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Q: U.S. Recognition of Wedding in Germany ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: U.S. Recognition of Wedding in Germany
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: garys-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 25 Aug 2004 08:15 PDT
Expires: 24 Sep 2004 08:15 PDT
Question ID: 392371
Hello.  My fiancee and I are getting married in Germany next month.  I
am a U.S. citizen and New York State resident; she is a German
citizen.  She is currently studying in the U.S. on a J-1 Visa.  My
question is what must we do to make sure that our wedding is
recognized in the United States once we're married in Germany?
Subject: Re: U.S. Recognition of Wedding in Germany
Answered By: muhammad-ga on 25 Aug 2004 11:05 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

A marriage valid in Germany between a US citize and a German national
is valid in USA as well. You have to follow some procedures for that:

From the website

"Generally, foreign citizens will need the following documents for a
marriage in Germany:

1. Birth Certificate (original or certified copy).
2. Passport.
3. "Certificate of No Impediments to Marriage".

This document is needed in most European countries but not in the
United States. US-citizens have to obtain a waiver from the competent
German Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) through the
"Standesamt", which will prepare your application and inform you which
additional documents will be needed. At the least, an affidavit, sworn
by the American fiancé(e) in due form and attesting to the present
marital status, will be required.

For the marriage's validity in Germany "Only marriages performed at a
registrar's office ("Standesamt") are legally valid in Germany. A
church ceremony may be held later, if desired."...

Being a US-citizen you should contact the U.S. Embassy in Germany for
further assistance. Its address reads as follows:

Embassy of the United States of America
Neustädtische Kirchstraße
10117 Berlin

tel.: 01149 (30) 238-5174
fax: 01149 (30) 238-6290


Miscellaneous Information:

Getting Married in Germany

I want to reiterate that Google Answers are general information and
should not be taken as a substitute for legal advise. Please contact
an experienced lawyer for professional advise.


Search Strategy:
"marriage in germany" american
"german marying american" laws america
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Feel free to ask for any clarification or more information.

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Request for Answer Clarification by garys-ga on 25 Aug 2004 13:13 PDT
Hello.  Your answer tells me what I must do to get married in Germany.
 I already know this.  That part is already done.  The wedding will be
at a Standesamt and all of the required paperwork including the
"Certificate of No Impediments to Marriage" have already been drawn
up, signed, translated, and approved by the Oberlandesgericht in

What I would like to know is once we are married in Germany, what must
we do to get the marriage recognized in the U.S.?  We will have a
German marriage license.  To whom in the U.S. must I send this to be
considered married in the U.S.?  Will a copy do or do I need an
original?  Do I need to get the German Standesamt to put an Apostille
on the German marriage license for it to be recognized by the U.S.? 
This is what I would like to know.

Clarification of Answer by muhammad-ga on 27 Aug 2004 05:51 PDT

Please refer to the following website for "MARRIAGE OF UNITED STATES
CITIZENS ABROAD". Please refer to the section "Documentation and
Authentication" for your query.

"Who May Perform Marriages Abroad

American diplomatic and consular officers are NOT permitted to perform
marriages (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations 52.1). Marriages
abroad are almost always performed by local (foreign) civil or
religious officials.

As a rule, marriages are not performed on the premises of an American
embassy or consulate. The validity of marriages abroad is not
dependent upon the presence of an American diplomatic or consular
officer, but upon adherence to the laws of the country where the
marriage is performed. Consular officers may authenticate foreign
marriage documents. The fee for authentication of a document is

Validity of Marriages Abroad

In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are
also legally valid in the United States. Inquiries regarding the
validity of a marriage abroad should be directed to the attorney
general of the state in the United States where the parties to the
marriage live.

Foreign Laws and Procedures

The embassy or tourist information bureau of the country in which the
marriage is to be performed is the best source of information about
marriage in that country. Some general information on marriage in a
limited number of countries can be obtained from Overseas Citizens
Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520. In
addition, American embassies and consulates abroad frequently have
information about marriage in the country in which they are located.

Residence Requirements

Marriages abroad are subject to the residency requirements of the
country in which the marriage is to be performed. There is almost
always a lengthy waiting period.

Documentation and Authentication

Most countries require that a valid U.S. passport be presented. In
addition, birth certificates, divorce decrees, and death certificates
are frequently required. Some countries require that the documents
presented to the marriage registrar first be authenticated in the
United States by a consular official of that country. This process can
be time consuming and expensive."


You may also read a detailed document titled "How to Get Married in
Germany, Denmark & Switzerland". It has all the details about Genera
Procedure, Procedure, Legalization, Returning back to US.


I hope that helps.

garys-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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