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Marriage Requirements for Spain

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Residency Requirement: Varies, check with Civil Registry or District Court in the place where the marriage will be celebrated. An average delay of 30 to 45 days should be expected after all documents have been submitted and before the ceremony may be performed.

Necessary Documents: Valid passports; completed application form obtained from the Civil Registry or District Court; "apostillized" birth certificates; Spanish translation of birth certificates made and authenticated by the Spanish Consulate or Embassy nearest your place of residence; "apostillized," certified divorce and/or death certificates accompanied by a Spanish translation if one or both parties has been previously married; certificate of residence; proof both parties are free to marry.

Note: You must be at least 18 years old to marry in Spain. The documents listed above are generally required, but there are local variations so check with the Civil Registry or District Court in the place where the marriage will be celebrated before assembling your documents. Civil Registries have a document couples may sign when presenting the rest of their documents to prove both parties are free to marry. Americans who are temporary residents of Spain may execute an affidavit regarding their place of residence before a consular officer to obtain a certificate of residence, but in some autonomous communities it may be required that one of the parties be a citizen or resident of Spain. Banns are required to marry in Spain, so couples should execute an affidavit at the Consulate to submit to the Civil Registry and once the judge has accepted all documentation, banns are posted for at least fifteen days prior to the marriage ceremony. Americans should also consider having the original marriage certificate certified with the Apostille of The Hague by the Secretario de Gobierno, Audencia Territorial, Palacio de Justicia, Paseo Lluis Companys, s/n, Barcelona.

Religious ceremonies may be performed after or in lieu of civil ceremonies. Couples marrying through Protestant, Islamic or Jewish rites need to obtain authorization from the Civil Registry by presenting all of the above documents. For Catholic marriages, a certified, "apostillized" birth certificate accompanied by a Spanish translation, a baptismal certificate issued no more than six months before your wedding, authenticated by the issuing Bishopric and accompanied by a Spanish translation, and proof both parties are free to marry from the Civil Registry must be presented to the priest performing the ceremony. Arrangements for Catholic marriages generally take one to three weeks and you must present the church-issued certificate to the nearest Civil Registry no more than one week after the ceremony to register the marriage.

For More Info: Civil Registry, (93) 412-0474, or visit http://barcelona.usconsulate.gov/emba/marriage.html.

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