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Documentation and Requirements for Marriage

Find out the legal requirements for getting married in Argentina...

Only civil marriages have legal effects, and they must be held at the Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil) corresponding to the domicile of one of the couple's members. Marriages outside of the appropriate Civil Registry Office are only authorised when one of the members of the couple is at or near the point of death.

Religious ceremonies are optional, and have no legal status. Until 1987, it was a criminal offence for a minister of religion to celebrate the wedding ceremony of a couple that had not been previously married at a Civil Registry Office. Nowadays, although not legally mandatory, most couples who solemnise their marriage at a church, get civilly married beforehand at a Civil Registry Office-usually churches require them to do so, as per their own canons or policies.

Foreigners do not need a specific visa to get married in Argentina. However, they must be present in the country with appropriate immigration status (for example, as tourists), which in the case of certain nationalities may require a visa.

Marriage was made available to same-sex couples in 2010, with no difference in the application process vis-à-vis opposite-sex couples.

A civil marriage performed in Argentina is recognised and valid in most other countries (except for same-sex marriages).

How to Get Married

Under Argentina's Federal constitutional scheme, each province has organised its own Civil Registry Offices. Thus, most of the process to arrange a civil marriage to take place depends on each province's regulations.

  • For a list of Civil Registry Offices in Argentina: Click here

For example, in the city of Buenos Aires (which has a status equivalent to a province), at least one member of the couple must personally appear at a Civil Registry Office exactly 29 business days before the intended date of the civil marriage, to schedule such date. The couple may also appear 10 business days before the intended date of the marriage, in which case scheduling of the marriage will be subject to availability.

The scheduling may also be performed online (in Spanish). In this case, the required documents must be submitted at least three days before the scheduled date.

Documents

When scheduling the ceremony, the couple should pay the applicable fee and provide the following documentation:

  • Identification documents of both parties: non-residents must show a passport (showing appropriate legal immigration status in the country); residents must show their National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad - DNI). A photocopy of such identification documents shown must be submitted
  • If either member of the couple has been divorced or widowed he or she should supply a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate, as the case may be. If the copy has been certified outside of Argentina, it should be legalised in its country of issuance (either with an "Apostille" or at an Argentine consulate). In the case of divorced persons, if the prior marriage was celebrated or the divorce has been decreed outside of Argentina, the foreign marriage certificate and/or divorce decree should first be registered with an Argentine Civil Registry Office, through a court procedure. If both the prior marriage and the divorce were celebrated and decreed, respectively, outside of Argentina, the new marriage is subject to prior authorisation by the city of Buenos Aires Civil Registry Office
  • Minors (any person aged less than 18): identification documents, birth certificate, identification documents of parents, and authorisation for marriage granted by both parents, the minor's guardian, or by an Argentine court. In case of foreign birth certificates, they should be legalised in their country of issuance (either with an "Apostille" or at an Argentine consulate).

Medical tests

After scheduling the date for the marriage, the couple must appear for a blood test at a public hospital within seven days prior to the intended date of marriage. This test can also be performed at certain designated private hospitals, and it is aimed at screening the couple for venereal diseases. If, as a result of this test, any member of the couple is found to have a venereal disease during contagion period, the couple will not be allowed to marry.

Information supplied by Luis A. Arana Tagle, Negri & Teijeiro Abogados
Godoy Cruz 3236, Buenos Aires City, Argentina. Tel: +54 11 5556 8000, Fax: +54 11 4777 7316 e-mail www.negri.com.ar
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