Registration of marriage and civil partnership

To register either a marriage or a partnership in Switzerland or abroad, your main point of reference is the registry office in which you have decided to celebrate the marriage or conclude your partnership. It is normally this office that decides what documents are required to mark this civil status event.

List of registry offices in Switzerland (de, fr, it)

You are advised nonetheless to learn in advance about the formalities involved and the civil status documents that may have to be prepared prior to the celebration of a civil status event. These advance steps will facilitate matters when it comes to entering your marriage or registered partnership in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar).

If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland after marrying or registering a partnership, bear in mind that your foreign spouse or partner will need a residence permit and may require an entry visa. Please consult the Visa – Entry to and Residence in Switzerland section regarding an application to enter Switzerland for the purpose of family reunification.

If you are registered with a Swiss representation and have married or entered into a registered partnership in Switzerland you will need to report your change in civil status to the representation concerned so that its register of the Swiss Abroad can be updated. This will require submission of the following documents:

  • Swiss marriage certificate, Swiss family record or registered partnership document (originals);
  • a photocopy of the identity document of the foreign spouse or partner.

There is no fee for the registration in question.

If prior to the marriage or registered partnership your Swiss spouse or partner was not resident in the consular district of the Swiss representation, and plans to take up residence with you following the said civil status event, he or she will have to register in accordance with the application procedure described under the heading “Registration and change of address”.

Registration of Marriage celebrated in the UK

Marriages concluded in the United Kingdom 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):

  • a marriage certificate (certified copy of an entry of marriage), newly issued (within 6 months)
  • a full birth certificate of the foreign spouse (short birth certificates which do not mention the parents' names are not acceptable), newly issued (within 6 months)
  • if the foreign spouse has been married before, the documents concerning the dissolution of the former marriage, i.e. divorce decree absolute (please indicate a former wife's maiden surname) or death certificate newly issued (within 6 months)
  • passport of the foreign spouse, for inspection only (will be returned immediately)
  • a completed questionnaire which can be obtained from the Regional Consular Centre or downloaded:
    Marriage Questionnaire (PDF, Page 1, 31.5 kB)

Marriage of two non-resident Swiss citizens:

in order to enable the Regional Consular Centre to forward the marriage documents to the relevant Swiss authorities, documents relating to domicile, place of origin and parents" names should be provided (passport, birth certificate or "Personenstandsausweis/certificat d'état civil" etc).

The documents of civil status will be translated, legalised and forwarded to the Swiss authorities which will retain them.

Registration of Civil Partnership celebrated in the UK

Civil partnerships concluded in the United Kingdom are recognised in Switzerland on condition that there is no impediment under Swiss law.

In order that your civil partnership may be registered with the relevant civil authorities in Switzerland, the documents listed below are required following the ceremony (photocopies are not acceptable):

  • a certificate of civil partnership (Certified Copy of an Entry of Civil Partnership) newly issued (within 6 months)
  • a full birth certificate of the foreign spouse (short birth certificates which do not mention the parents' names are not acceptable) newly issued (within 6 months)
  • if the foreign spouse has been married or in a civil partnership before, the documents concerning the dissolution of the former marriage or civil partnership, i.e. divorce decree absolute (please indicate a former wife's maiden surname), decree of dissolution of the civil partnership or death certificate newly issued (within 6 months)
  • passport of the foreign spouse, for inspection only (will be returned immediately)
  • a completed questionnaire which can be obtained from the Regional Consular Centre or downloaded:
    Civil Partnership Questionnaire (PDF, Page 1, 17.1 kB)  

Civil partnership of two non-resident Swiss citizens:

in order to enable the Regional Consular Centre to forward the documents to the relevant Swiss authorities, documents relating to domicile, place of origin and parents" names should be provided (passport, birth certificate or "Personenstandsausweis/certificat d'état civil" etc).

The documents of civil status will be translated, legalised and forwarded to the Swiss authorities which will retain them.

Marriages/civil partnerships in Canton Vaud / Place of origin in Canton Vaud

Please note that if the marriage or the civil partnership are to take place in Canton Vaud and/or if the place of origin of a Swiss national is in the Canton Vaud, all documents of civil status (birth, marriage, death certificates or divorce decrees) will have to bear an Apostille from the Legalization Office at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Documents submitted without an Apostille will not be accepted.

Legalisation FCO