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Marry a Foreigner: Legal Subtleties of International Marriage

Marry a Foreigner: Legal Subtleties of International Marriage

Marriage with a foreigner can be registered both in Russia and abroad, in the country of which one of the spouses is a citizen. From the place of registration of marriage will depend on the laws of which state relations of entering into marriage will be regulated.

In accordance with the Family Code of the Russian Federation, the form and procedure for entering into marriage on the territory of Russia, regardless of the citizenship of those who wish to enter into marriage, are determined by Russian law. This means that the marriage must be registered with the civil registry offices (the registry offices) in the personal presence of the persons entering into the marriage, usually after one month from the day they filed the application.

Russian legislation allows state registration of a marriage at any civil registry office in the territory of the Russian Federation at the option of persons entering into marriage. At the same time, foreign citizens must register at the place of stay, stay in Russia legally and have a valid visa.

Religious marriages, as well as actual marital relations (the so-called “civil marriage”) in Russia have no legal status and do not give rise to legal consequences.

But the conditions for entering into an official marriage in Russia are determined for each of the persons entering into marriage by the laws of the state of which he is a citizen at the time of the marriage. For example, when a Russian citizen and a French citizen are married, the norms of the Russian family law and the French Civil Code will be applied accordingly.

This means that the age of marriage set for Russian citizens (18 years) will not have anything to do with foreigners if there are other age limits for entering into marriage in their country.

For example, in France a woman can marry from the age of 15, a man from 18 years old. In Germany, the marriage age for women comes from 16 years, and for men – from 21 years.

In England, the age for men and women is the same – 16 years. If a foreigner has dual citizenship, he himself has the right to choose which legislation will be applied to him during marriage registration.

However, if one of the citizenships is Russian, then the legislation of the Russian Federation will apply.

Russian legislation provides for circumstances that prevent marriage. If there is at least one of them, a refusal to register it can be received.

These circumstances apply to foreign nationals.

So, the Russian legislation does not allow marriage between:

  • the bride and groom, if one of them is already in another registered marriage (this circumstance is especially necessary to check in case of registration of marriage with a citizen of a country in which polygamous marriages are allowed: Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Syria);
  • close relatives;
  • adoptive parents and adopted children;
  • the bride and groom, if at least one of them is declared incapable by the court due to a mental disorder.

In the case of marriage in the presence of these circumstances in the territory of another state, for example in a country where polygamous marriages are allowed, such a marriage will not be recognized in Russia.

Marry a Foreigner: Legal Subtleties of International Marriage

All documents provided must be translated into Russian and legalized, or a special stamp must be affixed to them – the apostille (identification mark).

Legalization is a confirmation of authenticity, certification of documents issued by the competent authorities of a foreign state. For the countries of the Hague Convention is the stamping “apostille”. For non-member states of the Hague Convention, documents are legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

The legalization process will not be required if the Russian Federation has concluded an international agreement on legal assistance. Russia has similar treaties with the following states:

CIS countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.

Other countries: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Vietnam, Georgia, Spain, Cyprus, North Korea, Cuba, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Panama, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Croatia, Czech Republic , Estonia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Documents of foreign citizens from the above countries simply translate into Russian and notarize the translation.

It is undesirable to travel to another country on a tourist visa and register a marriage there, as in this case you may be deprived of many of the benefits offered to immigrants in the future, problems with work or study may arise. It is best to issue a visa to the bride (the groom’s visa), otherwise – a marriage visa.

To obtain it, you must submit the necessary documents to the embassy of a country.

1) Joint application for marriage (in certain cases it is allowed to submit separate applications).

2) Identity documents (for example, passports).

3) A document confirming the termination of the previous marriage, if the person was previously a member of it (court decision on the dissolution of the marriage, death certificate); A foreign citizen can receive such a document at the embassy of his country.

4) Certificate from the place of residence of a foreign citizen, which is issued at the place of registration in the magistrate or in the parish.

