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Where Can We Marry?

As of October 2013, more than a dozen U.S. states plus the District of Columbia have full marriage equality. You can view a chart with the requirements to marry in each of these states here.

Meanwhile, there is marriage equality in 15 countries, while other countries are considering the issue. See below for country-by-country information. General information, such as that provided below, does not constitute individual legal advice nor is it meant to take the place of individualized legal advice; however, we do hope to answer some of the questions we hear most often. You should always consult with a qualified immigration attorney about the individual facts of your case before making any decisions about your particular situation.

Thank you to our intern Joshua Sill for his work on the chart and to NYU LLM student Michael Braun for his work on this project. This information is current as of October 21, 2013.

In What Countries Outside the United States Can We Marry?

As of June 2013, there is marriage equality in 15 countries, and other countries are considering the issue. See below for country-by-country information. Thank you to NYU LLM student Michael Braun for his work on this project.

Countries that allow two non-resident visitors to marry include Canada, Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa.

Argentina

Can my partner and I marry in Argentina?

Yes, in some places (see “residency requirement”). Marriage equality has existed in Argentina since 2010. The same application process applies to gay and lesbian couples as does to different-sex couples.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Argentina.

Is there a residency requirement?

In order to get married in Argentina, the civil marriage ceremony must be held at the Civil Registry Office of the province where at least one of the partners is domiciled. In principle, this requirement bars two foreign nationals without residency from getting married in Argentina. However, certain provinces (the city of Buenos Aires, and the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and Tierra del Fuego) now allow couples to marry without residency or citizenship after only 96 hours within their borders (arguing that a residency requirement for marriage is unconstitutional).

Nonetheless, foreign nationals wishing to marry in Argentina must be lawfully present, i.e. as tourists and/or travelling with an appropriate visa (although they do not need a specific visa to get married in Argentina).

How can we apply?

The process to arrange a civil marriage differs from province to province. Thus, in the city of Buenos Aires (which has the same status as a province), at least one partner must go to the Civil Registry Office in person at least 30 business days before the intended date of marriage in order to schedule the date of the marriage. Alternatively, both partners may go to the court 10 days before the intended date of the marriage, but in this case the ceremony will be subject to availability. The scheduling may also be performed online.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents must be presented when scheduling the marriage:

  • Identification documents of both parties must be provided as originals, and submitted as photocopies. Non-residents must show passports proving lawful presence;
  • Certificates of death or divorce in case one or both partners is/are divorced or widowed. If the certificates are from another country, they should be “legalized” at an Argentine consulate abroad or under the “apostille” procedure (a simplified international certification procedure for public documents). If the prior marriage or divorce was decreed outside of Argentina, then the marriage certificate and/or divorce decree should first be registered with an Argentine Civil Registry Office through a court procedure. If both marriage and divorce were decreed outside of Argentina, then the new marriage is subject to prior authorization by the city of Buenos Aires Civil Registry Office;
  • There are further requirements for minors (under 20): they must show identification documents, birth certificates, identification documents of parents, and authorization for marriage granted by both parents, a guardian, or by an Argentine court. If the birth certificate is foreign, it should be “legalized” in the country of issuance (by means of “apostille” or at an Argentine consulate).

Is there a fee?

A fee will be payable, depending on the province where the marriage will be celebrated.

Are there medical requirements?

After having scheduled the marriage, both partners must go to a public hospital within seven days before the intended date of marriage in order to perform a blood test. If either or both partners are found to have a venereal disease, the marriage will not be allowed. It however seems that HIV does not count as a venereal disease for this purpose, since the both members of the first gay couple to get married in Argentina were HIV-positive.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

At the ceremony, applicants stand in line and will be married on a first come-first served basis. There must be two witnesses over the age of 18 present at the ceremony (but regulations on who may be a witness vary from province to province). If one or both of the partners does/do not understand Spanish, they are legally required to be assisted by a locally chartered translator.

Which parental rights does an Argentine marriage confer?

The Argentine marriage equality law grants all the rights also granted to different-sex couples, including the right to adopt children. Thus both joint adoption as well as step-parent adoption are possible.

Since all the same rights are granted, you should also expect your partner’s children to become your step-children, since Argentina, though still holding traditional views of family roles, is one of the few countries that has developed legal precedents for legitimizing the stepparent-stepchild relationship while retaining all parental rights and responsibilities. However, in order to find out the extent of legal rights and responsibilities granted, you should always check with the relevant authorities.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Argentina?

We are no experts in Argentine law. You should contact an Argentine attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://buenosaires.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/marriage-requirements/

http://buenosaires.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/the-ceremony/

http://www.argentinaindependent.com/currentaffairs/could-argentina-become-a-gay-marriage-mecca/

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/argentina/857374/a-z/Marriage_in_Argentina.pdf

http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/05/buenos-aires-offers-same-sex-marriage-to-foreign-couples/n

http://blog.oregonlive.com/themombeat/2012/10/stepfamilies_around_the_world.html

Belgium

Can my partner and I marry in Belgium?

Maybe. Marriage equality has existed in Belgium since 2003. However, foreign nationals who seek to get married in Belgium may only do so if their home state or country has enacted marriage equality as well. This means that only those US citizens who are citizens of a marriage equality may get married in Belgium.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is a mixed citizenship or residency requirement when foreign nationals are involved. Thus there is no residency requirement if one of the partners is a Belgian national. If both partners are foreign nationals, however, one of them will need to show that their main residence was in Belgium for at least three months.

Is there a residency requirement?

