How to Marry a Foreigner in Spain – Guide 2022

One of the most requested sworn translation services occurs at the time of marriage between a Spanish citizen and a foreigner, resident or not, in Spain. The stress of the wedding together with all the procedure, paperwork and documentation makes the couple go through a period of great stress and tension, adding the uncertainty of the approval or denial of the marriage bond by the Spanish Government.

We have created this article to help clarify any doubts you may have about the procedure with all the documentation you need and the steps to take to get married to a foreigner in Spain.

What requirements must both spouses meet?

In order to celebrate a valid marriage in the Spanish territory both spouses must meet the following requirements:

  1. Neither of the spouses can be underage.
  2. There must not be any blood relationship between the spouses up to the third degree. That is, there cannot be relationship of great-grandparents, great-grandchildren or nieces or nephews.
  3. Both parties must be unmarried. If a previous marriage ocurred this must have been officially dissolved by divorce.
  4. In the last place, there must be proof of the existing emotional bond between the two spouses and that the marriage is not going to take place for the convenience of one or the two of them.

It would be advisable to attach documents showing that the affective bond is real. These papers can help you at the time of approving the marriage. Documents or papers that may be useful:

  1. Money transfers.
  2. Communications such as letters, messages and/or emails.
  3. One or more joint bank accounts.
  4. Joint properties.
  5. Photos in which both spouses appear.

Documents required from the Spanish spouse

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

  • Original and copy of DNI or passport
  • Full birth certificate (valid for 3 months).
  • Census certificate of the last two years (valid for 3 months).
  • If divorced, marriage certificate with the registration of the dissolution of the same.
  • If widowed, Family Book and death certificate.

Documentation required from the foreign spouse

The following documents are essential:

  • Multilingual full birth certificate duly legalized and translated, if necessary.
  • Original and copy of NIE or passport (all pages, even if they are empty, must be included ).
  • Document certifying that the citizen is single (Single Status Certificate) duly legalized and translated, if necessary.
    • In case of being divorced you will need a multilingual marriage certificate* with the corresponding registration and divorce sentence duly apostilled and translated.
    • If widowed, a multilingual marriage and death certificate of the deceased.
  • Certificate of consular registration issued by the Consulate of the country of origin in Spain.
  • Census certificate.

Documents which are not drafted in different languages (multilingual) must be translated by a sworn translator and apostilled (countries which are party to the Hague Convention) or legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by the Spanish Diplomatic Representation in the country in question. The translation is required when the document was not issued in the Spanish language.

To deliver the documents and start with the process is necessary to bring 2 witnesses with their ID card in force. The reason to have witnesses in the process is to give evidence of the relationship between the two citizens and the domicile of both parties.

Hearing reserved for the Marriage

This interview, as we previously mentioned, is made with the purpose of verifying that there is a sentimental relationship between both parties. This is the moment when they must demonstrate that the relationship is sincere and not for convenience and answer a series of questions.

Most common questions at the time of the interview

The interview will be conducted individually. The questions will be the same for both spouses and then it will be necessary to check that the answers of both match. Here we show you the most common questions. You may not be asked all of them or they may add other ones that you will not find on the following list:

  1. First and last name of your partner.
  2. Place of birth and birthday.
  3. Name of the closest relatives (parents and siblings, for example)
  4. If your partner has children and their names
  5. When and where you met
  6. The approximate date when started living together and your current address
  7. The last gift your partner gave you
  8. Your partner’s place of work, the name of the company, its location etc.
  9. If you have a bank account in common
  10. Demonstrate financial support

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

What can I do if my marriage application is denied?

The Civil Registrar reserves the right to approve or deny the marriage on the grounds that the purpose of the marriage is for convenience in order to:

  • Obtain the Spanish nationality through the marriage to a Spanish citizen
  • Acquire a residence permit in Spain
  • Others

If you do not agree with the decision taken you can always file a lawsuit before the Court of First Instance with the help of a lawyer.

We hope this article helped you and if you still have questions you can leave us a comment or fill the contact form in case you need a sworn translation.

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