Can diplomat marry a local citizen

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11/13/2017 - FAQ

The place of marriage does not automatically determine the legal system according to which the other legal relationships of the spouses (naming rights, matrimonial property regime, custody of children) are based. In the case of spouses with different nationalities, in particular, it is always advisable to get advice from a specialist lawyer who can also be involved in drawing up a marriage contract.

You can find useful information on foreign law in the leaflets published by the Federal Office of Administration on marriage and family law in individual countries as well as in the information leaflets “Marriage agreements in the EC countries” and “Islamic marriage contracts”. These are available from the advice centers of various charities for a nominal fee.

A corresponding directory of the advice centers can be requested free of charge from the Federal Office of Administration (information center for emigrants and those working abroad).

The directory and further information can also be found on the website of the Federal Office of Administration:

http://www.auswanderungswesen.de

Federal Office of Administration
-Information center for foreign workers and emigrants -
50728 Cologne

Tel. +49 (0) 221-758-4999
Fax +49 (0) 221-758-4829

Info [email protected]

First of all, you should ask the registry office for information. You should then collect the necessary documents. In many cases, your future spouse's foreign documents still have to be translated and confirmed. Information on the exact procedures can be found here:

Certification / legalization / apostille / procurement of documents

As soon as your registry office confirms that the documents required for the marriage are complete, your future spouse can apply for the possibly required "marriage visa" at the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad. You can find out whether a visa is required for entry here:

Visa for Germany

If the two of you do not have a place of residence or habitual abode in Germany, please contact the registry office before which the marriage is to be concluded.

There you will find out which documents you need for your intended marriage in Germany.

As soon as the registry office has confirmed the registration of the marriage, a possibly required visa can be applied for at the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad. You can find out whether a visa is required for entry here:

Legally binding information on a marriage can only be given to you by the official or the competent authority abroad who is to undertake the marriage.
We therefore recommend that you contact this office directly in order to obtain binding and current information about the documents to be submitted, their form and, if necessary, their translation, which deadlines must be observed and how an appointment can be arranged.

Please also note the following information on the form of documents and international document traffic:

A marriage that took place abroad is generally recognized in Germany if, at the time of the marriage, the substantive legal requirements for the marriage (e.g. unmarried status, minimum age) existed for both partners in accordance with their respective home law and if the law at the place of the marriage or the home law of both spouses with regard to the Form of marriage was preserved.

There is no specific procedure for the recognition of a marriage concluded abroad in Germany and there is no single competent authority for this. The question of the effectiveness of the marriage made abroad for the German legal area is always only a preliminary question in connection with the decision on another official act (e.g. name declaration, entry in the tax card, etc.). This preliminary question must be decided by the authority responsible for an official act to be carried out on its own responsibility.

However, you can apply to the German registry office responsible for you to have your marriage recorded abroad notarized in the marriage register if at least one of the spouses is German, and you can also have your marriage registered with the German authorities. However, you are not required to submit such an application. There is also no obligation to change your name after you get married. You should contact the registry office responsible for you directly for all further details.

German citizens who do not have or did not have a place of residence or habitual abode in Germany can apply for notarization in the marriage register either directly at the responsible registry office (Standesamt I in Berlin) or via the German diplomatic mission responsible for their place of residence abroad.

The foreign marriage certificate serves as proof of a marriage concluded abroad.

Foreign marriage certificates are often only recognized by the German authorities or courts if their authenticity or their evidential value has been determined in a special procedure. Depending on the country in which you got married, in addition to the marriage certificate you would usually have to submit a so-called legalization or a so-called apostille to your German registry office. Information on the procedure for obtaining such a certificate of authenticity can be found in the link below.

In addition, German authorities and courts usually require a translation of foreign-language documents. If possible, this translation should be done by a German publicly sworn or recognized translator.

The respective authority decides at its own discretion whether a translation produced abroad can be used in Germany.

Preparing translations is not one of the usual tasks of a German diplomatic mission abroad. However, the consular officers can confirm the accuracy and completeness of a translation if they have a sufficient command of the national language. The diplomatic mission abroad decides for itself whether it can offer this service or whether it has to refer to the services of the publicly sworn translator.

In principle, a marriage made abroad is recognized in Germany if at the time of the marriage the substantive legal requirements for marriage (e.g. single status, minimum age) were met for both partners according to their respective home law and if the law at the place of the marriage or the home law of both Spouses with regard to the form of marriage.

You are not required to register your marriage abroad at your German registry office. If you wish, however, you can apply to the German registry office responsible for you to have your marriage recorded abroad notarized in the marriage register if at least one of the spouses is German. You should contact the registry office responsible for you directly for all further details.

