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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a certificate of marital capacity Exemption from submission for foreign nationals


If you want to marry in Germany as a foreign citizen or as a foreign citizen, the requirements for marriage are determined by the law that applies in your home country.

This regulation is intended to prevent the marriage from being recognized in Germany, but not in your home country. Especially for future children, it is of great importance that a marriage concluded in Germany is also recognized in the country of origin of the foreign parent.

Therefore, you must always present a certificate of marital capacity from your home country. With this certificate of marital capacity, the competent authority of your home country confirms that there is no obstacle to marriage under the law of the home country.

If you have more than one nationality, the law of the country with which you are most closely associated shall apply. If you also have German citizenship, this will take precedence.

In individual cases, you can apply for an exemption from the obligation to present a certificate of marital capacity. This is done by the President of the competent Higher Regional Court in whose district you have registered the marriage.

This is an option for you if you belong to one of the following groups of people:

  • Nationals of countries whose authorities do not issue certificates of marital capacity.
  • Nationals of States which issue certificates of marital capacity if this is objectively impossible. This applies, among other things, to situations in which foreign law refuses to marry for reasons that are incompatible with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of marriage, for example if foreign home law prohibits remarrying after a divorce.

They do not need a certificate of marital capacity or exemption if they belong to the following group of persons:

  • Recognised persons entitled to asylum,
  • foreign refugees,
  • homeless foreigners as well as
  • Stateless persons with permanent residence in Germany.

Your status must be proven by an appropriate travel document.

If you apply for an exemption from the certificate of marital capacity, the President of the Higher Regional Court checks instead of the foreign authority whether there is an obstacle to marriage under the law of the homeland or whether there is no prerequisite for marriage. There may also be no impediment to marriage under German law. Under certain circumstances, it may have to be examined whether any pre-marriages are effectively dissolved in this context.

The exemption is valid for a period of 6 months.

You can only apply for exemption through the registry office. You also do not have to address preliminary and status inquiries to the Higher Regional Court, but exclusively to the registry office.

  • Register your marriage with the registry office responsible for you.
  • Apply there for the exemption from the submission / proof of the certificate of marital capacity (application form). An application directly to the Higher Regional Court is not possible. The registry office is your sole point of contact in the exemption procedure.
  • The registrar prepares the application and advises you in individual cases on any documents that are still required.
  • The registry office will forward your application with the complete documents and evidence to the competent Higher Regional Court.
  • The President of the Higher Regional Court checks instead of the foreign authority whether there is an obstacle to marriage under the law of his or her homeland or whether there is no prerequisite for marriage.
  • You will receive a notification informing you of the decision on your application.
  • You will also receive a cost notice. Pay the fees.

Contact the registry office in your municipality or city.

In order to obtain an exemption from the presentation or proof of a certificate of marital capacity, the following conditions must be met:

  • You have registered a marriage with the competent registry office.
  • According to German law, there may be no impediment to marriage, for example:
    • if one of the persons who wish to enter into marriage with each other is already married to a third person or lives in a civil partnership
    • if the persons are related to each other in a straight line and between siblings of the same parents or siblings who have only one parent in common
    • if any pre-marriages have not been effectively dissolved
    • if one of the persons has been previously adopted by the other person

To apply for the exemption, you will need:

  • Proofs in the original, certified copies are usually not sufficient:
    • identity, nationality and descent and marital status
      • Passport
      • Identity card or
      • Appropriate identification document
    • if applicable, for the dissolution of preseases: marriage certificate and, for example, death certificate, copy from the marriage register or divorce decree with legal force note
  • The documents must not be older than 6 months – from the issuance of the documents to the submission to the registry office. Your registry office will inform you in which form (for example with apostille or legalization) the documents are usable
  • Proof of earnings for both fiancées, from which the monthly net income results, to calculate the processing fee for the court decision
  • current residence certificates of the German registration office with express indication of the marital status for both fiancées, if they are domiciled in the Federal Republic of Germany
  • For foreign fiancées who are still abroad: an original certificate of residence issued by the competent home authority with translation into German
  • For the exemption from the presentation / proof of the certificate of marital capacity: EUR 15.00 to EUR 305.00
  • In case of rejection or withdrawal of the application: half of the fee for granting the exemption, but at least EUR 15.00

You do not have to observe any deadlines. However, be sure to plan the possible duration of the procedure in your wedding preparations.

Application for a court decision

Online procedure possible:
Written form required:
Personal appearance required:

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

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