Please note that from 2 November 2016, we have now moved to online payments for applications processed in Ireland and the majority of Embassies and Consulates abroad for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry*.
If you are paying online, please have your debit/credit card details and the required supporting documents ready before you begin your application. Further information can be found under the Supporting Documents section.
You should expect to receive your Certificate of Freedom for your marriage abroad within 8 weeks of the date of marriage if submitted within the correct timeframe.
Applications to the following Missions will not be included in the new online payment system. You should contact that office directly or visit their website for information on payment methods for your application. List of Embassy contacts.
- Embassy Abuja
- Embassy Malawi
- Honorary Consulate Auckland
In addition, applicants resident in Sudan and South Sudan will not be able to make a payment online for this service and should contact their nearest mission for details of payment methods.
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.
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.
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 2523 between 10-12 (Monday- Friday).
Further information is available from the Department of Justice and Equality http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR15000577.
How to apply guide
If you need a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, find out how to begin your online application.