At least one member of the couple must be resident in Belgium (see also above “citizenship requirement”). If neither party is permanently resident in Belgium, temporary residence (at least three months) can be established for the purpose of getting married.

How can we apply?

On arrival in the country, at least one party must register with the local authorities in the district of residence and ask for a “Certificate of Residence for Marriage Purposes.” Residence in Belgium can be demonstrated by any means (e.g. plane tickets, rent receipt, evidence of administrative formalities, such as tax statements).

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents must be provided to the marriage office in the city or town where at least one of the couple lives. The partner that establishes residence in the above way may submit the required documents on behalf of both partners, and request “publication of the banns” (a public announcement, usually in a public place, town hall, or church, of the intended marriage so that others can raise legal impediments to the marriage) in their city or town of residence.

  • Proof of identity (i.e. passports);
  • Certified photocopies of birth certificates for both partners;
  • Certificates of residence, showing full name, place and date of birth, last legal residence, nationality and marital status for both parties. Non-residents must obtain their certificate from the authorities in their last place of residence. If this is not possible (e.g. the US does not issue such documents), then you should ask what documents will be accepted instead;
  • If either party has previously been married, they must provide a copy of the final divorce decree (or death certificate, if widowed), showing an exact date on which the divorce became final. If the date is not on the decree, the court that pronounced the divorce must provide a statement adding the date. Otherwise, if the partners are not registered in Belgium, a “certificate of celibacy” might be needed, as well as proof of residence;
  • Foreign citizens may be asked to provide a “certificate of law and custom” from their embassy, which details the marriage laws in their home country (see above “citizenship requirement”);
  • All official documents issued by a foreign country (e.g. the US) must be authenticated by means of the “apostille” procedure (a simplified international certification procedure for public documents). If the documents are written in a language other than that in which the marriage is celebrated, they must be translated by a sworn translator;
  • Both partners must be at least 18 years old. Minors over 16 may get married with the consent of their parents and permission from the courts, or they can ask for permission from the courts themselves. However, such permission will generally only be granted in extreme circumstances.

Is there a fee?

Usually there is a fee, but at certain times and on certain days, no charge is made for the marriage service. You should check for this with the local municipality.

Are there medical requirements?

There are usually no medical requirements to get married in Belgium.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The marriage ceremony may take place 10 days after “publication of the banns.” It must take place in the municipality where one or both of the parties were resident at the time the marriage was announced. Civil marriage requires the presence of two witnesses.

Which parental rights does a Belgian marriage confer?

Two years after the marriage equality law passed, an additional law was enacted to grant gay and lesbian married couples the same adoption rights as different-sex married couples. Thus both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are possible in Belgium.

However, children born from gay or lesbian married couples do not have automatic legal family ties with both partners but only with their biological parent. Creating legal ties between the partner and the step-children might thus require step-parent adoption. The same also applies to children from prior relationships.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Belgium?

We are no experts in Belgian law. You should contact a Belgian attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://brussels.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/marriage-requirements/

http://brussels.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/the-ceremony/

http://belgium.usembassy.gov/marriage-in-belgium.html

http://www.expatica.com/be/family/Partners/Getting-married-in-Belgium_17305.htmlm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4491688.stm

http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/services_abroad/Registry/marriage/

http://www.freedomtomarry.org/landscape/entry/c/international

http://www.fathers-resources.com/Default.aspx?tabid=581&EntryID=432

http://www.buddybuddy.com/mar-belg.html

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/hearings/20070911/libe/samesex_marriage_en.pdf

Brazil

Can my partner and I marry in Brazil?

Yes, in some places. Marriage equality (without prior need of a civil union) has been enacted in Brazil in 2012 in the states of Alagoas, Bahia and Sao Paolo.

In other states, gay and lesbian partners may register a “stable union,” and may subsequently petition to convert their union into a marriage (see below “wedding ceremony”). Since May 2013, this may not be refused on the ground that the marriage is between gay and lesbian partners, which means that there is “de facto” marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples if they go through the two-step process of first seeking a stable union and then converting it to a marriage.

Please note that the following information refers to Brazil overall, i.e. to those states which do not have full marriage equality.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Brazil.

Is there a residency requirement?

Not in principle, but note that the necessary documents must be presented at least one month before the intended marriage date. The marriage cannot be arranged by post with the Civil Registry Office of the place where the marriage will take place, so in fact you will need to be in Brazil early on.

How can we apply?

Stable unions can be registered with a legal professional, an official office, or proved by a joint bank account or proof of living at the same address. The stable union itself will give the gay and lesbian partners certain rights, such as death and pension benefits, insurance benefits and tax purposes in Brazil. Importantly, non-nationals partnered to Brazilians can receive immigration benefits.

The partners can then convert their stable union into a marriage by asking a notary public to do so. Since a ruling in May 2013, notary publics may no longer refuse to do this.

Which documents must be provided?

The couple should go to a notary and submit an application for authorization of marriage, duly signed, along with the following documents:

  • Birth certificates or similar documents. Foreign nationals must present passports or RNE (foreigner ID number) as well as identification documents;
  • Written consent if the parties are still dependents;
  • Statements of two witnesses confirming that they know the couple and that there is no impediment against the marriage;
  • Declarations of marital status, current addresses of both parties and theirs parents, if known;
  • Former spouse’s certificates of death or divorce;
  • All documents must be translated into Portuguese.

The officer will then grant an Authorization Certificate. The date and place of the marriage must be assigned in advance by the presiding authority for the ceremony to be held at the Registry Office.

Once the stable union is performed, the couple can convert this into a marriage by applying at a notary office closest to their place of residence.

Is there a fee?

