How to Marry a Foreigner in Spain – Guide 2023

One of the most sought-after services of sworn translation occurs when a Spanish citizen intends to marry in Spain with a non-resident foreigner or even if they are already a resident.

The stress of the wedding, which involves the entire procedure, paperwork and documentation, causes the betrothed to go through a period of high tension. All this, coupled with the uncertainty of the approval or denial of the marital bond by the Spanish Government. 

To help clarify doubts about this administrative process, we have created this article including all the information and documents you need, along with the steps to marry in Spain with a foreigner.

Getting married in Spain with a foreigner

What requirements must both spouses meet?

The requirements to marry in Spain that the betrothed must meet, so that the marriage can be contracted and be valid in Spanish territory are as follows:

Requirements to get married in Spain with a foreigner
  1. Neither of the betrothed should be underage.
  2. There cannot be a blood relationship up to the third degree between the betrothed. That is, there can be no kinship of great-grandparents, great-grandchildren or nephews.
  3. Both betrothed must be single and in case of a previous marriage, it must have been officially dissolved through divorce.
  4. Lastly, it must be demonstrated an emotional bond between both and that the union is not out of convenience by one or both of the betrothed.

It is advisable to attach documents that prove that the emotional bond is real, these papers can help you when approving the link. Documentation to marry in Spain or papers that may be useful to you:

  1. Money Transfers.
  2. Communications such as letters, messages and/or emails.
  3. One or several Joint Bank Accounts.
  4. Joint Properties.
  5. Photos where the 2 spouses appear.

Documents of the Spanish spouse

The documents of the Spanish spouse are exempt from translation and/or legalisation, and are as follows :

  • Present ID or Passport original and photocopy of the same.
  • Literal birth certificate with less than 3 months of issue or age.
  • Certificate of Registration of the last two years (valid for 3 months) to verify if it is necessary to publish the so-called “marriage edicts”.
  • If divorced, Marriage Certificate with the corresponding registration of the dissolution of said previously celebrated link.
  • If the Spanish spouse is a widower, they must also provide the Family Book and the corresponding Death Certificate.

Documents of the Foreign spouse

The following documents are an essential requirement to start the process :

  • Plurilingual literal birth certificate duly legalised and translated, if necessary.
  • Passport or NIE original and copy of the pages of your passport (all pages even if they are empty ).
  • Certificate of Singleness legalised and translated if necessary. And also:
    • If divorced , Plurilingual Marriage Certificate* along with the apostilled and translated divorce decree.
    • If a widower, Marriage Certificate and Plurilingual Death Certificate*.
  • Certificate of Consular Registration issued by the consulate of the country of origin.
  • Registration Certificate.
Documents that are not in several languages, considered as plurilingual, must be translated by a Sworn Translator and with Apostille (countries of the Hague Convention), or legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation by the Spanish Diplomatic Representation in the country in question. The translation is only necessary if the document was not issued in Spanish.

To submit the documents and start the process, both spouses must present themselves at the Civil Registry of their domicile, it being mandatory that at least one of the spouses is registered in that municipality.

In addition, it is necessary to have 2 witnesses who have to carry their valid identity document. The purpose of the presence of the witnesses in the procedure is to attest to the relationship between the two citizens and the domicile of both betrothed.

Documents to get married in Spain

Reserved Hearing for Marriage

Once it is verified that the requirements to marry a foreigner civilly are met and the documents to marry in Spain are gathered, you will attend the scheduled interview which, as we mentioned earlier, aims to verify that there is a sentimental relationship between both betrothed. 

In this interview is where they must demonstrate that the relationship is sincere and not out of convenience, in addition to answering a series of questions.

Most common questions at the time of the interview

The interview will be conducted individually, the questions are the same for both and then it is checked that both answers match. We show you the most common questions, they may not ask you everything or they may add others that you will not find in this list :

Name and surname/s of your partner.

Place of birth and birthday.

Name of the closest relatives (parents, siblings, etc.)

If your partner has children and their names.

When and where you met.

Since what date you live together and address.

Last gift your partner gave you.

Where your partner works, name of the company, location, etc

If you have a joint bank account.

Demonstrate financial support.

Requirements to marry a foreigner in Spain

As you can see, these are very simple questions and if the marriage is real, you will have no problems being accepted by the Spanish Civil Registry.

What can I do if my Marriage Application is denied?

The person in charge of the Civil Registry reserves the right to approve or deny the marital link based on whether the purpose of the wedding is out of convenience to :

  • Obtain Spanish nationality through marriage with a Spanish citizen.
  • Acquire a residence permit in Spain.
  • Others.

Despite this, if you do not agree with the decision made you can file a lawsuit before the Court of First Instance with the help of a lawyer.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any doubts you can leave us a comment or send us a form in case you need a sworn translation.

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