Legal Information

Civil Marriages in Gibraltar

1. The Law

In Gibraltar, the marriage between a man and a woman is provided for under the Gibraltar Marriage Act. Under its provisions it is possible, by means of a Special License granted under Section 13 of the Act, for residents and non-residents alike to marry in Gibraltar without the need of having to reside in Gibraltar for any length of time, although for administrative purposes a minimum notice of 1 working day is required. It also enables civil ceremonies to be conducted at approved locations outside the Registry outside working hours and at weekends.

If you are resident in Gibraltar and your intention is to be married in a place of worship or in the Marriage Registry without a Special Licence, you will need to give notice of your intended marriage either to a Minister registered under Section 5 of the Act or to the Marriage Registrar, whichever is applicable. You will need to give at least 21 days notice, in the case of a Registry wedding or allow for the publication of the banns if you are to be married in a place of worship.

2. General Conditions for Marriage and Documents Required

In order to get married at the Marriage Registry or by means of a Special Licence, you must be able to satisfy the Registrar that you are free to marry by completing affidavits and signing them before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public of your choice in Gibraltar. A list of registered Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Publics will be provided by the Registry upon request. Please remember however, that Commissioner for Oaths and Notary Public will charge you for their services.

All documents must be accompanied by an officially certified translation in the English language.

In addition couples wishing to get married will have to prove their identity by providing the Registrar with original of the following:

(A) SINGLE PERSONS

• Passport or national identity card in the case of an EEA national;
• Full birth certificate.

(B) WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS

• Passport or national identity card in the case of an EEA national;
• Full birth certificate;
• Previous marriage certificate;
• The death certificate of your spouse

(C) PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARRIED

• Passport or national identity card in the case of an EEA national;
• Full birth certificate;
• Final and absolute divorce decree or certificate of annulment of your previous marriage.

(D) CHANGE OF NAME

If you have changed your name by deed poll or in some other way, you should produce your change of name deed.

(E) OTHER DOCUMENTATION

In addition to the above the Registrar may, at his sole discretion, ask for other documents considered necessary. For example, if you are a non-EEA national residing in the EEA, the Registrar may ask you to produce your residence document.

(F) MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES

If you are a member of the armed forces you will also need to produce your Commanding Officer’s consent in writing.

(If you were born / or married in the United Kingdom or your spouse passed away in the United Kingdom and you do not have copies of the relevant birth, marriage or death certificates you should contact the General Register Office (GRO) at www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ to order duly certified replacement copies)

NOTES

It will not be possible to put an address in the UK or in any EU country on an affidavit if the person who is contracting a marriage does not provide evidence that he or she is legally resident in the country.

3. Making and Appointment for Marriage

To initiate the process you will, in the first instance, need to provide us with the required documentation prior to making a provisional booking for the marriage ceremony. You may do this either by attending our offices in person if you are in Gibraltar or by submitting the documents by email or by post.

Our offices are open to the public:-

Mondays to Fridays 09:00 to 12:45 (mid September to mid June) and
09:00 to 13:00 (mid June to mid September)

If you telephone, our office hours are:-

Mondays to Thursdays 08:45 – 17.30 (mid September to mid June)
Fridays 08:45 – 17.15

Mondays to Fridays 8.00 – 14.30 (mid June to mid September)

Gibraltar time is GMT+1 (winter) and GMT+2 (summer)
Marriages held in the Registry Office will only take place on weekdays between 10.00 and 12.00 excluding public holidays. However, some flexibility may be exercised, where possible, to accommodate weddings at 9.30 and 12.30, particularly during the summer months. Notwithstanding, Civil marriage ceremonies may be held outside the Registry Office ;

• Weekdays at 10:00, 12:00 and 18:00 to 20:00 (during winter hours)
• Weekdays at 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00 to 20:00 (during summer hours)
• Weekends between 10:00 and 20:00 (all year round)
No marriages will be held during the period between 17 December and 3 January inclusive.

4. Civil marriage ceremonies held outside the Registry must comply with all of the conditions imposed by the Registrar. For example, receptions held at the same venue should be celebrated in a separate area from where the ceremony actually takes place. SUBSEQUENT FORMALITIES

Once your provisional booking has been accepted and the required documentation found to be in order you will be notified and required to pay the prescribed fees. However, before the marriage license can be issued and before the wedding can take place, the original documents need to be submitted to the Registrar and accepted by him.

5. Attendance in Person

Once the booking is confirmed, the next stage will be for the couple to attend our offices not later than 10.30am on any working day prior to the date of the ceremony to present the originals, complete the corresponding affidavits. and apply for a Special Licence. This may be done at any time up to a maximum of 3 months in advance of the date of the ceremony, or as late as the working day before the date of the ceremony.

In the case where original documents can not be provided, certified copies of certificates bearing an original seal of the court or registry that issues the certificate or certified true copies of the original by a Notary Public, British Consul or other person entitled in law to certify the authenticity of the document are acceptable.

It is also possible to legalise (apostille) marriage certificates, under the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 on legalisation of documents. If you wish to apostille your marriage certificate, you should make arrangements for this at the time you order your certificate. There is no requirement to apostille the certificate if it is to be used in Gibraltar or UK. The fee for this service is £15.00 per certificate.

6. The Marriage Ceremony

Couples will need to make arrangements for themselves and their guests to be at the marriage venue before the ceremony is to take place. If the marriage is to take place at an external location, they might also need to arrange for transport to convey the Registrar to and from the marriage venue. If transport is required, arrangements are to be made when you come in to complete your paperwork.

Couples and their witnesses should be at the venue at least 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Delays in excess of 10 minutes may result in postponing the ceremony until the Registrar is next available.

Before the ceremony commences, you will be asked for identification (ie your passport or national identity card). You will also need to provide two witnesses for the marriage. Your witnesses may be related to either of you and/or to each other. They may be friends or colleagues but they must be able to speak and understand English and be over the age of 18.

The ceremony is conducted in English. If you do not speak English, the Registrar may assist you in obtaining an interpreter. However, you should advise the Registrar before the marriage booking is confirmed that you need the services of an interpreter. Should the Registrar not be able to assist, then it shall be your responsibility to provide a suitable interpreter who is acceptable to the Registrar.

7. Immigration Requirements

IMPORTANT. If you do not reside in Gibraltar and you are not an EEA national you may require a visa to enter Gibraltar. The Registrar will be able to advise you on whether or not a visa is required. If you do require a visa, you will need to apply for one at the British Embassy in your country of normal residence. If you are resident in the UK, you will be able to obtain a visa from the visa section, Identity & Passport Service, Globe House, Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PN. You must bear in mind that unless you have guaranteed return ability to either your country of normal residence or your country of origin, the issue of a Gibraltar visa will not be authorised.

You should also be aware that, Gibraltar is not part of Schengen. Therefore if you intend to travel to Gibraltar through Spain and return the same way, you should ensure that if you require a Schengen visa, this is valid for more than one entry.

Non EEA nationals who are to marry British Citizens and intend to settle in the United Kingdom with their spouses will need to obtain settlement visas in order to do so, irrespective of whether they are visa requiring nationals or not. These settlement visas however, have to be obtained in the British Embassy in the applicant’s country of normal residence and not in Gibraltar. If you are already in the UK, you should contact the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office at www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk for further information on your immigration status.