Marriage & 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.
When to Apply
Applications should be submitted at least 28 days prior to the intended date of marriage but can be submitted up to four months in advance of this date.
Additional fees apply if the application is submitted 28 days or less prior to the intended date of marriage.
The following fees apply for applications submitted to the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa:
|Applications received more then 28 days before intended date of marriage:||R1,020|
|Applications received 28 days or less before intended date of marriage||R2,040|
Payment can be made by electronic fund transfer, Bank draft or Bank Guaranteed Cheque, made payable to “Embassy of Ireland”. If you call in person to the Embassy you can also pay by credit/debit card. Please contact us for our banking details.
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
- Complete the Declarations and have them witnessed
- Post them to us with your supporting documentation, signed questionnaire and fee
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.
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.
Getting your documents back
We will return all your original documents to you after we inspect them.
If you haven't included all the necessary documents, your application will be returned to you.
Who can be a witness?
- A notary public
- A diplomat in one of the Irish Honorary Consulates or the Embassy
Your witness must:
- Know you personally
- Know a third party personally who can identify you
- Be able to verify your identity through your official documents (e.g. a passport)
- Provide a business contact number, address, and stamp
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.
Terms & Conditions
Terms and Conditions
You must read the Terms and Conditions before you can proceed to make an application for a Certificat de Coutume or Nulla Osta to allow you to enter into a marriage abroad.
This Online application facility to allow you to apply for a Certificat de Coutume or Nulla Osta is hosted and controlled by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Users of the online application are considered to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
Your Credit/Debit card will be debited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the date of your application unless otherwise stated.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade accepts only 3D secure transactions.
Cardholders must be over 18.
The following cards are accepted:
If applications are returned to you without being approved, your payment will be refunded. A refund will also apply if an application is cancelled by you.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for processing your application and commits to issuing your Certificate of Freedom for your marriage abroad within 8 weeks of the date of marriage if submitted within the correct timeframe.
The material featured on this site is subject to Government copyright according to the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000. The material may be downloaded to file or printer for personal use only. Where this material is being issued to others, the source (including URL) and copyright status must be acknowledged.
The permission to reproduce Government copyright material does not extend to any material on this site which may be the property of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.
The contents of these pages are provided as an information guide only. They are intended to enhance public access to information about the Government and its Departments. While every effort is made in preparing material for publication no responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of the State for any errors, omissions or misleading statements on these pages or any site to which these pages connect.
Although every effort is made to ensure the reliability of listed sites this cannot be taken as an endorsement of these sites.
Data Protection is concerned with the protection of your fundamental right to privacy and your right to exercise control over how your personal information is used. More information on this matter can be found on the following website: www.dataprotection.ie
Your personal details will be treated with the highest standard of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.
In particular, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may use information it holds about you for the purposes of:
a) Assessing your entitlement to a Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta for Marriage Abroad and the issuing of a certificate to you in that regard
b) To contact you if required in connection with your application or to respond to any communications you might send to the Department regarding your application
In particular you agree that the following personal information in relation to yourself and your intended spouse or civil partner
- Forename and Surname
- Date of birth
- Change of name details
- Place of birth
- Passport details
- Mother’s maiden name
- Father’s name
- Home address
- Email address
- Contact telephone number
- Marital Status
- Marriage/Previous Marriages
- which you provide in the course of your application in relation to yourself and/or a third party shall be retained by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for record purposes,
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade respects the rights of its users and does not, as a general rule, collect personal information of any kind. Where information is provided to us as part of the online application process for a Certificat de Coutume or Nulla Osta, applicants should be aware that information provided on the application form may be disclosed to other Irish Government Departments, Agencies, Public Authorities, Foreign Governments and other Freedom of Information bodies in cases where the Department is concerned that a false declaration has been made in regard to any application for a Certificat de Coutume or Nulla Osta.
For general web browsing no personal information is revealed to us, although certain statistical information is available to us via our Internet service provider. This information may include the logical address of the server you are using, the top level domain name from which you access the Internet (for example, .ie, .com, etc), the type of browser you are using, the date and time you access our site and the Internet address used to link to our site.
Some of the above information is used to create summary statistics, which allow us to assess the number of visitors to our site, identify what pages are accessed most frequently. We use these statistics to help us make our site more user friendly.
Changes to this Privacy Statement
We reserve the right to amend this statement at any future date and any changes will be posted on this page.
We make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production. It is always wise for you to run an anti-virus program on all material downloaded from the Internet. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur whilst using material derived from this website.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into effect on 21st April 1998 and was amended on 11th April 2003.
Under FOI each person has a right to:
• access information held by a Government Department or certain public bodies
• have personal information relating to you held by a Government Department or certain public bodies corrected where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
• obtain reasons for a decisions made by a Government Department or certain public body where the decision affects you
For more information on your rights under Freedom of Information, visit www.foi.gov.ie
To save and print your application form you will need Adobe reader on your PC. To download Adobe reader please click here
By proceeding to make an application online you have agreed to the above Terms and Conditions.