Russian lawyer for foreign nationals

We work across all Russia
Law Firm

Can you marry in Russia if one of the spouses is abroad?

Marriage procedure is always more complicated when one of the spouses is a foreigner. Especially now, when entering Russia is rather difficult for people from certain countries, and many clients ask us if it is possible to file a marriage application and get married without the spouse that resides abroad.

It is prohibited to perform a marriage without both parties present. It is not possible to do it even under a Power of Attorney or with the help of any consent letter. Both the husband and the wife* must attend the civil ceremony and put their personal signatures to avoid potential frauds.

However, the Russian citizen can submit an application alone. To do this, the non-Russian resident should collect following documents and have them apostilled:

1) A notarized copy of the passport. An apostille should be put on the notary’s certification.

2) A document issued by any relevant authority that at the moment the non-Russian citizen is not married and there is no legal impediment to their contracting a marriage. It may have different names, depending on where to obtain it: Certificate of No Impediment, Single Statement, No Marital Status Certificate, Negative Statement of Marriage, etc. As an option, you can provide an Affidavit of Marital Status.

3) Application for marriage (Form No. 8) – Rus. Заявление о заключении брака (Форма № 8). You can easily find a template on the Net. It is best to translate the application into the official language of the foreign spouse’s country of citizenship and then fill it out and notarize. Caution: this 2 page document must be printed double-sided on the same sheet!

4) Court Order Dissolving Marriage or the deceased spouse’s Death Certificate if the fiancé(e) has been married before.

As mentioned, all these documents must bear an apostille stamp, or be duly legalized if the country is not party to the Apostille Convention. Once it is done, the non-resident should send them to their fiancé(e) by regular mail, since scans are not enough to be submitted to the ZAGS (Russian Registry Office).

Next, the future spouse that resides in Russia must translate the documents into Russian and have the translations notarized (note that it should be done by a qualified translator, or else a notary will not certify the translation). After that the resident can go to the ZAGS and file an application for marriage. He/she should bring his/her internal passport and, if any, Order Dissolving Marriage or the deceased spouse’s Death Certificate.

If other words, it is enough for a foreign national to come to Russia only to the wedding if the couple complied with all requirements prescribed for by law; yet it is mandatory for him/her to be in Russia on the day of marriage, or else it will not be registered.

Pay attention to the fact that such an application is made no later than a month and no earlier than a year before the planned date of wedding. Learn more if it is possible to shorten this period.

* Note that the Russian Federation does not recognize same-sex marriage

Need legal aid? Feel free to contact us:
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
Visit us: Moscow, Zubovskiy bulvar, building 4/1, office 308
We are in social networks
Subscribe to our groups in social networks
More useful articles
Or find out more about our services