Last updated on November 19, 2019
The number of marriages between Polish citizens and foreigners is increasing and it seems like it will be increasing in the coming years. The borders become less of a problem nowadays. We do much more student exchange programs so it just makes sense that this figure is getting bigger and bigger. That’s why I’ve decided to write this post on getting married in Poland, I hope you like it 😉
Marriage statistics in Poland
GUS has meaningful data about marriages in Poland. As you can see in the graphs below, from 2009 to 2013 the total number of marriages in Poland decreased, meanwhile from 2013 to 2016 it slightly increased. These numbers refer to marriages between Poles (majority of the cases), marriages between a Polish citizen and a foreigner, and also marriage between two foreigners (minority of the cases).
Overall, the change in the number of marriages between 2009 and 2016 is negative, a decrease of around 22.7%.
When we take a look at the numbers of marriages between Poles and foreigners, we can see that the scenario is a bit different. From 2009 to 2016, the number of marriages between a Pole and a foreigner changed from 3907 to 4662, an increase of around 19.3%.
The interesting fact here is that the number of marriages between Polish women and foreigners – like in our case 🙂 – is more than twice bigger the number of marriages Polish men and foreigners.
Obviously, it’s easier to go through the bureaucracy of getting married here in Poland if both parts are Polish. So here I’m trying to make the lives of many foreigners who fell in love with a Pole a bit easier 🙂
If you are reading this article you are probably wondering what are the documents required for you and your other half to get married in Poland so let’s start with that 🙂
Necessary documents for a foreigner getting married in Poland
- Valid passport (does not need a translation).
- Birth certificate (it needs to be translated by a Polish sworn translator).
- If you are a widow/widower – a translated death certificate of your partner (Polish sworn translation).
- If you are divorced – a translated document certifying your divorce.
- A document certifying what will be your last name after getting married – to be filled in in the Civil Registry Office.
- The document certifying that according to the law of where the foreigner is from, he/she can legally get married in Poland 😉 This is probably the most tricky part in the whole process.
Document certifying your legal right to get married in Poland
This is probably the most tricky part of the documentation as not every country issues this document. It is very unlikely as well that you get it in your country of origin, at least this is what I have heard from some Spanish people. Therefore, what you need to do is to contact your embassy/consulate in Poland and inquire about this document.
- If your country issues the document than it is easier for you 🙂 They will simply have to contact your country of origin and change your residency to a Polish one. Once they change the residency you can receive this document, however, only after an interview with someone from the consulate 😉
If you are from the EU, the conversation should be quite simple as there is no real benefit from either of the sides to marry. In case of you being from outside of the European Union, the questioning might be a little bit stricter as they will want to check whether the marriage is due to happen based on real reasons.
- If your country does not issue this document. This is a trickier situation and there are some countries like Brazil that simply do not issue this certification. In such case, you need to apply to a family court for an exemption from submitting this documentation. Some friends of ours went through this process, and only this stage took them 3 months.
If you are already living in Poland, then you should apply to the family court close to your residence address. In case you do not live in Poland yet then you should apply for the central court located in Warsaw.
One of our readers (Rodrigo) went through this process and wrote a couple of useful recommendations, as I’m quoting below:
My fiancée and I are getting married next year, and as I’m Mexican, I needed to take the court route to get the “legal right to get married in Poland”-document exemption. Just a couple of notes from our experience, that might be useful for others:
* If possible, try filing for the waiver at a smaller court. We went to Wrocław and their waiting time was of nearly 6 months. They mentioned that they’re the busiest court in Poland.
* However, weeks after filing the request you can submit a document to try and speed up the process.
* For the court appointment, both of the parties getting married have to be present. To file the document, only one has to do it (with the signature from the interested party); and to pick up the court’s resolution/waiver, it can be sent to an address in Poland. A simple form at the post office can allow your fiancé/fiancée to pick it up for you.
* During the court’s appointment: it’s basically a verification that there’s no legal impediment in your country to get married. It’s advisable to know the requirements from your state or country.
Documents required from a Polish citizen for getting married
The list of the documents required from a Polish citizen is as expected much shorter.
- If you are single: your ID.
- Birth certificate
- If you are divorced:
- Marriage certificate
- Divorce certification
- If you are a widow/widower:
- Birth certificates
- Death certificate
Marriage in the Civil Registry Office
If you are only planning to have a civil ceremony, you should go to the Civil Registry Office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego) no later than 31 days before the date of your planned ceremony. You should take with you all of the above-mentioned documents. After the clerk checks all of the documentation submitted, he/she will issue a document certifying that there is no objection for you two to get married in Poland. This document has a validity of 6 months.
This document will stay in the Registry Office until the day of your ceremony. You need to bear in mind that it is obligatory for you to have a translator with you unless, of course, you speak Polish. It does not have to be a sworn translator (at least in the cases I have heard) but better check with your Civil Registry Office. The person will simply need to sign a document certifying that he/she is able to translate throughout the ceremony.
Marriage in the church
The certificate you gain from the Civil Registry Office will be necessary as well if you want to marry in the church. In such a case, you should not leave it in the Civil Registry Office but simply take it with you.
In addition to that, you will also need a certificate of baptism and confirmation. Ask your church whether it can be in Latin as in such case you will have one less document to translate. Normally these certificates you can get in your own language and in Latin.
And finally, the third document that you will need is a certificate of completing a pre-marriage schooling. Basically, if you plan to marry in the church you need to attend a series of meetings. They can happen during a week or weekends and talk about issues such as how to be a good partner, why do marriages fail, etc. Do not worry, there is no test at the end 😉
For the church ceremony, there is normally no obligation to have a translator. Actually, it is quite common to look for a priest that speaks your language. It is only necessary to agree with him what language to use 🙂
How to register your foreign marriage certificate in Poland
So I am Polish and my husband is Brazilian. As we did not live in Poland by then and Brazil does not issue one of the necessary documents, we decided to get a civil marriage in Brazil. The document that Brazil does not issue is the one called “the legal right to get married in Poland”. Unfortunately, Brazil is among the countries that do not issue it so we would have needed to apply for an exception.
Another complication was also the fact that we did not live in Poland so the only possibility would be to apply for the Central court for exemption which could have taken several months.
So, we got married in Brazil and what next ? 🙂 We, of course, wanted to legalize our marriage in Poland. Thank God we did as actually we decided to move to Poland a few months later. In order for you to register your marriage certificate, you will need to go to the Civil Registry Office in Poland or send someone to do it for you. In our case, we issued a power of attorney for my father and he did it for us.
Documents required to register your foreign marriage certificate
So it is important to know that the majority of the documents will need to be translated by the sworn translator in Poland. What we did was to find a Portuguese sworn translator and we sent all the documents to him via e-mail. At the same time, we sent the original documents to my father by post. He then needed to go to the translator and show the original documents. This serves as a confirmation that they are the same as the scanned copies.
- Power of attorney for my father (translated).
- Foreign marriage certificate (translated).
- ID and passport (mine and my husband’s).
- Confirmation of a payment of an administration fee – 50zl.
Very often they might ask you to provide your birth certificates as well. This is due to the fact that foreign marriage certificates might not have all the information required by the Polish law. Of course in such case, the birth certificate of your partner would require translation in Poland by Polish sworn translator.
So, let’s finish this article with a saying “And they lived happily ever after :)”. I wish you guys all the best of luck with the process. I hope everything goes smoothly in your case.
In case you have any doubts, just leave me a comment below, your doubt might also be the doubt of many other people 🙂