Whether your decision to propose brings big changes in your life or you simply wanted to cement your de facto relationship with a loved one, when it comes to marriage, there is always legal paperwork to take care of.
The procedure for marriage depends on a country, so your the first step would be to either choose to get married in a country you live in or in your homeland.
Then, there is a choice of whether you want it to be a civil marriage (ślub cywilny) or religious marriage (małżeństwo wyznaniowe).
Here is what you need to know, should you decide to get married in Poland as a foreigner in a standard civil marriage.
What are the requirements to get married in Poland?
In order to get married in Poland, both you and your future spouse:
- must be of legal age (18 years of old; with an exception that an underaged woman over 16 can get married provided she obtains a family court consent);
- cannot be formally married;
- cannot be related to your fiancée (not be siblings, not directly related or in in direct affinity and not in an adoptive relationship);
- cannot suffering from a mental illness or mental retardation (although this requirement is treated as partially obsolete and as was confirmed by Polish courts, can be used for annulment of marriage if an affliction poses a threat to this marriage or health of couple’s children).
Where should you go?
All formalities – both submission of required documents and the ceremony itself is being done at Urząd Stanu Cywilnego (Registry Office). While it is possible to get married outside of the office itself, you would need the chief of Urząd Stanu Cywilnego to give you a consent to do so.
What documents are needed to get married in Poland?
- your identity document – ID card (dowód osobisty) or passport;
- a birth certificate or a foreign equivalent of it;
- if you have been married before, you need to provide a foreign equivalent of a marriage certificate together with a document that will confirm the termination or annulment of marriage or a document that will confirm the non-existence of a marriage;
- foreigners need to present a document that proves that they can get married according to the law of the country of origin (document that confirms you are legally able to get married) – such document should be issued by their countries authorities.
Usually the last of these documents proves to be the most difficult to get. The reason is that many countries don’t issue such a document at all, or even if they do, there are oftentimes obstacles that may prevent a foreigner from acquiring it (e.g. epidemic lockdowns, wars, persecutions, high costs of travel, etc.).
In case you can’t acquire a document proving your ability to get married, the only way to do so, is to apply to a Polish court for an exemption from the obligation to submit such a document. If the court will find the circumstances justified, you will be allowed to get married without a need of getting this document.
As with any court proceeding in Poland, you can present your case personally or be represented by an attorney.
Which countries don’t issue documents proving ability to get married?
Based on our research, we found out that citizens of the following countries usually need to apply to a court, to be able to get married in Poland:
Ukraine – authorities don’t issue documents that confirm ability to get married at all;
USA – authorities don’t issue documents that confirm ability to get married at all;
China – authorities do issue documents that confirm ability to get married, but in order to apply for them, a Chinese citizen needs to visit China personally and submit an application at a local office;
Russian Federation – authorities do issue documents that confirm ability to get married, but in order to apply for them, a Russian citizen needs to visit Russia personally and submit an application at a local office or use an online postal Gosluslugi, that is available if he/she has a registered residence in Russia;
Egypt – authorities don’t issue documents that confirm ability to get married at all;
Argentina – authorities do issue documents that confirm ability to get married, but they are usually not recognized by Polish Registry Office;
Mexico – authorities don’t issue documents that confirm ability to get married at all;
Kanada – authorities don’t issue documents that confirm ability to get married at all.
Do you need legal assistance? Feel free to contact us and take advantage of our services.