I got married abroad do I need to register this somewhere in the UK?
You cannot register a marriage conducted overseas in the UK. Marriage ceremonies conducted abroad are carried out under the laws of that country, but in spite of this it is possible for a marriage conducted abroad to be recognised by the UK authorities.
It is also possible to have the official documentation from your marriage abroad sent from that country to the UK to be deposited with the General Register Office. This will allow you to obtain copies of your documentation more easily in future.
Having original documents sent to the General Register Office is not a legal requirement and is not an automatic process. You will need to contact the authorities in the country in which you married to ask them to produce original certification.
This can be organised by your solicitor via the UK Embassy or Consulate, either in the country you were married in or in a neighbouring country with jurisdiction. As an example, for couples married in the Maldives the UK Consulate in Sri Lanka is the nearest administrative centre.
To create a record with the UK General Register Office at least one of the parties to the marriage must be a UK citizen. This process applies only for marriages in non-Commonwealth countries, or civil partnerships from any country, including Commonwealth countries.
If you have married abroad, take legal advice from your solicitor to ensure that your wedding is recognised by UK authorities as some marriages are not. If you are now back in the UK, you will need to ask your solicitor to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to ensure that the correct information is obtained from the country in which you were married.
In addition, the FCO is able to provide information in advance of marriage relevant to the country in which you are planning your marriage.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on marriage registration, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 29/11/2012
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