5) Certificate (certificate) for foreign citizens issued by the competent authority or consulate (embassy) of the state of which he is a citizen, and confirming that he is not married and does not have any obstacles to entering into marriage.

6) Special permission for marriage for foreign citizens of certain countries (Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc.).

7) A visa allowing a citizen of a foreign state to stay in Russia.

Marry a Foreigner: Legal Subtleties of International Marriage

In the case of international marriage, a marriage contract must be entered into in order to be able to protect their rights and the rights of their future children. In a marriage contract, spouses can change the mode of ownership set by the laws of the state in which they will live.

The contract may also establish a regime of joint, shared or separate ownership of all the property of the spouses, its separate types or the property of each spouse. The contract can determine the mode of the future property of the spouses.

Also, spouses have the right to define in the marriage contract their rights and obligations with respect to mutual content; ways of participating in each other’s incomes; the procedure for each of them family expenses. However, the contract cannot limit the legal capacity or legal capacity of spouses, their right to appeal to the court for the protection of their rights; It is impossible to regulate personal non-property relations between spouses, rights and obligations of spouses in relation to children.

In a number of countries, as in Russia, only civil registration of marriage is allowed (i.e. registration at the registry office). These are countries such as Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan and some others.

In some states, marriage can be contracted both in civil and in religious form. They are: England and Wales, as well as Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland and Sweden.

The only possible form of marriage – religious – is established in Israel, Iraq, Iran. In some countries, legislation recognizes the so-called “de facto,” or “civil,” marriage.

These are: Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Hungary, Belgium, France and Portugal.

1) Application and application form.

2) Birth certificate.

3) The certificate of divorce (for those who were married).

4) Certificate of name change (for those who changed the name).

5) Death certificate of the spouse (in case of death of the spouse).

6) For persons under 18 years of age – the consent of the parents to marry.

9) Certificate of residence.

10) The application of the husband / wife to leave a minor child for permanent residence (for those who have a child).

All documents must be translated and legalized for the country in which the marriage will be registered.

This list of documents is approximate, as the legislation of each country sets its own requirements.

Having received a marriage certificate, it will need to be translated into Russian, to be certified by a notary, as well as legalized at the Russian consulate.

Marry a Foreigner: Legal Subtleties of International Marriage

In accordance with Russian legislation, the rights and duties of parents and children, including the obligation of parents to support children, are determined by the legislation of the state in whose territory they have a joint place of residence. In the absence of a joint residence, the rights and obligations are determined by the legislation of the state of which the child is a citizen.

The legal status of a child is determined by his citizenship. In international marriage, when one of the parents has Russian citizenship and the other is a foreigner, the child acquires Russian citizenship by birth, if he was born in Russia.

If the spouses are in a registered marriage and one of the parents of the child is a citizen of the country where the child was born, the child acquires the citizenship of this country automatically.

In the media, the topic of “partitioning children” after the divorce of parents, one of whom is a foreigner, has become quite popular. Decisions of foreign courts almost always meet the requirements of a parent who is a citizen of this country, infringing on the rights of a foreign mother.

Therefore, when deciding to enter into a marriage with a foreign citizen, carefully read the laws of a foreign country concerning children’s issues.

For example, in France there is a strict ban on the export outside the country of children born on its territory. If the parent takes the child away from France abroad, French justice obliges him to return to his country of residence.

The question of who the child should stay after the divorce is also pretty tough: it’s definitely with the parent who is a French citizen.

Carry children from Italy after a divorce, you probably will not be allowed.

In the United States, the fate of a child is decided by a jury, and the child in any case will be left only with a US citizen.

In Denmark, legislation automatically takes the side of the mother, however, if the father expresses a desire to participate in raising the child, he immediately receives half the rights to it.

In Japan, children from marriage are foreign women with a Japanese citizen almost always with their father. Exceptions are cases when a man voluntarily donates children to the mother.

And, of course, the toughest position on the issue of children is in Muslim countries. The legislation of the Eastern countries dictates an unambiguous decision: the child must live in the father’s house and be brought up by him.

A mother after a divorce can only visit her child at the time fixed for her.

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