EU law says non-EU spouses of EU citizens enjoy free movement rights. They can move to an EU country* with their partner and work there without a visa.

What are the requirements for a marriage realized in a third country to be recognized regarding these rights?

Is a sworn translation of the marriage certificate enough? Can it be made in any country? Does the document need to go through some special process in a consulate before the couple enter the EU Country?

*Except if it's in the partner's country of nationality, in which case national law applies.

1 Answer 1


You can look a the site for Danish Island Weddings to get the answer.

Is the marriage valid worldwide?

Absolutely. However, we strongly believe that international couples really ought to have their marriage certificate “apostilled”. An apostille is a validation by the Danish Foreign Ministry in accordance with the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention which gives an extra level of international acceptability. We are so convinced that our couples should have this done that we automatically include this service in all our packages – fees included. It takes up to 2 weeks.

So basically the country that issued you your marriage certificate if there is one has to "apostille" it in accordance with the 1961 Hague Convention and then original along with apostilled one can be presented to verify that your marriage is valid.

  • In my experience, when applying for paperwork that depends on a marriage (or similar) certificate, the apostille has to be no older than 6 months. If one is simply traveling with one's spouse repeatedly to the EU, presumably one does not need to get a newly-apostilled copy every six months, but then, does one need the apostille at all (to show at the border, for example)? I suspect you'd be okay without it.
    – phoog
    Sep 23, 2015 at 20:19
  • @phoog Presumably within six months one would get his wife a permanent residency or something similar to avoid this but I would assume that you will need an apostilled marriage certificate at least once.
    – Karlson
    Sep 23, 2015 at 20:22

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