Getting married in Belgium (to a Belgian or a permanent resident)
If you wish to marry in Belgium go to the Town Hall where the marriage is going to take place and sign a Notice of intended marriage - 'Huwelijksaangifte' - 'Déclaration de mariage'. This notice constitutes a marriage licence which becomes valid for six months 14 days after it was issued. If you do not get married within six months, you need another Notice.
In order to marry in Belgium you have to either be a Belgian citizen or marry a Belgian or a foreign resident.
Important: in Belgium the civil marriage (before the registrar at the Town Hall) is the only legal marriage. You are of course free to also have a religious ceremony, but the civil marriage must always precede the religious ceremony.
You will need the following documents:
A) DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO GET IN AUSTRALIA – NEW ZEALAND:
- A full Birth certificate, to be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages - NSW - NT - QLD - SA - TAS - VIC - WA in Australia or from the Department of Internal Affaires, Registry in New Zealand.
- Proof of residence: a statutory declaration before a notary public or Justice of the Peace stating your identity and main place of residence. The declaration needs an apostille and may have to be translated. If translated in Australia / New Zealand, the translation needs an apostille. You can have the documents translated in Belgium, which saves you the cost of an apostille.
- “Evidence of Australian / New Zealand citizenship”. This certificate can be obtained from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australian Citizenship Act 1948) in Australia and from the Department of Internal Affairs Citizenship in New Zealand.
- Proof of single status from the “Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages”.
If you are divorced: Decree Absolute
If you are a widow(er): Death Certificate of your late spouse.
- You do not need to report both personally to sign the notification. If you do not attend in person, please send your future spouse in Belgium a power of attorney or a statutory declaration before a notary public or a Justice of the peace allowing her/him to act on your behalf. [You may draw up a document yourself in Dutch, French or German and have your signature legalized at the Belgian Consulate]
The above documents have to be legalized by way of an apostille in New Zealand and in Australia. In Australia this legalization is effected by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and in New Zealand by the Department of Internal Affairs.
All documents in a language other than Dutch, French or German, need to be translated by a sworn translator. Go to www.naati.com.au to find a translator in Australia or to Department of Internal Affairs for a translator in New Zealand. Translations need an apostille as well unless they were made in Belgium. In Belgium you will find translation services at the Court Houses.
B) DOCUMENTS YOU GET IN BELGIUM
- A certificate from your Embassy in Brussels stating that under your national law you are able to enter into matrimony, i.e that there are no legal impediments in Australia / New Zealand law to your marrying. This certificate may be obtained from the Australian Embassy in Brussels (Address: Rue Guimard 6-8, 1040 Brussels, Tel: (02) 231 05 00, Fax: (02) 230 68 02) Email firstname.lastname@example.org) or from the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels (Address: De Meeussquare 1, 1000 Brussels Tel. 02.512.10.40, Fax 02.513.48.56, Email email@example.com).
- The spouse who lives in Belgium needs similar documents from his/her local Town Hall. If she/he is a foreigner with resident status she/he may have to get some of her/his documents from her/his home country.
Important: Pay a visit to the Town Hall of the place you want to get married for further information about requirements. Sometimes extra documents are requested, e.g. a legalised copy of your passport. At the Town Hall you will also get information about the ceremony (when, where, fees etc.).
At the Registry (Town Hall - Burgerlijke stand – Etat civil) they will also want to know (1) when exactly you want to get married, (2) whether you have concluded a prenuptial agreement or intend to, (3) who your witnesses are going to be, (4) where you are going to live after you are married and (5) whether anyti¡hing special ought to be mentioned in your Family Book (isssued by the Town Hall) e.g. refarding children you may have had with your partner prior to the marriage).
What do some of the documents look like?
- Australian Citizenship example
- Birth Certificate example
- Civil Status example
- Statutory Declaration example