All costs related to the procedures must be borne by the couple. However, the Brazilian Civil Code provides that in the case of persons who are declared as poor, the marriage authorization, as well as the registration and the first issued certificate, must be free of charge.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Brazil.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

In the above-mentioned states of Alagoas, Bahia and Sao Paolo, which have full marriage equality, the wedding ceremony is the same as for different-sex couples.

In all other states, there must first be a ceremony for the “stable union.” Then the couple must go to a notary in order to upgrade their stable union to a marriage. The civil marriage ceremony can then take place at the notary office or in another place, as desired by the parties and with consent from the officiating authority. The marriage certificate is issued immediately at the end of the ceremony. At least two witnesses must be present.

Which parental rights does a Brazilian marriage confer?

Both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are legal for gay and lesbian couples in Brazil.

The rights given under marriage equality are the same as for different-sex couples, but step-parental relationship does not always translate into legal rights and responsibilities between parents and children. You should check with local authorities.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Brazil?

We are no experts in Brazilian law. You should contact a Brazilian attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.freedomtomarry.org/landscape/entry/c/international

http://saopaulo.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/same-sex-unions/

http://brazil.angloinfo.com/family/marriage-partnerships/marriage-requirements/

http://www.brasil.gov.br/para/visit-and-live/documents/certificate-of-marriage-stable-union/

Canada

Can my partner and I marry in Canada?

Yes. Gay and lesbian partners have been able to marry in Canada since 2005.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Canada.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in Canada.

How can we apply?

First, you will have to apply for a marriage license. The process for applying for licenses is different from region to region. Usually one or both partners will have to be present. Next, you will need to find a person authorized to perform the ceremony. In some regions, there is a waiting period of up to 20 days between the license and the ceremony.

Which documents must be provided?

Usually in order to apply for a marriage license, one or both partners will have to present:

  • Identification documents;
  • Birth certificates or passports;
  • Proof of prior divorce or death of previous spouse;
  • Written parental consent if one of the partners is under 18.

Is there a fee?

Fees for the marriage licenses vary between the different regions, usually ranging between C$20 and C$250.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Canada.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The requirements for the ceremony also vary from region to region. Either civil or religious ceremonies are possible in Canada. For civil ceremonies, different officials are authorized to celebrate them in different regions. You must arrange for two witnesses to be present, but often it is possible to find witnesses at the place where the license can be obtained.

Which parental rights does a Canadian marriage confer?

Both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are legal in Canada for gay and lesbian couples.

As to children from earlier relationships, getting married will not change the second parent’s legal relationship with the child. Most likely the second parent will remain a “step-parent,” but this status usually carries little legal weight in most Canadian states. To establish a legal relationship with more security for parent and child, you should try to obtain a court decree stating that both partners are legal parents.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Canada?

We are no experts in Canadian law. You should contact a Canadian attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/canada-marriage-faq.pdf

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/lifeevents/marriage.shtml

Denmark

Can my partner and I marry in Denmark?

Yes. Denmark has had full marriage equality since 2012. Before that date, it had registered partnerships since 1989, and those required two years of residency.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Denmark.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement anymore (this did not use to be the case), although some municipalities may require that you reside in their municipality for a period of time before the marriage may be performed. For instance, the Copenhagen marriage office advises that the parties should plan to stay within the city limits for at least three weeks. Other municipalities have a residency requirement of typically three days.

Foreign nationals wishing to get married in Denmark must however be lawfully admitted and legally present in Denmark, and have valid passports showing proof of entry into Denmark or into the Schengen area (a group of 26 European countries which have no internal but common external passport and immigration controls).

How can we apply?

The marriage form must be completed in advance. Certificates of marital status are no longer required from US citizens. There is no waiting period, but generally register offices need a few weeks to process the papers. Some churches and/or local register offices may require additional documents. If you are applying or have applied for asylum in Denmark, then you cannot get married until after you win asylum.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents will have to be presented:

  • Passports;
  • Birth certificates;
  • Persons under 18 may not get married without permission from the Prefect of Copenhagen. If one of the parties is under guardianship, then the guardian’s consent must be presented in documentary form;
  • If married previously, one or both of the partners must present their original divorce decrees (or, if widowed, the original death certificates must be submitted to the Citizens Service Center).

Is there a fee?

Non-residents must pay a fee of 500 Danish Krone (approximately US$ 86).

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Denmark.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The marriage ceremony in Denmark is a civil one, but partners may also request a religious ceremony, since bishops are under an obligation to find a priest willing to carry out the marriage ceremony. The partners will need two witnesses present at the marriage ceremony.

Which parental rights does a Danish marriage confer?

It is lawful in Denmark for gay and lesbian couples both to jointly adopt and to file for step-parent adoption.

Generally married gay and lesbian parents enjoy the same rights as different-sex married couples, thus a step-parent relationship should be formed by marriage. However, this does not necessarily translate into legal rights and obligations between step-parents and step-children. In 2013, Denmark has been debating a law which would give automatic legal guardianship to a lesbian woman’s partner if the child is born by means of assisted reproduction techniques. Therefore you should always check with a relevant local authority to see what parental rights would be conferred in your specific situation.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Denmark?

We are no experts in Danish law. You should contact a Danish attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://copenhagen.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/same-sex-partnerships/

http://denmark.usembassy.gov/getting–maried.html

http://storbritannien.um.dk/en/travel-and-residence/family-and-legal-matters/getting-married-in-denmark/

http://marriage.about.com/od/international/p/denmark.htm

http://canada.um.dk/en/travel-and-residence/consular-matter/official-danish-documents/marriage-in-denmark/

http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/guide_europe/country_by_country/denmark/denmark_new_law_to_give_lesbian_couples_equal_parental_rights

France

Can my partner and I marry in France?

