#LifeInCzechia Many foreigners living in Czechia end up falling in love with Czech citizens. And many of those couples end up getting married. But having an international wedding in Czechia isn’t quite as easy as it may seem. In fact, you might (not) be surprised to learn how much bureaucracy is involved in the process. Here are some of the basics you should know if you’re planning on getting hitched to your Czech sweetheart.
In Czechia, couples get to choose between civil and religious ceremonies.
Marriage vs. civil union
When it comes to marriage, only opposite-sex couples can enter this union in the Czech Republic. You can choose between civil ceremony and religious ceremony.
You get to decide where the wedding will take place and which common surname you’ll use after getting married. If the woman decides to take the man’s surname, she’s allowed to keep it in its basic “masculine” form without adding the gendered “-ová” to it.
You’ll also need two witnesses.
There’s no equal marriage in Czechia yet at the moment. So if you’re a same-sex couple and you’re planning on getting married to your Czech fiancé, you either have to get married in a different country or enter a civil union in Czechia.
Civil union is the only option for same-sex couples in Czechia. It is not offered to opposite-sex couples.
Same-sex couples who enter civil union don’t get many of the privileges of marriage. According to the non-profit organisation We Are Fair – Marriage for All, you can’t e.g. have the ceremony anywhere you want, there are no witnesses, your partner can’t adopt your child (and you can’t adopt any children at all together), you don’t get a 2-day vacation for your ceremony, and you can’t choose which surname you’re going to be using until after the ceremony. You also won’t be entitled to a widow(er)’s financial support in case of your partner’s death.
Planning a wedding in Czechia
Planning a wedding in Czechia can be quite challenging bureaucracy-wise. The fiancé who is a foreign national will need to prepare a number of documents, including:
- Birth certificate with place and date of birth, name and surname + info about the parents
- Proof of citizenship (e.g. passport)
- Proof of being able to enter into a marriage (not older than 6 months)
- Confirmation of marital status and residence
- Proof of identity
All of these documents need to be officially translated into Czech by a court-appointed interpreter. The documents may also need to be legalised or superlegalised – depending on the country of your origin.
Foreign nationals from third countries also need to submit a certificate confirming that your stay in the Czech Republic is legal. This document is issued by the foreign police.
You also need a court-appointed interpreter to be present at the wedding ceremony. You have to cover the interpreter’s costs yourself. You can only get married in Czech if the foreign fiancé has a perfect command of the Czech language.
Recognition of abroad marriage in Czechia
You can also get married abroad (e.g. in “your own” country). In that case, you’ll need to have your marriage recognised in the Czech Republic upon your return.
A good idea, in this case, is to contact the Special Office of Vital Records in Brno and ask about your specific case. Beware though – this type of marriage might actually add to your paperwork rather than reduce it, so make sure you know all the facts before you jump in.
Additionaly, here’s some good news for same-sex couples married outside of the Czech Republic. If you want to use your marriage for immigration purposes here, it will be recognised. As such, you can for example apply for a long-term residence permit for the purposes of reunification.
Registered or married same-sex couples can also apply for a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen and they will be recognised as close family members.
Are you considering getting married in Czechia but don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy on your own? Fear not, because taking care of international weddings is one of our services. Check out the details here.
Article sources: mvcr, brno-stred
Photo source: pexels.com
4 thoughts on “Getting Hitched in Czechia? Here’s the Scoop on International Marriage”
My fiancé and I are hoping to get married in the Czech Republic sometime early next year. She has a dual citizenship from both the United States and the Czech Republic. I am a US citizen. We both live in the United States.
Is there a way that we can do the paperwork using your services remotely and come to the Czech Republic for the wedding? Or, do we have to make two trips? One for paperwork and approval and a second trip for the wedding.
Also, do you just handle weddings paperwork just for Brno or can you also do the paperwork for Prague?
I believe it might be possible to do it remotely with the power of attorney. So yes, you should be able to use our services :).
Just contact us at email@example.com with your enquiry and one of our Immigration consultants will take care of your case.
I am a Canadian marrying a Czech citizen I January 2023. Going through all the documents I need has my head scrambled. Canada does not issue a certificate of Non Impediment to marriage abroad, but we can get Single Status Affidavits and a possible marriage search certificate (although complicated if you have lived in more than one province of Canada) if need be. Do you have any insight into how I can prove my single status?
Due to the huge variety of documents proving single status that are issued all around the world there is not a clear-cut answer to your question. We recommend consulting the requirements with the town hall where your wedding is going to take place. Especially with countries that consist of several states/provinces such as Canada even the town halls are often not sure and they have to check it with a superior office (ministry).
Holler at us if you need a consultation to make sure you have everything you need :). You can find all the contacts at foreigners.cz/contact.