Getting married in Switzerland
Based on the information available to us (including what clients have reported to us from their own experiences) non-Swiss citizens wishing to marry in Switzerland must provide a number of documents as part of their marriage application. If this applies to you because you want to marry in Switzerland, should ask the Registry Office in Switzerland for more information and a detailed list of the documents that you must submit with your marriage application.
In general, you will probably have to provide the following documents:
- Your photograph identification (ie, drivers’ licence or passport)
- A notarised affidavit confirming your current address and marital status (single, divorced or widowed).
- A copy of your birth certificate which shows the names of your parents. This does not need to be the original birth certificate, but you will need to obtain one that has been issued no more than six months before you plan to marry.
- If you were previously married, you will also need to provide a certified copy of the final divorce decree, or death certificate of your former spouse.
- A completed marriage request form available from the relevant Registry Office in Switzerland.
You may also need to check whether the documents you will be submitting must be authenticated or stamped with an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before you return them to Switzerland.
Once you have completed and returned the documents and marriage request form to the relevant Registry Office, be prepared that approval may be subject to an interview between you, your intended spouse and the registrar. You may also need to wait at least 5 weeks while your intention to marry is advertised and to allow people an opportunity to lodge an objection.
You will be notified in writing if your application to marry has been approved, after which you must hold your marriage ceremony no earlier than 10 days and no later than 3 months after it has been approved. You should contact the relevant Registry Office in Switzerland to confirm the details.
Our information is largely based on our own research and from what our clients have reported to us over the years. You must make your own enquiries with the relevant Registry Office in Switzerland to confirm the process, its requirements and any other details of how you can marry in Switzerland. We provide notary public services to assist you in preparing the relevant documents, but otherwise, do not provide any advice in relation to the process itself.
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Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a public notary. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a public notary and the kinds of issues faced by his clients in sending documents overseas.
This information is correct as at the date of publication (2012-10-15 09:00:29) and may not include subsequent changes.
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