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According to the Slovak law, marriage is an interpersonal relationship of a man and a woman concluded either during a civil wedding ceremony at a Registry Office or a religious wedding ceremony in a church, in the presence of two wedding witnesses. During such a wedding ceremony the couple accept each other as a wife and a husband willingly, with free consent and without any coercion.
A Slovak citizen can marry a foreigner in Slovakia or in a foreign country. Marriage on a Slovak embassy is possible only if both fianceés are Slovaks.
Wedding Ceremony in Slovakia
A marriage between a Slovak citizen and a foreigner is regulated by pertinent provisions of the Act on Family and the Act on Registry Offices. Granting a permanent residence permit to a foreigner who entered into a marriage with a Slovak citizen is regulated by pertinent provisions of Act on residence of foreigners.
Civil marriage ceremony at a Registry Office – Council Registry Office locally competent to perform a wedding ceremony is chosen according to the place of permanent residence of one of the spouses. If a couple intends to have a wedding ceremony in any place other than Registry Office (for example an outdoor wedding) or another Registry Office, this has to be approved by the locally competent Registry Office. If approved, all documents required for the wedding ceremony will be sent from the locally competent Registry Office to the other Registry Office chosen by the spouses. The wedding vows are given to each other in front of a Mayor or a Councillor in the presence of a Registry Officer.
Religious wedding ceremony in a church – The wedding vows must be read by the couple to each other in the presence of a priest of the registered Church. The religious body will send the marriage certificate to the locally competent Registry Office within 3 days following the wedding.
Documents for Marriage in Slovakia
If you decided to have a wedding ceremony in the territory of the Slovak Republic, please read the following text about the requirements you have to fulfill.
A foreigner is obliged to submit the following documents to the locally competent Registry Office not later than 14 days prior to the wedding ceremony:
- Birth certificate – this document shall include personal data of a foreigner – date and place of birth as well as the personal data of parents. If the birth certificate does not include personal data of both parents, the marriage certificate of the parents will be required.
- Document which proves the legal capacity of the foreigner to enter into a marriage – such a document is an evidence of the fact that there are no legal impediments which would prevent this person marrying, and must include: name, surname, date and place of birth, citizenship, address of permanent residence, marital status, and an affirmation that the foreigner has a legal capacity to conclude a marriage pursuant to the legislation of the home country. This document will be issued by the Registry Office of the foreigner’s country of origin or, for some countries, such documents can be issued by embassies.
- Proof of citizenship – valid passport
- Proof of legal stay in Slovakia – visa, temporary residence permit, card of a refugee etc.
- Proof of marital status (see the point no.2)
- Death certificate of a deceased spouse – if the foreigner is widowed
- Divorce decree – if the foreigner is divorced (or a court decision about the annulment of a previous marriage)
- ID or passport
The documents mentioned above must be submitted at the locally competent Registry Office not later than 14 days prior to the wedding ceremony. Documents 2. and 5. must not be older than 6 months.
Documents must be translated into Slovak by an official translator certified by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic and the translated documents must be signed by the certified translator and must include a round seal.
All documents shall be submitted to the locally competent Registry Office regardless of the place of the wedding ceremony. If any of the spouses does not speak or understand Slovak language, the presence of an official court interpreter is required at the wedding ceremony.
If submitting any specific document is hindered by an especially difficult obstruction, the Registry Office can accept its replacement with an affidavit of the couple.
Slovak citizen shall submit:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of address = permanent residence in Slovakia
- Death certificate of a deceased spouse – if he/she is widowed
- Divorce decree – if he/she is divorced person, or a court decision on an annulment of a previous marriage
- Personal identification number (given to Slovak citizens at birth)
Documents 2., 3., 6. can be substituted by submitting a valid identity card.
If a Slovak citizen has a permanent residence abroad, the following documents must be submitted:
- Confirmation about his/her residence, issued by the competent authority of the given state;
- Confirmation of the Slovak citizenship may be substituted by submitting a valid passport issued by the Slovak Republic.
Besides above mentioned documents, before the wedding ceremony takes place, the couple shall fill out an official application form for the wedding ceremony; sometimes – because of serious obstacles – this can be done by only one of the fianceés. There is an administrative fee of 66,-EUR.
Wedding Ceremony Abroad
According to the Act on International Private and Procedural Law the procedure is determined by the law of the country in which the wedding ceremony takes place. Therefore it is necessary to inquire well in advance about the conditions and the documents you will need for a wedding in the foreign country of choice.
