Marriage in Solomon Islands is a relatively simple procedure. There is no difference in procedures for Solomon Islanders and expatriates.
Persons wishing to marry must complete and file an application with the Provincial Magistrate, provide evidence of dissolution of prior marriages, if applicable, and pay a fee of S.I.$20.00 (USD 5.95). The names are posted at the Magistrate's Court for six weeks. At the end of the six-week waiting period, the parties are married in court and a marriage certificate is prepared. If the parties wish to marry in a Church, they are free to do so at the expiration of the six-week waiting period.
Common law, de-facto or "custom" marriages, in which the couple live together and hold themselves out to the community as man and wife also exist in Solomon Islands. If disputes eventually arise over child-custody or maintenance arrangements, courts have at times recognized the validity of "custom" marriages. It would be advisable for American citizens who plan to obtain benefits of marriage for their spouses and children (i.e. immigration benefits) to marry in the Magistrate's Court or Church.
Permits to Enter and Reside in Solomon Islands
Work permits, or Permits to Enter and Reside in Solomon Islands, must be approved before the permit-seeker arrives in Solomon Islands (otherwise the person may be refused entry). If a person arrives in Solomon Islands as a visitor and files an application for a Permit to Enter and Reside, that person will have to leave Solomon Islands pending the approval of the Permit Permits based on employment are, job specific and if a person wishes to change employers the person must depart Solomon Islands pending the approval of the Permit with the same employer). A person who is the spouse of a Solomon Island citizen does not have to depart the country pending approval of a Permit.
Applications for Permits should be submitted to the Director of the Immigration Division at the Ministry of Commerce, Employment and Trade, P.O. Box G-26, Honiara, Solomon Islands, phone: (677) 21849, 21850, 21854,21855, and 21356, fax: (677) 22964. The application fee of S.I.$200 (USD 59.70), a cover letter from the prospective employer guaranteeing repatriation (if applicable), evidence of financial resources of the applicant, and a police clearance certificate* should be submitted with the application. Application forms are available from the Immigration Division at the above address. Upon approval, a visa fee of S.I.$50.00 (USD 1495) is payable for each month of the permit. The issued Permit will list the conditions of the entry and residence, including the expiration date of the Permit, permitted professional/business activity (if applicable), and name of employer (if applicable).
*Please note: the FBI does not provide U.S. police clearances to individual applicants, and will not do so if requested. The FBI will respond to requests for criminal-record checks only to other law-enforcement agencies. Applicants are advised to contact the Commission of Police, Police Headquarters, Rove, P.O. Box G-3, Honiara, Solomon Islands; phone (677)23800; fax: (678)22148. Should the Office of the Commissioner of Police agree to initiate the criminal record check, it should contact the Office of the Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia, giving the applicant's complete name, any aliases or maiden names, and date and place of birth. The address of the Legal Attache is: U.S. Embassy, Moonah Place, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600; phone (616) 270-5982; FAX: (616) 270-5970. Applicants should not contact the Embassy in Port Moresby with the requests for police clearances. Applicants may also wish to contact the local or state police force(s) in their previous place(s) of residence in the U.S. in order to obtain local police clearances.