German citizens who do not have a place of residence or habitual abode in Germany can apply for notarization in the marriage register either directly with the responsible registry office (registry office at the current or last place of residence in Germany) or via the German diplomatic mission responsible for their place of residence abroad.

Marriages before consular officers of a German diplomatic mission abroad are no longer required by law. Therefore it is not possible to get married at a German embassy / consulate general.

In most countries today it is possible to marry in front of a local wedding organ. You can only obtain binding information on the exact formalities from the local foreign wedding organ.

If, in exceptional cases, a marriage is not possible in one country, you can of course always marry in front of any German registrar in Germany.

The required registration of a marriage in Germany takes place at the registry office at the German domicile or usual place of residence of one of the two married couples. Married persons who do not have a place of residence or habitual abode in Germany register the marriage at the registry office at which the marriage is to be concluded.

A marriage certificate is a certificate from the competent German registry office for marriage abroad, in which both fiancés are named. It certifies the fact that under German law there are no known obstacles to the intended marriage.

It is issued to the German fiancé on request from the responsible German registry office if he / she needs it for a marriage abroad. The registry office at your place of residence is responsible for issuing a marriage certificate.

Please inquire with the competent foreign office whether a translation and legalization (apostille) of the certificate of marital status is required. Information on the procedure can be found here:

Certification / legalization / apostille / procurement of documents

A marriage certificate is a certificate from the competent German registry office for marriage abroad, in which both fiancés are named. It certifies the fact that under German law there are no known obstacles to the intended marriage.

It is issued to the German fiancé on request from the responsible German registry office if he / she needs it for a marriage abroad. The registry office at your place of residence is responsible for issuing a marriage certificate. If there is no place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, the registrar at the place of the last habitual residence in Germany is responsible. If you have never or only temporarily been resident or habitually resident in the Federal Republic of Germany, the registry office I in Berlin is responsible for issuing the certificate of marital status.

Registry office I in Berlin

Please inquire with the competent foreign office whether a translation and legalization (apostille) of the certificate of marital status is required. Information on the procedure can be found here:

Certification / legalization / apostille / procurement of documents

German diplomatic missions abroad are not authorized to issue certificates of marital status.

The registry office at your place of residence is responsible for issuing a marriage certificate. If there is no place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, the registrar of the last German place of residence or habitual residence is responsible. If you have never or only temporarily been resident or habitually resident in the Federal Republic of Germany, the registry office I in Berlin is responsible for issuing the certificate of marital status.

Registry office I in Berlin

A German diplomatic mission abroad can only accept such an application and send it to the responsible German registry office for further processing with the documents you have provided, provided you have your habitual residence in the official district of the diplomatic mission abroad. Please consider the following when applying through a German diplomatic mission abroad:

For the consular services of the diplomatic mission abroad, fees are incurred in accordance with the Foreign Costs Act, which you must pay there directly. The diplomatic mission abroad cannot give you any binding information on the specific documents to be submitted in your individual case, processing times, etc., as these may vary slightly depending on the registry office responsible. It is therefore advisable either to submit the application directly to the responsible registry office or to contact them beforehand to inquire about the relevant details. This helps to avoid additional requests for documents and delays in processing your application. Please also bear in mind that filing an application through a diplomatic mission abroad may also result in delays due to the postal service. If you need a certificate of marital status relatively quickly, we recommend that you apply directly to the responsible German registry office.

According to the definition of the term in German law, the certificate of marital status must both Be called fiancée.

The competent German registry office may only issue a marriage certificate if the intended marriage of the fiancé abroad does not prevent marriage from the point of view of German law. This is to avoid a German citizen entering into a marriage abroad that can be annulled under German law because the conditions for a marriage were not met from a German perspective.

If both fiancées are German, the German registry office checks for both fiancées whether there are any obstacles to marriage under German law.

If a fiancé is a foreign citizen, the foreign registry office or the authority responsible for marrying abroad will generally check whether or not it is possible to marry. In accordance with Section 39 (2) of the Civil Status Act, it is generally not necessary to provide the foreign fiancé with a marriage certificate. Nevertheless, the German registry office also has to make determinations about the person and marital status of the foreign fiancé. It therefore requires information on the person of the foreign fiancé and checks whether there is a double-sided German obstacle to marriage in his person (e.g. double marriage, relatives, adoptive relatives).

This is to secure the German fiancé against the fact that a marriage concluded abroad can be annulled in Germany.

Such a consular certificate can be issued to you on presentation of a certificate of marital status issued by the responsible German registrar. The German diplomatic mission in whose consular district you have your domicile or habitual abode or in which the certificate is required is responsible for this.

The issuance of such a consular certificate is subject to a fee.

For further questions, please contact the responsible German diplomatic mission directly.

Detailed information on the topic of "marriage with a foreign element"