Yes. Marriage equality has existed in France since 2013, although the move was met with widespread criticism. French marriage laws now apply indiscriminately to gay and lesbian couples, and different-sex couples.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in France.

However, citizens of certain countries cannot get married in France if the French government has a bilateral agreement with the relevant country which makes the other country’s law the applicable law for marriage. This applies for instance to citizens of Poland, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Cambodia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Laos, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, and Slovenia.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is a residence requirement to get married in France. The mayor of the city or town you wish to get married in may authorize his officials to celebrate the marriage if one of the partners has resided in the city or town for at least 40 days preceding the marriage ceremony. This requirement cannot be waived. In general, this merely means residence, and does not require a permanent residency status. You should, however, check with the local authority in question.

How can we apply?

French law requires the “publication of the marriage banns” (a public announcement, usually in a public place, town hall, or church, of the intended marriage so that others can raise legal impediments to the marriage) at the appropriate city hall no less than 10 days before the date of the marriage. The first “publication of the banns” can be made at the end of the first 30 days of residence in France by one partner.

Which documents must be provided?

In order to get married in France, you will have to provide the following documents:

  • Valid passports or French residence permits;
  • Birth certificates (less than three months old);
  • Certificates of celibacy (less than three months old): you can get this, for instance, from your embassy in France;
  • Affidavits of law (this is a statement made by an attorney licensed to practice both in France and your home country) about your home country’s marriage laws, certifying that your home country will recognize the marriage and that you are free to get married in France. It is unclear whether this is necessary, as for example the Department of State notes that this document “may” be required by some city or town halls;
  • Medical certificates (less than three months old);
  • Proofs of domicile (for instance an electricity bill);
  • Certificates by a French notary (should you opt for a prenuptial contract).

Is there a fee?

There is no fee to get married in France.

Are there medical requirements?

In order to get married in France, you must provide a medical certificate, which you will receive after having completed blood tests and examinations by a doctor approved by the French government or consulate.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The French civil marriage ceremony must mandatorily take place at a city or town hall. It will be performed by the mayor or by his legally authorized representative. The ceremony will be conducted in French, so you should plan for a translator if you do not speak French. A religious ceremony may follow after the civil ceremony. Once married, you will receive a “family booklet” (“livret de famille”) which serves as an official record of the marriage and subsequent family events (births, deaths, divorce, etc.). A certificate may also be obtained by writing to the city hall.

Which parental rights does a French marriage confer?

Both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are legally available to gay and lesbian couples in France.

Since marriage equality alters the existing marriage regime in France, any benefits available to different-sex married couples in terms of step-parenthood and immigration should also be available to gay and lesbian married couples. However, generally these are very limited: partners do not generally acquire legal parenthood by marriage, since French law seeks to encourage that biological parents, even when they are not together, cooperate in the upbringing of their children. Therefore step-parent adoption might be necessary if you wish to establish legal rights and responsibilities between a partner and their step-children.

Where can we get more information on getting married in France?

We are no experts in French law. You should contact a French attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article387

http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000027414540&dateTexte=&categorieLien=id

http://www.justlanded.com/english/France/Articles/Visas-Permits/Marriage-Divorce-in-France

http://jurist.org/sidebar/2013/05/angelique-devaux-same-sex-marriage.php

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/france/5/acs/paris-marriage.pdf

http://www.lazard-avocat.com/pdf/06-infos-pratiques-les-droits-du-beau-parent.pdf

Iceland

Can my partner and I marry in Iceland?

Yes. Marriage equality was enacted in Iceland in 2010. The Icelandic Parliament has streamlined marriage requirements, so that the same requirements apply to gay and lesbian marriages as to different-sex marriages.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Iceland.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in Iceland.

However, note that both partners have to be present legally for the wedding ceremony to be performed (e.g. on a visa).

How can we apply?

Both partners have to be 18 years of age. An application form from the office of the District Magistrate of Reykjavik has to be filled out, and two witnesses certifying ability for marriage must either write their names on the application form in advance or do so at the office. The application form must be dropped off at the office of the District Magistrate of Reykjavik at least two days before the intended marriage date.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents will have to be provided along with the marriage application form:

  • Birth certificates;
  • Valid passports;
  • Certificates of marital status from the partners’ home country. These certificates must be issued within four weeks of the ceremony. If no such certificates can be provided (e.g. for US citizens), then a certificate should still be issued stating that there are no impediments to the planned marriage;
  • Divorce decrees and/or official documents proving death of a previous partner can also be requested, if applicable.

Is there a fee?

There is a fee of 7.700 Icelandic Krona (approximately US$ 62).

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Iceland.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The wedding ceremony in Iceland is a simple civil ceremony, usually held at the office of the District Magistrate of Reykjavik, but it can also take place outside of public buildings. The witnesses who have signed the marriage application do not need to take part in the wedding ceremony.

Which parental rights does an Icelandic marriage confer?

Both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are available to gay and lesbian couples in Iceland.

Generally all the same rights are available to gay and lesbian married couples as to different-sex married couples. However, step-parental relationships with your partner’s children are not always recognized by law without step-parent adoption. It seems that in Iceland if your parent has sole custody and marries you, then you, as a step-parent, also get custody rights. This is not the case if both biological parents have custody. You should check with the appropriate local authority whether your marriage will confer any parental rights and responsibilities.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Iceland?

