Neither DFAT nor its missions overseas can advise on other countries' specific requirements for Australians to get married overseas. For details of marriage requirements you should contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country in which you would like to marry for their advice. However, as a general guide only, the following information may be of assistance.
If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident wishing to marry overseas, the foreign government may request that you have a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) issued. DFAT in Australia can issue a CNI, however many foreign governments will only accept CNIs issued by the Australian mission (embassy or consulate) within their country. If you are getting married overseas you will need to confirm with the foreign government:
If you confirm that the foreign government will accept a Certificate of No Impediment issued from within Australia, follow the instructions on our Legalising documents page.
Australians seeking to enter into a same-sex marriage overseas can apply for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. The issuing of a Certificate of No Impediment will allow same-sex couples to take part in a marriage ceremony overseas and to be recognised as being married according to the laws of that overseas country. Same-sex marriages conducted overseas are not recognised as a marriage in Australia, but may be evidence of a de facto relationship for the purposes of Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.
For exact details of what requirements will need to be met in order for a marriage to be legal in a particular country, persons wishing to marry overseas should contact the embassy or consulate of the country in which they would like to marry. The following general information may also be of assistance.
The Attorney-General's Department has responsibility for developing policy about issues relating to family law and marriage, including who can get married, who can solemenise marriages and the validity of overseas marriages. The rules governing whether or not a marriage is valid under Australian law are to be found in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth).
There are currently no Australian diplomatic or consular officers appointed to solemenise marriages overseas under Australian law.
Marriages entered into overseas are generally recognised as valid in Australia
There is no requirement to register a marriage in Australia which takes place overseas. The foreign marriage certificate is prima facie evidence in Australia of the occurrence and validity of the marriage in that country.
Marriage to an Australian citizen does not automatically guarantee entry of a citizen of another country to Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection can advise on immigration to Australia.
You should consult a legal practitioner if you need advice on whether a marriage which has taken place overseas is recognised as valid in Australia.
The basic rule of foreign marriages generally being recognised as valid in Australia is subject to the following exceptions: