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Foreign Marriage Registration

The citizens of India that are residing outside the territory of India including Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder, Person Of Indian Origin (PIO) card holder, Non-Resident of India (NRI), or Foreign National (residing in European, Gulf, or any other country) can marry in India under the Foreign Marriage Act of 1969. This law allow these individuals to select a marital law based on their religion and community in India.

  1. The marriage solemnized in India are conducted under
    • The marriage solemnized in India are conducted under
    • Religious/ Traditional Marriage Ceremony
    • Civil Marriage Ceremony
Religious Marriage Ceremonies in India

In India, the marriages conducted with all rituals and customs are considered valid and legal. However, the registration of a marriage has now become a legal requirement in almost all states of India. Apart from validating the sacred bond, a marriage registration certificate is also required for visa and immigration purpose. There are several marriage act in India such as Hindu Marriage Act, Muslim Marriage Act, Christian Marriage Act, and the Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act.

Hindu Marriage Ceremony

The individuals who belongs to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain religion, or those who have recently converted into any of these religions, are liable to be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. The conditions for being registered under the Hindu Marriage Act includes completion of marriageable age (18 for bride and 21 for bridegroom), and they should not be within the degree of prohibited relationship.

Documents required for Marriage Registration under the Hindu Marriage Act are:

  • A duly filled application form signed by both husband and wife.
  • Evidence of Date of Birth of both the parties (Matriculation Certificate/ Passport/ Birth Certificate). The required minimum age for groom is 21 years and for bride is 18 years.
  • Two passport size photographs of both the parties separately, one marriage photograph, and invitation card if available.  
  • Ration card of either husband or wife, whose Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) has been approached for affidavit by both the parties, which includes place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage and nationality.
  • A certificate from priest, if marriage has been solemnized in a religious place.
  • Declaration stating both parties are not related to each other and does not come under the prohibited degree of relationship as per the Hindu Marriage Act or the Special Marriage Act.
  • In case one of the party belongs to other religion than Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist, then conversion letter from the priest who solemnized the marriage.
  • All documents except receipt should be attested by a Gazetted officer.

Verification of all the required documents will be carried out on the date on application, and a day will be fixed for registration. On the decided day, both the husband wife will have to be present before the SDM along with the Gazetted officer who attended their marriage. The marriage certificate will be issued on the same day on within few days.

Civil Marriage ceremonies in India

Parties who do not wish to marry in a religious ceremony can instead opt for a civil ceremony pursuant to the Indian Special Marriage Act of 1954.

Individuals who do not wish to marry under the traditional customs or those who are suffering from certain problems, opt for civil marriages. Civil marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.
The marriage going to be performed between an Indian individual and a foreign citizen requires filing notice of intended marriage with a Marriage Registrar in India. Later the notice is required to be published for the 30 days, after which the marriage can be solemnized. The notice of intended marriage will only be provided if one partner is a foreign national and other one is a permanent resident of India.
If one of the partner resides in a foreign country, then the other one who is a resident of India will have to fill out the “Marriage Notice” collected from the Marriage Registration Office of their preferable place in India, and then send it out to his/her partner for filling the same. After duly filling the form, it will later be submitted at the Marriage Registration Office in India. The marriage can take place after 30 days of the submission of application in India. The marriage will be registered under the Special Marriage Act.

Documents required are:

  • Original birth certificates showing parents name.
  • If one of the party is widow/widower, then death certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • A valid passport
  • Copy of final decree, if one of the partner is divorced.
  • Copy of final decree, if one of the partner is divorced.
  • Document of evidence showing stay of parties in India for more than 30 days

A foreign national intends to solemnize a civil marriage is required to present a “No Objection Certificate” from the Embassy or Consulate of his native country and proof of termination of previous marriages, before the marriage officer.  

The parties are required to wait for at least 30 days from the date of initial application submission for allowing the marriage officer to publish a newspaper ad regarding the same and allowing opportunity for any objections to be confronted.

Verification of all the required documents will be carried out on the date on application, and a day will be fixed for registration. On the decided day, both the husband wife will have to be present before the SDM along with the Gazetted officer who attended their marriage. The marriage certificate will be issued on the same day on within few days.