We are no experts in Icelandic law. You should contact an Icelandic attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.pinkiceland.is/#!requirements/cwkz

http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/icelan1/qt/marriediceland.htm

http://www.iceland.is/iceland-abroad/us/nyc/consular-services/getting-married-in-iceland/

http://www.mcc.is/english/iceland/laws-and-regulations-/

The Netherlands

Can my partner and I marry in the Netherlands?

Yes. In 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world to enact marriage equality.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

Your partner and you have to satisfy either a citizenship or a residency requirement: in order to get married in the Netherlands, either one of the partners has to have Dutch citizenship, or be a foreign national with residency status in the Netherlands. If both partners live abroad and wish to marry in the Netherlands (but one has Dutch citizenship), they must give notice of their intention to marry at the City of The Hague Registrar’s Office.

Is there a residency requirement?

See above “citizenship requirement.”

How can we apply?

The partners must register their intention to marry with the Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships at least two weeks in advance at a municipal population affairs office. The necessary documents (listed below) will have to be approved at a first meeting. Then, you can make an appointment at the sub-municipal office to register your intent to marry. In order to enter into a civil marriage, the following criteria must be met:

  • Both partners must be single;
  • At least one partner must be Dutch, or foreign with Dutch residency status (long-stay permit or asylum status) (see above “citizenship requirement”). A non-Dutch partner without a residency permit must submit a statement issued by the Alien Police on their status under the Aliens Act;
  • Both partners must be at least 18 years old or must have the permission of a guardian;
  • Since 2006, people who want to get permanent residence through marriage must take a civic integration examination in their country of residence, examining knowledge of Dutch language and society (and usually held at a Dutch embassy or consulate).

Which documents must be provided?

In order to register intent to get married, the following documents must be provided:

  • Proof of identity for both partners;
  • Photocopies of personal details and proof of identity of witnesses;
  • Birth certificates;
  • Recently issued statement confirming the domicile, nationality and marital status;
  • If one or both of the partners is/are not of Dutch nationality: a statement from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (provided by the alien police in order to identify fake marriages).

If you are not a Dutch citizen, then it is advisable to visit the counter of the Department of Public Service well in advance to find out if any additional documents are necessary and if the requirements for marriage in the Netherlands are met.

Is there a fee?

The notice of intent to marry is free.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in the Netherlands.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The wedding must take place within one year of the registration of the intent to marry. The civil marriage takes places at the Registry Office and is performed by a registrar of marriages. A religious ceremony may optionally follow after the civil ceremony.

Which parental rights does a Dutch marriage confer?

Both joint adoption and step-parent adoption are available to gay and lesbian couples in the Netherlands.

Children born from a same-sex married couple do not automatically have legal family ties with both partners but only with their biological parents. Dutch law distinguishes between parental responsibility (only the biological parents) and joint (second-parent) responsibility. Dutch law makes another distinction based on the spouses’ sex. Two married women have joint responsibility over children born within their marriage and not having another parent. If a child has another parent, joint parental responsibility may be obtained through court proceedings. On the contrary, two married men, one of whom is the child’s biological father, do not automatically have joint responsibility over the child, but may ask that it be judicially conferred (court-conferred joint responsibility). Family ties and parental responsibility may be created only through step-parent adoption, i.e. adoption by one spouse of the other spouse’s biological children.

Where can we get more information on getting married in the Netherlands?

We are no experts in Dutch law. You should contact a Dutch attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://southholland.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/same-sex-marriage/

http://www.government.nl/issues/family-law/marriage-registered-partnership-and-cohabitation-agreements

http://en.denhaag.nl/en/residents/to/Notice-of-intent-to-marry.htm

http://www.gaylawnet.com/laws/nl.htm

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/hearings/20070911/libe/samesex_marriage_en.pdf

New Zealand

Can my partner and I marry in New Zealand?

As of June 2013, marriage equality is scheduled to become legal in New Zealand on 19 August 2013. This will be the first day on which gay and lesbian couples may get married in New Zealand.

Please treat the following paragraphs with caution. The cited requirements for marriage are those which currently need to be met by different-sex couples. We expect that the same requirements will apply to gay and lesbian couples, once the law is in force.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in New Zealand.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in New Zealand.

How can we apply?

In order to get a marriage licence, you will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage application form, including a statutory declaration that there is no lawful impediment to the marriage, that the given details are true, that the partners are not within the prohibited degrees of relationship, and that consent has been given.

If at least one partner lives in New Zealand, this partner must make the declaration in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages. If both partners live outside of New Zealand, you may send a completed (slightly different) form and signed statutory declaration (witnessed by a Commonwealth Representative, e.g. in London or Sydney) to the New Zealand Registrar of Marriages closest to the place where you intend to marry. Alternatively, if either of the partners will be in New Zealand at least three working days before the ceremony, you can still process the formalities in New Zealand (you should notify the Registrar of the date you wish to do this, and you will be able to pick up the marriage licence three days after the forms have been received). In order to fill out the forms, you will have to decide on a marriage celebrant (Registrar or other Celebrant).

The marriage licence is normally issued no sooner than three calendar days after the completed forms have been received and the fee (see below “fee”) has been paid. The licence is valid for three months. If the partners want to change the venue, they have to advise the Registry Office.

Which documents must be provided?

In order to get married in New Zealand, you will be asked to provide the following documentation:

  • The above forms;
  • Identification documents;
  • Proof of death or divorce from a previous spouse;
  • Written consent from guardians if you are above 16 but below 18.

Is there a fee?

