Legal Requirements for Marriage in India for A Foreigner

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If you are a foreigner and if India has always been your dream wedding destination, then you also might be having some questions pertaining to the legal considerations thereof.

  • How long does the entire procedure take?
  • What are the documents we need to carry?
  • Will the marriage be legal in my own country?

Numerous thoughts must be clouding your mind before you can take the decision of tying the knot here.. To make matters easier for you, we are discussing some legal details that one needs to be aware of when marrying in India.

Now, before we get into the legal nitty gritty, it is important to understand that this can be a  time consuming process .You should be aware that you need to have at least 2 months (60 days) in your hand to complete  the legalities.

1. According to the Special Marriage Act of India, either of the two parties (bride or groom) has to live in the country for at least 30 days before applying to the marriage registry office. A foreigner has to get a certificate from the local police station that will confirm this 30 days stay in India.

Legal requirements of marriage

2. Each of the parties (bride and groom) has to submit these legal documents to the registry office –

  • Proof of residence
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified copy of passport
  • 2 passport sized photographs

3. Either of the parties also has to submit the intention to marry to the marriage registrar office. Remember, any one of you can do this.

4. Next comes the eligibility for marriage. If you have not been married yet the you have to get –

  • Single status affidavit (for citizens of USA)
  • Certificate of No Impediment (for citizens of UK)
  • Certificate of No Record (for citizens of Australia)

For divorced people, it is necessary to submit the Decree Absolute. For widowed, one has to submit the death certificate of the spouse. Remember, both the parties have to submit these documents individually.

marriage in india

5. If the application of marriage gets sanctioned within 30 days and there is no objection, the civil ceremony of marriage can be performed at the registry office. You will need three witnesses. Each of the witnesses has to submit passport sized photographs to the office along with their identification proof and address proof.

6. The registry office issues the marriage certificate usually after a few of weeks after the wedding ceremony.

Only then, you will be announced as legally married in India.

Photo courtesy:

Camera Crew
Vrutika Doshi Photography
Vipurva Parikh Photography

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