Marriage in Portugal: how to make your union official in the country
Having a wedding outside your home country requires planning, willingness, and bureaucracy just as much as in your homeland. The good news is that if your dream is to make your relationship official in Portugal, we will explain the step-by-step in this article.
Below, we will explain to you step by step how to make your union official in Portugal between a foreigner and a Portuguese citizen and between foreigners and Brazilians, for example.
Marriage in Portugal between Brazilians
The marriage between two Brazilians can take place in two ways. The first of these is via the National Register Office (cartórios). This request can be made over the internet, through the Civil Online site, as long as the Brazilian couple has been granted the General Statute of Equal Rights and Duties.
Another alternative is to effectuate the marriage through the consulate. The process is started only in person, and the bride and groom’s witnesses (Brazilian or not) must be present. In Portugal, there are consulates in Lisbon, Porto and Faro.
So, the documents that both of you need to present on the day you start the process at the consulate are as follows:
- Petition Form for the bride and groom completed in block letters;
- Valid ID or Passport of the bride and groom (original and copy);
- Valid identification document of two witnesses, over 18 years of age and capable (original and copy);
- If the bride and groom are:
- Unmarried: birth certificate of both spouses issued less than six months ago;
- Divorced: birth certificate and marriage certificate issued less than six months ago with an entry of the divorce;
- Widowers: birth certificate issued less than six months ago, with the proper notes on the marriage and death of the spouse, and marriage certificate issued less than six months ago with the death of the spouse noted, or the Death Certificate of the deceased spouse;
- If one of the fiancés is under 18, the authorization of the parents or legal guardians will be required for the marriage, with a notarized signature;
- Prenuptial agreement, in case the property system is different from the Partial Community of Goods;
- Proof of actual residence in the jurisdiction of the chosen consulate.
It is always worth checking the page of the Consulate where the application will be filed to see if there are any specific requirements or updated guidelines.
After all the required documentation has been submitted, in addition to the certificate given by witnesses who know the bride and groom, it is necessary to wait for the Marriage Notice to be drawn up. The average time mentioned by the Consulate is 15 days.
If no impediment is presented, the Certificate of Qualification for Matrimony is issued and the date for the union can be set.
The marriage is celebrated free of charge at the Brazilian consulate’s headquarters and the certificate is also issued free of charge.
How to validate marriage in Brazil
Any marriage performed outside Brazil by a competent foreign authority is valid in the country, but the certificate must be translated in the national territory.
It is necessary to register the marriage certificate at the Brazilian consular office, at a cost of 22€. And then, the document must be transcribed in the 1st Civil Registry Office of the Brazilian municipality where you live, or even in the 1st Civil Registry Office of the Federal District.
Thus, the following documents are required for registration:
- Marriage registration form duly completed and signed by the declarant;
- Local marriage certificate;
- Pre-nuptial agreement, if any. In this case, submit the original and, when deemed necessary by the Consular Authority, an official translation into Portuguese or English;
- Brazilian document proving the identity of the Brazilian spouse(s): passport or ID card;
- Document proving the Brazilian nationality of the Brazilian spouse(s): Brazilian birth certificate, issued less than six months ago, or naturalization certificate;
- In case of the existence of previous marriage of either spouse, the Brazilian marriage certificate with the due annotation of the divorce must be presented, if Brazilian. If the spouse is deceased, respective death certificate.
Marriage in Portugal between a foreigner and a Portuguese citizen
The process of making a union in Portugal between a foreigner and a Portuguese citizen ends up being faster and requires fewer documents. It is the same done when the marriage is celebrated between two Portuguese.
One should go to the National Registry Office (cartórios) and express the will to acquire matrimony. This process can also be initiated through the Civil Online site, but only by Portuguese citizens or by Brazilians with an Equality Statute.
It is necessary to prove your relationship with Portugal and to be able to prove the pre-conceived relationship with the intended spouse so that the Portuguese government can make sure that the marriage is not just for the foreigner to obtain Portuguese citizenship by marriage, a process called “marriage of convenience.
This investigation is done through the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service), which may require documents that prove the relationship such as photos, e-mails, witnesses, and others.
To open the process, the documents required are:
- Identity card of the Portuguese spouse;
- Birth certificate of the Brazilian spouse, issued no more than 6 months ago and apostilled;
- Valid passport;
- Residency title.
It is necessary to keep in mind the desired date for the ceremony, taking into account that the process can take up to 6 months to be evaluated.
Marriage in Portugal between foreigners
Foreigners who wish to get married in Portugal must first go to a Civil Registry to start the marriage process. On site, required to present:
- Identification documents;
- Birth certificate issued according to the law of the country of origin;
- Certificate of marital capacity, issued by the country’s competent authorities less than six months ago or, if not issued, a statement that such a certificate is not issued.
Certificates and documents that are not written in English, French, or Spanish must be accompanied by a certified translation into Portuguese.
If the bride and groom do not know Portuguese, an interpreter must be appointed.
Finally, to clear up any doubts and even to carry out the process with greater security, the advice is to resort to specialized counseling and lawyers who can help you through all the steps listed above!