I plan to marry a Czech woman/man. What arrangement do I have to make?

I plan to marry a Czech woman/man. What arrangement do I have to make?
Many young couples plan to choose the summer for their wedding ceremony. The weather is warm, the wedding ceremony may take place outdoors and the wedding guests need not be dressed like for Siberia.

Marrying a foreigner brings along a number of obligations that the foreigner has to fulfill before the ceremony.

The following documents are required:

  • passport,
  • birth certificate,
  • certificate of legal capability to be married – not older than six months,
  • certificates of family status and residence – if the given country issues them,
  • residence permit in the Czech Republic (except for citizens of EU member countries or another contractually-bound country) – not older than 7 workdays before wedding day,
  • final judgment of the divorce court, if the foreigner is divorced,
  • death certificate of the deceased spouse, if the foreigner to be married is a widow/widower.

I have all the documents ready – what do I do next?

Documents that were not issued in the Czech Republic have to be officially certified.

One of the ways of authentication is the apostille – a clause that certifies verification of the signature and stamp on the document that is to be presented abroad. You will find out whether an apostille has to be affixed to your document(s) at the relevant municipality’s registry or by looking into the updated list of the signatories of the Hague Convention which lists the countries requiring authentication with an apostille (e.g., Germany). Apostilles are issued by Ministries of Foreign Affairs or Ministries of Justice.

Superlegalization, i.e., double authentication, is another mode of document certification. This has to be obtained in the country of the given document’s issue or an office representing that country – usually the embassy of the country where you want to submit the document.

Documents with this certification are required by Bahamas, Dominican Republic, etc. 

Have individual documents certified separately. Subjected to verification is primarily the transcription of foreign names to eliminate typographic mistakes. Then, after an apostille or superlegalization is affixed to your documents, comes the certified translation which is not to be done by yourself or your friend but by a court-certified translator. A court-certified translation must contain an interpreter’s clause, as well as the translator’s stamp and signature. If you do not know any official translator, we will gladly help you with it. Send us a scan of the document and specify the target language – we will get back to you.

If your future spouse does not speak Czech, you have to hire a court-certified interpreter for the wedding ceremony. Excepted are citizens of Slovakia, where interpretation is not necessary.

Do not let yourself be discouraged by all the paperwork – just look forward to the day when you say YES to each other.