discussion about the online Utah marriage on the Visa forum.  So it is now legal to get married in Utah County without every meeting physically, via the Web Conference.  The marriage participants can be from any country.

For me, this is ripe for fraud and abuse.

11 hours ago, HappyJack said:

And as far as I am concerned NO ONE should be able to offload someone who has paid for their flight, paid for their hotel and has money in their pocket and is on their way to a vacation they earned.  The officials could care less about trafficking, they just say you cant go because they can.  It is what you see here all the time...NO NO NO.  It is about control.  That's the way it works here.  Control the people.

We will have to agree to disagree.  Philippines is full of pretty young girls who would do anything to help their poor families.  If some dude of unknown character wires them some money to buy a plane ticket for a meetup, I don't think she should be allowed to go, and there are thousand of historical cases of abuse.  That is why CFO was formed.  What I described above is basically online prostitution.  If they allowed it, thousands of young Filipinas would swarming to meet guys overseas.

Having 3 daughters, I use the daughter test for these scenarios:

A.  My legal age daughter tells me, "Daddy, I met an American guy online a month ago and were in love.  Due to Covid, we are going to marry online right away".  Hell no!  If she pursues the relationship and really cares about it, she can wait.  If she is super serious, I will hire a PI in the U.S. and investigate the guy.

B.  "Daddy, I met a guy online and we are going to meetup in Thailand to see if we like each other.  Can you loan me the money for the plane ticket?  He will pay it back when we meetup".  Hell no!

C.  "Daddy, I have been offered a job in Dubai.  The pay is very high and I am provided with room and board."  Hell no!

A few years back, I intervened and prevented my wife's cousin from being defrauded by a "love" scammer on FB.  She is a 60ish widower and was falling in love.  I researched the picture he was using on FB and it was a total scam.  Fortunately, she has since found a genuine American gentleman.  They met and are engaged.  They would probably be married now, except for Covid.

Edited by OnMyWay
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, HappyJack said:

And as far as I am concerned NO ONE should be able to offload someone who has paid for their flight, paid for their hotel and has money in their pocket and is on their way to a vacation they earned.  The officials could care less about trafficking, they just say you cant go because they can.  It is what you see here all the time...NO NO NO.  It is about control.  That's the way it works here.  Control the people.

I don't fret over what I can't change.

Enjoy the positives.  :thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just reading today that virtual mariages are permitted as long as the couple are together but the person conducting the marriage can be elsewhere.

Personally if someone is trying to marry a person on line having never met, surely that is grounds to stop them marrying or even entering the Philippines as they are obviously not of sound mind. :whistling:

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...