Marriage & Civil Partnership Abroad
If you are an Irish Citizen resident outside Ireland and need a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, find out how to begin your online application. Before you begin this step, you should always check first with the local Spanish authorities where you plan to get married what documents they will require from you. If you are entering into a “pareja de hecho” agreement in Spain, please contact the Embassy/Consulate for the application forms. The online application system does not include “pareja de hecho”.
Please note that 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 8 weeks of the date of marriage if submitted within the correct timeframe.
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.
Your statutory declaration must be witnessed before you can submit it.
Who can be a witness?
- A Spanish notary public
- Your local Honorary Consulate may be able to witness your declaration – contact them first to check and make an appointment. This service bears a fee of €60.
Please note Diplomatic and Consular Officers at the Embassy in Madrid do not witness these declarations.
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)
- Provide 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.
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 during the application process. The fee is €66. The fee includes a non-refundable €6 postal charge.
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.
Where to apply
Send your completed application to:
Embassy of Ireland
Paseo de la Castellana 46-4
Phone: +34 91 4364093
Note: If you have made an appointment with your nearest Honorary Consulate to witness your statutory declaration, it might also be possible for them to check your completed application and issue a certificate directly. Please contact them in advance to see if this can be facilitated.