Getting married in Portugal
If you're planning a wedding in Portugal, you'll need to arrange the correct documents according to requirements for marriages in Portugal.
If you have just set a date for your wedding in Portugal, this is an exciting time for the two of you. Don't let Portugal's marriage laws put a dent in your wedding plans in Portugal. All you need to know regarding documents and planning for marriages in Portugal.
Legal documents for marriage in Portugal
Note that all expats may only be married in Portugal according to Portuguese law. There are no consular marriages at Embassies or at any of the Consulates in Portugal. Even if you are accustomed to different procedures back home, you will have to conform.
The Portuguese authorities require the following:
- As a temporary resident, you must take your passport with you, and as a permanent residence you have to bring your residence card along.
- Both of you must provide copies of your birth certificates that were issued within the last six months. Unless your wedding takes place in the Azores, then the documents may be issued within the last three months.
- A certificate of no impediment must also be shown. This can be applied for at a consulate in Lisbon, Oporto, Portimão, Funchal or Ponta Delgada. The certificate is valid for three months from the date of issue. If it is obtained in a country outside Portugal, it may be translated into Portuguese at the corresponding consulate.
- For a wedding in a Roman Catholic Church, you have to provide baptismal certificates.
- Once you receive approval, your wedding has to take place within three months.
Common law partnerships
Couples in an unregistered relationship that live together for more than two years are recognized as having a common economy.
Consular fees are payable in euros for all the services described below. Note that the prices below are estimates based on fees at a British consulate.
- Notice of an intended marriage/civil partnership: EUR 72
- Certificate of No Impediment: EUR 72
- Registration of civil partnership: EUR 154
- Making addition/correction to civil partnership registration: EUR 41
If this is not your first marriage, a divorce decree or a death certificate to prove termination of previous marriages, must of course be provided. Again, these documents must have been issued within the last six months or within the last three months if you reside in the Azores.
Every document must be in the Portuguese language so you should find a reliable translator, either in Portugal or your country of origin. The documents must also be authenticated by a notary public.
Civil and Catholic church weddings are both valid in Portugal.
Civil ceremonies in Portugal
Civil Ceremonies are legally recognised in Portugal. The local Registrar performs the ceremony in the Register Office. The ceremony will be conducted in Portuguese. Therefore if neither marrying parties can speak Portuguese you should arrange for an interpreter to be present throughout the ceremony.
Religious ceremonies in Portugal
Portugal is recognised as a Roman Catholic country and so church weddings are legally recognised under Portuguese Law.
The ceremony will be conducted in Portuguese. Consequently if neither marrying parties can speak Portuguese you should arrange for an interpreter to be present throughout the ceremony.
You will need to get in touch will the local priest in the region of Portugal you wish to marry in advance of your wedding to make the necessary arrangements.
Other religious ceremonies
If you wish to have any other type of religious ceremony you will be required to have a Civil Ceremony first, otherwise the marriage will not be legally binding under Portuguese law. The Anglican churches in Lisbon, Estoril, Oporto and the Algarve and the Scottish church in Lisbon are not licensed for marriages.
One of you must be a resident of Portugal for at least 30 days before notice of your marriage can be given.
To be wed without parent consent, both of you must be at least 18 years old. With parental consent, a wedding is legal from the age of 17.
Cousin marriages are allowed in Portugal, but same sex marriages are not.
Nationality after marriage
Foreign nationals become eligible to apply for Portuguese nationality after three years' of marriage. Applications should be made to the Conservatória dos Registos Centrais. A person who becomes a dual national is regarded in Portugal as Portuguese and should travel in and out of the country on a Portuguese passport or national identity card. In addition, they cannot claim assistance while in Portugal from foreign authorities.
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