The marriage licence costs NZ$ 173.70 (approximately US$ 140) if the marriage is conducted at the Registry Office. The marriage licence costs NZ$ 122.60 (approximately US$ 100) if the marriage is conducted by a Marriage Celebrant outside of the Registry Office.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in New Zealand.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

There ceremony may either take place at the Registry Office, celebrated by a Registrar of Marriages, or it may be celebrated by an authorized Marriage Celebrant at a place other than the Registry Office. There is no legal requirement to have the ceremony be open to the public. There must be at least two witnesses present. The marriage ceremony held at the Registry Office includes standardized vows which have to be reiterated by the partners. At the end of the ceremony, you will receive a signed copy of the “Copy of Particulars of Marriage.

Which parental rights does a New Zealand marriage confer?

From 2013 onwards, gay and lesbian couples will be allowed to jointly adopt and to adopt each other’s step-children.

Becoming a step-parent by means of marriage does not automatically make you a guardian, nor does it create any other legal relationship between you and your partner’s children. You and your partner should therefore consider step-parent adoption, or applying for guardianship at a Family Court.

Where can we get more information on getting married in New Zealand?

We are no experts in New Zealand law. You should contact a New Zealand attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/133170/marriage-legislation-becomes-law

http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-How-to-Get-a-Marriage-Licence?OpenDocument

http://newzealand.angloinfo.com/family/marriage-partnerships/requirements/

http://www.barnardos.org.nz/Family%20Advice/Blended%20Families/Legal%20Issues

Norway

Can my partner and I marry in Norway?

Yes. Marriage equality has existed in Norway since 2009.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Norway.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in Norway.

However, the partners must both be lawfully present in Norway, i.e. have a valid residence permit, a tourist visa, or another kind of permission to be in Norway (e.g. citizenship of a Schengen area state, i.e. part of a group of 26 European countries which have no internal but common external passport and immigration controls).

How can we apply?

The partners must first check whether all the requirements are met, and whether their documentation is adequate by filling out forms at the Norwegian registrar’s office (the forms can be found online). Once the documentation has been checked, the partners may contact a local court at the place they wish to marry. The judge will provide a Norwegian authorization of marriage. This may take up to two weeks. If you are not in Norway at the time of the first application, you must contact the Office of the National Registrar (rather than a municipal registrar) in Oslo.

Which documents must be provided?

In order to get married in Norway, you will need to show the following:

  • Certificates from your home country that no previous marriage exists;
  • Valid passports and birth certificates.

Is there a fee?

Costs for getting married in Norway are very low; sometimes the procedures may even be free.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Norway.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

Wedding ceremonies in Norway are conducted by a notary public.

Which parental rights does a Norwegian marriage confer?

In Norway, both joint and step-parent adoptions are open to gay and lesbian couples.

Women in lesbian relationships who are either married or can show some stability of their relationship, have the right to use artificial insemination in the same way that different-sex couples do. The woman’s partner must consent to the procedure, and the child must be allowed to learn the biological father’s identity when coming of age. If these requirements are met, then the partner can be a legal co-mother from birth. If not, she will need to go through a step-parent adoption procedure, whether married or not. This procedure should be started as soon as possible after the child’s birth. Gay male couples, married or not, may adopt (since surrogacy is currently prohibited in Norway), and the biological father’s partner will necessarily have to go through a step-parent adoption procedure in order to create legal rights and responsibilities between him and the step-children.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Norway?

We are no experts in Norwegian law. You should contact a Norwegian attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.llh.no/eng/Same-sex+marriage+in+Norway.b7C_wlvWWW.ips

http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/norwa1/qt/marriednorway.htm

http://www.llh.no/eng/Same-sex+couples+and+children.b7C_wlvW1k.ips

Portugal

Can my partner and I marry in Portugal?

Yes. Marriage equality has existed in Portugal since 2010.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Portugal.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is a short residency requirement to get married in Portugal: at least one of the marrying parties must have been resident in Portugal for 30 days before notice of the intended marriage can be given. This does not mean permanent residence status, but rather simple residence in Portugal.

How can we apply?

In order to begin the marriage process, the documents listed below must be presented at the Civil Registry Office of the place of residence. Once you have received approval to get married, you will need to get married within three months, or else the approval expires.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents must be presented at the Civil Registry Office:

  • Proof of residence, or passports for temporary visitors;
  • Certified birth certificates issued within the last six months (within three months if the marriage is to take place in the Azores);
  • Certificates of no impediment issued by your home country’s consulate in Portugal, confirming that there is no obstacle to the marriage;
  • Certified copies of death certificate or divorce decree if previously married;
  • If either party is below 18 (but they must always be at least 16): written consent of both parents;
  • All documents must be translated into Portuguese by a certified translator.

Is there a fee?

A small fee is charged, but it varies from one Civil Registry Office to another.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Portugal.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

Civil marriages take place at the Civil Registry Office.

Which parental rights does a Portuguese marriage confer?

Parental rights are limited for gay and lesbian couples in Portugal. Gay and lesbian couples may not jointly petition to adopt in Portugal. A bill to allow second-parent adoption passed through the Portuguese parliament in May 2013, but must still be signed into law by the President. A bill allowing for full adoption rights, including the right to joint adoption, was rejected by the Portuguese parliament in 2013.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Portugal?

We are no experts in Portuguese law. You should contact a Portuguese attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://marriage.about.com/od/international/p/portugal.htm

http://lisbon.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/17/us-portugal-gayadoption-idUSBRE94G0KV20130517

South Africa

Can my partner and I marry in South Africa?

Yes. Marriage equality has existed in South Africa since 2006.

Note however that under the marriage equality law individual religious or civil officers have the right to refuse to marry gay and lesbian couples.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in South Africa.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in South Africa.

