Marrying a foreigner
A wedding is a moment in one’s life when they vow to spend the rest of their days side by side with their special someone. A wedding, however, is also a legal procedure that includes a series of administrative steps that need to be followed. Photo credit: Casadei Graphics
Brno, May 17 (BD) – That is why it is necessary to plan in advance. It is recommended that you start preparing up to six months before the actual date. And we are not talking about the caterers or the cake.
There is a long list of required documents, and it gets even longer if one of you is a foreigner. Some of them are easy to submit, such as your birth certificate or your passport. Others might be trickier. For example, you need to obtain a ‘certificate of no impediment to marriage’. Your embassy should be able to issue this document to you but in some cases, you might have to travel back home to get it.
If you were previously married, there are more documents to submit (such as one that justifies the divorce for reasons that are valid the Czech republic). Also, some of the documents will need official authentication (superlegalization or an ‘apostille’) and a certified translation into Czech. Waiting for all these can add up: start preparing in advance!
You are also facing an important question: civil or religious wedding? There are different steps to take for each. It does not mean you are simply choosing between a church or City Hall for a venue – for a civil wedding, you can go with any location (although if unconventional, you need to get permission from the Registry Office, as the venue needs to be “dignified”). An interpreter needs to be present if one of you doesn’t speak English. After all, you should completely understand the agreement you are getting into!
After the wedding, there are other obligations. For example, you must report changes in your marital status and surname (if you decide to use a joint surname or take on your spouse’s surname). In that case, you will need to get a new passport. Your residence status might change, too, depending on your situation.
In other words, it is a complicated process. For starters, read the Brno Expat Centre infosheet “Marrying a Foreigner”. You can go from there!
Brno Expat Centre Clues is a series of practical articles dealing with various aspects of life in Brno. Written in cooperation with Brno Daily by Brno Expat Centre consultants, a new article is published every Thursday.
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