Getting Married Abroad

If you are thinking about getting married in a foreign country, you need to be familiar with the procedures and regulations of that country, costs and additional requirements. In most foreign countries, marriages are performed by local officials. The validity of marriage depends on adherence to the country’s laws. In most cases, marriages that are performed (legally) in a foreign country will be valid in the U.S.

Before you decide to get married abroad, visit the embassy of the country where you want your marriage to be performed. If you are already in a foreign country, and you want to get married there, you can visit the U.S. embassy and get more information about the country’s laws. U.S. consulates and embassies usually have this kind of information. In most countries, the process of getting married is lengthy, so if you really want to get married abroad, you better start making plans early.

What Are the Requirements?

You need to have a valid passport. Divorce decrees and birth certificates are necessary (dearth certificates may also required in some cases). Sometimes, a consular officer of the country where you want to get married will need to authenticate these documents in the U.S. The entire process can be expensive and can take some time.

If you are under 18, you will have to submit a statement made by your parents. This will be done in the presence of a notary.

You may have to prove that you are legally capable of getting married. To do this, you will need a certificate issued by competent authority. However, in the United States, there is no such document; you will have to go to the country where your marriage will be performed, visit the U.S. embassy there and execute an affidavit.

In some countries, the documents will have to be translated into their official languages.

If you marry a national of some country, you will be eligible to apply for naturalization and become the country’s citizen. In most cases, U.S. citizenship is not affected. However, losing U.S. citizenship is possible; if you want to apply for a foreign citizenship, contact the U.S. embassy before you take any action.

Before you start making any plans for your wedding in a foreign country, get as much information as you can about the country’s law, regulations, requirements and costs. Visit  Weddings Abroad Guide  to find out more about the most popular destinations for couples who want to get married abroad.