International marriage is a common thing in the modern world. With the Internet, it’s easy to meet foreigners, date them, or even get married to them. Speaking about marriage with Asians, Chinese brides are gaining popularity around the world. Many American and European men want to marry a girl from China. What to expect from this marriage? In this article, you will find all the information you should know before marrying a Chinese woman.
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Can a Foreigner Marry a Chinese Woman?
The first question you may ask is how to legally register your marriage with a Chinese woman in China. For foreigners, China is quite an exotic destination, and not a lot of them know the laws for international marriage. Those who have never been there might think that it’s extremely complicated to get a marriage license. But we can assure you that everything is easier. Here you can find a short description of a marriage registration procedure.
The first step is to submit all required documents to the marriage registration office. The list of required documentation is different for Chinese citizens and foreign citizens. As a foreigner, you will have to prepare these documents:
- Valid passport with a Chinese visa;
- A certificate of marriageability (a document that confirms your single status);
- Three photos of you and your partner together (official style);
- Registration fee;
- Application form (available at the office).
After submitting these documents, you have to wait for the marriage registration office reviews and approve your application. It usually takes up to two hours, and once you get the approval, your couple becomes officially married. Also, there is no need to register your marriage in the US. As you can see, the process isn’t difficult at all.
Visa and Residence Permit
Right after becoming officially married, a foreign spouse gets a one-year Tourist visa. But there is also a possibility to get a one-year family visit visa or a residence permit that can be valid for up to five years. The residence permit doesn’t have any entry and exit number limitations, which is very convenient.
How to apply for a residence permit? You can do it in any Public Security Bureau by providing your passport, application fee, temporary registration form, a marriage certificate, your Chinese spouse’s ID certificate, and residence certificate. A review will take about 3 weeks, and your spouse should be present with you on both the day of applying and the day after the 3-week time.
Chinese Marriage Culture
Chinese wedding traditions are one of the most beautiful, colorful, and ancient, indeed. The marriage ceremony is full of rituals and symbols that make the process look mysterious and magnificent.
If you’re about to marry a Chinese girl, she might want to arrange the wedding according to Chinese customs. To be ready for this, you need to understand the main rituals and traditions you will see at Chinese weddings. We collect the most important information about traditional wedding preparations and ceremonies here, let’s take a look at it.
Colors and Symbols
The important thing in a Chinese marriage ceremony is symbolic attributes and colors. Red and gold are the main colors of a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony. You will see them everywhere from invitations and gifts to the decor and bride’s dress. Red symbolizes happiness, love, luck, and success in marriage, while gold is a symbol of wealth.
The numbers also play a big role in the spouses’ future happiness. Even an auspicious wedding date is chosen after consultation with a fortune teller. Be ready that it will be important for your Chinese woman to marry on an auspicious day. Also, it is critical to avoid number 4 in gifts, ceremony date, and even in the number of invited guests, as four in Chinese is pronounced the same with death. It is recommended to choose the number 8 as this number symbolizes prosperity.
There are many other general symbols of prosperity, abundance, and good fortune for a bride and groom. Dragon and phoenix wax candles, pig necklaces, special tea, and mandarin duck are necessary attributes for a Chinese wedding.
Days Before Wedding
Three days before a wedding are very important and full of many customs. The first one is a ritual called An Chuang, which means preparing a bed for a couple. The big role in preparations plays a woman of good fortune – a relative who has a husband, children, parents, and grandchildren. She has to set a bed with red-colored bed linen and then put dried fruits, petals, and nuts. No one except the groom and bride can sleep or sit on this bed.
The next beautiful ritual is a hair combing ceremony, which is also performed with help of a woman of good fortune. On the night before the wedding, a bride should sit in front of a window, and a groom should look inside of the room. A woman of good fortune will comb the hair of the bride and groom four times, telling the blessings for their abundance, harmony, prosperity, and happiness. The ceremony is finished with the red yarn tied on the future spouses’ wrists.
Tea Ceremony and Banquet
As a formal proposal to the bride, the groom will come to the bride’s parents before the wedding ceremony with gifts like dragon and phoenix wax candles, gold jewelry, tea, and wine. In agreement, her parents will accept half of the gifts, and another will be returned to the groom’s family.
A traditional Chinese wedding includes two main events — a closed tea ceremony and a wedding reception for all guests, which is called a banquet. The tea ceremony starts with door games for a groom. He needs to prove that he is ready for married life by eating bitter, sweet, sour, and spicy food and going through a test about his future wife.
The tea ceremony is an intimate tradition when the couple shows their gratitude to their parents and close relatives. Future spouses serve red tea to the groom’s parents first, and after that, get a Hongbao, a red envelope with money, and jewelry. The tea is served to other relatives of a male spouse, and then everything repeats with the bride’s relatives.
A wedding reception is usually an absolutely splendid event with a six or eight-course meal. Meals also have some symbolic meaning for a couple’s future. For example, pork is a symbol of purity, fish is for abundance, and lotus seeds for fertility. The feasting can last the whole day after which newlyweds return to their house with a prepared marriage bed.
Pros and Cons of Marrying a Chinese Girl
Cultural differences play an important role in building international relationships, especially when we are talking about two totally different countries. You might face some misunderstanding with your girlfriend or simply have different points of view. What good and bad traits do Chinese women have? Here is a list of pros and cons that will help you to understand whether marriage with a woman from China fits your expectations or not.
- Family is the main priority for her. Be sure that she will become the best mom and loving wife.
- She will work alongside managing a household. Most modern Chinese women have a job and easily combine it with the care of family.
- She will admire you. It’s not a secret that many Chinese girls for marriage are obsessed with Europeans. You will be the most handsome man for her.
- She is smart and respectful. With one of the Chinese women for marriage, you can build trusted and happy relationships.
- She will lead in the upbringing of children. Chinese women are sure that they know better how to raise children and there is no sense in arguing with her.
- Her parents will be annoying sometimes. People in China don’t care about your privacy and can ask awkward questions or intrude on your private life.
- She can be quite loud. The Chinese language is quite expressive. Sometimes you can feel irritated because of the loud voice and lack of silence.
How Much Does a Chinese Wife Cost?
An important question we want to talk about is the cost of Chinese ladies for marriage. You won’t get a particular answer because there are many factors that affect the final cost. But we want to share with you these factors and approximate expenses.
If you live far away from China, online dating is seen as the ultimate option for you. You don’t need to apply for a visa and manage an expensive trip to an exotic country. There are a lot of reliable dating websites and apps where Chinese singles are looking for European and American men. The main factor that affects the cost of a Chinese girl for marriage is prices of:
- Communication tools;
- Monthly membership on the platform;
- Access to photos/videos;
- Ordered gifts.
The average price for a month of communication is around $500. You might think that is quite expensive, but we assure you that in comparison to offline dating it is a very affordable price. This is an amazing chance for you and Chinese girls looking for husband to meet love despite the distance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best Cities to Find a Chinese Bride?
If you’re looking for a girl with both traditional Chinese values and a modern mindset, we recommend choosing girls from cities like Chongqing, Xi`an, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai.
Do Chinese Women Make Good Wives?
Chinese women put a family first in their life, which means your married life will be happy and stable. They are good mothers and loving wives. Also, Chinese ladies prefer to work alongside motherhood, so you won’t be the only provider for the family.
How Many Chinese Marriages End in Divorce?
According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China, the divorce rate in China is 3.09 per 1000 inhabitants in 2020. A higher rate of divorce is observed in less developed regions in Northern China and a lower rate in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.