Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  

Registering a marriage

Conditions for legal marriage

Both members of the couple must:
·         Be at least 18 years old;
·         Not be married already;
·         For people under guardianship, have the consent of their legal representative;
·         Moreover, the law prohibits marriage between brother and sister or half-brother and half-sister, between children and parents (biological or adopted), between grandchildren and grandparents, as well as between a person and his/her spouse’s child (even if that marriage has been annulled).

 

Binational marriage or marriage between registered foreigners in Switzerland
In Switzerland, marriages must be registered before an officer of the local commune’s register office. Any religious ceremony can only take place after the civil ceremony.
The marriage may be celebrated in the locality of your choice. However, it is simpler to get married in your commune of residence, as there are specific documents to obtain if you choose another commune.
 

Required Documents
For Swiss nationals
·         Proof of civil status (ask the Register office of your commune of residence)
·         Residence permit or certificate of residence (Ask the Office of Control of inhabitants)
·         Passport or identity card
 
For non Swiss citizens
·         Residence permit for foreigners in Switzerland
·         Birth certificate that indicates the parents’ names
·         Passport or proof of nationality (ask in your country of origin)
·         Civil status card (mentioning the marital status, a possible document of divorce or the death of spouse)
Recognized Refugees or asylum applicants are required to present a recent document proving their refugee status or asylum claim instead of a passport or proof of nationality
 
Please note!
When foreign national wants to get married, Swiss authorities often request official documents from the country of origin. This can mean long delays and extra fees. 
Please note!
The date of required documents should not exceed 6 months.
Please note!
Documents must be written in one of the national languages of Switzerland. If you are required to translate your documents, ask the register office which information is necessary to translate.
The translation must be have an official translator’s stamp.
 

Marriage Preparation
After providing the necessary documents and completing a marriage application form, the couple must make an appointment to go in person to the register office to formally register their application. There is a fee for this procedure. The cost varies between different communes. 
If one of the spouses cannot go in person to the register office because he/she lives abroad, you can request to complete the preparation procedure in writing.
 

Entry into Switzerland for marriage preparation
For foreign nationals, the formalities for entry into Switzerland in order to prepare and register a marriage can be very long and complex. Your first step must be to get advice from the Migration authorities in your canton.
 

Suspected marriage of conveniance – a reason for rejection of a marriage application
The register office must check the residence status of the foreign citizens. If there is any suspicion that it is a marriage of convenience officers interrogate spouses separately, and investigate with other authorities and third parties. The registrar can reject the marriage application if there is reason to believe it is not genuine (ie uniquely to gain a residence permit in Switzerland). 
 

Marriage abroad
Marriages can be celebrated in either of the spouses’ country of origin. Foreign embassies can provide information. 
 

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