Getting married in France

Hi all,

I was hoping to get some marriage-paperwork advice from expats who have married French citizens.

My fiance (French citizen) and I (Singapore citizen, Australian PR) are in the midst of getting our paperwork for marriage. Our maire is in Rennes and they have provided a list of required documents for a foreigner (me), which includes the 'certificat de celibat' (certificate of celibacy). As a Singapore citizen, the cetificate of celibacy comes in a form of a 'search of marriage record' and the attestation from the Singapore embassy in France (Paris), which we have provided. The document states that it certifies that I am unmarried in Singapore, but it also states that it does not prove this status elsewhere. This official document is the only one the Singapore government can provide for the purpose of the certificate of celibacy, and according to the embassy, has been accepted for that purpose. However, the mairie of Rennes and the 'procureur de la republique' has refused this document, for reasons that I may be married elsewhere. While it will be difficult to obtain a certificate of celibacy from the rest of the world, I am applying for a 'single status certificate' from Australia, the only other place where I have been living for years.

We have filed our marriage application in January, but due to the 'certificate of celibacy' issue, the paperwork has been delayed and we are desperate and to our wit's end as we have provided the right documentation but it is not good enough. We have no idea how to proceed as the mairie is not providing other options/ideas.

If Singapore citizens who are married with a French citizen reading this, I am wondering if you could provide your mairie (location) that has accepted this document, so we can ask what is required of us for the mairie of Rennes to accept it as the certificate of celibacy. It would also be beneficial if anyone has other ideas, or who we might be able to contact to get some advice on this problem.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Hi sbfong. I was a little apprehensive about the same issue. I married my French wife in the south of France in September last year and the single status certificate I obtained from births, deaths & marriages in Victoria, Australia stated I was not married in Victoria but could not verify that I was not married in other states of Australia. After hearing horror stories about the French public servants I was a little worried to say the least. It turned out not to be a problem for us, however the way in which yours an my stories differ is that my wife's mother worked in the Mairie where we were married for many years and knew all of the people involved so I'm not sure if they took off their bureaucratic hats for us.
There really should be no problem, because by their logic your documents don't prove that you're not married anywhere else IN THE WORLD! Do they expect you to obtain a document from every country/state/territory/department on the entire globe stating you are not married there??? It should just be from the place where you are from so one from Singapore and one from Australia should be MORE than enough. In saying that I've heard that requirements differ from Mairie to Mairie on what documents they want/need so I'm not sure what advice would be correct for you, other than advice from people who have been married in your particular Mairie and are from Singapore or Australia. :(
Good luck, I hope they wake up and realise the absurdity of their request.

Hi Armand
I face this kind of problem in Paris .i want to share with u about this

Hello ,
I had read ur msg ... if thats the case that the mairie is not accepting ur documents ... better you get married in Singapore its more easy than here in france ... since ur a Singaporean :-)

Getting married here in France is very complecated , a lot of documents required and sometimes they don't accept it's better you get married in ur country of birth  ( Singapore )

I was working in Singapore before i meet my hubby ... thesame case he wanted to get married here in france but because of the documentation that a lot of requirements, he decided to get married in my country of birth ... more easy not much documents need :-)

hello sbfong..
I am Gabrielle. my husband is French, he is from Rennes. May i ask is your fiance name is Thomas? it's ok if you dont wanna answer.
Good luck.

These are chats you should have with a Lawyer, being careless may result in well I need not say.

Hi Juzevans and Lilia,

Thanks for your replies. We thought it should be pretty straight-forward since we have (presumably) all the right documents for they they have asked for. Getting stuck in a problem which shouldn't be a problem in the first place makes it difficult, if you know what I mean. We'll proceed with obtaining the Australian single-status certificate and we will be contacting the procureur for more information. Getting married in Singapore is plan B, and it is true that Singapore doesn't seem to require as much paperwork,  so we might consider doing so if we can't move further in the process.

and to Gabrielle,
My fiance's name is Vincent, not Thomas :)


oh okay, i was just asking maybe my husband knows him, because he knows one man in Rennes that have a Singaporean partner called Thomas.
We got married in Rennes, but i am Indonesian so i could not help more about your case. But what i heard from my husband is that the mairie always do investigations for all wedding applicants, and why they dont accept a document maybe may be because they have doubt about the document. We experienced similar things too, we started application on January but got the date finally on September, because everytime they would ask more papers but we could always they gave up finally, This is one of their way to reduce foreigner come to France (but of course not all part of the government want that) they will always try to fail the mix marriage, but we would never give up since we know we are true and not doing "white wedding".

I'm sorry i couldnt help you, i hope everything's going to be fine. Just dont give up and Good Luck!  ;)


hi, I'm french living in Australia, with my Australian fillance. We will get married in France officially in few month.
This is the documents that you will need :

For him : birth certif less than 3 month (from birth death& marriage office in OZ) + get it stamp apostille there or at the foreign affairs office, certificate of single status (from birth death& marriage office in OZ) + get it stamp apostille, certificate of no impediment (de coutume) + apostille, then get all that translated by a NAATI certify translator (listed at the French embassy) around ($40 per page).

