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5 countries where non-residents can get married

Getting married for foreigners in another country is an exciting and responsible step. When choosing a place to officially register their relationship, couples face a number of questions related to the marriage procedure, collection of documents and their legal registration. Each country has its own rules and requirements, and preparation for this process requires careful study of information and understanding of all the nuances. We tell you about the process of marriage for non-residents in different countries.

Requirements for registering a marriage abroad

The need to formalise a relationship in a marriage abroad may arise for various reasons. The motivation of the marrying couple may be based on the desire to spend a life together, to celebrate a special day in a special place, to start a family or to formalise a marriage. In some cases, choosing to marry outside of one’s home country may be a forced decision:

  • The country has a complex bureaucracy and the procedure is difficult to implement;
  • Problems with obtaining the necessary documents for the marriage ceremony;
  • You don’t have the opportunity to come to your home country;
  • You want to get married quickly, for example, if you are expecting a baby;
  • The laws of your home country do not allow you to marry;
  • Had trouble getting a marriage licence for whatever reason;
  • The partners have different religions and because of this they cannot marry in their country of residence. For example, this is the rule in Israel;
  • The laws of the country where the future spouses reside prohibit the partners from living together without a prenuptial agreement;
  • To be able to stay in the country of residence, one of the partners needs to apply for a fiancé or fiancée visa on the basis of marriage;
  • The partners plan to purchase a real estate property together.

If the marriage process in your country is too complicated or you can’t register your union where you live, it’s worth looking into the intricacies of getting married abroad.

To get married, there are a number of rules that apply equally to all countries:

  • The age of marriage must be reached. It is always designated by the particular State;
  • Marriage is prohibited between close relatives, adoptive parents and those they have adopted, and between guardians and those they have taken into their care;
  • The rules prohibit marriage to a person with limited incapacity or total incapacity;
  • The bride and groom must desire to be married;
  • Future spouses are required to be in the country legally;
  • The bride or groom must not be officially in a valid marriage.

In addition to these rules, each country adds its own nuances. For example, to get married in France, you must stay in the country for at least ten days, as well as pre-register (obtain a marriage licence). In Mauritius, in order to get married, you need to go to the capital the day before the ceremony to sign the documents. When choosing a country to get married, it is worthwhile to familiarise yourself with the unique requirements and rules beforehand.

Top 5 countries where non-residents can get married


More and more newlyweds are choosing this tropical island as the location for their big event. A Caribbean sunset ceremony is a dream come true with a little preparation and paperwork.

Foreigners choose this island nation for a number of reasons. Firstly, in Cuba you can combine a wedding and a honeymoon in one trip. Tropical climate, beautiful scenery and a large number of entertainments make Cuba a favourite for those who want to have a romantic ceremony and relax on the warm coast. Secondly, unlike the Maldives or Bali, Cuba has an official marriage registration. The ceremony is usually held in Spanish and an interpreter is available.

In Cuba, marriage is formalised, but one of the most difficult aspects of the process is the collection of documents. For example, marriages require passports, birth certificates, a certificate of no impediment to marriage, a divorce certificate or proof of widowhood. All documents must be notarised and translated into Spanish. A marriage certificate usually takes about three to four months to produce. Once received, it can be translated into the official language of the country of residence, certified and then stamped into civil passports.


It is easiest for EU citizens to get married in this country, but residents of other countries can also get married quickly. Marriage is allowed for couples of any nationality and gender. Usually the procedure takes at least a week. To get married, you will need the following documents:

  • Passport of any country (pay attention to biometric passport requirements);
  • Certificate of marital status (required for citizens of some countries). The document must be apostilled and translated into German or English;
  • Schengen residence permit, C tourist visa or D national visa in the Schengen area;
  • If necessary, a divorce or death certificate of the spouse, notarised and translated into English or German;
  • Residence permit or registration also with a translation into one of the acceptable languages;
  • Birth document of common children (if any).

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic attracts with its medieval charm. Gothic architecture and cosy streets create the perfect mood for an unforgettable wedding. One of the main advantages of getting married in the Czech Republic is the variety of venues. You can choose from old mansions, sophisticated hotels or even castles as your ceremony venue.

The best time to visit the Czech Republic is spring from April to May and autumn from September to November. However, it is worth considering that travelling to the Czech Republic requires a Schengen visa or another document authorising a stay in the EU.

A formal celebration in one of Prague’s palace gardens can cost an average of €1300. This amount usually includes only the wedding organisation services. Additional costs may include airfare, accommodation, buffet, stylists and photographers.

In addition to weddings, you can also get married in the Czech Republic. Church ceremonies usually take place at the Church of Cyril and Methodius in Prague.

In order to register an official marriage in the Czech Republic, a foreigner needs to provide documents:

  • Honeymooners’ Questionnaire;
  • A copy of the photo page of the passport;
  • A copy of the photo and marital status page of the internal passport;
  • Notarised birth certificate;
  • Power of attorney for the execution of documents in the Czech Republic;
  • If there was a previous marriage – a copy of the divorce or death certificate of the partner with an apostille.

In addition to these documents, depending on the citizenship of the future spouses, additional certificates may be required.


This destination attracts not only travellers, but also those who want to get married outside their country of residence. In Turkey you can also have a beautiful wedding on the seashore and start your honeymoon immediately. There are a large number of resorts, hotels and entertainment for every taste. Formalisation of relations takes place in local registry offices. To apply for marriage, in addition to the standard package of documents, you need to give blood and provide a certificate of health. This examination can only be carried out in medical centres approved by the registry office, so you should check the list on the spot.

Getting married in Turkey has its advantages: non-residents in most cases do not need a visa to enter the country, and the services required to organise the ceremony are relatively inexpensive.

However, there are some disadvantages: to register a relationship, you have to wait for your turn. Also, there is not the shortest list of documents that you cannot do without. Some of them are better prepared in your home country. These include a birth certificate and a certificate of marital status, they need to be apostilled. Without these two documents, the application for marriage in Turkey will not be accepted. It is best to do them before arriving in the country, as in Turkey it is quite a lengthy process. More will be required:

  • 6 photos size 3×4;
  • A health certificate from the local health authority;
  • Statement.


This country attracts not only with its amazing mountain scenery, delicious wine and cuisine, but also with its easy conditions for foreigners to get married. For most visitors there is no need to apply for a visa – there is a visa-free regime for citizens of many countries. Here are also low prices for almost all services and entertainment, so the wedding can turn out to be relatively budget. Another advantage of this country is the low level of bureaucracy, where future spouses do not need to collect a long list of papers. It is possible to register a marriage officially in Georgia with a minimal set of documents: only a passport from each partner and an application are required.

Government offices here provide services much faster than in most states of the world. Therefore, non-residents of Georgia can get married quickly and start their honeymoon immediately. In the city of Sighnaghi, 120 kilometres from Tbilisi, it is possible to have an “instant wedding”. This practice is known all over the world thanks to Las Vegas, where newlyweds go to get married as quickly as possible. Relationships can be legalised in Sighnaghi immediately upon submission of an application.

Positive aspects of having a ceremony in Georgia:

  • Does not require special preparation of documents;
  • Only the passports of the future spouses are needed;
  • The whole procedure in the classic version will take one or two days;
  • Marriage concluded in Georgia is recognised almost all over the world (there are some nuances for China and France).

Recognition of a marriage registered abroad

If you entered into a marriage outside your country, you will need to have it recognised in your home state. Practices vary in different parts of the world. Except in rare cases, formal entry of data into the relevant systems and processing of documents in accordance with the regulations is required.

There are several ways to prepare a marriage certificate for recognition in your country:

  • Countries included in the European Union, the United States, Israel and some others require an apostille. As of 2024, Canada also accepts an apostille.
  • For countries including, for example, UAE, Thailand, Qatar, and others, a legalisation procedure applies.
  • For countries that have concluded relevant agreements, a simple notarised translation of the marriage certificate is possible. This method is common, for example, among the CIS countries that have signed the Minsk Convention on Legal Assistance.

If your country of residence is a party to the 1961 Hague Convention, the marriage certificate must be apostilled in the country of registration. This document is then presented in your home state and entered into the local database.

For countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention, legalisation of the document is required. The first stage of legalisation involves a stamp in the country where the marriage is registered, then the document is sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country. Sometimes an embassy stamp is also required.

FAQs about marriage of non-residents in different countries

What documents do I need to register my marriage in another country?

The documents required to register a marriage may vary depending on the laws of the particular country. However, foreign passports, birth certificates, certificates of marital status (e.g. divorce or death of a previous spouse) are usually required. Some countries may also require medical certificates and other documents.

In which countries can two non-residents marry?

Foreigners can get married in almost any country in the world that has legislation that allows marriage registration for couples in which at least one spouse is a foreigner. Some of the most popular countries for marriage registration include Georgia, Turkey, Czech Republic, Cuba and others.

Which country is the easiest for foreigners to get married in?

Having analysed the registration of marriages in different countries, it can be stated that the procedure in Georgia is one of the easiest for foreigners. Here is why:

  • They do not ask for unnecessary documents, all you need to bring is a valid passport;
  • You only need to be in the country for one day, preferably two working days, to get married;
  • You can choose any date for the ceremony, without the need for pre-application and long waiting times;
  • Marriage concluded in Georgia is recognised in many countries of the world, and in CIS countries – under a simplified scheme;
  • A visa to Georgia is almost never required, making the process easy;
  • Georgia is a country with a developed tourist infrastructure, which makes it easy to organise wedding celebrations and honeymoons.

These advantages make Georgia an attractive place to register a marriage, especially for foreign nationals.

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