Quick Guide to Jamaican Marriage and its Legality

QUESTION about Marriage in Jamaica and its Legality

I heard that a friend just married in Jamaica Is his marriage legal in the US. He said he had to sign a document. I think he felt that it was just a bogus marriage, and would not be held accountable for responsibilities in this marriage. He is 68.


I am sorry to hear that he is in such doubt after having gone through with his wedding. I do hope after relaying the information to him they will move on to living a happy rest of their lives together.

Jamaica is certainly one of the most popular choice of destination to get married in the world and our country’s Registrar’s General Department (RGD) has made it super easy so that any visiting and/or residing couples of the island can plan and have a beautiful wedding within as little as 24 hours.

After all, with the consistent flow of tourists visiting our island throughout the years, both first timers and returning guests, why not give them something extra special to take back home like a tropical wedding.

However, there are some guidelines to follow to accomplish this. I can inform you that one of the major requirements to have prior to getting married would be a marriage license as the wedding will not and should not be performed without it.

Secondly, if you’re using a minister of religion you must confirm that he is certified.

This can be done via the RGD website. But once you have met the requirements (also available on the RGD website) and the wedding was done in the presence of your selected or provided witness and a licensed marriage office, your marriage is legal and recorded in Jamaica and also recognized by the United States of America.

Other countries may have a more constitutional policy so, be sure to check with the respective countries local state offices on their registry policy.

In relation to the signing of document(s), at the end of each ceremony, the parties involved in the wedding, that is husband, wife and witnesses, have to sign the wedding certificate. And copies can be acquired from the Registrar General Office.

This helps to confirm that the wedding did in fact take place between the couple.

I highly recommend that you read one of our previous articles, Marriage in Jamaica what you need to know.

As for your friend, you can advise him, if he did complete any of the steps then rest assure his marriage is legitimate.

What he would need to do once he gets home (to the US) is inform the relevant persons of the change in his status. Such as his job, if he is an employee, the IRS for his social security, and any other relevant agencies, just to complete transition.

Whatever steps he takes from here will be entirely up to him. I do hope this shed some light on your question and that everything works out for the best.

R. Phang

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