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Getting married in Germany

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The procedures related to marriage in Germany are quite simple. Here are some details.

If you have met your soul mate in Germany, you would probably want to get married. You can do so even if you are not a German citizen. In fact, marriage formalities are quite simple, but you are advised to inquire beforehand with your home country's embassy or consulate in Germany if you have already settled there. If not, you can still inquire with German authorities in your home country.

Specific documentation may be required, varying according to your home country or nationality.

 Good to know:

Gay marriage is recognized in Germany, just like heterosexual marriage. Thus, both spouses are allowed to change their last name, to support each other financially and to ask for financial aid in case of divorce. Gay widows and widowers are also eligible for a state pension.

Terms

First of all, both partners should be at least 18 years old to be eligible for marriage in Germany. Otherwise, parental consent will be required. Thereafter, you are required to go the nearest Standesamt (Foreigners Registration Office) to your place of residence to inquire on any regulations which could apply to your situation.

Note that you must have resided in Germany for at least 21 days to be allowed to indicate your intention to marry before local authorities.

 Important:

It is highly recommended that you inform local authorities if you intend to go back to your home country with your spouse later on. Additional documents may be required.

Procedures

To notify local authorities of your intention to marry, the following documents in original, along with a German transcribed and notarized copy are required:

  • both partners' birth certificate (a new copy in general)
  • both partners' passport
  • a divorce certificate in case of a previous marriage
  • your deceased spouse's death certificate in case of widowhood
  • a non-objection certificate which you can obtain your home country's embassy or consulate in Germany
  • fees applied.

 Good to know:

Procedures could take between 5 and 6 weeks. If one of the partner is not a German national, documents will be sent to the Oberlandesgerichts Praesident who will verify the couple's legal status before giving his approval. Note that you can get married only once you have obtained the certificate of capacity to marry.

Furthermore, note that marriage in Germany is recognized by all European Union countries. However, it is best to inquire with your home country's embassy or consulate if you come from a non-European Union country.

Solemnization of marriage

You can proceed with the celebration of your wedding once you have obtained the authorization to get married. But you are advised to inform relevant authorities beforehand in case you want to change the venue.

Moreover, the presence of two witnesses is compulsory. Given that the wedding ceremony will be conducted in German, you may have to hire a translator who could also be your witness.

If you wish to celebrate a religious wedding, you can choose among churches, cathedrals, palaces and many other venues. However, advance booking is required.

 Good to know:

The registration of marriage with your home country's embassy or consulate is not mandatory, but still recommended for some nationalities.

Nationality

You shall not be eligible to the German citizenship once you have married a German national. In fact, naturalization depends on your origin and on the length of your stay in the country.

 Useful links:

BW Service - Information on marriage service-bw.de
Capacity to marry certificate - Virtual application form formulare.virtuelles-rathaus.de

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