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I'm a US citizen, trying to marry a Cape Verdean citizen in Cape Verde. At the government registry office, they tell me that I must give them a "Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial" that certifies that I am eligible to marry (i.e., not currently married). This is supposed to come from my country, the US.

However, my embassy tells me that there is no such document that they can give me. The State Department says,

No such government-issued document exists in the United States.

I went back to the registry office, and told them that, because I'm from the US, this is not a document that could ever exist. When I asked them what I should do, I was helpfully told to go get the marriage eligibility certificate and bring it to them. The one that can't exist.

What can I do? Are US citizens not allowed to marry in Cape Verde?

  • As a rule, Travel.SE and Expats.SE use the same names as Wikipedia, which lets us avoid naming debates and gives us generally agreed common names - which aren't always the official ones. Please feel free to raise this on Meta though if you disagree. – jpatokal Mar 12 '15 at 20:17
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Don't worry; you are allowed to marry. There is a process for foreigners who cannot get that certificate, described on this page. Ask to speak to other workers, or superiors, at the registry office until you find someone who knows about this.

You will need to have:

  • three witnesses swear that you are eligible to marry
  • original or certified copy of your birth certificate, and that of your future spouse
  • identification documents for you and your future spouse

Ask to make sure if there are other documents that you must bring. The process will have to be approved by the Director of the registry office, which could introduce some delay.

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