Between a foreign national and a Swiss citizen
The partners must submit an application to enter into a civil partnership to the Civil Registry Office in the place of residence in Switzerland (application form available from the Regional Consular Centre). If they are not resident in Switzerland, the application must be filed with the Civil Registry Office where the civil partnership ceremony is to take place. A couple living abroad can file the application with the competent Swiss representation. Please note that foreign nationals may only enter into a civil partnership in Switzerland if one of them is resident in Switzerland.
Besides the application form, the partners must sign a special declaration concerning the conditions for civil partnership (available from the Regional Consular Centre or the Civil Registry Office); they must declare that they meet the requirements for civil partnership, and that the documents presented are up to date, complete and truthful. This declaration has to be signed personally either at the Regional Consular Centre or before the Registrar in Switzerland. By signing the documents the partners confirm that they understand their contents. They also confirm that they are aware of the criminal consequences in the event of false declarations under Articles 75d and 65 of the “Zivilstandsverordnung” or “Ordonnance sur l’état civil” (Civil Status Ordinance). Translations of the documents can be viewed online on the website of the Federal Office of Justice (www.eazw.admin.ch -> Formulare -> Formulare der schweizerischen Vertretungen im Ausland). The documents must be submitted between 9.00 am and 12.00 noon, from Monday to Friday.
The following original documents must be presented with the application for preparation for the civil partnership:
- a full-size birth certificate issued not more than six months before the application for civil partnership is made (can be obtained from the competent register office or from the General Register Office). If the civil partnership ceremony is going to take place in Canton Vaud and/or if the place of origin of the Swiss nationals is in the Canton Vaud, please note that the birth certificate must bear the Apostille of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Legalisation Office (visit: http://www.fco.gov.uk -> Legalisation).
- for British nationals: a certificate of no impediment to marriage issued by the local Superintendent Registrar. The document must bear the Apostille of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Legalisation Office (visit: http://www.fco.gov.uk -> Legalisation). For other nationals: if a certificate of no impediment cannot be provided, please submit a statutory declaration concerning marital status, nationality and residence, signed in the presence of a notary public or a solicitor. This document must also bear the Apostille of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
- an official copy of a decree absolute or decree of dissolution of partnership or a death certificate of a deceased spouse or civil partner if the foreign partner is divorced, was previously in a civil partnership or is widowed. Also in this case, if the civil partnership ceremony is to take place in Canton Vaud and/or the place of origin of the Swiss national is in Canton Vaud, this document must bear an Apostille.
- a Deed Poll of change of name (also with an Apostille from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) if applicable.
- additional documents may be required. Please contact the Civil Registry Office in Switzerland.
- certificate of residence issued by the local authorities; if the person is registered with the Regional Consular Centre, a certificate of registration will be issued by it (a fee of £33.50 is payable);
- in some cases a certificate of civil status issued by the place of origin (can be obtained through the Regional Consular Centre for a fee) may have to be submitted.
Photocopies of the above-mentioned documents cannot be accepted. The original documents will not be returned.
Should the foreign partner’s birth and/or any changes in civil status have taken place outside the United Kingdom, please contact the Regional Consular Centre prior to submitting the documents in order to confirm the correct papers to be provided. Documents of civil status issued in a different country must be legalised by the competent Swiss representation. In some cases, the legalisation will be subject to a fee and can take several weeks.
If the application for civil partnership is filed with the Regional Consular Centre, all documents are forwarded by the Regional Consular Centre to the competent authorities in Switzerland. If all requirements for the civil partnership are met, the Civil Registry Office issues a written authorisation for it to take place. The civil partnership has to take place not more than three months after the authorisation has been issued.
It is strongly recommended that civil partnership applications are submitted to the Regional Consular Centre at least three months before the ceremony is to take place. If some of the documents of civil status have been issued outside the UK, please note that these will first need to be translated/legalised by the competent Swiss representation and that the process can take several weeks.
Name after civil partnership:
Please contact the Regional Consular Centre if you would like to know the different options concerning surnames.
The Regional Consular Centre charges a fee of approximately £200.00 for filing the application for civil partnership and for the translation and legalisation of the documents submitted. Depending on the documents presented, additional costs may arise.
If, after the registration of the civil partnership, the couple take up residence in the United Kingdom, the Swiss partner should register with the Regional Consular Centre in London.
Please note that all documents of civil status (birth, marriage/civil partnership, divorce, death, certificate of no impediment/statutory declaration) must be newly issued. Documents older than 6 months will not be accepted.