Getting Married While Living Abroad

Becoming an expat and living in a new country is a unique and exciting experience.  Falling in love in another country is an even more exciting proposition for many.  While you should consider yourself fortunate to have found “the one”, international marriages can have lots of pros and cons.

Marriage between people of the same culture and upbringing can prove difficult at times.  Couples coming from completely different continents may have many more obstacles to overcome in their relationship, but this can also prove as an opportunity to improve your communication skills.  No matter how crazy a pairing might seem, sometimes you can’t help who you love.

There are lots of important decisions you’ll want to discuss before getting hitched that are especially true for international marriages.  Where will you live after the wedding?  Where will you keep your money or buy a house?  Will you have children and where will they be raised?  What traditions will you celebrate from both cultures?  Will you both work?  These are big questions that might have surprisingly different answers from both of you.

Once you’ve made the decision to get married to someone from another nationality, you’ll want to research all the legalities and talk with your consulates to ensure that the marriage will be recognized by both countries.  The documentation to get married will probably be very different than if you were both of the same nationality, so prepare for additional paperwork, especially if you’ve been divorced.  One item that is mandatory for almost all marriage certificates abroad (besides identification, of course) is a declaration of being single.  This can usually be done in front of a certified lawyer for a small fee.

Many countries will require an interim period to test the validity of the marriage to weed out the ones that are only for citizenship.  It’s possible that you’ll still need visas in order to go back and forth between your two countries as well.  If you’re looking to obtain dual citizenship, having a clean criminal record will be incredibly helpful in making it a smooth process.

Finding love is truly a gift in life, no matter what part of the planet you’re on.  Luckily, it’s getting easier and easier to bridge the international gap as the world becomes more globalized.  If you’re ready to go all the way and tie the knot, just make sure that you’re ready mentally, emotionally, and legally.