What are my options if I wish to marry a foreigner in the Czech Republic?
You can have either a civil ceremony at a Town Hall or a religious ceremony conducted by a recognized representative of a church or other religious organization.
How is the marriage constituted?
A marriage is contracted by the free and complete consent of the man and woman who intend to enter into marriage (the fiancés), declaring that they are entering into marriage. A joint declaration of consent is made publicly during the wedding ceremony in the presence of two witnesses.
All marriages are registered with the Registry Office (‘Matriční Úřad’) which require documents through which the fiancés can prove legal competence to enter into marriage.
Does the wedding require a long preparation for obtaining the necessary documents?
Yes, you should plan the location and date of your wedding a few months ahead. You will need time to collect all of the required documents. Visit any Registry Office competent for the area where you want your wedding to be held. Registry Offices are to be found at municipal and city authorities, and authorities of city boroughs or districts.
Is there a difference in the procedure if I want to marry an EU citizen or a Third Country Citizen?
For the purpose of the Act No. 301/2000 Coll., every person who is not a citizen of the Czech Republic is considered a foreigner. Therefore, both EU citizens and Third Country Citizens need to submit the documents listed below.
What documents do I have to submit to the Registry Office?
Necessary documents to be submitted to the Registry Office prior to entering into marriage by a Foreign National:
- The ’Questionnaire for Entering into Marriage’
- This document is available at the relevant Registry Office or you may download it from the website of The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
- The form must be completed by both fiancés and submitted to the Registry Office under the jurisdiction of which the location where the marriage is to be contracted falls, alongside the documents required for contracting the marriage.
- A Birth Certificate.
- A Document proving nationality (citizenship) – citizenship can be proven with a Passport
- A certificate proving the legal competence of the Foreign National to enter into a marriage.
- This document may not be, as of the date of the marriage, older than six months;
- A certificate proving the personal status and residence of the Foreign National if such certificates can be issued by the country concerned;
- The items listed under 3. through 5. may be contained in a single document.
- The death certificate of any deceased spouse, if the Foreign National is a widow(er); such certificate is not required if this fact is included in the certificate of legal competence to enter into marriage;
- A final and conclusive judgment on divorce with regard to any previous marriage if the Foreign National concerned is divorced;
- A certificate proving that the marriage will be accepted as valid, if it is concluded by a proxy;
- A final and conclusive judgment terminating a registered partnership or a death certificate of any deceased partner, if the Foreign National lived in a partnership;
- Proof of Identity.
- A certificate issued by the Czech Foreign Police that the Foreign National may legally stay in the Czech Republic.
- This rule does not apply to citizens of European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and their family members.
- Such a certificate may not be, on the date of the marriage, older than seven working days.
All submitted documents must satisfy the prerequisites of public deeds. If they are issued by foreign authorities, they must be furnished with the required authenticated documents (superlegalization, Apostille) unless an international agreement stipulates otherwise. Such authenticated documents must be officially translated into the Czech language. For more details, contact any Registry Office.
Are there any administrative fees for entering into marriage?
Yes, in some cases there is a set fee:
- If both fiancés have permanent residence in the Czech Republic, there is no fee.
- If none of the fiancés has permanent residence in the Czech Republic the fee is 3.000,-CZK.
- If only one of the fiancés has permanent residence in the Czech Republic the fee is 2.000,- CZK.
- An administrative fee for marriage outside the specified time or outside the Ceremonial Hall is 1.000,- CZK.
All the above administrative fees are to be paid in cash at the cash desk of the competent City Hall after the Registry Office issues the payment instruction sheet.
In all other cases an administrative fee for entering into marriage is not set.
What if one of the fiancés does not speak or understand Czech, or the fiancé/s is/are deaf and/or mute?
In such cases, the presence of an interpreter is required during the ceremony or the marriage cannot be contracted. The interpreter should be brought by one of the fiancés who must also cover any relevant costs.
