Information about getting married in Gibraltar
If you plan on getting married in Gibraltar and you are a non-resident, we’ve put together some important information below that provides information about civil marriages in Gibraltar. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can always reach out to us and we will do our best to answer your questions.
CIVIL MARRIAGES IN GIBRALTAR FOR NON-RESIDENTS
1. THE LAW
When getting married in Gibraltar, the civil marriage between a man and a woman is provided for under the Gibraltar Marriage Act. Under its provisions it is possible, by means of a Special Licence granted under Section 13 of the Act, for non-residents to marry in Gibraltar without needing to comply with any statutory residential requirements. It also enables ceremonies to be conducted at approved locations outside the Registry.
2. GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR MARRIAGE AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
In order to get married in Gibraltar, you must be able to satisfy the Registrar that you are free to marry.
(A) GETTING MARRIED IN GIBRALTAR – SINGLE PERSONS
In the case of single persons, other than United Kingdom nationals. This may be done by obtaining a single status certificate or a certificate of no impediment from the authorities of your country of origin or normal residence. Where this cannot be obtained, formal confirmation from the relevant authorities to the effect that such certificates are not issued is required
(B) WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS
If you are a widow or widower, you must furnish: –
(1) your birth certificate;
(2) the death certificate of your spouse;
(3) if the death certificate does not name you as the widow or widower of the deceased, it is also essential that you produce your marriage certificate.
(C) PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARRIED
If you have been previously married, you must submit:
(1) Your birth certificate
(2) Your previous marriage certificate
(3) Your final and absolute divorce decree or certificate of annulment of your previous marriage
(D) CHANGE OF NAME
If you have changed your name by deed poll or in some other way, you should produce your change of name deed.
(E) GETTING MARRIED IN GIBRALTAR – OTHER DOCUMENTATION NEEDED
IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR STATUS YOU MUST, IN ADDITION, PRODUCE YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PASSPORT (NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD IN THE CASE OF E.U. NATIONALS). THE REGISTRAR, IN HIS DISCRETION, MAY ASK YOU TO PRODUCE OTHER DOCUMENTS, WHICH HE MAY CONSIDER NECESSARY. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ARE A NON-EEA NATIONAL RESIDING IN THE EEA, HE MAY ASK YOU TO PRODUCE YOUR RESIDENCE DOCUMENT.
(F) MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES
If you are a member of the armed forces you will also need to produce your Commanding Officer’s consent in writing.
(If you were born / or married in the United Kingdom or your spouse passed away in the United Kingdom and you do not have copies of the relevant birth, marriage or death certificates you should contact the General Register Office (GRO) at www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
3. GETTING MARRIED IN GIBRALTAR SUBSEQUENT FORMALITIES
Once your provisional booking has been taken you will need to submit the required documentation and pay the prescribed fees. The time within which you will need to finalise these arrangements is: –
(a) within 3 months from the date of the provisional booking, if the marriage ceremony is to take place later than 6 months from the date of the booking; or
(b) within 1 month from the date of the provisional booking, if the ceremony is to take place within 6 months from the date of the booking.
You will be asked to pay the fees once the documentation has been examined and accepted. The fees are non-refundable.
At this stage documents may be faxed or emailed. Certified translations must accompany documents which are in a language other than English. However, before the marriage licence can issue and before the wedding can take place, the original documents need to be submitted to the Registrar and accepted by him.
4. ATTENDANCE IN PERSON
Where the booking is confirmed, the next stage will be for you to attend our offices not later than 10.30 on any working day prior to the date of the ceremony to complete the paperwork and apply for a Special Licence. This may be done as early as a maximum of 3 months in advance, or as l4ate as the day before the date of the ceremony. The office is open to the public between the hours of 9.00 and 12.45 (mid September to mid June) and between the hours of 9.00 and 13.00 (mid June to mid September).
At this stage you will need to produce the ORIGINAL of all the documents previously submitted. In the case of a copy of a certificate, it must bear an original seal of the court or registry that issues the certificate, or be certified as a true copy of the original by a notary public, British Consul or other person entitled in law to certify the authenticity of the document.
You will be required to complete affidavits and sign them before a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public of your choice in Gibraltar. You should remember that the Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public will charge you for his services.
5. THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Couples will need to make arrangements for themselves and their guests to be at the marriage venue before the ceremony is to take place. If the marriage is to take place at an outside location, they will also need to arrange for transport to convey the Registrar to and from the marriage venue.
Before the ceremony commences, you will be asked for identification (i.e. your passport or national identity card). You will also need to provide two witnesses for the marriage. Your witnesses may be related to either of you and/or to each other. They may be friends or colleagues but they must be able to speak and understand English and be over the age of 18.
The ceremony is conducted in English. If you do not speak English, you must arrange for and provide your own interpreter. The Registry can help you with this. You should advise the Registry before the marriage booking is confirmed that you need the services of an interpreter.
6. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS
If you are not an EEA national you may require a visa to enter Gibraltar. The Registry will be able to advise you on whether or not a visa is required. If you do require a visa, you will need to apply for one at the British Embassy in your country of normal residence. If you are in the UK, you will be able to obtain a visa from the visa section, Identity & Passport Service, Globe House, Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PN. You must bear in mind that unless you have guaranteed returnability to either your country of normal residence or your country of origin, the issue of a Gibraltar visa cannot be authorised.
You should also be aware that, like the United Kingdom, Gibraltar is not part of Schengen. Therefore if you intend to travel to Gibraltar through Spain and return the same way, you should ensure that if you require a Schengen visa, this is valid for more than one entry.
Non EEA nationals who are to marry British Citizens and intend to settle in the United Kingdom with their spouses will need to obtain settlement visas in order to do so irrespective of whether they are visa requiring nationals. Non-EEA nationals in the same situation may also obtain such a visa. You should apply for the visa at the British Embassy in your country of normal residence. If you are already in the UK, you should contact the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office at www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk for information on your immigration status.