Getting married in Germany. How hard is that ?

Hi i am a Malaysian planning to get married to a German in Germany. we have known each other for 2 years now and he is currently living in Malaysia. We have finally decided to tie the knot, however i am not sure, is it easier to get married here and then register our marriage in Germany or its easier to get married there? 

We have both decided to move to Germany together, also because of economical reasons. (i am earning more money then him now), so by moving there he gets a better job opportunity.

What are the chances?
And how long will the process take us?


The formalities and paperwork required by German authorities for marrying a foreigner can be frustrating. Many foreigners decide to marry elsewhere (e.g. Denmark or USA).
I married my wife in Singapore and we had no problems getting the marriage registered in Germany afterwards (when we moved there) - you just need an official translation (although English papers are sometimes accepted) and a legalization stamp by the German embassy at the back of your original marriage certificate.
A friend (also German) married his Singaporean wife in Germany and it took 6 months, about €1500 in translation and legal fees - and a lot of time and nerves (until almost the last minute they didn't know if they'll be allowed to marry at the intended date).
Good luck - and Congratulations!

thank u beppi.

yes I will definitely look into that option, which is getting Married here before leaving to Germany!

also the Malaysian law is less strict...

I also understand the government is strict because many marry for visa purposes!! which makes it difficult for those who genuinely marry for love! :(

I've looked into a similar situation- getting married in Germany to a German who's currently residing abroad as a foreigner is not simple! That's probably partly why all the German destination wedding sites I found said you should get married legally somewhere else and just do the party stuff in Germany.

I agree with most of what has been written already but want to add that you should really ask at the German consulate. Many people will write of their experiences but then the authorities might act in another way depending on a multitude of factors, so there really is no simple answer to your inquiry. Will they even give you a visa to get to Germany in this situation? If not, then your only option is to marry before going to Germany. Either way, you will have to contend with some paperwork and probably need to have a document or two translated by a certified translator. My insider advice to dealing with any immigrant or border authorities is to be friendly and truthful by all means but anticipate what they want to know and hear. They want to avoid scams and fraud or someone eventually needing social assistance so it sounds best that one is educated, has money, is not previously married and has no criminal record or record of being denied a visa or deported. If anything negative shows up then it might mean having to get a lawyer to facilitate a procedure

You can find more information about marriage formalities in the EU on the following url:

Hmm.. can seem to view the link.


I've looked into a similar situation- getting married in Germany to a German who's currently residing abroad as a foreigner is not simple! That's probably partly why all the German destination wedding sites I found said you should get married legally somewhere else and just do the party stuff in Germany.

Yes, especially coming from an Asian country... and the stereotypes that comes with that.... :/

YeeLin23 :

Hmm.. can seem to view the link.

For newly registered members, links are not posted automatically as a spam-prevention measure. If it's legit, the team should allow it through soon

It is true that there is a mass of paperwork to complete when a non-German wants to marry a German. But this arose out of a lot of bad experiences suffered mainly by German women marrying American service-men. Until the drawdown that occurred some years back there were circa 350,000 US soldiers in Europe. Many were here in Germany. Many formed relationships with German women and promised to marry them and to take them back to the States and set up home there. Only for many of the brides to later discover that the guy actually had a wife and family back in the US. To help sort this problem out before anyone was hurt a system was set up that enquired deeply into all the circumstances in order reveal any "misunderstanding". So one shouldn't complain, basically the system is there to help you, not simply to be bloody awkward.

Hey there,

Agreed on most of what's being said here.

Also, if you were married before, will need to apostille your previous marriage certificate and divorce decree and bring them with you to Germany. Make sure you bring all the originals of all documents you have. You will need to translate them here, and not in the home country.

I am a US citizen engaged to a German since September 2013, and living in Germany. And I continue wanting to pull my hair out every day since I got engaged. Providing all and the right paperwork is a very hard process, in my opinion.

The good news, according to my lawyer, is that you will get your residency pretty much  right after you get married.

Good luck!


Go to las vegas or Denmark to marry. We did and my husband is from Berlin. Its too much red tape.
Too much wait time.

I am married to a German. It takes months and a lot of paperwork but in the end it will benefit you a lot. I am married to an executive and I can tell you that I had to tell my husband that at cocktail parties we do not talk about SEX, RELIGION, POLITICS and now IMMIGRATION. Pay whatever they want and get a German certificate. I have seen and heard horror stories of the consequences of trying to go very cheap and easy. Don't complain if after 20 years of marriage you get the cheap and easy treatment. p.s I am an American. [Moderated: no generalised statement here pls]

Hi Beppi,

I'm a Singaporean looking to marry my German boyfriend and from your post it seems like it'd be easier for us to get married in Singapore first and then move to Germany. We would like to move to Germany straight away after marriage, would it be a hassle for me to get a permanent residency in Germany? Would I have to have a job in order to apply for the residency? Also, would I have to apply for any other visas (I saw this family reunion visa and all the info on the embassy page is just confusing me)?

Thanks a lot :)

Hi from a fellow German-Singaporean couple!
Yes, it is much easier to marry in Singapore - at least if you currently live there and your boyfriend never had a Work Permit (other work passes are o.k.). Contact ROM for the details!
With your marriage cert (make sure it is not laminated!) you need to go to the German embassy and get an Apostille on its back. With that you can apply for a family reunion visa to move to Germany with your husband. This can take up to three months, as it is processed by the foreigner office (Ausländeramt) of the town you intend to move to.
After arrival in Germany you need to register (Einwohnermeldeamt) and then apply for your residence permit at the Ausländeramt. This also took three months in our case and required a lot of patience, stamina and tolerance for frustration (as dealing with German buerocracy for foreigners usually does - but maybe you are lucky and your town's office is better). You then get a one-year residence permit and after the second renewal (after three years in Germany) you can get an unlimited one. With the residence permit you go to the labour office (Arbeitsamt) and get your work permit (on the spot in our case).
If you have more questions, please reply here (or send a PM to keep it private).
Also come and visit us in Stuttgart!

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