Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal

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Contract of Marriage of Foreigners in Hungary

Dear Visitor,

We hereby inform you that citizenship, native registry and change of name matters previously assigned to the Office of Immigration and Nationality are transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the Government Office of the Capital City Budapest as of 1 January 2017. From this date our new name is Immigration and Asylum Office.

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Marriage shall be considered contracted if a man and woman together appears before the registrar in person and declare their intention to marry; which – according to Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code - is followed by personal and financial rights. Sections 4.5 – 4:13 specify provisions concerning: the contract of marriage, actions prior to marriage, formalities of marriage, and causes of annulment of marriage. Detailed procedural provisions can be found in Act I of 2010 on Birth, Marriage and Death Registration.


A marriage – if legal conditions are met – can be contracted between a Hungarian citizen and any foreign citizen or a stateless person. There is also a possibility to contract a marriage between two citizens, who possess the same citizenship, or between persons with different citizenships. Contrary to some states, a Hungarian residence or place of abode is not a precondition.


The intention to marry shall be declared by a man and woman in person before the registrar, where the parties intend to contract their marriage. Representation may not take place in the proceeding. One of the spouses – only in case he/she does not possess a Hungarian residence – may declare his/her intention to marry before the competent consular official.


In case one of the spouses or neither of them speaks/understands the Hungarian language, interpretation shall be provided. The concerned parties are required to provide proper interpretation for the contract of marriage and the competent authority shall provide interpretation for the proceedings prior to marriage. Sections 58-60 of Act CXL of 2004 shall be applied concerning matters related to interpretation.


The registrar (or consular official) shall record the declaration of intention to marry. Before marriage both parties to the marriage shall declare that no legal impediment exists as to their marriage, and they shall verify that the legal requirements for their marriage are satisfied. Upon marriage the parties to the marriage may decide on the surname they and their child wish to bear.


In case one of the parties to marriage has declared his/her intention to marry before a consular official, the report and the required attachments shall be sent to the competent Hungarian registrar by the consul. The proceedings concerning the other party to marriage shall take place in front of the registrar.


The registrar shall schedule the marriage for a date thirty days after the time of receipt of the notification of intent to marry. In justified cases, the notary may grant exemption from that time limit.


Within the actions prior to marriage, the parties to the marriage shall verify:

-         identity

-         citizenship

-         actual marital status

-         address

-         personal identification number, and birth certificate  (If it is not available the registrar procures the document in case of birth registered in Hungary too.)


The 37-39 § of Law Decree No 13 of 1979 on International Private Law disposes of marriages containing foreign element.


The substantive conditions (marriage age limit, grounds for disqualification) of the marriage have to be rejudged based on the partners mutual personal rights at the time of the marriage.  If at the time of the marriage the personal rights of the partners are different, the marriage is only valid if the substantive conditions conform based on both partners personal rights.


In terms of the form contents (e.g. venue, date) of the validity of marriage, the Law in effect in the locus and at the time of marriage shall apply. In the case of a marriage registered in Hungary the Hungarian Law applies.


In case a foreign national or a stateless person without Hungarian residence would like to get married in Hungary, he/she have to demonstrate that under his/her personal right (law of nationality) there is no legal obstacle to the marriage.


This certificate is called a marriage certificate. In justified cases, exemption from presenting the certificate can be requested from the competent Budapest district or county government agencies. A justified case can be for example when there is war situation in the country, or the public administration is not working for other reasons. The fee for an application for exemption is 5,000 HUF which have to be paid in the form of stamp duty. The exemption is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.


Exemption from presenting certificates is not required when there is no place of issue in accordance with the marrying party personal right. The central register office, the minister of foreign affairs or the consular authority publishes on their homepage the list of countries where there is no place of issue.


At present exemption is not required for the following countries:


-         Israel

-         Canada

-         Romania

-         Slovakia

-         Ukraine


The foreign documents should be attached with certified Hungarian translationunless different provisions of international bilateral or multilateral agreements or reciprocity make it unnecessary.


The foreign documents are introduced by the Registrar ahead of the relevant bureau of the capital, bureau of the county which ones determine about the acceptability. The date of marriage only could be appointed after the return of the aforementioned document to the relevant Registrar.


It is important to mention that a person with dual citizenship must be considered as a Hungarian citizen during the marriage proceedings if he / she has got a Hungarian citizenship among his / her citizenships.


According to the article L) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, only a man and a woman could get married, thus, there are no possibilities to foreigners of the same sex to get married not even in the case when their personal right allows that.


A marriage is formed if the present spouses declare together ahead of the Registrar that they contract a marriage. Getting married is a public act and it happens in the presence of two witnesses. Witnesses are ensured by the spouses. The marriage must be contracted in the marriage hall, only could differ from that in exceptional cases. There are differences nationwide in connection with the extension, the facilities and the standard of the marriage halls. Getting married outside the bureau and besides the official office hours only could be permitted by the municipal Notary. Therefore the municipality can request a fee defined in its regulation for the marriage and also can adjust the possible external locations.


After getting married the spouses receive a marriage certificate, free of charge. This certificate contains the denomination of headings in Hungarian and also there is an English and French version concluded.


The marriage certificate’s translation to other languages and the possibly necessary acquisition of its legislation is the obligation of the parties.


The parties also have the obligation to register their marriage contracted in Hungary if there is a regulation in connection with that in their country of origin and / or residence.


In consideration of the marriage and the registry procedure of the marriage intention, the nationality of the foreign citizen(s) is not relevant (it is not relevant if they are from an EU member state or from another countries).


The difference in connection with the procedure is that if the marriage certification is available from that foreign country or not. There could be differences in connection with the foreign documents, too. As a general rule, a diplomatic legislation is needed for the foreign documents. Differing from the use of legislations is only possible when there is a bilateral agreement between Hungary and the foreign country in question which means that there is no need to use any kind of legislation. In all the other cases an Apostille (it means an easier way to legislate) is sufficient instead of the diplomatic legislation. The criterion if the this is that the foreign country must be a party of the aforementioned international agreement.


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