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Marriage & Civil Partnership Abroad

Many countries require those who are not citizens of that country, before they can get married in their jurisdiction, to produce a certificate from their country of origin to show that they are free to marry.  These are variously known as Certificates of Non-Impediment, Certificates of No Objection, Certificats de Coutume or Nulla Ostas.  The Consular Section at the Embassy of Ireland in Abu Dhabi can issue these to Irish citizens resident in the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait, the State of Qatar and the State of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Please note that marrying a non-Irish national does not automatically entitle them to Irish citizenship.

Certificats de Coutume will not be issued to persons under 18 years of age without the written and witnessed consent of their parents or guardians.  

A Certificate de Coutume is not required for an Irish citizen who wishes to get married in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, the Channel Isles, the Isle of Man, or the United States.

We strongly advise that you check with the Embassy, Consulate, or High Commission of the country where you intend to get married, in order to establish their exact requirements for marriage in their country. You should do so before you contact the Embassy of Ireland so we can assist you efficiently.

All documents in languages other than English or Irish must be accompanied by an official translation.

All original documents submitted with an application will be returned to the applicant.

The relevant forms can be downloaded from this website.

Please ensure that the information provided is legible.

Making an application

Online questionnaire

To apply for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry, you must complete an online questionnaire about yourself and your upcoming marriage.

Statutory Declaration

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:

  1. Print and sign your questionnaire
  2. Print out a copy of each Statutory Declaration
  3. Print out your checklist
  4. Make the online payment
  5. Complete the Declarations and have them witnessed
  6. Post them to us with your supporting documentation and signed questionnaire.

Remember...

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 at least four months before the date of your marriage. Your witnessed statutory declaration(s) cannot be dated more than six months before the date we receive your application.

Remember...

Your application is not complete until we get hard copies of your questionnaire, statutory declaration(s), and all supporting documentation.

Supporting Documents

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
  • Marriage and 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.

Getting your documents back

We will return all your original documents to you after we inspect them.

Remember...

If you haven't included all the necessary documents, your application will be returned to you.

Witnesses

Your statutory declaration must be witnessed before you can submit it.

Who can be a witness?

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)

Applying in Ireland

Your witness can be:

  • A notary public
  • A Commissioner for Oaths
  • A solicitor

Applying abroad

Your witness can be:

  • A diplomatic or consular officer of Ireland
  • A notary public
  • A Commissioner for Oaths or someone authorised to administer oaths or declarations

Your witness needs to:

  • Witness you completing and signing your Statutory Declaration(s)
  • Complete and sign the relevant part of your Statutory Declaration(s)

Remember...

It’s against the law to make a Statutory Declaration that you know is false or misleading in any way.

 

Fees

The fee for a Certificate do Coutume is AED300 per applicant, and if the application is received less than 28 days before the date of marriage it may incur an extra urgent processing fee of AED300.  Please note that all fees are set in Euro by the Irish Government and are standard across all Irish Embassies in all countries.  The fee is payable in the equivalent local currency in this Embassy.

If the country in which you are getting married requires a Certificate de Coutume with an Apostille attached, the application must be referred to Dublin for processing. This may take up to 3 weeks. You will be charged the standard consular fee (currently AED200 for each document that needs to be Apostilled (including the Certificate de Coutume, birth certificate, etc). If you are an Irish-born Irish citizen, we can place an Apostille on your birth certificate. You can apply to the General Registrar's Office of Ireland or www.certificates.ie for a fresh copy of your birth certificate, if required. 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 that issued your birth certificate. 

Where to apply

Embassy of Ireland
Al Yasat Street off 6th Street
Al Bateen
P.O. Box 61581

Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Ph: +971 (0)2 4958200
Fax: +971 (0)2 6819233

If posting your application, we strongly recommend that you to use registered mail or a reputable courier service. The Embassy cannot be held responsible for applications or documents lost in transit.

Apply Now

Begin your online Certificate of Freedom to Marry application