Marriage abroad

If you’re getting married abroad, the marriage can be entered into in accordance with either foreign law or Norwegian law.

Before you can get married, whether in accordance with Norwegian or foreign law, the Tax Administration must check that you/the one of you who is/has been resident in Norway fulfils the conditions for entering into marriage.

In accordance with Norwegian law

Marriages entered into at a Norwegian office abroad are carried out in accordance with Norwegian law. The same largely applies to weddings held in a Norwegian Church Abroad (sjømannskirken).

If you’re getting married at a Norwegian embassy or in a Norwegian Church Abroad (sjømannskirken), the process is the same as when two Norwegian citizens marry or a Norwegian citizen marries a foreign citizen. However, the requirement of residence in Norway will not apply to the person who is not resident in Norway.

If you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage, you’ll receive a certificate of no impediment electronically in Altinn or in the post.

Remember to bring your passport and the certificate of no impediment, which shows that you fulfil the conditions for entering into marriage. Both the Foreign Service Mission and the Norwegian Church Abroad (sjømannskirken) will normally receive the certificate in advance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drawn up a list of the Norwegian foreign service missions that can marry Norwegian citizens (in Norwegian only). The Sjømannskirken – Norwegian Church Abroad has drawn up a list of their churches that can marry Norwegian citizens (in Norwegian only).

Get in touch well before you travel in order to clarify the necessary formalities. Read more about getting married abroad on the websites of the various mission offices/the Norwegian Church Abroad.

In accordance with foreign law

If you intend to marry in accordance with foreign law, you must check with the authorities in the relevant country about what documentation they will require. You should, for example, check which language they will require the certificate in and whether it must be endorsed with an apostille from the County Governor or be legalised (stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

If you’re required to provide a certificate from Norway that allows you to get married abroad, a so-called marriage certificate, you, or the one of you who is/has been a resident i Norway, must proceed in the same way as when two Norwegian citizens get married. Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a marriage certificate electronically.

If one person in the relationship has not been resident in Norway, you must attach information about this person’s full name, date of birth, place of birth and citizenship.  Enter the information in the form, print the form and send it together with the application papers of the person who is/has been resident in Norway:

  • Self-declaration
  • Statement by the sponsor – must be completed by one sponsor (“forlover”/witness)
  • A declaration concerning division – if either of you have been married before. If it has been less than 2 years since divorce was granted, you may apply for a division exemption from the county governor if the last shared address was not in Norway. Download the form at fylkesmannen.no  If it’s more than 2 years since the divorce, you can use part III of the personal declaration.
  • If you’re divorced in accordance with foreign law, the divorce must be recognised by the County Governor. You can download the application form at fylkesmannen.no. The requirement for recognition will not apply if the divorce was carried out in another Nordic country, as long as both spouses were resident and had citizenships in a Nordic country at the time of the divorce.

Send your application papers to:

The Norwegian Tax Administration
P.O.Box 9200 - Grønland
0134 OSLO
Norway

The processing time can take about 5-6 weeks. 

If you meet the requirements for marriage, you’ll first receive a letter in Altinn or by post with a confirmation stating that a marriage certificate has been issued and sent to the County Governor for apostille or the Directorate of Immigration for legalisation. You’ll receive the marriage certificate by post after apostille or legalisation.

The marriage certificate can be issued in the following languages: Norwegian, English, German, Spanish, French or Italian. Please state the language you would like the certificate to be issued in, and the country where you’ll get married.

How to get your marriage recognised in Norway

To have your marriage recognised in Norway, you must present your original marriage certificate to the tax office. However, what is deemed to be valid documentation when getting married abroad varies greatly from country to country:

Getting married in a Nordic country

You must provide the original marriage certificate. 

Getting married in:

Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe

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) has accepted the marriage in connection with a family reunion. The same will apply if a Norwegian foreign service mission has verified the marriage.

Getting married in other countries

The certificates must be original and bear by the country's foreign ministry. Certificates that have been verified by a Norwegian foreign service mission will also be accepted. 

Translation may be necessary unless the certificate is written in English, Danish or Swedish. If the certificates have been translated, you must provide both the original and the translation. If certificates have been translated abroad, with the exception of the Nordic countries, the translation must be endorsed with an apostille stamp or be legalised by the country’s foreign ministry.

Did you change your name?