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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : Getting Married Overseas Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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Getting Married Overseas

Getting Married Overseas
If you are getting married overseas it is important that you contact the marriage authorities in the country where you plan to marry and check their marriage laws and requirements.

Many countries need a document stating that you are legally free to marry. Births, Deaths and Marriages issues this document, which is called a 'Certificate That There is No Impediment to Marriage'.

If you marry overseas your marriage will usually be recognised in New Zealand. There are special procedures for registering an overseas marriage in New Zealand. Contact us for:
  • Further information on requirements and fees for a Certificate of No Impediment or a Certificate of Search.
  • Further information on how to have your overseas marriage registered in New Zealand.
If you are overseas, you should contact the New Zealand overseas post (Embassy, High Commission or Consulate) nearest to where you plan to marry. They:
  • Can advise you on requirements and fees;
  • Can direct you to the marriage authorities to check marriage procedures;
  • Can provide application forms;
  • May be able to witness your marriage.
Getting a Certificate of No Impediment
Certain overseas countries require a
'Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage' before allowing you to marry. This proves that you are not already legally married in your country of citizenship or residence, and according to New Zealand laws you are eligible to be married.

To get a Certificate of No Impediment you will need to fill out the form Notice Of Intended Marriage Of New Zealand Citizen In Another Country (BDM 189).

For marriages in some countries, the Certificate of No Impediment must be endorsed by the representative of that country in New Zealand before despatch. The fee for this service is in addition to the fee payable in respect of the notice. Contact Births, Deaths and Marriages or the appropriate Embassy/Consulate for details of these prices.

Once Births, Deaths and Marriages has received and processed the application, a Certificate of No Impediment may be issued after a statutory period of 14 days. The endorsement by the Embassies for Brazil, Malaysia and Taiwan can be arranged by Births, Deaths and Marriages. Additional time should be allowed for the endorsement, which can vary depending on the country involved, but as a general rule, you should allow four weeks.

If you live in New Zealand but are not a New Zealand citizen, you will be issued with a Certificate of Search. The certificate states that there is no record of a marriage existing in New Zealand.

Notice of Intended Marriage, when marrying overseas under the United Kingdom's Foreign Marriage Acts 1892 to 1947
If you are intending to marry in the United Kingdom (or other place where the law of the United Kingdom applies to marriages), you may be required by the United Kingdom's laws to lodge a notice in New Zealand relating to your intended marriage. Please ask the authorities in the place where you are intending to marry about whether you need to complete any requirements before you leave New Zealand.

You can lodge a notice of your intended marriage if you have been resident in New Zealand for at least 7 days and are:
  • A New Zealand citizen; or
  • A United Kingdom national; or
  • A citizen of another Commonwealth country; or
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland;
    and either:
    i) you intend to marry a citizen/national of one of those places in the United Kingdom; or
    ii) you intend to marry outside New Zealand in accordance with the Foreign Marriage Acts 1892 to 1947 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Please fill out a
Notice of Intended Marriage outside New Zealand (BDM 57) form. If you are aged under 20 then you must also obtain consent from each of your parents.

As part of completing the notice form, you need to make a statutory declaration that states that there is no lawful impediment to the marriage (i.e. no legal reason that you cannot marry), that the details you give are true, that the bride and groom are not within the "prohibited degrees of relationship" (set out in Schedule 2 of the Marriage Act 1955) and that parental consent has been given (where relevant).

Once Births, Deaths and Marriages has received and processed your notice, a Certificate (that notice has been given of marriage intended to be solemnised out of New Zealand) may be issued after a statutory period of 14 days.

Registration or Recognition of Your Overseas Marriage
Your marriage should be registered in the country where it took place. Most marriages that take place overseas in accordance with the laws of that country are recognised by New Zealand law.

There is no legal obligation to register your overseas marriage in New Zealand, however you may do this if your marriage ceremony is witnessed by an authorised official from a New Zealand post. You should contact the nearest
New Zealand overseas post in the country where you plan to marry to determine whether they are able to provide this service.

The only advantage of registering your marriage in New Zealand is that a marriage certificate can be issued to you from New Zealand. This certificate does not replace the marriage certificate supplied in the country where you plan to marry.

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Last updated: 17/05/2006