Civil Marriage in Spain

Hi everyone!

I hope someone can help us on our problem. I am a Filipina living in Manila and my Fiancee is a Spanish, living in Madrid.

My Fiancee decided to visited me and my family this Easter week and finally we decided to live together, get married and build our future family in Madrid. Our Lawyer(which is a Filipina living in Spain and works in Philippine Embassy) advised us to get a Tourist Visa for a while  and then get married in Spain. Unfortunately the Consulate denied my Visa Application because they have recovered my Fiancee's previous email inquiries on their account. They said, the email is a clear evidence that the real intention of my Visa is to get married.

Upon releasing of my denied letter, the Spanish officer advised me,that the proper way is to get married first in the Philippines.  In line to this,my Fiancee sent an email to the Consulate for requirements and information but until now we have not received any replies.

We are reviewing the requirements and procedure in the consulate website for civil marriage, we are shocked to know that we need to apply, send requirements and get an interview for us to get married. It's like another Visa application again. Their website is quiet confusing in regards to Civil Marriage procedures.

We are asking for your kind help to give us a clear idea about what steps, requirements and procedures to take. Is it better to get married outside the Consulate, like civil marriage in the Local City hall?

Our goal for now is to live together and soon get a proper Church wedding in Spain. I hope you can help us, since our lawyer is not efficient enough to help us. We already paid her half of 2,000 euros as professional fee. Please help.

Sorry but I do not understand why you appear to be asking about the rules for getting married in the Philippines.    If you ask at the town hall in your town what is required they will tell you.

I got married in Manila some years ago. It was straightforward.  We had a garden wedding performed by the mayor.    I was divorced so we could not marry in church.

Once married my wife applied for a visa to travel to Spain. That too was straightforward.  Spain has signed an EU Directive that it is in effect illegal to keep a family separated. 

When she arrived here she applied for RESIDENCIA.


Thanks Johncar, we appreciate your quick,simple and straight forward reply. Honestly we are confuse if is better to marry in the consulate manila or have a civil marriage in the Municipal hall. Anyway we will consider your advise to get married by a Mayor and then get the residencia. :)
I think our lawyer advised us the wrong step and now the Consulate already know our intentions and blocking my Visa application. Anyway how long does you wait for your wife's approved visa? Did she applied for tourist visa or residence visa? I never thought that applying for Visa and marriage is very complicated.
Thank you very much, God bless you and your wife.

I may be wrong, but I have never heard of anyone getting married in a consulate.

If you marry in the  Philippines is will be under their law.

As I said, ask at a town hall.   They issue the licence to get married, withouit which you cannot marry, so will  know the law.

Hi Johncar, thanks for the quick reply. Sorry if i disturb you but i could not stop myself for sending follow-up questions.
After your marriage in the Philippines, did you register your marriage in the Spanish consulate? And then did you applied for residence, petition or tourist visa for your wife? Big thanks! :)

It was 11 years ago so I do not recall all the steps we took, 

At that time, and I do not think it has changed, there was only a tourist visa, unlike with UK.

After the marriage and getting the paperwork in Phil, one applies for the 90 day Schengen visa. 

On arrival in Spain one starts the application process for RESIDENCIA. Once that is started, that the visa expires is not important.

I cannot remember registering the marriage in the Spanish consulate. I do not think that is a a requirement,

Hi Johncar, i think the requirements have change. I was denied for the 90 days Schengen tourist Visa application because they knew we are planning to get married in Spain. And now they are requiring us to get the Consular certificate of legal capacity to marry first. We need to apply, send requirements such as:
        1. Photocopy of current passport of both contracting parties
        2. Birth Certificate issued by the Spanish Civil Registry; for Filipino citizens, issued by PSA-Philippine Statistics Authority.
        3. Certificate of marital status/No impediment; for Filipinos, certificate of no marriage record issued by PSA (NSO
        4. Certificate of Residence during the last two years. This certificate can be issued by the pertinent Consulate if the person has resided abroad. For residents in Spain, the certificate must be issued by the Municipality of your place of residence.

And finally have an interview before they give us the certificate.

Unfortunately they also said that if we want to get married in Philippines. The Philippine authorities require foreign nationals to submit a Consular certificate of legal capacity to marry too. This procedure is regulated by article 252 of the Implementing Rules of the Civil Registry Law, and it requires submission of documents and a private and separate interview with the Civil Registrar.

And this sucks because my fiancee have lots of responsibilities in Spain and it's impossible for him to go in Manila for an interview and go back again in Spain and then go back again in Manila for our Civil marriage. Honestly we are frustrated because the consulate is giving us cold shoulders and our lawyer is ignorant, she seems confused too. Anyway Thanks for your advises. :) I am happy to know you and your wife were able to get the marriage and get the residecia. God bless you more!

hi filipna

saw your post for spain visa, can you tell me if you have got the visa or have already in spain ? bcoz i have the same situation but yes, yet i havent approach the consulate for anything so am just planning it. my girlfriend is in madrid and we are planning to marry but confuse how to get there in madrid for marriage.

i hope that you have already got solution  for your situation.


@Barun. Until now we have not yet get the certificate of legal capacity to get married from the consulate.  We have change the course of the procedure since the consulate is blocking my Schengen Visa. They have lots of negative remarks about our inquiries. One of this is- we can't get married in the consulate because only  Spanish Citizen and a foreigner(except Filipina) can be legally married here in Manila consulate. Anyway we never loose hope. After lots of research we came up to a new option- Get a civil marriage in Spain without me. Yes you heard it right-It is possible to get married without your presence. Your fiancé need to go to the Civil registry of Spain and ask for the requirements.

