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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.

Please note we have now moved to online payments for applications for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry*. 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 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.

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

Please note we have now moved to online payments for applications for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry*. 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.

Certificate of Freedom to Marry (Certificate de Coutume/Nulla Osta)

Per Irish applicant: €60

Total per Irish applicant: €60

Late fee

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 methods

Payment is made online as part of the application process.

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