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Marriage to be performed in Switzerland
A preparatory procedure is mandatory for having your marriage performed in Switzerland. This procedure is usually carried out with the Swiss registry office where the ceremony is to be held or, if you live abroad, with your Swiss representation abroad. Please find out well in advance what formalities you will need to comply with.
If one of you is domiciled in Switzerland, the civil status office of their domicile is in charge of conducting this procedure. Please contact this office for information on the conditions, the documents required and the formalities to be respected.
The fiancés may attend to the administrative matters separately at different places. Your presence in person is required in all cases.
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.
Please ask the representation in advance if an interpreter is required. Any additional costs for the interpreter are at your expense.
The following documents must be submitted in person to your Swiss representation:
as well as
The original documents are submitted to the civil status authority concerned in Switzerland and must not be older than six months. They will not be returned. Photocopies are not accepted. Additional documents may be required if necessary.
The costs of a thorough verification, should it be necessary, of the foreign civil status documents by a lawyer approved by the Swiss representation are at your expense.
After a marriage performed in Switzerland, each of the spouses retains their own surname(s) if they do not file a declaration that they have chosen to take a common surname.
Non-Swiss citizens must find out from the authority concerned in their country of origin whether they can choose to bear the surname(s) of their Swiss spouse.
In some cases, entering Switzerland to have a marriage performed requires a visa. Please note the following information:
If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland right after your marriage is performed and your spouse (male or female) is not a Swiss citizen, they may need a visa to enter Switzerland and a residence permit. The application for the visa and residence permit can be submitted as part of the marriage preparation procedure. The cantonal migration authority is in charge of accepting or rejecting this application.