Updated 12 months ago

Brazil can be a romantic country, and you may find that you want to marry here, and perhaps even remain in Brazil. But if you choose to get married in Brazil, you'll need to follow the steps outlined under Brazilian law carefully.


Getting married in Brazil can be a bit complicated, so be sure that you understand the steps at the outset, and also understand that Brazilian law prevails throughout the process. You cannot simply be married at a foreign consulate or embassy here.

A religious ceremony alone does not constitute a legally binding marriage. A civil process is also required.

You must register your intention to marry. To register, you and your fiance(e) should go to a Civil Registry Office and complete the application. Take your passport. You must also be accompanied by two witnesses who are at least 21 years old. They should bring identification. A fee (currently 72 Reals) must be paid.

When visiting the Registry, verify the exact forms and steps required, as these can vary slightly. The required forms generally will include birth certificate, passport (for foreigners) or Brazilian national identity card, declaration of civil status, and proof of residence. If either party was previously married, proof of termination of the prior marriage would be required. Documents not in Portuguese may need to be translated.

You will also need to register the marriage; this is not the same as registering the intent to marry, but a separate step. This registration also takes place before you can get married. You'll need to pay another fee of approximately 18 Reals per page of documentation required.

Following registration of the marriage and paying the fees, a marriage license will be issued; this may take up to 30 days. After the license is issued, it will be valid for three months. You may legally marry during this period.

  Same-sex marriages have been legally recognised in Brazil since May 2013.

Benefits of marriage

Once legally married, you may apply for permanent residence in Brazil. Among other rights, having permanent residence grants you the right to work legally in Brazil. However, you will lose this status if you leave the Brazilian territory for more than two consecutive years or divorce.

Important: Marrying solely to obtain permanent residence is discouraged. The Federal Police can and do conduct interviews to verify the authenticity of marriages.

Recognition of marriage abroad

Marriages in Brazil are recognised abroad. Countries which subscribe to the Hague Convention of 1961 (which includes the US) recognise foreign documents, such as a Brazilian marriage license, which bears the appropriate apostilles. Apostilles for Brazilian public documents can be obtained at any public notary office (cartório).


In the event of divorce, Brazilian law will apply. According to regulations, in general, the spouse is entitled to 50% of the couple's property.

  In Brazil, a couple who cohabitate may be deemed to be in a stable civil union, which from a legal standpoint is essentially a de facto marriage, even if the process for marrying outlined above was not followed. There is not a clear and definitive legal definition of what constitutes a stable civil union; it is up to the judge to ascertain the couple's status. However, only one year of living together and joint property or a joint bank account may be sufficient for the relationship to be deemed a stable union. Then, in the event of separation, a partner may be considered a spouse and therefore entitled to a property settlement. Accordingly, exercise caution in living together with a partner in Brazil if you do not intend to marry.

 Useful links:

US Embassy and Consulates in Brazil 

Australian Embassy Brazil

Civil Registration (Note: A 24-hour Civil Registry service is available. For additional information, you may contact the Central Office at 0800 707 1772 or send an email to faleconosco@cartorio24horas.com.br.)

Apostille basics


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