Marriage with a foreign partner

  • Two persons who wish to marry with each other are married in the context of civil marriage/marriage, by a civil servant.
  • The wedding ceremony takes place in a place dedicated to it by the competent authority.

For the establishment of a marriage, civil marriage in the German legal field is fundamentally necessary.

When examining the so-called matrimonial capacity of foreign spouses (marriage certificate of the home country), it depends whether legal obstacles to marriage arise from the respective home law of the foreign partner. The purpose of this examination is to prevent a marriage being entered into in Germany which is ineffective, removable or invalid in the home country of the spouse.

The marriage is carried out by a civil servant in the context of the civil marriage of two persons.

The only exception is the marriage of two foreigners before a marriage person duly authorised by the government of the home State in the form prescribed by the law of that State, in so far as one of the fiancee is a national of that State.

  • Proof of identity (identity card, passport, or appropriate identity document)



  • Registration of the intended marriage
  • In the absence of language skills, an interpreter must be brought along at the instigation of the spouse.
  • The spouses must be married.
  • The spouses must be able to do business (especially, of course, a commercially viable spouse.
  • The spouses must be present in person
  • Under German law, marriage must not be precluded by a impediment to marriage.
  • Section 104 Of the German Civil Code
  • Section 1310 of the German Civil Code (BGB)
  • Section 1312 of the German Civil Code (BGB)
  • Section 1896 et seq. BGB
  • Section 1903 BGB
  • Art. 13 sec. 4 sentence 1 ETUC
  • Section 6 PStG
  • Section 11 PStG
  • Section 13 PStG
  • Section 29 PStV
  • Art. 14.1 ff. PStGVwV

Before marrying, the spouses must be questioned as to whether there have been changes in their actual circumstances since the marriage was registered and whether they wish to determine a marriage name.

Marriage is to be carried out in a dignified form corresponding to the importance of marriage. Under German law, groomsmen are no longer mandatory, but can still be involved.

The wedding ceremony takes place at a place dedicated to it by the competent authority (registry office).

The lawful marriage presupposes the legal capacity (especially the natural legal capacity and the ability to marry) of the spouses, which is examined by the registrar/registry office. The declarations of the spouses that they wish to marry with each other shall be certified in a minutes by the registrar following the marriage. The minutes must contain all the information to be certified in the marriage register. It shall be signed by the spouses, the witnesses and the registrar/registrar.

A marriage is considered to be concluded even if the spouses have declared that they want to enter into the marriage together.

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Senator for Home Affairs, Unit 23 - Civil status law, the state of Bremen

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