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Marriage and civil partnership abroad

If you want to get married or enter into a civil partnership abroad, you’ll need to meet all the legal requirements of the country in question.

Meeting the legal requirements

Each country has its own requirements governing marriage and civil partnerships and they may be quite different to Irish requirements.

Contact the civil registration office in your country of marriage to get more information.

Certificate of Freedom to Marry

This is a document stating that you are free to marry, which is required by some countries before you can get married or enter into a civil partnership. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issues this certificate, which is also known as a Civil Letter of Freedom, Certificate de Coutume or Nulla Osta.

Applying for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry

You must apply online for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry and forward a hard copy of your supporting documentation to us.

Under 18?

If you or your partner is under 18 and either of you ordinarily lives in Ireland, you’ll need to apply to the Circuit Family Court or High Court for an order granting you permission to marry. We advise you to get legal advice before you do this.

Registering your marriage or civil partnership

If you marry or enter into a civil partnership abroad, it will only be recognised in Ireland if it is registered in the country where the ceremony took place and provided all legal formalities have been followed.

Civil partnerships

Same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, or civil unions undertaken in any of these jurisdictions are currently recognised as civil partnerships in Ireland:






Czech Republic






Isle of Man


Mexico City

Quintana Roo (Mexico)

The Netherlands

New Zealand



South Africa




United Kingdom


California (USA)

Colorado (USA)

Connecticut (USA)

Delaware (USA)

Hawaii (USA)

Illinois (USA)

Iowa (USA)

Maine (USA)

Maryland (USA)

Massachusetts (USA)

Minnesota (USA)

New Hampshire (USA)

New Jersey (USA)

New Mexico (USA)

New York (USA) Oregon (USA)

Rhode Island (USA)

Vermont (USA)

Washington (USA)

Washington DC (USA)