Anyway each country has different consulate rules. I suggest that you need to ask the consulate first.

I am confused with this post

Why not get married in Philippines ?  A couple of visits would seem to have been/be simpler and quicker

  Then an application for  ‘ reagrupacion familiar’ visa should be straightforward

See. … ence-Visa-(EU).aspx

@filipina. that's why without knowing properly am not approaching the consulate. so my fiance said she spoke to the civil registry and then she will give my doc and her docs and then they will say how to do it. am just thinking that is it more good to get tourist and then marry there or my fiance should direct apply for marriage there and another thing that can i get 45 days of schengen tourist visa do they approve
thanks for your reply


@jhoncar hi, this link is not working at my end :(

@johncar we already consider Civil marriage in the Philippines before but the Manila City hall said  that our civil marriage can't be registered in the Philippine Civil registry and can't be recognized by The Spanish Consulate until the consulate release a Legal capacity to get married first. And this is the problem, the consulate is not giving us the certificate even we already completed the requirements. So we decided to move forward by changing our step. We are now applying directly to the Spanish Civil registry for the certification.

While processing my authenticated papers inside the consulate office. I have seen a lot of rejections for  filipinas and their Spanish husbands on getting a family reunification visa. All of these couples get the civil marriage in the Philippines without having the certificate first. They all thought that it is easy to get but no, now they need to go back to square one to redo the process.

The Spanish Consulate said that they only recognized the marriage if it's registered in the Spanish Civil registry alone not in the Philippines.

@Barun yes it is more safe if your Spanish fiancé will be the one who will ask the Spanish Civil registry for the requirements and  date of your marriage. But please do not  let her send any documents or inquiries to the Consulate in your country-if you plan to get a Schengen Visa. For sure they will block you  because you have other intentions.

Yes it is easier if you go to Spain as a tourist  then get married there. It is our first option too but my Schengen Visa application was denied.

I wish you get the certificate too!

I guess you have seen this … hilippines

PS I tried this link it worked for me

PPS.  I had a problem with the British cónsul who would not accept that I had a few years previously change my name in U.K. under common law.    I call the FCO in U.K. and they contacted the consul   The problem disappeared

If you believe the consul is being difficult try FCO as I did

@johcar i appreciate your concern but your case is very different from us. You are British not Spanish.

We already ask the higher office about our case and the easiest and only way that the consulate can't block our application is this way.

Ok. Good point

But as a legal resident in spain, all EU Citizens have the same rights. Thus the same rules must apply to all

This is a site. where one can ask specific questions and get especific, not standard, replies within a day or two

I have asked several questions and had very helpful replies.

Ps. The link works for me

hello both :)  thank you so much for the links and assistance. my fiance said that she already spoke to the civil registry there and they gave her some form to fill and to submit mine and her docs there. then they will say when i have to come there also, i will not approach the consulate here neither mine fiancee so once she get the date of marriage i will then go to my local consulate here. okay this is what we are working on but as you said that to go on tourist and marry is more easy but the consulate don't give two months tourist visa as they ask many things that why we need so much day for tour otherwise i would have consider that.

@filipina wish to hear good news soon from you and i will pray for you guys

@jhoncar can i get tourist visa more than 40 days do you think its not problematic and they easily give ? thanks


I am not conversant with the rules which spain apply to visa applicationsz, but if one comes to spain as a spouse of an EU national,  then  as long as they have started the procedure to apply for residence status, that the visa expires does not matter

so you mean if I come on tourist even for 20 days and then i can stay illegal to get marry an then can apply for resident ?

You did not read my post

I said,   ‘ .........   if one comes to spain as a Spouse of an EU national ........’

oh but am not married till now john, so yet she is not my spouse. oh so pain these all things. well i think let her apply the documents for marriage their in Spanish civil registry

@barun yes you can applied for 90 days Schengen Visa but you need to indicate a good reason of your long stay. I applied  the 90 days Schengen before and got denied  maybe because i had a Spanish Bf. It was heartbreaking and frustrating. His parents also extend their effort to comply the requirements for invitation letter and later on i still got a denied letter :(

@filipina, okay sorry for that...finally am organising my docs to send to my fiancé with the solicitudo form that she sent me to fill and sign and then she will sub,it the docs at the civil registry for date of marriage but the appointment date is May 16 so long waiting, but hope then I will get the doc that I can show here in consulate to apply for visa to and marry let see what happens. Bcoz tourist visa to get for so long seems difficult


Just on the point of why spain might refuse a visitors visa. 

The decision whether or not to issue a visa is,  I believe, based on whether they accept you will leave spain at the end of the visit.

So you must have a compelling reason to return to your own country.   Maybe a career in philippines, substantial business,  very ill close relative, etc.     

Coming to meet a bf/gf would seem to be a reason why it might be thought  one may not leave! 

Applying for a visa for just a holiday, cultural visit, tour of Europe, etc. might be more likely to produce a visa.   Just a thought

@john - I dont know even, but even I think that why they refuse if we have all requirement but actually reading blogs and forum there are lots of confusions and maybe that is reason. well, till now am in not that critical situation like Filipina am waiting for the documents to give at civil registry and waiting to get marry legal certificate and there they will say how to do, also as there is no charge for civil marriage so they take huge long time for appointment

@filipina - hi, have your boyfriend submitted the docs in civil registry, have you got the marriage date ?

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