It is necessary for fiancés to inform the relevant registrar of the fact that they do not speak Czech, or they are deaf and/or mute, while their documents are being processed and before the marriage itself.
What does the wedding ceremony look like?
After you arrive with witnesses (and an interpreter, if necessary) at the venue, the registrar will ask you to submit your identity documents.
According to Czech Law, marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman. Its main purpose is to start a family and raise children in a proper fashion. At the start of the ceremony the registrar introduces the fiancés to the person officiating the wedding and declares that “the engaged couple” is unaware of any circumstances hindering the marriage, that they know each other’s state of health and that they have considered future property arrangements, housing and financial arrangements for the family.
At the end of the ceremony the wedding officiant asks if the engaged couple are entering into the marriage freely and voluntarily. Your answer will be “ano” (literally “yes”; an equivalent to “I do” in Czech) even if an interpreter is present. With that response, you accept all of the obligations related to marriage. After that, you and your witnesses will sign the Wedding Records Book.
What if I want to have a religious ceremony?
You can have a religious ceremony, but the wedding ceremony has to be conducted by an authorized representative of a registered church or religious organization. The competent Registry Office will be in the area where your church or religious organization holds weddings (for example at a church or chapel)
You need to submit the same documents as when you have a civil ceremony and you will also need to get a certificate (Osvědčení o splnění požadavků zákona o rodině pro uzavření církevního sňatku) confirming that all the statutory conditions under the Czech Family Act have been met and that you will submit to the representative of the church or religious organization (this certificate cannot be older than 3 months). You must apply for this document in writing at the competent Registry Office.
The representative of the church or religious organization must then deliver a “Record on the Wedding” to the Registry Office within 3 days of the wedding.
Is there anything I need to do after the wedding ceremony?
The Registry Office will issue your marriage certificate (Oddací List) within 30 days (33 in case of a religious ceremony). Carefully save this document; it is an essential proof of your marital status.
You must report changes in your marital status to the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy within 3 days. If you use a joint name, you must report this name change as well. An EU citizen or his or her family member must report any change in marital status and surname within 15 days.
If you have decided to use a joint surname after the wedding, you must apply for a new Passport. Your Embassy will most likely require a legalized translation of your marriage certificate in the language of your country of origin – inquire at the Embassy. It is the decision of your Embassy whether they will assist you in getting these new documents. It is possible that you will have to apply for a new Passport in your country of origin.
When you have a new Passport, you must again submit it to the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy. The Department will then issue a new residence permit in your new Passport.
Do I need to change my residence status after the wedding?
If both you and your spouse have a long-term visa, you do not need to change it, as you will retain a long-term visa. However, you can change the purpose of the stay to long-term stay with the purpose of a family reunification.
If you have a long-term visa and your spouse has permanent residence permit or International Protection, you can apply to the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy for a long-term residence permit with the purpose of family reunification with a foreigner who has a permanent residence permit. The benefits of this type of permit are that you do not need a work permit but can be enrolled in the public health insurance system only if you work in a company which has its registered office in the Czech Republic.
If you do not have any type of residence and your spouse has a long-term visa or permanent residence permit, you are eligible for a long-term stay visa, but you have to apply at the Czech Embassy in your country of origin. Your application will be processed within 270 days.
If your spouse is a Czech/EU citizen, you have these options:
A temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen
- As a non-EU citizen who is a family member of an EU citizen and accompanies his family member (an EU citizen) to the Czech Republic you are obliged to apply for a temporary residence permit in case you intend to stay in the territory for a period of time longer than three months.
- If a foreigner becomes a family member of an EU citizen during a stay in the territory, he or she is obliged to apply for a temporary residence permit within a period of up to 3 months from the day that he or she became a family member of an EU citizen.
- If a foreigner becomes a family member of an EU citizen during a stay in the territory and he or she has a different residence permit, he or she is then obliged to apply for a temporary residence permit in a period of up to 3 months from the day of expiry of this residence permit.
