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Information for Australian citizens who wish to be married in Switzerland
The laws governing marriage formalities in Switzerland vary from Canton to Canton. Copies of the relevant Cantonal legislation are not held at the Consulate in Geneva, therefore you should contact the Marriage Office in the town where you wish to be married, in order to obtain full details of the Swiss requirements.
It is the responsibility of both parties to a marriage to ensure, by seeking legal advice if necessary, that they each have the capacity to marry as required by the law of their respective countries of citizenship. If you are required by the Swiss authorities to obtain a statement from Australia declaring that there is no record of a marriage in your name, you should apply at the registrar’s office in the state or territory where you are resident. Contact details of all registry offices in Australia may be found at www.coraweb.com.au/bdmau.htm. You should also request confirmation from the Swiss authorities that a certificate issued in Australia would be acceptable or whether or not the Swiss still require a declaration from the Australian Consulate General in Geneva.
The Swiss Authorities may also require an 'Apostille' stamp on any Australian documents you may have to provide to them, (eg. birth certificate / divorce papers). If an 'Apostille' is required, this must be issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia. Please note also that the 'Apostille' must be stamped, on the original document.
As a general rule, (but not always - this depends on the Canton) the Swiss authorities will require a declaration from the Australian Consulate General Geneva, entitled a “Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage” (CNI). The CNI application form can be downloaded at Marriage Overseas.
The CNI is a general statement of Australia's recognition of a foreign marriage performed in Switzerland according to Swiss law. This declaration will be issued in French and will include confirmation of the applicant's Australian citizenship, his/her legal domicile and his/her marital status (i.e. single, divorced, widowed, etc). Original documents must be provided to us, as proof of your domicile, marital status, etc.
Please note : any documents to be provided to the Swiss authorities that are not in one of the three official languages of Switzerland (French, German or Italian) must be officially translated.
Please contact us for any further information.