Marriage and registered partnership

To register either a marriage or a partnership in Switzerland or abroad, your main point of reference is the registry office in which you have decided to celebrate the marriage or conclude your partnership. It is normally this office that decides what documents are required to mark this civil status event.

List of registry offices in Switzerland (de, fr, it)

You are advised nonetheless to learn in advance about the formalities involved and the civil status documents that may have to be prepared prior to the celebration of a civil status event. These advance steps will facilitate matters when it comes to entering your marriage or registered partnership in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar). To register in the register Infostar, the documents listed on this webpage are to be submitted to the Swiss representation competent for the country where the celebration has taken place.

In case of marriage / civil partnership

Please present the following documents to the Regional Consular Centre:

Marriage in Switzerland between a Swiss and an Irish National

The future bridegroom and bride have to submit an application for preparation of marriage at the Civil Registry Office in their place of residence in Switzerland. If they are not resident in Switzerland but living in Ireland, the application can be made through the Regional Consular Centre.

Besides the application form, the future bridegroom and bride have to sign a special declaration concerning the conditions for the marriage (available at this Regional Consular Centre); they declare that they meet the requirements for the marriage, and that the documents presented are up to date, complete and true. This declaration has to be signed personally either at this Regional Consular Centre or before the Registrar in Switzerland.

The following documents have to be presented with the application for preparation of marriage:

Irish national:

  • An original birth certificate (long version) issued not more than six months before the application for marriage is made (can be obtained from the Civil Registrar).
  • A certificate of civil status (letter of freedom), issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
  • If the foreign national is divorced or widowed an official copy of the divorce decree or a death certificate for the deceased spouse.
  • A certificate of domicile issued by the local Garda station
  • National passport

Swiss national:

  • Certificate of domicile; if the person is registered with the Regional Consular Centre, a certificate of registration will be issued for a fee of GBP 27.00
  • Swiss passport

If the application for the marriage is filed at the Regional Consular Centre, all documents will be forwarded by the Regional Consular Centre to the competent authorities in Switzerland. If all requirements for the marriage are met, the Civil Registry Office issues the authorisation for the marriage.

The marriage can take place 10 days at the earliest and 3 months at the latest after the authorisation is issued.

Name after marriage

Please contact this Regional Consular Centre if you would like to know the different possibilities with regard to surnames. If applicable, the necessary declarations are available.

Marriage ceremony

The marriage is performed publicly by the Civil Registrar in the town hall in the presence of two adult witnesses. A religious marriage ceremony is optional and may take place only after the civil marriage.

Fees (payable in cash or by bank transfer in GBP)

The Regional Consular Centre charges a fee of approx. GBP 200.00 for the procedure for marriage. There will be a separate fee for the ceremony in Switzerland payable directly to the Civil Registry Office at the place of marriage.

If, after the marriage, the couple takes up residence in Ireland, the Swiss partner should register with the Regional Consular Centre.

The procedure for marriage can take up to 12 weeks.

Please note that all documents of civil status (birth, marriage, divorce, death, letter of freedom) must be newly issued. Documents older than 6 months will not be accepted.

Marriage in Switzerland between two Foreign (Irish) Nationals

The authorities of the canton in which a foreign bride and bridegroom intend to get married have discretion as to whether to authorise a marriage between two foreigners without domicile in Switzerland. The authorities might require a document providing proof of the capacity to marry and/or proof of the recognition of the marriage by the parties' home country.

The following general information may be helpful regarding the procedure for marriage in Switzerland.

Capacity to marry:

  • the couple must be over 18
  • neither must be already married 
  • persons subject to guardianship orders must obtain the consent of their legal representative
  • the law prohibits marriage between (half-)brothers or (half-)sisters, between a person and his or her parent (natural or adoptive) or grandparents 

Procedure

The future bridegroom and bride have to submit an application for preparation of marriage at the Civil Registry Office in the place where it is intended that the marriage shall take place.

An engaged couple living in Ireland can file the application with the Regional Consular Centre in London. Besides the application form, the future bridegroom and bride have to sign a special declaration concerning the conditions for the marriage (available at this Regional Consular Centre); they declare that they meet the requirements for the marriage, and that the documents presented are up to date, complete and true. This declaration has to be signed personally either at this Regional Consular Centre or before the Registrar in Switzerland.

Further documents

The following documents have to be presented with the application for preparation of marriage:

  • An original birth certificate (long version) of each party issued not more than six months before the application for marriage is made.
  • A certificate of civil status (letter of freedom), issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
  • A certified copy of the divorce decree or a death certificate for the deceased spouse if one or both of the parties is divorced or widowed.
  • A certificate of domicile issued by the local Garda station.
  • National passports

Additional documents may be required. Please contact the Civil Registry Office concerned.

Marriage ceremony

The marriage is performed publicly by the Civil Registrar in the town hall in the presence of two adult witnesses. A religious marriage ceremony is optional and may take place only after the civil marriage.

Fees (payable in cash or by bank transfer GBP)

The Regional Consular Centre charges a fee of approx. GBP 200.00 for the procedure for marriage. There will be a separate fee for the ceremony in Switzerland payable directly to the Civil Registry Office at the place of marriage.

Foreign nationals are advised to contact their Embassy or Consulate in Switzerland after the ceremony if they wish the marriage be registered in their home country.

The procedure for marriage can take up to 12 weeks.

Please note that all documents of civil status (birth, marriage, divorce, death, letter of freedom) must be newly issued. Documents older than 6 months will not be accepted.

If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland after marrying or registering a partnership, bear in mind that your foreign spouse or partner will need a residence permit and may require an entry visa. Please consult the Visa – Entry to and Residence in Switzerland section regarding an application to enter Switzerland for the purpose of family reunification.

If you are registered with a Swiss representation and have married or entered into a registered partnership in Switzerland you will need to report your change in civil status to the representation concerned so that the register of the Swiss Abroad can be updated. This will require submission of the following documents (as hard copy or in electronic form):

  • photocopy of the Swiss marriage certificate, Swiss family record or Swiss registered partnership document;
  • photocopy of the identity document of the foreign spouse or partner.

There is no fee for the registration in question.

If prior to the marriage or registered partnership your Swiss spouse or partner was not resident in the consular district of the Swiss representation, and plans to take up residence with you following the said civil status event, he or she will have to register in accordance with the application procedure described under the heading “Registration and change of address”.