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Getting Married in Poland: a Guide for Foreigners

Last updated on November 19, 2019

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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%.

Bar graph showing the total number of marriages in Poland from 2009 to 2016
Total number of marriages in Poland.

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.

Bar graph showing the number of marriages in Poland between a Pole and a foreigner from 2009 to 2016
Number of marriages in Poland between a Pole and a foreigner.

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.

I’ve got married to a Polish citizen, how can I get a visa based on our marriage? Check out our post about how to apply for the visa in Poland on the basis of your marriage!

Document certifying your legal right to get married in Poland

#churchwedding, #churchceremony, #slubkoscielny, #slubwkosciele

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:
    • ID
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce certification
  • If you are a widow/widower:
    • ID
    • Birth certificates
    • Death certificate

Marriage in the Civil Registry Office

#slub, #wedding, #slubcywilny, #obraczki, #weddingrings

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

#churchwedding, #churchceremony, #slubkoscielny, #slubwkosciele

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

#justmarried, #wedding, #slub, #marriage

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.

Conclusion

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 🙂

Don’t forget to check other posts we have written about Poland and Polish culture: Average Salary in Poland or some cultural stuff Polish Music 🙂

34 Comments

  1. Melissa Melissa December 18, 2018

    What about a foreigner getting their birth certificate made into some sort of Polish certificate that is submitted to the office and it can only be done once. Sorry I don’t remember the name of this but this is where I am stuck at in the process now. I was married once before in Poland but so not remember getting this document. Now they are asking if I have it.

    • SarahP SarahP February 15, 2019

      I never heard about a document certifying what will be your last name after getting married – to be filled in in the Civil Registry Office.

  2. Haroon Khan Haroon Khan March 6, 2019

    Hello! Congrats on the happily every after! 🙂

    My wife is Polish and we are also looking to register our marriage with the Polish Civil Registry. However, I was wondering why you did not use a consulate to register instead of asking your father? Is it more convenient to do so through a proxy living in Poland?

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | March 6, 2019

      Hi there ! It was just easier indeed 🙂 it was just much quicker and cheaper to do it this way.

  3. Kaitlyn Kaitlyn March 18, 2019

    Hello,

    I am a US citizen with an incredible Polish fiance (we got engaged 6 days ago!!!). I am starting the move over there in a few weeks so that I can be with him while he is having surgery. We don’t plan on getting married until next year. Is there any way of allowing a fiance to stay while planning the wedding? I know I can be there for 90 days without a visa but should I try to apply for a visa while I am still in the US or wait until I am already in Poland? I have tried finding this on the internet but everything is just trying to tell me how he can move to the US (which we don’t want).

    Thank you!!

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | March 18, 2019

      Hi Kaitlyn, first of all congratulations on the engagement!! From what I have seen quickly there is nothing like engagement visa in Poland… but your fiance can write you some sort of special invitation to be with you during some period. I would, however, strongly advise you to consult this with either a lawyer or ask your fiance to write a former enquire to for example Wojewoda Mazowiecki to advise on your case. You can find the email directly on Wojewoda Mazowiecki website 🙂 the information I found about the invitation possibility I found here in Polish.

      https://karta-pobytu.pl/porada-prawna/3583/Wiza-dla-narzeczonego

  4. Gosia Soltys Gosia Soltys April 10, 2019

    This was super helpful. I am Polish and my fiance is American. We are planning to get married in Poland next year but plan to get married in City Hall in New York before that. Do you happen to know if we can get married in church in Poland if we simply get our marriage certificate legalized in Poland?

    Thank you!

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | April 17, 2019

      I think that should not be a problem. You will simply need to go to a church close to your new place of residence in Poland. Tell them that you got a civil marriage abroad and you just moved here and they should tell you what documents are required. You can also ask your parents beforehand to talk to the priest!

  5. r r May 16, 2019

    Hello, what about the regime of the common properties during the marriage? Which one is applied if there is not a specific choice?

