Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Portugal
Allow at least 30-42 days from arrival in Portugal to wedding date (21 day stay for EU residents, 30 day stay for other nationalities, 21 day posting of Notice to Marry. Keep in mind that the Civil Registry Office needs to book a marriage a month in advance). We recommend giving yourself more time due to preparation, weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
Please note that all documents must be submitted in Portuguese. Contact the Embassy in your home country or your Embassy in Portugal for an authorized translator. All translated documents must be certified with and apostille stamp. If your documents are translated, be prepared to submit the original copies in your native language for verification as well as the translated version.
- Certified copy of birth certificates, issued within the past 6 months (within 3 months if marrying in Azores)
- Valid Passports
- Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial/Certificate of No Impediment*/Affidavit declaring that each party is free to marry, valid for 3 months (obtained/sworn in your resident country from the Portuguese Embassy or by your Embassy in Portugal. UK citizens: must stay in Portugal for 21 days, give notice to marry and post this notice for another 21 days prior to obtaining a Certificate of No Impediment)
- Consular Certificate
- Divorce decree, certified within the past 6 months, (within 3 months if marrying in Azores), if applicable. Please note that men must wait 180 days and women 300 days from the finalization of their divorce to the day they can remarry.
- Death certificates, certified within the past 6 months, (within 3 months if marrying in Azores), if applicable
- Some places of worship may require additional documentation. It is recommended to contact the officiant prior to leaving on your trip, if applicable (i.e. The Roman Catholic church will request a baptismal certificate among other requirements. Please see weddingsinportugal for further information.)
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
Civil and religious ceremonies are legally recognized weddings preformed in Portugal. The ceremony is preformed in Portuguese. If either party does not speak Portuguese, an interpreter should be hired.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age. Parental consent is necessary if either party is 16 or 17 years of age. Note that the legal age in your home country must be met to be recognized. The couple cannot be related by blood.
Two-four witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide their passports.
Please note that European Union residents must stay in Portugal for 21 days, while other nationalities, the bride or groom-to-be must stay for 30 days. Civil wedding must be booked at least one month in advance.
Take all documents, including proof of your appropriate length of stay to the Civil Registrar in the area you plan to marry.
UK citizens will now post their Notice to Marry for 21 days. Pending objections, a Certificate of No Impediment will be issued.
Once all documents are approved, the wedding must proceed within the next 3 months.
Civil Marriages are preformed and registered at Civil Registry Office (Conservatórias do Registo Civil). Schedule a wedding ceremony with the Conservatórias do Registo Civil that services the area in which you spent your required 21 or 30 day stay. This must be booked one month in advance.
Prenuptials are possible, but are not mandatory. The Marriage Regime (property contract) is mandatory to sign. The are 4 choices:
- Community of property (Comunhão geral) : Property bought during or prior to marriage becomes dually owned by both parties.This is the default, but will be ruled out as a choice if either party brings children from another partner into the marriage.
- “Acquired” community of property (Comunhão de adquiridos): Property owned prior to the marriage remains that party’s property. Any property bought during the marriage is dually owned by both parties.
- Out of community of property (Separação geral de bens): Property bought during or prior to marriage is the property of the party that bought it and stays that party’s property. If either of party is 60 years of age or older, this marital regime is mandatory.
- Other: Couples can choose aspects of the options above or create a unique marital regime.
- The couple will receive their Marriage Certificate, immediately preceding a civil wedding ceremony.
- Have your Marriage Certificate certified at the . Marriage certificates need this certification to be accepted as a legally binding marriage.
*A Certificate of No Impediment, is also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or a Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form).
Note: This information can change at any given moment. For up-to-date information, contact your embassy in the country in which you plan to marry.
We invite you to contact us with any new information. Be sure to note, “Update Marriage Requirements in Portugal” in the subject line.