U.S. citizens wishing to marry in Portugal may do so only in accordance with Portuguese law. Marriages cannot be performed at the American Embassy, nor can
the Embassy aid in circumventing Portuguese marriage regulations.
Civil and church marriages are both recognized as valid. Baptismal certificates are required only if the marriage is to be performed in a Roman Catholic Church. Civil marriages are performed and registered at Civil Registries (Conservatórias do Registo Civil). There are eleven in Lisbon. You must use the Civil Registry which services the area in which you reside.
In order to be granted permission to marry in Portugal you must meet the following requirements of the Portuguese Civil Registry Code:
- Residence - One party to the marriage must be in Portugal for a minimum of thirty days before notice of the intended marriage can be given. An U.S. citizen permanently residing in Portugal must present his or her residence card. A temporary resident or visitor must present his or her passport.
- Birth Certificate - You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate issued within the last six months. If the marriage is to take place in the Azores, a certified copy of your birth certificate, issued within the last three months, is required.
- Certificate of "No Impediment" (Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial). The Embassy provides a letter addressed to the Civil Registry regarding the impossibility, by law, of issuing a Certificate of "No Impediment".
Consular Certificate – The Portuguese authorities also require a consular certificate for marriage purposes. This consular certificate is based on the U.S. citizen’s registration at the consular section. We also provide a letter explaining that U.S. birth certificates do not contain any amendments regarding previous marriages.