Marriage abroad

If you intend to get married abroad, you can enter into the marriage under either foreign or Norwegian law.

Before you can get married under either Norwegian or foreign law, the Norwegian Tax Administration must check whether you and/or your spouse meet the conditions for entering into marriage if one or both of you either are or have been resident in Norway.

Under Norwegian law

Marriages that are entered into at Norwegian foreign service missions abroad are conducted in accordance with Norwegian law. The same largely applies to marriages conducted at Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad.

If you intend to get married at a Norwegian embassy or at Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad, you must follow the same procedure as when two Norwegian citizens marry or as if you were marrying a foreign citizen. However, the requirement for residence in Norway doesn't apply to the person who isn't resident in Norway.

If you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage, you'll receive a “certificate of no impediment to enter into marriage" in the post.

Remember to take your passport and the certificate that shows that you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage. Both the foreign service mission and Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad will normally receive the certificate in advance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a list of the Norwegian foreign service missions where Norwegian citizens can get married. Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad has prepared a list of churches that can perform marriage ceremonies for Norwegian citizens.

Get in touch well before you travel in order to clarify the necessary formalities. You can find more information on getting married abroad on the websites of the various offices/Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad.

Under foreign law

If you intend to get married according to foreign law, you must check with the authorities in the country concerned what documentation they will require. Among other things, you must check which language they will require the marriage certificate to be in, and whether it must have an apostille stamp from the County Governor or be legalised (stamped by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

If the country you intend to get married in requires a certificate stating you can enter into marriage abroad (marriage certificate) from Norway, the person or persons who are or have been resident in Norway must follow the same procedure as when two Norwegian citizens marry.

If one of you has not been resident in Norway, you must attach a document stating this person's full name, date of birth, place of birth and citizenship. Fill in the information in the form, print it out and send it with the application documents from the person who is or has been resident in Norway:

  • Personal declarations
  • Statement by the sponsor - must be completed by one sponsor ("forlover")/witness
  • Declaration concerning division (in Norwegian only) - if one of you has been married before. If it's less than two years since the divorce was granted, you can apply to the County Governor for exemption from division if the most recent address you shared wasn't in Norway. You can download the application form from fylkesmannen.no. If it's more than two years since the divorce, you can use the personal declaration in Part III. 

Send the application documents to your tax office. It will normally take two to three weeks to process the application.

If you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage, you'll receive your marriage certificate in the post. We can issue marriage certificates in the following languages: Norwegian, English, German, Spanish, French or Italian. You must state your preferred language and the country where you intend to get married.

How do I get my marriage recognised in Norway?

In order 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 constitutes valid documentation when getting married abroad:

Marriage entered into in the Nordic countries:

You must present the original marriage certificate. 

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 has certified 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, If the certificates are translated, please submit both the original and the translation. If the certificates are translated in another country with the exception of the Nordic countries, the translation must also have an apostille or be legalised by the country’s foreign ministry.

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