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | May 16, 2019

      Hi I am sorry I am not aure qhat you mean? Could you please explain ?

      • Andri Andri June 4, 2019

        Hi there! Really helpful article!

        I have a Polish fiancee and we are planning to get married in Poland, but while we are planning for the wedding i realized that my sponsorship visa would expire before the wedding date. (my visa would expire on July and the wedding would be on October).

        So my question is can i apply for a Karta Pobytu with the reason being i’m getting married in Poland soon? If not, how can i prolong my stay here legally?
        Thanks!

  6. Kamila Kamila June 6, 2019

    Hi, I am getting married to Indian citizen and we would like to get civil marriage in Poland. The problem is my Fiance has no birth certificate. To get one from India will take ages. Is there any way we can ask Court for an exemption from submitting this document?

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | June 6, 2019

      Hi Kamila! First of all, congratulations ! I would suggest you contacting a court directly about it or some lawyer. I presume the same as with the certificate we are mentioning in the article, it might be possible but it might take a long time… what about getting it through indian embassy ?

  7. Paula Paula July 17, 2019

    Getting married in Poland is a pain in the arse, we had problems every step of the way. I wish I decided to marry in Ireland where we both live, where it would be cheaper and so much easier to plan. Polish registrar did not accept Irish documents and translations done by Irish government so we had to get them translated again in Poland. So we paid 160 euro for 2 documents issued in Ireland and we had to pay for the translation of these 2 documents again in Poland 10 euro per page. The only difference between translation done in Poland and translation done in Ireland is different layout. To create so many issues out of nothing is absolutely crazy.

    • Rafael Rafael July 26, 2019

      Indeed it’s Paula. We ourselves preferred to get married in Brazil, because surprisingly the bureaucracy there was less complex than in Poland. And Brazil is to some extent a bureaucratic country as well.

  8. Bolasie Bolasie August 14, 2019

    Hi,

    I want to know how long it takes to issue date for marriage at the Registry office (Poznan in particular).
    A friend told me its impossible this year and that we should look towards next year, is this for real?

    Could you give me an idea, cos i wanted to do it before Christmas so we can both travel to my home city for the festive period.

    Regards

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | August 21, 2019

      Hi, sorry I am not sure about the timings. My recommendation would be for you to go and ask in Poznan or call them and ask about the procedure so that you avoid any confusions

  9. Sri Sri August 20, 2019

    Hey,
    I am an Indian citizen. My fiancee and I are planning to get married in Poland, and we have talked to her priest and he has given us a date and now we are in the midst of gathering documents,
    The biggest confusion is about Single status certificate – in India, they will provide that document more like a declaration by me which will be attested/apostille by the Ministry of External affairs of India.
    We are not sure whether that kind of document will be accepted by Civil office or not, but as I read any apostille document should be accepted as per Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 (fyi, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostille_Convention, https://www.hcch.net/en/states/hcch-members), and Poland is part of the group of 104 member countries who agreed to that.
    As we have to get the clearance certificate from Civil office clerk to get married in the church, we would like to proceed with the entire process along with an attorney.
    Can you please let us know or anyone in this community were in this situation?
    Can you also suggest an attorney or firm to go with, my fiancee is based near to Krakow and I am currently working in US. We are also okay to do skype/video conf with the attorney.

    She called to the civil office in Krakow, the answer she got is “get married in India – it’s much easier”. Feels like, no proper info will be provided by the office folks until an attorney gets involved.

  10. Tardeo - Beyond Thoughts Tardeo - Beyond Thoughts August 21, 2019

    Getting married in Poland is a pain in the arse, we had problems every step of the way. I wish I decided to marry in Ireland where we both live, where it would be cheaper and so much easier to plan. Polish registrar did not accept Irish documents and translations done by Irish government so we had to get them translated again in Poland. So we paid 160 euro for 2 documents issued in Ireland and we had to pay for the translation of these 2 documents again in Poland 10 euro per page. The only difference between translation done in Poland and translation done in Ireland is different layout. To create so many issues out of nothing is absolutely crazy.

