Getting married or entering into a registered partnership in Lebanon

If you are a Dutch national and you are planning to get married or enter into a registered partnership in Lebanon, check the additional requirements you must meet and the documents you will need. If you live in the Netherlands, you must register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership with your municipality, so that the details can be entered in the Personal Records Database (BRP).

In Lebanon it is not possible to conclude a civil marriage. You can only marry at a religious authority such as the church or the muslim court. 

The religious marriage follows other rules than the Dutch civil marriage. The rights and obligations between husband and wife are not equal. Read more about marriage in Lebanon.

Dutch requirements for marrying or entering into a registered partnership

If you are a Dutch national and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18 and you marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad, your marriage or registered partnership will not be recognised in the Netherlands until you are both 18 years old.
  • You and your partner must not already be married to or have a registered partnership with someone else.
  • If you are under guardianship you will need the permission of your guardian or of the limited jurisdiction judge ('kantonrechter').
  • The following family members are forbidden to marry each other or enter into a registered partnership with each other: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.

Obtaining permission from the country in which you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership

If you are planning to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad, check whether this is permitted under the law of the country in question. To find out, you should consult the foreign authority responsible for conducting marriages and registering partnerships. You cannot marry or enter into a registered partnership at a Dutch embassy or consulate abroad.

Documents required for marriage or registered partnership outside the Netherlands

You will require documents in order to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad. The foreign authority that conducts your marriage or registers your partnership can tell you which documents you require. These may include an official copy of your birth certificate and a declaration of marital status

Registering a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

If you live in the Netherlands, you must register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership with the municipality where you live. Do this as soon as possible once you return to the Netherlands. The personal data held on you in the Personal Records Database (BRP) will be updated.

Sometimes you may need to have a foreign official document legalised first. Legalisation is usually done in the country where the document originates. Find out whether you need to have your document legalised and, if so, how.

Converting a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership into a Dutch one

If you wish, you can have a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership converted into a Dutch one by the Foreign Documents Department of the municipality of The Hague.

This is not mandatory but it will make things easier in the future if you ever need an official copy of the certificate. An official copy of a marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership bears a stamp and the signature of a Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships. This will save you having to request one from abroad. Instead, you can request an official copy online from the municipality of The Hague.

Find out how you can have foreign official documents converted into Dutch ones.

Marrying or entering into a registered partnership in this country or region

Documents to conclude a religious marriage in Lebanon

The religious authority (church or muslim court) decides which documents you need to present. Often you need a birth certificate and a certificate that proves that you are single or divorced:

  • a birth certificate you need to apply for at the municipality where you were born. 
  • a proof of being single or divorced you apply for at the municipality where you live. If you live outside the Netherlands you can ask the Dutch embassy in your country of residence for a consular statement.

Registration in the Lebanese civil registers

A religious marriage is only valid after registration in the Lebanese civil registers.

Do you nor your partner have the Lebanese nationality? Then you need to register your marriage at the Foreigner Civil Registration Department at the Ministry of Interior of Lebanon. The Civil Registration Department often asks for proof that you were both present in Lebanon at the time of the marriage.

Registration of a Lebanese marriage in the Netherlands

To be able to register your Lebanese marriage in the Netherlands you need to legalise 2 documents at the Dutch embassy in Beirut:

  1. the religious marriage certificate (if you concluded a marriage contract at the muslim court and the contract is older than 6 months, the muslim court needs to mention that your marriage is still valid).
  2. extract of the marriage registration in the civil registers.

Polygamous marriages are not recognized under Dutch law.