Marriage & Civil Partnership Abroad
We have moved to online payments for applications for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry. Please have your debit/credit card details and supporting documents ready before you begin your application. Further information can be found under the Supporting Documents section below.
You should expect to receive your Certificate of Freedom for your marriage abroad within 8weeks of the date of marriage if submitted within the correct timeframe.
The German authorities tend not to give a date for the marriage until you have obtained an apostilled Certificate of Freedom to Marry. An apostille is a stamp placed on the certificate.
Making an application
To apply for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, you must complete an online questionnaire about yourself and your upcoming marriage or civil partnership.
Based on this questionnaire, you’ll be presented with one or more Statutory Declarations to complete and a checklist of supporting documentation you'll need to submit with your application.
You need to:
- Print and sign your questionnaire
- Print out a copy of each Statutory Declaration
- Print out your checklist
- If either party to the marriage was married previously, contact the embassy for advice on how to proceed before having your statutory declaration witnessed.
- Otherwise complete the Statutory Declarations and have the witnessed by one of Ireland's Honorary Consulates in Germany or by a notary public. You can find details of notaries public providing an English-speaking service by searching on the website of the Bundesnotarkammer (the German Federation of Civil Law notaries) at www.notar.de - choose "Englisch" under "Sprache" (language). Please note that the Embassy no longer provides a notarial service.
- Post the witnessed Declarations to us with your supporting documentation and signed questionnaire.
Print off or save each form right after your online questionnaire, as you won't be able to retrieve them later.
When to apply
Submit your application a minimum of four months before the date of your marriage or civil partnership.
Your witnessed statutory declaration(s) cannot be dated more than six months before the date we receive your application.
Your application is not complete until we get hard copies of your questionnaire, statutory declaration(s), and all supporting documentation.
Please contact the Embassy after submitting your application for further instructions in relation to particular requirements of the local authorities.
Your checklist will tell you exactly what supporting documentation you'll need for your application, which may include:
- Your original long-form birth certificate
- A court order, if you are under 18 years
- Death certificate of your previous spouse, if widowed
- Petition and final decree of your divorce, if divorced
- A photocopy of your current Irish passport
- Your original naturalisation certification, if naturalised
Translating your documents
You'll need to submit certified translations of any of these documents, if the originals are in a language other than English or Irish.
Getting replacement documents
We need original documents (except for the photocopy of your passport) to process your application.
If you don't have the original certificates, you must get replacements from the General Register Office which issued your certificate.
Please note it is quite common for authorities in Belgium to request original certificates that were issued in the last three months. These are not available from the Embassy.
Getting your documents back
We will return all your original documents to you after we inspect them.
If the country in which you are getting married requires a Certificate de Coutume with an Apostille attached, we will provide this service. This may take up to 3 weeks. You will be charged the standard consular fee (currently €40) for each document that needs to be Apostilled (including the Certificate de Coutume, birth certificate, etc).
If you are an Irish citizen who was not born in Ireland, and you require an Apostille on your birth certificate, it must be Apostilled by the government which issued your birth certificate.
If you haven't included all the necessary documents, your application will be returned to you.
Who can be a witness?
- A notary public. You can find details of notaries public in Germany providing an English-language service on the website of the Bundesnotarkammer (the German Federation of Civil Law Notaries) at www.notar.de - enter your area and choose "Englisch" under "Sprache" (language).
- One of Ireland's Honorary Consuls in Germany.
Please note that, other than in genuine, documented emergencies, the Embassy of Ireland in Berlin no longer witnesses statutory declarations or takes oaths or affidavits. This service is readily available at the offices of a notary public in Germany.
Your witness must:
- Know you personally, or
- Know a third party personally who can identify you, or
- Be able to verify your identity through your official documents (e.g. a passport), and
- Provide a business contact number, address, and stamp, and
- Not be related to you
Your witness needs to:
- Witness you completing and signing your Statutory Declaration(s)
- Complete and sign the relevant part of your Statutory Declaration(s)
It's against the law to make a Statutory Declaration that you know is false or misleading in any way.
Fees for making an application for Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta
We have moved to online payments for Certificates of Freedom to Marry. It is no longer possible to pay by cash or bank transfer. The appropriate fee will be charged to your credit/debit card. The fee is €66, The fee includes a non-refundable €6 postal charge.
Please note that for marriages taking place in Germany, the certificate of freedom must be apostilled. The cost of an apostille stamp is €40. We will contact you to arrange for the payment of this fee.
Certificate of Freedom to Marry (Certificate de Coutume/Nulla Osta)
Per Irish applicant: €60
Non-refundable postage fee: €6
Total per Irish applicant: €66
If you submit your application 28 days or less before the date of your intended marriage you’ll have to pay an additional fee of €60 per Irish applicant.
Payment is made online as part of the application process.