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Marriage / Divorce
In order to keep the family registers accurate and up-to-date, the Swiss authorities need to be informed about any changes in the civil status (birth, marriage, death and divorce) of Swiss citizens and dual nationals. When such changes occur, the persons concerned, or their nearest relatives, should send the responsible Swiss representation a complete and certified copy of the appropriate document/s (birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates). Please note that certificates must be certified by the issuing authority no longer than 6 months before they are sent for registration.
Important: The documents will not be returned
Failure to provide accurate documentation may impede future administrative procedures with the Swiss authorities and even hinder the issuance of new identity documents, i.e. passports, etc.
Marriages concluded in Canada (Provinces QC, NB, NS, PE, NL) are recognised in Switzerland on condition that there is no impediment to the marriage under Swiss law. In order that your marriage may be registered with the relevant civil authorities in Switzerland, the documents listed below are required following the marriage ceremony (photocopies are not acceptable):
- Marriage certificate long form
- Declaration of marriage (DEC50)
Documents for the foreign spouse (canadien/canadienne) :
- Birth certificate long form
- Photocopy of passeport
- Form "marriage" completed, signed and legalized by a public notary
Processing time: up to 6 weeks
Fee: No fee
If a spouse has another nationality please contact this Consulate General for more information.
The Swiss civil registrar in the town or city where the marriage is to take place may require some additional documents which are not mentioned below. The procedures may also vary from one canton (state) to another.
The civil registry office in Switzerland is solely responsible for specifying and processing the required documents. The arrangements to schedule the wedding date (domestic partnership) must be done directly with that office. Please note that English is not one of the official Swiss languages (German, French and Italian).
Some foreign documents may require prior legalizations from other Swiss representation and this procedure may also involve additional fees, expenses and time.
In general, the following documents are required for a civil ceremony in Switzerland and must be signed by the fiancés at the responsible Swiss representation (Embassy or Consulate) abroad. If one of the fiancé is living in Switzerland, he or she will have to sign these documents at the civil registrar's office there.
- Application for marriage preparation
- Declaration concerning the requirements for entering into marriage
These documents may be obtained at the Swiss representation upon request.
The fiancés must sign these documents in person in front of a civil registrar in Switzerland or at a Swiss diplomatic or consular representation abroad. Be aware that the forms may only be filled out in a Swiss official language (German, French or Italian)
Additional documents (the documents will be translated and legalized by the Swiss representation if necessary):
- Valid passports
For a Swiss bride or Swiss groom:
- Certificate of residence (if you are registered at a Swiss representation, this can be replaced by a Certificate of registration and nationality)
For a foreign bride or foreign groom:
- Birth certificate long form, issued within 6 months, showing exact place of birth (town) and the names of the parents.
- Statutory declaration concerning the current address and marital status. This document replaces the certificate of civil status and the certificate of residence which are not available in the USA.
Divorced and widowed persons must prove their marital status
Divorced persons by presenting a certified copy (by the Clerk of the Court where the divorce has been granted) of the final divorce decree showing the exact date when the judgment entered into effect (filing date). Widowed persons by presenting a complete certified copy of the death certificate of the late spouse.
Name after the marriage (for Swiss citizens and persons residing in Switzerland)
If the bride decides not to take the last name of the husband when the couple gets married, she would have to sign a surname declaration (the form can be obtained from the competent representation) before the marriage, either at a civil registrar or the responsible Swiss representation. If she wants to be subject to the legislation on names of her country of residence, she would have to confirm it in writing at the responsible Swiss representation as well (the form may also be obtained from the competent representation).
Fees and expenses
When an application is submitted, the responsible representation is to be paid in advance, in the local currency for all expected fees and expenses. Expected fee is CAD 500.00. The fees may vary according to the exchange rate and the number of documents to be legalized/translated. That does not include the fees of the Swiss civil registrar.
The processing time after the documents are submitted to the Swiss representation can take up to 8 weeks or more. The local civil registrar will then issue the confirmation and send all the papers to the cantonal authority for approval. The wedding can take place 10 days earliest after the date of confirmation, but not later than 3 months
No visa is required for Canadien citizens who are traveling to Switzerland for up to three months for tourism and visiting purposes.
- Certified copy of Divorce judgment, established by the competent Court, showing the exact date when the judgment was entered into effect (filing date), including, if applicable, the custody order for minor children
- Certified copy of Divorce certificate, established by the competent Court
- "Divorce" form completed and signed
Processing time: up to 6 weeks
Fee: No fee