Legal Requirements for Couples From Overseas
We have performed a number of ceremonies for couples travelling from overseas to get married in Australia. We are able to advise you on suitable venues before your arrival in Australia.
The legal requirements that apply are the same as for couples from Australia.
The Notice of Intended Marriage form must be completed and in the Celebrant’s possession at least one month prior to the date of the ceremony. The Australian Marriage Act requires that you provide the following documents to the Celebrant.
- For proof of place and date of birth: Official Birth Certificate obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in the country where you were born. We can give you advice on how to obtain these. Photocopies certified by a Notary Public are not acceptable. If this is not possible, a current or expired passport can be accepted.
- For proof of identity – photographic identification papers such as a Drivers Licence or Passport. Please note cancelled passports can not be accepted.
- In the event that either party has been married previously, proof of how the last marriage ended is required. A decree absolute, or Certificate of Divorce must be provided. In the event of the death of a spouse, a death certificate must be provided.
- If either party has legally changed their name, documentary evidence must be supplied, or you must use the legal name on your documents.
- The legal age in Australia to be married is 18 years, unless a court order is obtained.
- By law, two witnesses are required who must appear to be over the age of 18 years.
If you are arriving in Australia within one month of the wedding date, you will need to download a Notice of Intended Marriage form (NIM), and complete the form, but do not sign it. You will then need to get your signatures witnessed by the appropriate authority (see below or on the form itself for information about this).
The celebrant must receive the signed form one month before the ceremony. If you are booking well in advance you can mail it by Registered Mail. If you are getting close to one month before the ceremony, you can send it electronically by scanning then emailing it to our email address. The original form must then be IMMEDIATELY mailed by registered post to your celebrant. We can not perform the ceremony without having the original document in our possession.
To get your documents witnessed when not in Australia you can go to a Notary Public or an Australian representative overseas. Notary Publics are private companies and generally charge fees. Authorised Australian representatives overseas include:
- Australian Consular Officers
- Australian Diplomatic Officers
- An employee of the Commonwealth
- or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Act 1955.
See DFAT website for more information.
Please contact us if you require assistance in finding a suitable witness.