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.
Marriage and registered partnership
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.
A marriage that has been legally celebrated abroad, and decisions or measures taken abroad with regard to a registered partnership, will normally be recognised in Switzerland (Federal Act on Private International Law (PIL SR 291)).
Information and fact-sheets that are also available on the webpage of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ)
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”.
Marriage in Australia: Registration with Swiss authorities
In order to register your marriage in Australia with the Swiss authorities, please send the following documents after the wedding to the Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney:
- original of the full marriage certificate (with particulars of parents), issued by the Registrar General's Office (not by the marriage celebrant) within the last 6 months
- original of the full birth certificate of your spouse (with particulars of parents), issued within the last 6 months by the Registrar General's Office;
- the questionnaire „Family name after the marriage“, duly filled in and signed (click here to download);
- copy of your spouse passports or drivers licences;
- if the foreign spouse has been married before, the documents concerning the dissolution of the former marriage, i.e. the original of the divorce certificate „Decree Nisi of Dissolution of Marriage" (issued by the Family Court) or the original of the full death certificate (issued by the Registrar General’s Office);
Please note that the original documents sent to the Swiss authorities will not be returned to you.
The Australian Registrar's Office of each State keeps a permanent record so you or your spouse can obtain certificates at any time.
Marriage in Switzerland: Preparation process
If you are planning to get married in a civil ceremony in Switzerland, you must request the following from the Swiss Consulate in Sydney:
- An Application for Marriage Preparation
- A Declaration regarding Prerequisites for Marriage. This form has to be signed in front of a consular officer at the Consulate General in Sydney.
In general the following additional documents are required:
for the Swiss bride or Swiss groom:
- Personenstandsausweis (Extract from the Family Register pertaining to marriage) available from the civil registrar office where the family registers are kept in Switzerland. The relevant Swiss Consulate General can order this document at the same time when the documents for the marriage preparation are forwarded to Switzerland
- Proof of residence (if you are registered at a Swiss representation, this can be replaced by a Certificate of registration and nationality)
for the Foreign Bride or Foreign Groom:
- Birth Certificate, an original of your full birth certificate issued within the last 6 months
- Divorced and widowed persons must prove their marital status (divorced persons by a divorce certificate; widowed persons by a death certificate of the former wife/husband)
- Valid passport
- A Statutory Declaration or Affidavit, legalised by a Justice of the Peace, showing: your place(s) of residence for the last 6 months, your nationality(ies), statement of civil status (never validly married, divorced or widowed)
The original documents handed in will not be returned to you.
Additional documents may be required, e.g. in relation to your name after the marriage. Further information can be obtained from the Swiss representation when lodging your application.
When an application is submitted, an advance in the local currency for all expected fees and expenses has to be paid to the relevant Consulate General of Switzerland.