Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Sri Lanka
Allow least 18 days from arrival in Sri Lanka to wedding date for processing paperwork (4 days of stay are required and then 14 days to process the marriage registration). We recommend giving yourself more time due to weekends, holidays or unexpected delays.
Necessary legal documents:
- Original or certified copy of birth certificates
- Valid Passports
- Unmarried Certificate/Certificate of No Impediment*/Affidavit declaring both partied free to marry
- Divorce decree or death certificates, if applicable
- Deed Poll (Any change of name requires stamped and dated legal proof by a solicitor), if applicable.
Legal requirements to get married:
- Ceremony (Civil/Religious)
All legally recognized weddings preformed in Sri Lanka are civil ceremonies. Traditional, religious, non-denominational or secular ceremonies are not legally recognized, but can proceed a civil ceremony to fulfill the desires of the bride and groom-to-be.
- Age and Relation
The bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age. They cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption.
Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present for the ceremony and provide their passports.
Take all paperwork to the Marriage Registrar’s Office. Note that you will need to have spent 4 days in Sri Lanka prior to visiting the Marriage Registrar.
The Civil Status Officer or Divisional Secretariat in the area the couple plans to marry, will require all documents, details of the bride and groom’s professions as well as full name and address information of the couple’s parents or guardians. There is a 14 day waiting period between the notifying the Marriage Registrar of the couple’s Intent to Marry and the actual Marriage Registration.
It may be possible to apply for a Same Day Marriage Registration and forgo the 14 day waiting period. This is only granted in special circumstances.
Wedding organizers may ask you to send photocopies of documents weeks in advance of your arrival in Sri Lanka to help expedite the process. Remember to bring all the original documents when you come.
- The Marriage Certificate must be authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
*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 Sri Lanka” in the subject line.