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Marriage abroad

If you want to get married 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 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. 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

If you marry abroad, it will only be recognised in Ireland if it is entered on the civil register of the country where the ceremony took place and provided all legal formalities have been followed.

Civil partnerships

Following the introduction of the Marriages Act 2015, you should note that with effect from 16 May 2016, civil partnerships or civil unions from outside the jurisdiction will no longer be recognised in Ireland.

Civil Partnerships entered into before 16 May 2016 in another jurisdiction (under Section 5 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010) will be recognised as civil partners in Ireland.

Same-sex marriages which were entered into prior to the introduction of the Marriages Bill are now entitled to be recognised in Ireland from the date the Marriages Act came into force (16 November 2015).

If you are considering entering into a civil partnership abroad you should contact Consular Division in Dublin for further information on 01 408 2682 between 10-12 (Monday- Friday).

Further information is available from the Department of Justice and Equality http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR15000577.