How can we apply?

In order to get married, you should first contact the South African Department of Home Affairs, and provide them with your documentation.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents will have to be provided by foreign nationals wishing to get married in South Africa:

  • Full (unabridged) birth certificates;
  • Valid passports containing a valid residence permit for South Africa, such as a visitor’s permit if you are entering as tourists;
  • If divorced, the final divorce decree (or, if impossible to obtain, an affidavit that you are legally divorced, stating the name of the court which granted the divorce and the date on which it was granted);
  • If widowed, the deceased spouse’s death certificate;
  • Foreign nationals must provide a completed Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage, and a letter of no impediment;
  • If under 18: written consent from both parents or legal guardian.

Is there a fee?

There is a small or no fee for the first marriage certificate, but subsequent copies might require payment of an additional fee.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in South Africa.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The wedding ceremony must be performed by a marriage officer authorized to do so under South African law. The legal part of the ceremony must take place in a church or other building used for religious services, or in a public office, or private house with open doors, in the presence of both parties (unless there is some grave exception, such as critical illness). There must be at least two witnesses present at the ceremony (who must provide identification documents, and who must be above 16). After the solemnization of the marriage, the partners and witnesses will sign the marriage register, and will then be issued a marriage certificate.

Which parental rights does a South African marriage confer?

South Africa (as the only African country) allows joint adoption by “partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership,” whether same- or different-sex, and step-parent adoption by a person who is the “permanent domestic life partner” of the child’s current partner.

Gay and lesbian marriages also give the same rights as different-sex marriages, including full adoption rights. However, step-parents have no legal rights and responsibilities towards their step-children by the mere fact of marrying a biological parent. Thus, you might want to consider step-parent adoption.

Where can we get more information on getting married in South Africa?

We are no experts in South African law. You should contact a South African attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://cape-town-weddings.com/capetownwedding_Legal.aspx

http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/marriage-certificates

http://marriage.about.com/od/southafrica/p/southafrica.htm

http://www.roylaw.co.za/home/article/stepparenting/pageid/parenting

Spain

Can my partner and I marry in Spain?

Yes. Marriage equality has existed in Spain since 2005.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is a mixed citizenship and residency requirement to get married in Spain if at least one foreign national is involved. Either a Spanish citizen may marry a non-Spanish citizen, or two non-citizens may marry if they both have legal residency in Spain. Furthermore, at least one of the partners must have been legally resident in Spain for at least two years and registered with the municipality.

Is there a residency requirement?

See above “citizenship requirement.”

How can we apply?

First, partners must apply for a certificate of permission to marry in advance of the wedding. This can be done at the Civil Registry, a district court, or (in some places) the town hall where the marriage will be celebrated. Once the application has been filed, there is a requirement of “publication of the banns” (a public announcement, usually in a public place, town hall, or church, of the intended marriage so that others can raise legal impediments to the marriage) to be made at the town hall and, for foreign nationals, also at the relevant consulate. The marriage can legally proceed after a minimum period of 21 days without contest. The whole application period may last between one month and four months. The marriage must be registered within a week of the event at the Civil Registry.

Which documents must be provided?

Documentation requirements vary greatly between different municipalities, so you should check with the Civil Registrar well in advance. Generally the following documents are required:

  • Current valid passports;
  • Original birth certificates (with sworn Spanish translations no more than three months old);
  • Proof of being free to marry (i.e. divorce certificates or death certificates from your home country’s consulate);
  • Parties must be over 16 and living independently from their parents (but if they are under 18, proof of parental authorization or of legal emancipation will be necessary);
  • Proof of Spanish residency (see above “citizenship requirement”), i.e. a residence card;
  • At least one partner’s certificate of residence providing residence in Spain of at least two years (you may get this document from your local town hall) (see above “citizenship requirement”).

Is there a fee?

There is no fee to get married in Spain.

Are there medical requirements?

Only where there is a question of mental competence must a Civil Registry doctor issue a medical opinion of fitness to give consent.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

Spanish marriage ceremonies are held in the courts, or the town hall of residence of one of the couple. The marriage is conducted by the mayor, or a delegated councillor. After the ceremony, a certificate is issued, and the marriage is entered in the Civil Registry. A religious ceremony can follow the civil ceremony, if desired.

Which parental rights does a Spanish marriage confer?

In Spain, gay and lesbian marriages have the same impact on the relationship with children as different-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian spouses may also jointly adopt and exercise joint custody over a child, as heterosexual couples, and each spouse may adopt the other spouse’s biological or adoptive child.

Children born within a lesbian marriage by in vitro fertilization may be legally recognized by the non-biological mother by means of a simplified (non-adoption) procedure. Independent of marriage, if parental responsibility is held individually by your partner, you can acquire parental responsibility through step-parent adoption, which is a simpler procedure than normal adoption procedures. If the other biological parent still holds parental responsibility as well, they will have to consent to your adoption of their biological children.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Spain?

We are no experts in Spanish law. You should contact a Spanish attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://madrid.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/

http://madrid.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/civil-marriage/

http://madrid.angloinfo.com/information/family/marriage-partnerships/same-sex-marriage/

http://ceflonline.net/wp-content/uploads/Spain-Parental-Responsibilities.pdf

Sweden

Can my partner and I marry in Sweden?

Yes. Marriage equality was enacted in Sweden in 2009.

However, note that if foreign nationals who are not living in Sweden want to get married in Sweden, they may only do so if both of them have a legal right to marry or register a partnership according to the law of the state or country where each one of them have residency or citizenship. It is enough if both of them have residency in such a country. Thus, for instance two non-Swedish US residents would not be able to get married in Sweden unless their home states allow for marriage equality or registered partnerships.

