Landungsbrücken

Application for exemption from the submission of the marriage certificate for foreign nationals

If you want to get married as a foreign national or as a foreign national in Germany, the requirements for marriage are determined by the law that applies in your home country. This regulation is intended to prevent the marriage from...

If you want to get married as a foreign national or as a foreign national in Germany, the requirements for marriage are determined by the law that applies in your home country.

This regulation is intended to prevent the marriage from being recognized in Germany but not in your home country. For future children in particular, it is of great importance that a marriage entered into in Germany is also recognized in the country of origin of the foreign parent.

Therefore, you must always present a certificate of marital status from your home country. With this certificate of marital status, the responsible authority in your home country confirms that there are no obstacles to marriage under the law of your home country.

If you have more than one nationality, the law of the country with which you are most closely connected applies. If you also have German citizenship, this takes precedence.

In individual cases, you can apply for an exemption from the obligation to present a certificate of unfitness to marry. This takes place with the President of the competent Higher Regional Court in whose district you registered the marriage.

This is an option for you if you belong to one of the following groups of people:

  • Nationals of states whose authorities do not issue certificates of uneligibility to marry.
  • Nationals of states that issue certificates of no impediment to marriage if this is objectively impossible. This applies, among other things, to situations in which foreign law prohibits marriage for reasons that are incompatible with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom to marry, for example if the foreign law in your home country prohibits remarrying after a divorce.
They do not need a marriage certificate and no exemption if they belong to the following group of people:
  • recognized persons entitled to asylum,
  • foreign refugees,
  • homeless foreigners and
  • Stateless persons with permanent residence in Germany.
Their status must be proven by a corresponding travel document.
If you apply for an exemption from the marriage certificate, the President of the Higher Regional Court will check on behalf of the foreign authority whether there is an obstacle to the marriage under the law of your home country or whether a prerequisite for the marriage is missing. According to German law, there must be no impediment to marriage. It may be necessary to check whether any previous marriages have been effectively dissolved in this context.

The exemption is valid for a period of 6 months.

Important notes

Prerequisites

In order to obtain an exemption from the submission or proof of a certificate of uneligibility to marry, the following requirements must be met:
  • You have registered a marriage at the competent registry office.
  • According to German law, there must be no impediment to marriage, for example:
    • if one of the persons who want to marry each other is already married to a third person or lives in a civil partnership
    • if the persons are related to each other in a direct line and between siblings from the same parents or siblings who only have one parent in common
    • if any previous marriages have not been effectively dissolved
    • if one of the persons has been previously adopted by the other person

Documents required

To apply for the exemption you will need:
  • Proof in the original, certified copies are usually not sufficient:
    • on identity, nationality and descent and on marital status
      • Passport,
      • identity card or
      • suitable identification document
    • if necessary, for the dissolution of previous marriages: marriage certificate and, for example, death certificate, copy of the marriage register or divorce decree with a legal notice
  • The documents must not be older than 6 months from the date of issue of the documents to submission to the registry office. Your registry office will inform you about the form in which the documents can be used (e.g. with an apostille or legalisation).
  • Current residence certificates from the German registration office with explicit information on the marital status of both fiancés, provided they are resident in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • For foreign fiancées who are still abroad: an original certificate of residence issued by the competent home authority with a translation into German
  • Evidence from your home country of your current marital status, possibly with an apostille or legalization
  • Birth certificate, proof of birth from home country

Please note

There are no hints or special features.

Deadlines

You don't have to observe any deadlines. However, it is essential that you factor in how long the procedure may take when preparing for your wedding.

Procedure & Fees

Procedure

You can only apply for exemption through the registry office. You do not have to address preliminary and status inquiries to the higher regional court, but only to the registry office.
  • Register your marriage at the registry office responsible for you.
  • Apply there for exemption from the submission/proof of the marriage certificate (application form). It is not possible to apply directly to the Higher Regional Court. The registry office is your sole point of contact in the exemption procedure.
  • The registrar prepares the application and advises you on any documents that are still required.
  • The registry office forwards your application with the complete documents and evidence to the competent higher regional court.
  • The President of the Higher Regional Court examines on behalf of the foreign authority whether there is an obstacle to the marriage under the law of the home country or whether a prerequisite for the marriage is not met.
  • You will receive a notice informing you of the decision on your application.
  • You will also receive a statement of costs. Pay the fees

Processing time

No

Fees


  • For exemption from the submission/proof of the marriage certificate: EUR 15.00 to EUR 305.00

  • If the request is rejected or withdrawn: half the fee for granting the exemption

Legal notes

Legal basis

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