Issues With Getting Married Overseas

Many people plan lavish weddings and beautiful honeymoons in far away countries, some even want to get married in one of these tropical locations.  However, when getting married in a foreign country, you must make sure that your dream wedding will be recognized when you come home to the United States.  Every country has different marriage laws, but most require proof of a valid U.S. passport, birth certificate or some other proof of residency before a foreign marriage can happen.  The residency requirement is generally very short, such as 24hours, but some countries may require longer residency.    Some countries even require blood or medical tests.  All of these documentations may need to be translated into the countries recognized language.  You don’t need an American person or diplomat to marry you, but once you are married you may want the Consular Office to authenticate the document for a small fee.  The Consular Office may also be able to provide you with forms that you might need, like the affidavit of eligibility to marry or parental consent.  Once you are married in a foreign country, you may become a citizen of that country or become eligible to become a naturalized citizen, but you will still remain an American citizen.  While your dream wedding might include skiing in Switzerland, you should consult an attorney to make sure that the ceremony will be able to go through as planned.  

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The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.