How to get married in Portugal?

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How to get married in Portugal?

by | Monday, 13 May 2024 | Immigration, Other

get married in Portugal

Are you a foreign citizen who wants to get married in Portugal?

The marriage process begins when the bride and groom go to a civil registry office and declare that they want to get married. In this declaration, the bride and groom must indicate the type of marriage (civil, Catholic or civil in religious form), a property regime, and the place, day and time of the wedding. Suppose the couple is not physically in the country. In that case, it is possible to start the marriage process through a proxy using a power of attorney with special powers for the act, which can be granted by a document signed by the represented party, with the signature recognised in person, by a notarised document or by a public instrument. Only one of the spouses may be represented by a proxy when the marriage is celebrated. The declaration to initiate the process for a Catholic marriage can also be made by the parish priest responsible for organising the canonical process (if the parish priest makes the declaration and, after the process has been initiated, the couple wish to marry civilly, they must renew the initial declaration). At the same time, civil marriage in religious form can also be made by the minister of worship of the church or religious community based in the country, in both cases in the form of a formal, signed request.

In order to apply for marriage in Portugal, foreign couples must present their personal identification documents, such as a passport or equivalent document, along with a residence permit or authorisation. In addition, a birth certificate must be provided, which only has to fulfil the form required for the same purpose by the law of the country of origin. In addition, a certificate of capacity to marry issued by the competent authorities of the couple’s country of origin must be presented, which is less than six months old, unless the validity period set by the competent authority of the government of the couple’s nationality differs. If the couple is unable to present the certificate because there is no diplomatic or consular representation of the country of their nationality or for another reason of force majeure, the lack of the document can be made up for by declaring that, per their law, no impediment stands in the way of celebrating the marriage. In addition, it is permissible to present the certificate of the marriage contract if one has been signed. In the event of remarriage of one of the spouses, proof of the dissolution, declaration of nullity or annulment of the previous marriage is provided by the corresponding entries on the birth certificates or, when these have been replaced by certificates of notoriety, by the death certificates or judgement.

It is important to note that all original certificates and documents written in a foreign language must be legalised and translated into Portuguese. If the couple is Portuguese, the requirements are simplified, and all that is required is to present the citizen’s card or identity card, the birth certificate and proof of residence issued by the local parish council.

It should be noted that a marriage celebrated between two foreigners in Portugal can be celebrated in the manner and under the terms laid down by the national law of one of the spouses before the respective diplomatic or consular agents, provided that the same competence is recognised by the same law for Portuguese diplomatic and consular agents.

Once all the relevant legal steps have been completed, namely, the conclusion that there are no impediments, such as being under 16, having notorious dementia, even during lucid intervals, and being an accompanied adult, the court has determined that they cannot marry, being married – even if they were married abroad, the marriage has not yet been registered in Portugal, the bride and groom have any of the following family ties between them: family responsibilities or affinity, guardianship, accompanying an adult, or legal administration of property, one of the bride and groom have been convicted of murder or is awaiting trial, the Registrar makes the final order authorising the bride and groom to celebrate the marriage. However, if authorisation is not granted, the bride and groom will be notified in person or by registered letter. Up until the date of the wedding, anyone has the right to report any impediments of which they are aware to the Civil Registry Office.

After the favourable order, it is stipulated that the marriage must be celebrated within the following six months. Failure to comply with this deadline may result in the process being revalidated.

Please note that if the foreign bride and groom are not fluent in Portuguese and the civil registry official is not proficient in the language of the bride and groom, it will be essential to appoint an interpreter. This interpreter must be present throughout the marriage procedure to ensure effective communication between all parties.

As established by current regulations, the cost of the marriage process and registration covers the procedures before the marriage celebration and the formal registration carried out during it. However, when the marriage is not considered urgent and takes place on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, or a working day outside the registry office’s premises or during non-conventional hours, the cost will rise to the standard rate. In cases where the Registrar has to travel away from the premises, the bride and groom are responsible for providing transport or covering the costs related to the Registrar’s travel. It should be noted that if the wedding is classified as urgent by law, such as in cases of imminent risk of death of one of the spouses, only the standard amount will be charged, without any additional fees, even if it takes place on one of the days mentioned above.

Remember, this article provides a comprehensive overview of how to get married in Portugal. Still, for more detailed information, we recommend seeking the expertise of our team at MCS, who are here to support you throughout your business journey.

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