MARRIAGE OF FOREIGNERS IN SERBIA – LAW FIRM BELGRADEIvan
The Republic of Serbia has become a very popular destination for foreigners who want to enter into a civil marriage. Such a reputation among foreigners has been acquired due to the openness and accessibility of the competent marriage offices, fast and available procedure as well as possibility to validate the marriage in other countries.
The fact that Serbia has chosen its way towards political neutrality in these turbulent times, when almost every country picked its side in the ongoing war, gives possibility to have marriages which are almost unthinkable to the rest of the world, e.g. between American and Russian citizens.
CONDITIONS FOR ENTERING INTO MARRIAGE AS A FOREIGNER IN SERBIA
Taking into account that the marriage procedure is performed personally, at a registrar’s office, it is necessary for the foreign citizens who want to get married to reside on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Due to that, the possibility to enter into marriage in Serbia is given both to foreign citizens who do not need visa to enter the country and foreign citizens who need visa to enter Serbia (on the condition that they get visa).
The Family Law of the Republic of Serbia stipulates that two persons of different sex enter into marriage before the registrar. Thus, only heterosexual marriages between man and woman are allowed, while homosexual marriages are prohibited.
According to the Family Law of the Republic of Serbia, marriage shall not be entered into by any person whose marital status is married. Thus, it is solely possible to enter into a monogamous marriage, whereas polygamous marriages are not allowed. Any foreign citizen who wants to get married in Serbia shall bring a Single Status Report. This statement is obtained at the offices of the competent state whose citizenship the foreigner holds.
Marriage of foreigners in Serbia can be entered into by all the persons who turned 18. Exceptionally and due to justified reasons, the court may allow a 16 year old person to enter into marriage, but on condition that they have reached physical and emotional maturity for exercising rights and duties of marriage.
PROCEDURE OF ENTERING INTO MARRIAGE AS A FOREIGNER IN SERBIA
Procedure of entering into marriage shall be performed at a registrar’s office- a competent municipal authority. Foreign citizens may chose to enter into marriage at any municipal registrar’s office, which gives them opportunity to pick places where marriage procedure can be performed as quickly as possible. Thus, it is highly recommendable to foreigners not to apply for marriage at municipalities which have large number of citizens since they will have to wait longer for scheduling of the marriage ceremony.
Foreign citizens who plan to enter into marriage are required to submit an oral or written marriage application to a registrar. Furthermore, foreigners are obliged to submit documentation which proves that they fulfill the conditions for entering into marriage in Serbia.
In case that registrar determines that foreign citizens fulfill all the requirements for entering into marriage based on the submitted documents, the marriage ceremony will be scheduled.
Foreign citizens must ensure presence of two witnesses during the marriage ceremony. Taking into account that the marriage ceremony will be performed in Serbian language it is necessary for foreigners to engage a certified interpreter for their native language.
Marriage ceremony might take place in the room of the chosen municipality or other places like restaurants or wedding venues.
The marriage of foreigners in Serbia entered into is registered in the Marriage Register. The registrar will submit the Marriage Certificate to the Ministry of Justice which will further notify the diplomatic-consular representative of the competent state whose nationality the foreign citizen holds.
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