Marriage between a Slovak citizen and a foreigner concluded with a competent authority in a foreign country may be validated in Slovakia only if it is valid in the country where it was concluded and if there are no legal impediments regarding this marriage in the Slovak Republic (e.g. condition of age, monogamy issues etc.).
Confirmation about the legal capacity of a Slovak citizen to enter into a marriage union is issued by the competent Slovak Registry Office. A foreigner must be competent to enter into a marriage according to the law of his state of origin.
Registration of the Marriage in Slovakia
If a couple married abroad and one of the married is a Slovak citizen and they have been issued marriage certificate by the foreign country’s Registry, it is necessary to register the marriage at a Slovak Registry office to have the marriage recognized in the Slovak Republic.
The registration can only be claimed if either spouse is a citizen of the Slovak Republic. Registration in the Slovak registry shall be submitted to the Embassy of the Slovak Republic or at the appropriate Registry Office competent in the permanent (or last permanent) residence of the Slovak citizen, which forwarded the request to the Registry office. If the citizen had no permanent residence in Slovakia before, he/she can apply at any Registry Office in Slovakia.
The request may be filed personally or it can be filed by an authorized person who has to prove the authorization by written and signed letter (splnomocnenie) certified by a Slovak notary. Embassy sends the request to the Registry Office only if it is complete, then Registry Office issues the Slovak marriage certificate and sends it back to the Embassy, which sends it to the applicant. The whole process takes about three months. In justified cases this period may be extended by three months.
Documents needed for registration:
- The completed form “Zápis o uzavretí manželstva” (applicant’s signature has to be verified by the consular section of the Slovak Embassy). The form should be completed by the applicant using a typewriter/PC, in extreme cases, legible block letters. Download the form;
- Original foreign marriage certificate, “Apostilled” (within the meaning of the Hague Convention). Apostille is granted at the embassy in the country of marriage.
WARNING: Certified photocopy of the foreign marriage certificate with Apostille should be sent. The applicants can ask for the photocopy and apostille at the embassy for a fee. If they don’t, the originaly copy will be sent to the Registry Office and will not be returned to the applicants;
- Certified (by the embassy) translation of a foreign marriage certificate into Slovak language made by an authorized translator by the foreign country, or a foreign birth certificate translated into Slovak language translated by an authorized translator of the Slovak Republic or the embassy;
- Slovak birth certificate of the applicant;
- Certificate of citizenship of the applicant – the applicant proves citizenship of Slovak Republic by valid certificate of citizenship of SR (not older than 6 months), a valid passport or SR or valid Slovak ID card;
- If the marriage was after a divorce of a previous marriage, citizen of SR submits decision about the divorce of Slovak judgment court. If the marriage was divorced in a foreign country, it is necessary to submit a final sentence of the Regional Court in Bratislava, recognizing the foreign divorce court judgement.
If one of the spouses was widowed before the marriage, death certificate of the husband or wife should be submited.
All foreign documents must be legalized and translated into the Slovak language;
- ID card of the applicant (the side of the document, where the photo and signature are);
- Application for registration without surname ending (-ová) – It is necessary to submit a completed Form (PDF download).
Woman’s surname without the written Slovak suffix (-ová,-ká) will be registered in these cases:
- If one of the spouses is not a citizen of Slovakia,
- If both spouses are citizens of Slovakia, but the wife is of a non-Slovak nationality,
- If a citizen of Slovakia, whose surname is concerned, is also a citizen of another country.
It is necessary to register the surname without the written Slovak suffix for a female child as well.
- A consular fee, which amount is specified in section 251 of the Act on Administrative Fees, No. 145/1995 Z. z. The administration fee is payable upon application in cash in EURO.
Along with the consular fee the applicant should pay upon application in cash 1,- € (application costs).
- Prepaid return envelope to the address of applicant. In case of not including the return envelope, the applicant will pay the Embassy additional cash costs associated with delivering of the marriage certificate.
When marrying, partners must declare, whether the surname of one of them is their common surname, or whether they retain their current names. Since 1st of July 2002, the engaged couples in marriage may agree that the surname of one of them is their common surname and one of them retain their existing name, as well.
Slovak citizen who has married abroad, and taken as a common surname of her husband’s surname at the same time retained its existing Slovak name and the marriage has been registered in a Slovak Register Office before 1st of July 2002, will be issued a marriage certificate stating both surnames, if requested.
The agreement about the surname should follow these principles:
- Common name is always first in order.
- Two surnames are always written without a hyphen.
- Women should have both surnames in the same form, i.e. both with -ová suffix or both without it.
If all the documents are OK, Slovak Registry Office will issue Slovak Registry document.