Which Countries Allow Foreigners to Get Married

Ann Young
6 min readDec 14, 2023
Countries Allow Foreigners to Get Married

With COVID-19 restrictive measures easing up, the international marriage trend has been on the rise, especially among Asians. Society often assumes that international marriages go the same route: a foreign girl gets a fiancée visa and comes to the US to get married. In reality, that is not always the case. Some couples choose to marry outside the US — for various reasons.

In this article, we provide you with explicit information about the countries where you can marry as a foreigner quickly without legal issues.

List of top 5 countries with relaxed marriage laws for foreigners

  1. 🇪🇸 Spain
  2. 🇵🇹 Portugal
  3. 🇧🇷 Brazil
  4. 🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
  5. 🇨🇭 Switzerland

There are many countries in the world where you can get married as a foreigner with your local mail-order bride or a girl from a third country altogether.

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Below, we’ll describe the ones that allow you to do so in the shortest time.

Spain — Marry a Spanish citizen easily

Spain — Marry a Spanish citizen easily

Over 21,000 international couples are registered officially in Spain in 2021. The possibility of acquiring citizenship one year after marriage encourages foreigners to get married here.

The main requirement for potential spouses is to be over 18 years old. Here’s the list of documents you should provide to the civil registry:

  • Passports of both spouses to prove their identity
  • Birth certificates of both parties
  • Documents that prove the civil status of a single, divorced, or widowed person
  • Certificate of registration for the last two years from all the places where you have lived, excluding Spain
  • Certificate of No Impediment from your country that proves you are eligible to get married
  • Consular registration

Note that all documents should be translated into Spanish and properly legalized with stamps.

You should arrange an appointment with the civil registry and visit it in person to complete your marriage file and attach all the documents. You will also have to make a separate appointment for your interview.

The requirement is that one of the spouses has to be a legal resident of Spain for at least two years; otherwise, you must obtain permission from Spanish authorities.

Read also: 5 Best Dating Sites in Spain — Meet Spanish Singles

Portugal — Shortest set of required documents

Portugal — Shortest set of required documents

Here, you can have a wedding ceremony as a foreigner and get married to a local or foreign spouse. Moreover, it is possible to obtain citizenship in Portugal after three years of marriage.

You cannot marry if you are under 16 years old, have a criminal record for homicide, are engaged in any affinity relationships, or are already married abroad. If you don’t meet any of these criteria, you can start the marriage process. The list of documents includes:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passport, residence permit, or Citizen Card
  • Certificate of eligibility to marry from your country

You should also pay €120 in fees. You can submit all these documents online or in person to the local civil registry office.

Brazil — Streamlined marriage process

Brazil — Streamlined marriage process

It is not a problem to get married in Brazil as a foreigner. Your passport is the primary document that allows you to do this. You will also need some other documents, namely:

  • A certificate of civil status from your country to prove you are single
  • Copy of divorce decree if you were married before
  • Birth certificates of both spouses
  • Copy of passports

All documents must be legalized at a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy or confirmed with a Hague Apostille if your country is a signatory to the Hague Convention.

You should also choose the marital regime, which determines whether all assets are considered common or separate during your marriage. You have to provide two witnesses over the age of 18 who are not members of your family present at your civil ceremony.

The government offers to speed up the naturalization process for people who have been married to Brazilian spouses for one year of residence, and it accepts dual citizenship in some cases.

Read also: 7 Best Latin Dating Sites to Meet Latin Singles

Dominican Republic — Religious ceremonies are fully legal

The Dominican Republic has no restrictions for processing marriage requests from foreigners. Also, with a relatively simple process of naturalization through marriage, you can obtain residence six months after your marriage is registered.

Churches are responsible for all marriages and must record them in the civil registry. Same-sex marriages and marriages for persons under 18 years old are prohibited. Here are the documents necessary to initiate a marriage:

  • Birth certificates and passports (both copies and originals)
  • Proof of Dominican residence of local spouse and additional fees with tourist card for foreign spouse
  • Sworn declaration by notary that you are single and eligible to marry
  • Civil status and divorce certificate (if it exists)

In the Dominican Republic, both civil and religious ceremonies are valid, so you can choose one of them. Don’t forget to pay marriage fees of RD $3,000 to RD $20,000 depending on the type of marriage and the residency status of the bride and groom.

Switzerland — Same-sex marriages legal since 2022

Marriage in Switzerland is available for any citizen in the world. Also, there are no specific requirements related to the documents you should provide. To get married, you need to provide the local Civil Registry office with:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Previous marriage certificate, if needed
  • Record of civil status

After submitting the documents, you’ll get the consent for marriage within 4–5 days, and it will be valid for three months.

The cost of a civil ceremony can range from 250 to 500 Swiss francs, depending on the county. Note that all marriages in Switzerland are held in local languages, so you should order a translator if you don’t speak German, French, or Italian.

Read also: 7 European Dating Sites — Meet European Women in 2024

Challenges of international marriages

If you decide to get married abroad, you should be familiar with the possible complications you may face:

  • There are cultural differences that manifest in the dating scene, treatment, arrangement of family household, habits, values, and so on.
  • The language barrier may be significant, especially in Latin countries, so you should be ready to learn a few words in the local language.
  • Different religious beliefs may impact attitudes toward the worldview and lifestyle, so make sure you are okay with that.
  • Gender roles of both partners may be a far cry from each other’s expectations, so make sure to outline each position and responsibilities in the family.

After all, if you act as caring, loving, and loyal partners, any challenges won’t ruin your union.

Read also: 7 Best Mail-Order Bride Sites in 2024

Conclusion and final thoughts

When it comes to marriage, there is nothing more essential than love. That’s why there are no restrictions for foreigners to marrying abroad.

We hope the aforementioned information will assist you in your choice of country to arrange your wedding. Just remember to be consistent and patient, and arranging things in advance will also be a good idea.

This article can contain sponsored content. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.

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