Marriages/Civil Partnerships Abroad
Some countries may require non-nationals, before they can get married or enter into a civil partnership/civil union in their jurisdiction, to produce a certificate from their country of origin that they are free to marry. These are usually known as Certificats de Coutume or in the case of Italy ‘Nulla Osta’ and may be issued to Irish citizens who apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Applications for these certificates are now dealt with online.
Who can apply for a Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta
If you are an Irish citizen seeking a Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta you must complete an online questionnaire along with a Statutory Declaration. If your spouse/intended civil partner is Irish he/she must also complete a separate questionnaire (MP1) and the relevant statutory declaration forms.
If either you or your intended spouse are under 18 years of age and either of you is ordinarily resident in Ireland you must make an application to the Circuit Family Court or the High Court for an order granting you permission to marry. You should seek legal advice prior to completing the Statutory Declaration.You must be over 18 years of age in order to enter into a civil partnership.
If your intended spouse or civil partner is not an Irish citizen, due to differing requirements by authorities in certain countries, it may be necessary for him or her to complete an appropriate Statutory Declaration form, in the event that they have previously been party to either a marriage that was the subject of a divorce or an annulment, or a civil partnership that was the subject of a dissolution or an annulment.
Please note that this requirement only applies to those getting married to an Irish citizen in one of the following countries: Germany, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland or entering into a civil partnership in Germany, Italy and Sweden.
Under section 5 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, the Minister for Justice and Law Reform may, by order, declare that certain classes of legal relationships entered into by two parties of the same sex in certain jurisdictions are entitled to be recognized in Ireland as a civil partnership. Such orders made by the Minster entitle the parties to the relationship to be treated as civil partners under Irish law.
There are currently thirty five jurisdictions from where certain classes of such legal relationships will be recognized in Ireland as a civil partnership. They are:
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Isle of Man , Mexico City, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, California (USA), Connecticut (USA), Delaware (USA), Hawaii (USA), Illinois (USA), Iowa (USA), Massachusetts (USA), New Hampshire (USA), New Jersey (USA), New York (USA), Oregon (USA), Rhode Island (USA), Vermont (USA), Washington D.C. (USA), Washington (USA).
Any enquiries in relation to such orders should be directed to the Department of Justice and Law Reform - LoCall 1890 221-227.
Getting married in Thailand
Please note that if you are getting married in Thailand, you should make direct contact with the Honorary Consulate in either Phuket or Bangkok.
The Irish Consulate in Phuket covers the province of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga.
If you are getting married elsewhere in Thailand, please contact the Irish Consulate in Bangkok.
Contact details for the Irish Consulates in Thailand can be found here
How do I apply for my Nulla Osta/Certificat de Coutume?
You will first be asked to complete an online questionnaire in relation to your personal information and details of your forthcoming marriage or civil partnership. Once you have completed your online application, you will then be presented with a Statutory Declaration form which you must print off. This form must be completed in the presence of and witnessed by one of the following:
2) Commissioner for Oaths
This form cannot be submitted electronically and must be forwarded in hard copy to the office where you are making your application (the contact details for this office will be printed on the top of your MP1 questionnaire).
Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to complete more than one Statutory Declaration form. Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be presented with a list of all Statutory Declarations which you will need to complete. Please ensure that you either print off each form or save each form at this point as you will not be able to retrieve these forms at a later date.
Please ensure that you include details of all previous marriages and/or civil partnerships as requested.
It is a criminal offence punishable by fine and or imprisonment to make a Statutory Declaration which is to your knowledge false or misleading in any material respect.
Please note that you will receive an application number once you have completed the online questionnaire and received the relevant Statutory Declaration forms. A checklist will also be presented to you, which will outline what supporting documentation should accompany your application.
It is important to note that an application for a Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta is not deemed to be received until such time as: i) the hard copy of the questionnaire (signed by the applicant), (ii) the Statutory Declaration form(s), (iii) the relevant supporting documentation and (iv) the correct fee is received. The required supporting documentation must be furnished to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Details of the documentation required will be provided once you complete the online questionnaire.
When should I apply for my Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta?
Applications should be made a minimum of 4 months before the date of your marriage or civil partnership. The Statutory Declaration must be dated within six months from the time at which the application is received. In other words, the date on which the Statutory Declaration was completed in the presence of a Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths or Solicitor, cannot be more than six months from when the application is received.
Fees for making an application for Certificat de Coutume/Nulla Osta
Please ensure that the appropriate fee is included. If applying to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the fee is €60 per Irish applicant.
Applications submitted 28 days or less before the date of the intended marriage or civil partnership will incur an additional fee of €60 per Irish applicant.
Payment can be made by cash, credit/debit card, postal order or bank draft and should be made payable to the Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Personal cheques are not accepted. Please note that should you wish to make payment by credit/debit card, you may provide your card details at the space provided on the checklist which will print off with your application.
If applying to the nearest Irish Diplomatic Mission details of payment can be obtained from the relevant Mission.
Can I submit photocopies of the supporting documentation?
When completing your online questionnaire, you will be advised as to what documentation will need to accompany your application.
When returning the supporting documentation, please ensure that all certificates/divorce/dissolution/ annulment papers are original documents. For further information on obtaining original birth/death/marriage/civil partnership certificates, please visit www.groireland.ie.
A photocopy of the details page of a current passport is acceptable.These will be returned after inspection.
Do I need to have my documentation translated?
All documentation submitted must be in either English or Irish. If not, the original documentation must be provided and be accompanied by a certified translation.
If you have any queries which have not been answered in this note please contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
If you are living in Ireland you can contact:
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
80 St. Stephen’s Green
Telephone: (10.00-13.00)Certificat de Coutume: (01) 408 2682
Nulla Osta (for Italy): (01) 408 2568
For the Munster area::
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
1A South Mall,
Telephone: (10.00-13.00) 021 4944763
If you are living outside Ireland, please contact the nearest Irish Embassy or Mission.
You must read the Terms and Conditions before you click proceed to make an application for a Certificat de Coutume.
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