Portuguese nationals residing abroad who intend to get married, or Portuguese citizens who intend to marry a foreign citizen, can request the consular office of their area of residence to perform or register the marriage.
If the marriage is performed at the local registrar’s office of the country where the citizen resides, or by a minister of the Catholic Church, the marriage certificate will be drawn up by transcription.
If the marriage is performed by a consular officer, the marriage certificate will be drawn up by registration.
Marriage performed by a consular officer
The competent consular office is the one in the area of residence of both intended spouses or of one of the spouses if they reside in different areas.
The intended spouses should present all required documents to the consular office and request a publication of banns.
By law it is required that there are no impediments to marriage between the intended spouses.
The intended spouses should choose the matrimonial regime.
After the publication of banns a final approval will be drawn up by the consular office. That document will be the basis for the issuing of the marriage certificate by the consular authorities, in which it will be certified that the intended spouses are legally eligible for marriage.
The marriage should be performed within six months of the date of the final approval.
Marriage transcribed by the consular officer
Portuguese citizens living abroad who have had their marriage performed by the competent local authorities can request the legalization of their marriage in Portugal.
For that purpose a transcription of the marriage certificate should be requested at the consular office.
The request can be made at any point in time, by any interested party.
Marriages performed abroad by the competent local authorities or by a minister of the Catholic Church, should be preceded by a publication of banns issued by the consular office.
If the marriage was not preceded by a publication of banns the consular office will not be able to arrange for the transcription unless the process is carried out afterwards. This means that the separation of property will be the only possible matrimonial regime, disregarding any antenuptial agreement made by the spouses.
Note: The legislation of some countries may limit or restrain the application of these measures.
Rules to be followed
- The intended spouses should present all required documents to the consular office and request a publication of banns.
- After the publication of banns a final approval will be drawn up and it will be the basis for the issuing of the marriage certificate.
- Birth certificate of both intended spouses issued less than sixth months before the request. Portuguese nationals can request the certificate at the consular office, free of charge;
- ID/Passport of each of the intended spouses;
- A statement of parental consent is needed in case any of the intended spouses is a minor;
- Antenuptial agreement when applicable;
- Portuguese nationals born in a foreign country should present a birth certificate issued by the local authorities;
- Proof of residence in the country;
- Marriage certificate, in case of registration by transcription;
- Intended spouses of foreign nationality should present a birth certificate issued by the registrar’s office of their country of birth and its translation, valid ID or passport and a certificate of legal capacity to marry.
If the intended spouse of foreign nationality is not able to present a certificate of legal capacity to marry, either because his/her country of nationality does not have diplomatic representation in the country or due to reasons of force majeure, the said document can be replaced by an affidavit stating that there are no impediments to the marriage.