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: your passport, if it has both place and date of birth. If your passport does not show place of birth, you will need to bring you 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.
- 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.
These documents may now be sent electronically, by scanning and emailing the document to the celebrant, or taking a photo and sending the photo by text message to the celebrant.
- 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 (NOIM), 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 and witnessed form one month before the ceremony. This document may now be lodged electronically, by scanning and emailing the completed document to your celebrant, or taking a photo of the document and sending it to the celebrant by text message. Please bring the original document to the celebrant when you arrive in Australia, if possible.
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.
Marriage documents, apart from related Commonwealth Statutory Declarations, if used, can now be signed and witnessed electronically, that is, an electronic signature can be affixed to an electronic document, by the parties to the marriage, in the presence of an authorised witness. Video conferencing, such as Skype, may not be used to witness signatures.
See DFAT website for more information.
Please contact us if you require assistance in finding a suitable witness for your signatures or for a more thorough explanation of sending documents electronically.