If one of the partners is a Swedish citizen or has residency in Sweden, then they may get married even if the other partner has residency or citizenship in a country where it is not legally possible for gay and lesbian couples to get married or register a partnership.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Sweden.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is no residency requirement to get married in Sweden.

How can we apply?

Partners must apply at a Local Tax Office to verify what documents will be needed, and to start an investigation into whether or not there are impediments to getting married. Both partners must be at least 18 years of age. Once a marriage license has been obtained, it is valid for four months.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents will generally be requested to get married in Sweden:

  • Certified birth certificates;
  • Passports;
  • Proof that both partners are single or free to marry by providing a single status affidavit (since US consulates do not provide this, you should use a Swedish notary);
  • Certificates of no impediment (this is a different document from the single status affidavit): the certificates of no impediment must be posted for 21 days in a public place prior to the marriage ceremony. This requirement is similar to a “publication of the banns” requirement, which is a public announcement, usually in a public place, town hall, or church, of the intended marriage so that others can raise legal impediments to the marriage;
  • Copies of your country’s or state’s marriage license laws issued by a local or state authority, no more than four months old (see above “can my partner and I marry”);
  • If previously married: notarized copies of death certificate or final divorce decree (and, occasionally, the previous marriage certificate). Note that sometimes the divorce may need to be confirmed by a Swedish Court of Appeal.

Is there a fee?

The fees vary from municipality to municipality.

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Sweden.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

The ceremony may be either civil or religious. The civil ceremony will generally take place at a local district court or city hall, and will be officiated by a registrar.

Which parental rights does a Swedish marriage confer?

Swedish law allows both joint adoption and step-parent adoption by gay and lesbian couples.

According to Swedish law parental responsibilities are almost exclusively a right and an obligation of the biological parents. A child can have no more than two legal custodians or guardians at a time. As long as one or both parents are fit custodians, no other custodian can be appointed. It follows that it is not possible for a step-parent to obtain parental responsibilities as long as these belong to a parent. Step-parent adoption of the child is the only exception to the rule, but it is only open to married partners.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Sweden?

We are no experts in Swedish law. You should contact a Swedish attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://marriage.about.com/od/sweden/p/swedenmarriage.htm

http://www.rfsl.se/?p=5852

http://ceflonline.net/wp-content/uploads/Sweden-Parental-Responsibilities.pdf

Uruguay

Can my partner and I marry in Uruguay?

At the time of writing, marriage equality is scheduled to become legal in Uruguay on 1 August 2013.

Please treat the following paragraphs with caution. The cited requirements for marriage are those which currently need to be met by different-sex couples. We expect that the same requirements will apply to gay and lesbian couples, once the law is in force.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Uruguay.

Is there a residency requirement?

There is a short residency requirement to get married in Uruguay. The civil ceremony can only be performed in a town where at least one of the partners has resided for no less than 15 days prior to the marriage.

How can we apply?

You need to register the marriage three months before the intended date. You may apply in person, or by filling out a form with a notary public. “Publication of the banns” (a public announcement, usually in a public place, town hall, or church, of the intended marriage so that others can raise legal impediments to the marriage) is compulsory in Uruguay in the town hall where the marriage is to take place. At least one of the partners has to reside in the town for 15 days preceding the marriage ceremony. Both partners must be at least 16 years old.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents will have to be provided:

  • Birth certificates of both parties;
  • Proof of status if either partner is a widower or divorcee;
  • Written parental consent if either party is below the age of 18;
  • All documents must be translated by certified translators; the documents might also need to be duly authenticated by Uruguayan officials. You should check with the relevant local authority.

Is there a fee?

The fee for getting married outside of a registry office is 11,904 pesos (approximately US$586). If you wish to get married at the registry office, the fee is 389 pesos (approximately US$ 20).

Are there medical requirements?

There are no medical requirements to get married in Uruguay.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

A religious marriage may only take place after the civil marriage ceremony. Four witnesses over the age of 18 (with identification documents) will have to be present.

Which parental rights does a Uruguayan marriage confer?

Gay and lesbian couples in Uruguay can petition both for joint adoption and for step-parent adoption.

Generally all the same rights are available to gay and lesbian married couples as to different-sex married couples. However, please note that a step-parental relationship does not necessarily create legal rights and responsibilities between step-parents and step-children. You should therefore check well in advance with an appropriate local authority.

Where can we get more information on getting married in Uruguay?

We are no experts in Uruguayan law. You should contact a Uruguayan attorney, organization, or public office for further information.

The information in this FAQ has been compiled using various resources from across the internet. Here are the main links we used:

http://www.moving2uruguay.net/visas-and-customs/marriage.html

Other Countries

The following other countries are currently considering legalizing marriage equality:

  • Australia;
  • Colombia;
  • England & Wales;
  • Mexico (pending court rulings): marriage equality exists in certain states of Mexico, such as in the Federal District (Mexico City) and in Quintana Roo. The Mexican Supreme Court has found marriage equality constitutional. The Mexican Supreme Court has equally found the state of Oaxaca’s explicit prohibition of marriage equality unconstitutional. Under Mexican law, these decisions are currently only binding on those couples who filed the lawsuits. If the Supreme Court finds marriage equality to be constitutional in two more cases, then this would be a binding precedent for the entire country, i.e. not just for the particular claimants.

To find out more, you can visit:

http://www.freedomtomarry.org/landscape/entry/c/international

http://tramites.gub.uy/ampliados?id=100