Getting Married in Graz
These details are provided to help make sense of the websites and sources available in German concerning weddings in Austria and Graz in particular. Depending on your situation of course, some aspects may vary. Either way, don't wait too long to get started on this important process!
Here is a checklist to help you prepare all that paperwork for the big day:
- birth certificate complete with apostille
- certificate of residence(Meldezettel)
- certificate of no impediment to marriage(Ehefähigkeitszeugnis)
- certified copy of any university degrees
Apostilles are provided for the individual US States by the US Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of State. For example, to acquire an apostille for your birth certificate, contact the Secretary of State of the state in which you were born.
All apostilles and notarizations will need to be collected before submitting your stack of paperwork to a certified translator (beglaubigte(r) Übersetzer.)
The Ehefähigkeitszeugnis can be obtained at the US Embassy in Vienna. This document states that the applicant is free to marry the other party according to the laws of his or her home state in the US. You will need to take your US passport as well as pay a fee of $50 or the equivalent in Euros. Check the embassy website to make an appointment.
Place of Marriage:
Since Austria only legally recognizes civil marriage ceremonies, you are free to follow a seperate religious ceremony of your choice. Civil ceremonies are performed by the local Standesamt or Vital Statistics Office. There are two Standesamt locations in the city of Graz: Joanneumring 6 and at the Town Hall (Rathaus) located on Hauptplatz open Monday-Friday 7:30 am-1 pm. Additional appointments can be arranged ahead of time for Monday afternoons from 1-3 pm. Contact the Standesamt of your choice to set up an appointment for your official application (Aufgebot) for the civil ceremony. Tel: +43 316 872-5140, 5143 to 5145.
What to expect at the Standesamt:
The following list is an English account of the Standesamt's website for Graz.
At your first official Standesamt appointment you will need to...
- supply your personal information
- comfirm if and what your names will be changed to as well as adding any university degree to your name
- decide on the date and location of your civil ceremony
- discuss the ceremony's procuedures
- pay fees
- supply birth certificates and proof of registration Meldenachweis for any children
During this appointment your Aufgebot will be prepared. Please note that this document is valid for up to 6 months. Therefore you can arrange to have your civil ceremony for no more than 6 months in advance. In some larger cities you should allow around 2-6 weeks between setting up the appointment and the actual ceremony. If one of you does not speak German, you may bring a sworn interpreter with you (see www.dolmetscher.at).
As of 2014 there is a 50 Euro fee for the proceedure to determine marriagability as well as an 80 Euro fee for submitting foreign documents.
Finally, once all that is taken care of, let those well-deserved wedding bells! However, don't forget that after the wedding, there are still further official steps to be taken, concerning insurance, and the Landesregierung, for example.
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