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Moving to Austria For Members

EXPLAINED: How to have your marriage abroad recognised in Austria

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: How to have your marriage abroad recognised in Austria
A newlywed couple pose on the Alexander III bridge in Paris. If getting married abroad, there's an extra step to having it recognized in Germany. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Moving to Austria? Or have you lived here a while and just decided to get married abroad? You may need to advise the Austrian authorities that you’ve tied the knot – particularly if you’re married an Austrian national. Here’s how.

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If you got married outside of Austria before moving here – or if you already live in Austria but opted for a beachside wedding in Spain or the excitement of a Las Vegas wedding chapel, you’ll typically need to advise Austrian authorities.

This is especially true if at least one partner is Austrian.

Does Austria consider my marriage valid?

In most cases, yes.

If the marriage performed abroad was conducted in the customary manner that the country typically observes, and is a legal marriage in that country – Austria will typically consider it valid in Austria as well.

You then just need to go about proving it.

What documents do I need?

To do this, make an appointment at your local registry office and present your marriage certificate. If you’re moving to Austria for the first time, you can try simply bringing your marriage certificate with you to your first appointment registering your residence, along with your passport and birth certificate.

Official documents such as your marriage certificate may need to be authenticated depending on which country the document is from. Austrian authorities won’t require this step if the certificate is from one of the 125 signatories of the Hague Convention, which includes European countries, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and India - just to name a few.

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If in doubt, it’s a good idea to check in with the responsible Austrian mission abroad, who can then authenticate the document. They cannot, however, legally translate it into German.

In most cases, you won’t need your marriage certificate authenticated. However, if the certificate is in a language other than German, you may need to have it translated by a court-approved translator. Documents issues in English are often accepted, but this may depend on your local authority.

If your certificate is from another EU country, you can request an EU multilingual standard form from that country’s authorities. The form, when presented together with your original document, can be used as a translation aid. Austria will typically waive the requirement for a certified translation if you have one of these. The forms, however, are only available in other EU countries.

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What if one of us is Austrian?

No matter where they live in the world, Austrian citizens are legally required to inform the Austrian government of changes in their status – particularly their marriage status. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve lived abroad for.

The Austrian partner must inform either the appropriate Austrian mission abroad or their local authority at home if they are married abroad.

Before they get married, they may be required to get a “certificate of no impediment” – which simply certifies that they are not married already and thus can marry. This certificate is available either at local authority offices in Austria or from the relevant Austrian mission abroad. It’s typically valid for six months.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get married in Austria as a foreigner

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