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Getting married FAQ

Q. I am British and wish to get married in Brazil. What should I do?

A. You will get precise answers to all your questions if you address the Brazilian Register Office (“Cartório do Registro Civil”) or the Church in Brazil where you intend to get married. Requirements may vary from place to place. The list below contains the documents most often required but should be double-checked in each case:

For unmarried people

  1. Birth certificate (for British citizens, Full Birth Certificate)
  2. Non-impediment Certificate (“Atestado de Estado Civil”)
  3. Residence Certificate (proof of residence)
  4. Passport or Identity Card (original and certified photocopy)
  5. Power of Attorney (“Procuração)

For Divorced people

  1. Birth certificate (for British citizens, Full Birth Certificate)
  2. Divorce decree “Nisi Absolute” and original Marriage Certificate*
  3. Residence Certificate (proof of residence)
  4. Passport or Identity Card (original and certified photocopy)
  5. Power of Attorney (“Procuração)

*When divorced abroad from a Brazilian citizen, one must present t “homologação de sentença estrangeira”

For Widowed people

  1. Birth certificate (for British citizens, Full Birth Certificate)
  2. Spouse’s Death Certificate and original Marriage Certificate
  3. Residence Certificate (proof of residence)
  4. Passport or Identity Card (original and certified photocopy)
  5. Power of Attorney (“Procuração”)

TO BE VALID IN BRAZIL, DOCUMENTS ISSUED ABROAD MUST BE LEGALISED AT THE BRAZILIAN CONSULATE AT THE PLACE WHERE DOCUMENTS WERE ISSUED. ONCE LEGALISED, DOCUMENTS MUST BE TRANSLATED INTO PORTUGUESE BY A SWORN TRANSLATOR IN BRAZIL.

Q. Is my marriage in Brazil valid in the United Kingdom?

A. Yes. For information on requirements, please contact a British Consulate in Brazil.

Q. Once we are married, how does my wife get a visa for herself to be allowed to live in the United Kingdom?

A. Please contact a British Consulate in Brazil for information on the applicable requirements.

Q. How long before marriage should I lodge the documents required for the marriage license?

A. At least twenty days before wedding day.

Q. What is a “Full Birth Certificate”?

A. A “Full Birth Certificate” is the long version of the birth certificate, complete with the names of your father and mother.

Q. Where can I get a Full Birth Certificate?

A. You can get an authentic copy of your Full Birth Certificate from the Family Records Centre or the Register Office where your birth was registered.

Q. What is a “Non-impediment Certificate”?

A. It is a document which states that you are free to marry. Some countries will require that you prove your marital status before accepting your application for a marriage licence.

Q. Where do I get a “Non-impediment Certificate” in the United Kingdom?

A. From the Register Office at your local Town Hall. A Notarised Declaration (“Affidavit”) signed by two persons before the Notary public, declaring that they have known the applicant for more than two years and that to their knowledge there is no impediment to his/her marriage.

Q. What is a “Residence Certificate”?

A. It is a document proving your address. When applying for a marriage license in Brazil it is mandatory that you provide proof of your address.

Q. How do I get a Residence Certificate in the United Kingdom?

A. The Electoral Registry at your local Town Hall can issue a declaration stating your address in the past two years, according to their records. You may sign a Notarised Declaration before a Notary public, stating where you have been living for the past two years.

Q. What is an authenticated photocopy?

A. It is a photocopy taken from a document by a qualified person such as a British Notary Public or an official at the Brazilian Consulate General.

Q. What is a “Power of Attorney”?

A. “Power of Attorney”, or “proxy”, is a document drawn by a Notary Public, by which you grant someone authorisation to sign and act on your behalf.

Q. When do I need a Power of Attorney (or proxy)?

A. You will need one if you have to sign documents yet you are not there. For instance, you will need one to apply for your marriage license.A “Cartório do Registro Civil” (Register Office) will tell you in what other cases you will need one.

Q. How do I get a Power of Attorney (proxy) in the United Kingdom?

A. You have to see a Notary Public or Solicitor.

Q. Where do I find a Notary Public in the United Kingdom?

A. Notaries Public are listed in the Yellow Pages. Otherwise, your solicitor might be able to recommend one.

Q. I have documents issued in the United Kingdom. Should I have them legalised at the Brazilian Consulate General in London?

A. Yes. To be valid in Brazil, all documents issued in the United Kingdom have to be legalised at the Brazilian Consulate General in London.

Q. What does “legalisation of a document” mean?

A. Legalisation is a procedure by which the Consulate General verifies the authenticity of a document. Some countries, like Brazil, require that documents issued abroad be verified and stamped by their Consulate in the place where the document was issued.

Q. Do documents issued in the UK need translation into Portuguese?

A. Yes. Once legalised at the Brazilian Consulate General in London, they have to be translated into Portuguese by a sworn translator in Brazil.


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