Please refer to the French page for country-specific information.
Marriage/Partnership to be performed abroad
If your marriage/partnership is to be performed abroad, it will be subject to the law of the country in question.
The Swiss representation is not in charge of civil status procedures with foreign authorities. For information on the conditions, documents required and formalities to be respected, please directly contact the civil status authorities of the place where you are planning to get married or partnered. Only these authorities can give you authoritative information.
In particular, please enquire as to whether a Swiss certificate of capacity to marry is required or whether an individual Swiss civil status certificate is sufficient, whether other Swiss civil status documents are required and whether the documents need to be legalised.
Since 1 January 2000, there is no longer a compulsory procedure for the publication of marriage announcements in Switzerland before the marriage can be celebrated by the competent civil status authority.
The individual civil status certificate for Swiss nationals is issued by the civil status authority competent for the persons’ place of origin. This document certifies the personal data of this person as recorded in the Swiss civil status register, such as surname, first name or civil status (single, married, divorced, widowed, etc.).
To order a Swiss individual civil status certificate, click here:
If you are not a Swiss citizen and are single or unmarried, you must obtain and retain an original copy of the certificate attesting to your status as single or unmarried before your union is performed. This document will in principle no longer be issued by the foreign authority after the union is performed and you will need it to have your union entered into the Swiss civil status register.
If you are domiciled abroad, your surname is subject to the law of the country in which you are domiciled. The civil status authorities of the place where you get married or otherwise formalise your union abroad can provide information about the rules governing the use of your surname(s) after your union is performed. Please contact them directly.
If you are only a Swiss citizen and not a citizen of your country of residence as well, you may have the use of your surname(s) after the union is performed governed by Swiss law by filing a declaration before your union is performed. Please contact your Swiss representation.
The cantonal civil status authority of your place of origin in Switzerland will decide whether your union performed abroad is to be recognised and whether the surname(s) you would like to bear after it is performed is admissible. If you would like, you may contact these authorities before getting married/partnered to clarify whether the surname(s) you wish to bear are admissible.