Netherlands Worldwide

Getting married or entering into a registered partnership in Portugal

If you are a Dutch national and you are planning to get married or enter into a registered partnership in Portugal, 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).

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.

Attention: 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

You cannot get married at the Dutch embassy in Lisbon.

Legal requirements

The Portuguese Civil Registry Office will ask for the following documents:

  • A valid passport or identity card;
    An international birth certificate issued within the last 6 months. Please contact the municipality of your birthplace in the Netherlands;
  • A multilingual certificate of legal capacity to marry (certificado de capacidade matrimonial), issued by the municipality of your last residence in the Netherlands. To obtain this certificate of legal capacity to marry, you need a certificate of marital status issued by the Dutch embassy in Lisbon. Please inform yourself at the municipality which other documents are necessary from both spouses to obtain this certificate. Only in exceptional cases, such as Dutch citizens who never have lived in the Netherlands, is the embassy the competent entity to issue such a document.
  • A residence permit when both partners are not Portuguese citizens.
  • If you were born in a country other than the Netherlands, check whether a birth certificate issued by that country is accepted by the Portuguese Civil Registry Office.

Civil partnership (geregistreerd partnerschap) such as in the Netherlands does not exist in Portugal. There is another form of Civil Union (União de Facto). This union allows some rights of marriage, but it is not the same as the Dutch registered civil partnership.

As the registered civil partnership does not exist in Portugal, it is not allowed to undo a Dutch registered civil partnership in Portugal nor is it allowed to change this partnership into a marriage in Portugal.