If you live in Norway but are getting married abroad, the marriage can be entered into in accordance with either foreign law or Norwegian law.
Before you can get married, in accordance with either Norwegian or foreign law, the Tax Administration must check whether you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage. You do this by completing and sending the following forms to the tax office:
- Separate personal declarations
- Statement by the sponsor - must be completed by one sponsor on each side
- Declaration concerning division - if either of you have been married before
- If one of you are living abroad, you must include this person’s full name, date of birth, place of birth and citizenship. The information can be submitted in this form.
The process normally takes about two to three weeks. If you fulfill the conditions for entering into marriage, you will receive what is known as a "certificate of no impediment to enter into marriage" in the post. If you intend to enter into marriage in accordance with foreign law, you can obtain the certificate in the following languages: Norwegian, English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. Please state the language you would like the certificate to be issued in.
According to Norwegian law
Marriages entered into at a Norwegian foreign service mission are carried out in accordance with Norwegian law. The same largely applies to weddings at churches of the Norwegian Mission to Seamen.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drawn up a list of the Norwegian foreign service missions which can marry Norwegian citizens. Get in touch well before you travel in order to clarify the necessary formalities. More information on getting married abroad can be found on the websites of the various offices.
Remember to take your passport and the certificate which shows that you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage. The foreign service mission will normally receive the certificate in advance.
According to foreign law
If you intend to marry according to foreign law, you must check with the authorities in the country concerned what documentation they will require. You should for example check which language they will require the marriage certificate in and whether it must be endorsed with an apostille from the county governor.
How do I get my marriage recognised in Norway?
To have your marriage recognised in Norway, you must present your original marriage certificate to the tax office. However, there are wide variations in what is deemed to be valid documentation when getting married abroad:
Marriage entered into in the Nordic countries:
You must submit the original marriage certificate. In the case of Sweden, a stamped extract from the Swedish Tax Agency will also be accepted.
Marriage entered into in:
- Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Sauthern-Sudan, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
- Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Vietnam and Yemen.
- Europe: Kosovo
Certificates from these countries have little or no credibility because they are often forged. Exceptions may be made if the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) accepts that the marriage has been entered into in connection with a family reunion. The same will apply if a Norwegian foreign service mission is able to verify the marriage.
Marriage entered into in other countries:
The certificates must be the original examples and endorsed with an apostille or legalised by the country's foreign ministry. Certificates that have been approved by a Norwegian foreign service mission will also be accepted.
Translation may be needed if the certificate is not in English, Danish or Swedish. If the certificate is translated, both the original certificate and the translated version of the certificate must be submitted.
If the certificate is translated in another country, except in Nordic countries, the translation must include an apostille stamp (confirming that a public official's signature on a document is genuine and that the signatory has the stated authority), or be authenticated by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.