Civil Marriage Procedure for Foreigners in India

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 has provision for civil marriages. Those who do not want their marriage to be a religious ceremony can go in for this choice.Marriage between an Indian and a foreign national is done under this act. The procedure for civil marriage is the same as a marriage under the Special Marriage Act.

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 has provision for civil marriages. Those who do not want their marriage to be a religious ceremony can go in for this choice.

Marriage between an Indian and a foreign national is done under this act. The procedure for civil marriage is the same as a marriage under the Special Marriage Act.

The approach will be like this

  • Notice of intended marriage must be filed with a Marriage Registrar in India.
  • Notice must be published and objectors can send in their views within 30 days.
  • At the end of 30 days, the Marriage Registrar performs the marriage.
  • This is applicable only if at least one partner is permanently and the other partner is temporarily residing in India.

In case one of the partners is in a foreign country, then a different procedure is to be followed.

  • The partner residing in India must collect the ‘Marriage Notice’ from a Marriage Registration Office anywhere in India.
  • After filling the form on his/her part, the person must send it to the partner in the foreign country to fill the form.
  • The notice has to be received back in India after the bride and groom have filled their forms.
  • The notice is resubmitted at the Marriage Registration Office.
  • A certificate with the signature of the bride and groom, the registrar and the witnesses will be issued.

This certificate will be treated as a proof of the marriage while applying for visa to the foreign country.

In any case, it is required of the parties to wait for 30 days at least, from the date of initial application so that the Marriage Registrar can publish a newspaper ad to invite objections.

The following documents are required for both the partners:

  • Valid Passport
  • Original Birth Certificate mentioning parents' names
  • If the person concerned is widowed, the original death certificate of the deceased spouse
  • If divorced, copy of the final decree
  • Documentary evidence regarding stay in India of the parties for more than 30 days (Ration card or report from the concerned SHO)
  • Citizen of a foreign country may be required to submit a “No Objection Letter” from the Embassy or Consulate of his/her country, along with proof of termination of previous marriages (if applicable).