To register either a marriage or a partnership in Switzerland or abroad, your main point of reference is the registry office in which you have decided to celebrate the marriage or conclude your partnership. It is normally this office that decides what documents are required to mark this civil status event.
Marriage and registered partnership
You are advised nonetheless to learn in advance about the formalities involved and the civil status documents that may have to be prepared prior to the celebration of a civil status event. These advance steps will facilitate matters when it comes to entering your marriage or registered partnership in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar). To register in the register Infostar, the documents listed on this webpage are to be submitted to the Swiss representation competent for the country where the celebration has taken place.
A marriage that has been legally celebrated abroad, and decisions or measures taken abroad with regard to a registered partnership, will normally be recognised in Switzerland (Federal Act on Private International Law (PIL SR 291)).
Marriage in Kuwait or Bahrain
The Embassy is not a civil registrar office and cannot perform wedding ceremonies. Should you wish to marry in Switzerland, you will have to present yourself at this Embassy to start the procedure. Please make an appointment, bring your passport and all the documents mentioned below with you.
Documents and information required by the Embassy
a) from the foreign citizen
- Certificate of marital status that indicates that the person is either single, divorced or widowed. If the person is divorced, the decree of divorce must be presented.
- Birth certificate with names of the parents
- Certificate of residence
- Certificate of nationality
(These documents have to be translated by a notary public in English, German, French or Italian and should not be older than 6 months. For the registration / transmission to the Swiss civil registry, all documents have to be legalised by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait or Bahrain).
b) from the Swiss citizen
- a photocopy of his/her personal record sheet (Personenstandsausweis / fiche d état civil)
- a photocopy of his/her Swiss Passport
- certificate of immatriculation (if not registered in Switzerland)
The marriage procedure is subject to a fee.
The family name of the wife is regulated by the International Private Law.
- Kuwait and Bahrain
The wife keeps the family name she had before the wedding.
- The wife changes her Family name by taking the one of her husband, or
- she puts her Family name before the name of her husband and uses therefore a double name (not hyphenated), or
- the couple can apply to use the Family name of the wife as the Family name of the whole Family.
The Swiss wife-to-be with residency in Kuwait or Bahrain can choose if she wants to adopt the Swiss regulation regarding the name. All declarations or decisions regarding the name must be handled or deposited before the marriage takes place.
Neither the Swiss nor the Kuwaiti or Bahraini nationality can be acquired through the marriage. Each person keeps its/her nationality as before the wedding.
Information and fact-sheets that are also available on the webpage of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ)
Entry/Visa for Switzerland
If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland after marrying or registering a partnership, bear in mind that your foreign spouse or partner will need a residence permit and may require an entry visa. Please consult the Visa – Entry to and Residence in Switzerland section regarding an application to enter Switzerland for the purpose of family reunification. ist die Rubrik Visa – Einreise und Aufenthalt in der Schweiz – zu beachten.
Kuwaiti or Bahraini citizens need a visa to go to Switzerland. The application for a visa to get married in Switzerland or to take up residency after the wedding must be made through this Embassy. It will take 2 to 3 months to be processed by the police for foreigners in Switzerland. If you decide to get married in Switzerland, you can apply for the visa at the same time as you come to the Embassy to sign the Gesuch um Vorbereitung der Eheschliessung / Demande en vue du mariage.
If you are registered with a Swiss representation and have married or entered into a registered partnership in Switzerland you will need to report your change in civil status to the representation concerned so that the register of the Swiss Abroad can be updated. This will require submission of the following documents (as hard copy or in electronic form):
- photocopy of the Swiss marriage certificate, Swiss family record or Swiss registered partnership document;
- photocopy of the identity document of the foreign spouse or partner.
There is no fee for the registration in question.
If prior to the marriage or registered partnership your Swiss spouse or partner was not resident in the consular district of the Swiss representation, and plans to take up residence with you following the said civil status event, he or she will have to register in accordance with the application procedure described under the heading “Registration and change of address”.