Then you need the famous certificate of residency in French from the French embassy for both of us , now to get it you need to bring bank statements, passport, payslip... things with your address on it, International movements records from the immigration office in OZ and they will do it for you. (it's free if you register with the French embassy)

For me, I also need the copy of my 2 witness's ID in France, my parent's French ID copy,my french birth certificate, an invoice with their address in France.

It does cost a bit at the end, just for all those paperwork.

Just an update from my last situation. So, my husband and I got married in May, after struggling to get all the paperwork done since last November. As we have been living in France, it was quite straightforward for my husband being a French citizen. Similar to what rassaka mentioned for a foreigner, I needed to provide similar documents from Singapore.

The problem I had before was the certificate of celibacy (equivalent to the certificate of single status in Australia). The Singapore embassy provides an attestation along with the 'Search of Marriage Record' from the registry of marriages in Singapore. This attestation describes my status in Singapore but also indicates that it does not prove elsewhere. This indication was not accepted by our Mairie, which, according to the Singapore embassy, was unusual. In the end, the Singapore embassy provided another attestation that does not indicate about 'elsewhere' and it was accepted by the Mairie and everything went according to plan.

Thanks to everyone who provided some ideas and encouragement. We are now happily married and getting on with normal life. :)


Hi sbfong,

Just a quick question... How did you apply for the certificate of celibacy from Singapore? Did you write to them or apply online?

Thank you! :)

Hi SashZ,

For the certificate of celibacy, I applied online at the 'registry of marriage' website and did a 'search for marriage records' and requested for a certified hard copy of the search results (fee of $35). I am assuming that you require it for France? If so, you will need to get a translation of the document too. The Singapore Embassy in Paris will also need you to send them this document to get an attestation by them to say that it is an official document issued by Singapore. If you are using it for other countries, it would be wise to contact the Singapore Embassy in that country to see if this is sufficient.

Good luck! :)

Thank you so much sbfong.

Our wedding will take place in Denmark before moving to France.

Do you have any other info about moving to France as a Singaporean?

My partner is from the EU and he has a job lined up. Do you think I'm able to get a work permit/eligible to work with spouse visa?

Thank you for your help.



No worries, SashZ.

Since you are getting married in Denmark, you might want to contact the Singapore Consulate in Denmark (Copenhagen, perhaps?) to find out the exact paperwork required for the wedding process.

My husband (a French) and I got married in May this year and I have received my spouse visa a few months later. If you have a tourist visa, you are not allowed to work. However, once you have obtained a spousal visa, you are eligible to work. In addition, there will be number of necessary documentation/administrative conditions to fulfil. I am in the middle of getting it done - there are sessions to attend for civic learning and information for living in France, also French lessons to help with the Language. Have a look at the "OFII" website for more information.

Good luck!

hi portia.. i am on the same boat as you.. im australian but born in philippines.. just wondering if i need my birth
certificate authenticated?

Hi I am living in Montpellier and looking to get married.  My fiance and I are both from the UK and we are having problems proving our residency.  We have been told we need a utility bill in our name but all our utility bills are included in our rent.  Our landlord said they can provide an Un attestation de hebergement along with their passport and a utility bill in their ( landlord’s) name plus a copy of the contract.  Has anyone had experience of this being accepted?

Hi Tia

Yeah being born in Philippines would make things complicated ne? but its a great moment and stressful too in compiling the requirements!

hi miss m

as far as i remember i submitted the recent birth certificate from NSO or PSA but I didnt bother undergo red ribbon in DFA for authentication.

PM me maybe i can help

How many months should I stay in France before I can get marry..and what if I only have a short stay visa is it possible to marry with that?I'm from phillipnes and my bf is French..

Yes you can even with short stay

I don't know you or about your life, it sounds sad, but please don't ruin it for the rest of us who have actually found true Love!!!

Hi everyone! I am from the Philippines but currently living in the EU. I understand that the documents needed for marriage need to be DFA authenticated, translated, as well as legalized by the French embassy. Can anyone advise me on the best way to obtain the birth certificate and certificate of no marriage without having to go home or asking someone to process my documents for me?

Hello Lee.
           Yes you can...even you stay in Uk. You must go PhiL Embassy..for asking SPA..for documents....for birth certificate and cenomar ..the Phil Embassy in Uk...they give you for husband is french but im married in not complicated for papers...i hope can help......

Hi Ni56
I realise your post is about 5 years old. Could you please tell me, once you married on a 3 month visitors permit, did you have to return to Australia to apply for a spouses visa? I'm looking at getting married in France and was hoping to be able to just apply for whatever I needed after getting married without having to return to Australia.

hi! It's been 5 years since your post but I will soon be in the same circumstances so I would need some advise. I will go to Paris on a tourist visa, get married. DId you go back to your home country and waited for a spousal visa? How long did that take? other options? Hope France  is treating you well! Thanks

Have you considered getting married in Singapore or Australia? When I first came to Belgium as an American citizen and was provided with a list of documents for marriage, I was totally appalled and thought of going back to US for the marriage. Eventually, I gathered the necessary docs and had the wedding in Belgium, but the bureaucracy of francophones is legendary. I think you can even get married in Las Vegas without difficulties.

New topic