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | August 21, 2019

      Hi, unfortunately this particular rule does not only apply to Poland but in other countries as well :/ when I applied for a visa in Brazil they were also not accepting any translations done in Poland but we had to do all of them in Brazil by certified translators.

  11. Ian Ian September 3, 2019

    So just to clarify. As a British citizen getting married to a Polish national in Poland the main paper work I would need:

    • CNI form (but translated at consul in Krakow/Warsaw)? Obviously after I have got the Uk version from the Uk registra.

    • Birth certificate (but translated at consul on Krakow/Warsaw)?

    It all seems so strange that it can only be done by the embassy in Poland prior!!

  12. Ekta Ekta September 12, 2019

    A marriage certificate proves a couple is married. The license is required. The certificate becomes available after the license has been returned for recording after the ceremony.

  13. Edyta Edyta September 20, 2019

    Thank you, that was very helpful!

  14. José Luis José Luis October 2, 2019

    Hello! I am from Guatemala and my fiance from Poland. We want to get married in Poland and unfortunately Guatemala does not issue the document certifying that according to the law of Guatemala, I can legally get married in Poland.

    As a Guatemalan I can be up to 90 days in Poland without a visa, the problem is that if we go to the family court and the process takes longer than 3 months and then the marriage process takes longer, should I apply for some kind of Visa or what would you advise me to do?

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | October 2, 2019

      Hello! That’s a tricky one… unfortunately I do not know the answer to this one. I would recommend you asking this question on some expats groups on FB such as expats in Warsaw, krakow expats. I am sure someone went through something similar and can advise you on their experience

  15. Leon Leon October 16, 2019

    Thank you so much Dagmara for such kind of information.

  16. Manny Oscar Manny Oscar October 18, 2019

    Hello Dagmara.

    I am very grateful that you have shared your experience, since it is very helpful. I am in a similar boat as the previous commentor José Luis. My fiance’ and I decided to get married in Poland due to the ease of transporting guests. However, my country does not issue this particular document which is making it very stressful for us. You did mention that some of your friend’s had to go through the proceedure and I was wondering if you happen to know the name of the document that we need to submit to the Polish court to start the court process? We have been trying to get more information about this waiver and everywhere we read, just mentions we need to start a court process. But none mentions where we might get the forms to submit the case. Hope to hear from you soon.
    Thank you for your time and this wonderful article.

    Kind regards
    Manny

    • Dagmara Dagmara Post author | October 19, 2019

      Hi there ! Thank you for a nice comment 🙂 from what I have heard from my friends who went through the process there is no standard form, you basically need to write an argumentation yourself and submit it to the court. My friends did it themselves without a help of the lawyer. If you have any doubts you could also ask more questions on FB groups of expats here in Poland such as Expats in Warsaw, Kraków Expats. I am sure there are a lot of people who could share details of their experience of the process! All the best of luck !

  17. Gustavo Gustavo November 19, 2019

    Hi, thanks for the detailed article, it was of huge help . 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.

    • Rafael Rafael November 19, 2019

      Hi Gustavo, thanks a lot for your contribution! I’m quoting your comment in the post, it will certainly be useful for other people, I hope you don’t mind 🙂

  18. Jaykie Pangilinan Jaykie Pangilinan January 16, 2020

    Hello..
    I’m from Philippines and I’m marrying a sweet Polish girl from Bialystok. Does the legal documents will take some time I only have a 3months of stay in Poland.

    • Rafael Rafael January 30, 2020

      Hi Jaykie, unfortunately getting married in Poland can take some time, especially if your country does not issue that document that atests that you’re single back there.

  19. Shakur Shakur January 19, 2020

    Hello,
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    I am an non EU national got married with a Beautiful Polish girl in EU country Cyprus. Recently We are planning to move Poland for staying there permanently.

    Can you please tell me what will be the exact procedure after I am in Poland.?

    By the way, I have already got certified polish marriage certificate from Polish Civil and registry office.

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