- The residence card for a family member of an EU citizen is issued for a period identical to the expected stay period of the EU citizen, 5 years at the longest.
Permanent residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen – non-EU citizen
- As a non-EU citizen who is a family member of an EU citizen with permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you can apply after 2 years of continuous residence in the Czech Republic if you have been a family member of an EU citizen for at least 1 year.
- The permanent residence permit is a public document issued for 10 years. Its validity can be extended for 10 years, repeatedly if necessary.
Other consequences of entering into marriage with a Czech national
Thanks to marrying a Czech national, the foreign national becomes his or her family member according to relevant EU regulation. This gives the third country national certain special rights:
A temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen (as stated above)
Permanent residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen – non-EU citizen (as stated above)
- A non-EU citizen who is a family member of an EU citizen is allowed to work in the Czech Republic without further obligation to have an Employment Permit, Employee Card, Blue Card, or Intra-Company Employee Transfer Card if he or she is issued a temporary residence permit for a family member of an EU citizen by The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
What is a Registered Partnership?
A Registered Partnership refers to the life-long union of a same sex couple. It is entered into by a declaration by both of the partners that they want to live in a partnership. This declaration is made in the presence of a Registrar. If a translator is required, he or she signs the protocol as well. Witnesses are not required.
Does a Registered Partnership have the same legal qualities as marriage?
Unfortunately not, Czech Law does not recognise the Registered Partnership as an equal form of partnership to a marriage. First of all, partners are not allowed to accept the same surname, registered partners cannot rely on the institution of joint property and additionally there are some discrepancies in the event of the demise of one of the partners.
What are the requirements for the couple to enter into a Registered Partnership?
At least one of the partners entering into a Registered Partnership must be a Czech citizen, both partners have to be over 18 years-old and they must not be married or in a registered partnership in another country.
What documents do I have to submit to the Registry Office in order to enter into a Registered Partnership?
- The Questionnaire for entering into a `registered Partnership – signed by both partners;
- A Birth Certificate;
- Proof of Identity;
- A document proving nationality (citizenship) – citizenship can be proven by a Passport
- Confirmation of your marital and residence status if your country of origin issues such documents (can be substituted by an identity card)
- A certificate of no impediment to registered partnership, if your country of origin issues such a certificate (no older than 6 months)
- A Death Certificate of any deceased spouse, if the foreign national is a widow(er);
- A final and conclusive judgment on divorce with regard to any previous marriage if the Foreign National concerned is divorced;
- A final and conclusive judgment terminating a registered partnership or a Death Certificate of any deceased partner, if the fFreign National lived in a partnership;
- If you have no permanent residence in the Czech Republic, you must submit a confirmation of your legal stay in the Czech Republic issued by the Foreign Police. It must be no older than 7 days. EU citizens need not submit this confirmation
- If you were granted International or Subsidiary Protection, the Registry Office can waive the obligation to submit the necessary documents, if obtaining them entails substantial difficulties.
All submitted documents must satisfy the prerequisites of public deeds. If they are issued by foreign authorities they must be furnished with the required authenticated documents (superlegalization, Apostille) unless an international agreement stipulates otherwise. Such authenticated documents must be officially translated into the Czech language. For more details contact any Registry Office.
Are there any administrative fees for entering into a Registered Partnership?
No, there are no fees set for entering into a Registered Partnership.
What is the procedure for entering into a Registered Partnership?
Persons entering into a partnership shall personally visit the Registry Office and book a date for their declaration. Then, one or both partners shall personally visit the Registry Office and submit the completed “Questionnaire for entering into a Registered Partnership”, signed by both partners, and submit the originals of all necessary documents. After the conclusion of the declaration, the Registry Office will issue a Certificate of Registered Partnership, which the partners can pick up 10 days after entering into the Registered Partnership; on this occasion, any remaining documents will also be returned.
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