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Civil Marriages in Gibraltar for Non-Residents

Getting Married in Gibraltar
THE LAW

In Gibraltar, the civil marriage between a man and a woman is provided for under the Gibraltar Marriage Act. Under its provisions it is possible, by means of a Special Licence granted under Section 13 of the Act, for non-residents to marry in Gibraltar without needing to comply with any statutory residential requirements. It also enables ceremonies to be conducted at approved locations outside the Registry.

GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR MARRIAGE AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

In order to get married in Gibraltar, you must be able to satisfy the Registrar that you are free to marry.

(A) SINGLE PERSONS

In the case of single persons, other than United Kingdom nationals. This may be done by obtaining a single status certificate or a certificate of no impediment from the authorities of your country of origin or normal residence. Where this cannot be obtained, formal confirmation from the relevant authorities to the effect that such certificates are not issued is required.

(B) WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS

If you are a widow or widower, you must furnish: -

(1) your birth certificate;
(2) the death certificate of your spouse;
(3) If the death certificate does not name you as the widow or widower of the deceased, it is also essential that you produce your marriage certificate.

(C) PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARRIED

If you have been previously married, you must submit:

(1) Your birth certificate
(2) Your previous marriage certificate/s
(3) Your final and absolute divorce decree or certificate of annulment of your previous marriage

(D) CHANGE OF NAME

If you have changed your name by deed poll or in some other way, you should produce your change of name deed.

(E) OTHER DOCUMENTATION

IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR STATUS YOU MUST, IN ADDITION, PRODUCE YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PASSPORT (NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD IN THE CASE OF E.U. NATIONALS). THE REGISTRAR, IN HIS DISCRETION, MAY ASK YOU TO PRODUCE OTHER DOCUMENTS, WHICH HE MAY CONSIDER NECESSARY. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ARE A NON-EEA NATIONAL RESIDING IN THE EEA, HE MAY ASK YOU TO PRODUCE YOUR RESIDENCE DOCUMENT.

(F) MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES

If you are a member of the armed forces you will also need to produce your Commanding Officer’s consent in writing.

3. BOOKING YOUR MARRIAGE

To initiate the process you will, in the first instance, need to check availability of your chosen date by emailing weddings@mygibraltar.co.uk or telephoning 0044+ 208 518 4181. We will check availability of your preferred venue and coordinate availability of both the date and venue on your behalf.

A booking may be made for ceremonies to be held within a maximum period of two years from the date of the booking. You will need to indicate whether you wish to be married at the Registry or at one of the approved locations outside.

Marriages held at outside locations may take place on any day of the week including Saturdays. Marriages held in the registry office may only take place on weekdays between 10.00 and 12.00 excluding public holidays. However, some flexibility may be exercised, where possible, to accommodate weddings at 9.30 and 12.30, particularly during the summer months. No marriages will be held during the period between 21 December and 5January inclusive. Marriage ceremonies held outside the Registry must comply with any conditions imposed by the Registrar. For example, if the reception is to be held at the same venue, it should not be in the same area where the ceremony is to take place.

4. SUBSEQUENT FORMALITIES

Once your wedding date has been booked, you will need to submit the required documentation and pay the prescribed fees. The time within which you will need to finalise these arrangements is: - (a) Within three months from the date of the provisional booking, if the marriage ceremony is to take place later than 6 months from the date of the booking; or (b) Within 1 month from the date of the provisional booking, if the ceremony is to take place within 6 months from the date of the booking. You will be asked to pay the fees once the documentation has been examined and accepted. The fees are non-refundable. The deposit payable for booking your wedding date & securing your venue is £500 which is non-refundable. At this stage documents may be emailed, faxed or posted to us. Certified translations must accompany documents which are in a language other than English. However, before the marriage licence can issue and before the wedding can take place, the original documents need to be submitted to the Registrar and accepted by him.

5. ATTENDANCE IN PERSON

Where the booking is confirmed and you have finalised your wedding package with us, the next stage will be for you to attend the registrar’s offices in person no later than 10.30 on any working day prior to the date of the ceremony to complete the paperwork and apply for a Special Licence. This may be done as early as a maximum of three months in advance, or as late as the day before the date of the ceremony. At this stage you will need to produce the ORIGINAL of all the documents previously submitted to us. In the case of a copy of a certificate, it must bear an original seal of the court or registry that issues the certificate, or be certified as a true copy of the original by a notary public, British Consul or other person entitled in law to certify the authenticity of the document. You will be required to complete affidavits and sign them before a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public in Gibraltar. We shall organise this for you.

It is also possible to legalise (apostille) marriage certificates, under the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 on legalisation of documents. If you wish to apostille your marriage certificate, you should make arrangements for this at the time you order your marriage certificate. The fee for this service is £15.00 per certificate.

6. THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY

Before the ceremony commences, you will be asked for identification (i.e. your passport or national identity card). You will also need to provide two witnesses for the marriage. In the event you are arriving without guests, we can arrange witnesses for you. Your witnesses may be related to either of you and/or to each other. They may be friends or colleagues but they must be able to speak and understand English and be over the age of 18. The ceremony is conducted in English. If you do not speak English, you must arrange for and provide your own interpreter. The Registry can help you with this. You should advise the Registry before the marriage booking is confirmed that you need the services of an interpreter.

7. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS

If you are not an EEA national you may require a visa to enter Gibraltar. We can advise you on whether or not a visa is required. If you do require a visa, you will need to apply for one at the British Embassy in your country of normal residence. If you are in the UK, you will be able to obtain a visa from the visa section, Identity & Passport Service, Globe House, Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PN. You must bear in mind that unless you have guaranteed returnability to either your country of normal residence or your country of origin, the issue of a Gibraltar visa cannot be authorised. You should also be aware that, like the United Kingdom, Gibraltar is not part of the Schengen State. Therefore if you intend to travel to Gibraltar through Spain and return the same way, you should ensure that if you require a Schengen visa, this is valid for more than one entry. Non EEA nationals who are to marry British Citizens and intend to settle in the United Kingdom with their spouses will need to obtain settlement visas in order to do so irrespective of whether they are visa requiring nationals. Non-EEA nationals in the same situation may also obtain such a visa. You should apply for the visa at the British Embassy in your country of normal residence. If you are already in the UK, you should contact the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office at www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk for information on your immigration status.