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Important information

Proposed by

Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Stateless people


Be in possession of the birth certificate issued by OFPRA

Where is it?

Getting married abroad

Updated on il y a un mois

What is it?

If a person protected by France (refugee, beneficiary of subsidiary protection, stateless person) marries abroad, the law of the relevant country applies.

It is advisable to prepare everything several months in advance, because it takes time to obtain certain documents.

The marriage must be "compliant" with French law, this means that the conditions are therefore the same as for a marriage in France. Other conditions may be added depending on the country.

You can consult our " Getting married in France " sheet for more information on the conditions, rights and duties of marriage in France.

After the wedding, you will have to take several steps to have your union recognized in France.

Same-sex marriage is permitted in France, but it is only possible in certain countries .

How to do it?

It is first necessary to find and contact the local authority of the chosen country (French embassy or consulate) to find out the rules and procedures specific to the country for the marriage to be celebrated and recognized.

You can also contact a notary.

It is advisable to have a residence permit long enough for the time of the marriage procedure (refugee travel document (TVR) and visa depending on the country).

> To read: the sheet "Obtaining a travel document".

You must make an appointment or send an email to the French embassy or consulate of the country where the marriage will be celebrated.

Then, the two bride and groom are called for an interview.

You must bring these documents:

  • ID (with photo): valid residence permit (refugee resident card, multi-year residence card for subsidiary protection), identity card/passport;
  • proof of residence: rent receipt, electricity bill, telephone bill, etc.
  • information sheet (given by the embassy or consulate) completed;
  • copy of the birth certificate of each future spouse, less than 3 months old (6 months if the document was issued abroad, with its translation and legalization);

You can retrieve this document from the OFPRA website.

Other supporting documents may be requested depending on your situation.

This is an official poster that announces your wedding with this information:

  • the first names, surnames, professions, domicile or residence of each of the future spouses;
  • the place where the marriage is solemnized.

The publication of the banns is compulsory (unless dispensed) for several days at the French embassy or consulate in the foreign country, OR at your town hall in France.

After the interview and the period of publication of the banns, a "certificate of marriage capacity" is issued, if the conditions provided for by French law are confirmed.

Depending on the country where you are getting married and your status, the marriage may be solemnized by one of the following authorities:

  • state registrar ;
  • foreign consul;

After the ceremony, a marriage certificate is issued.

It is advisable to make several photocopies of the marriage certificate.

If you are a refugee, this part does not apply to you: there is no transcription for refugees. You can move on to the next part.

If you are a common law foreigner:

For your marriage to be recognized in France, you must request " its transcription" in the civil status registers of the French embassy or consulate where your marriage took place.

The list of documents to be provided as well as the transcription request form can be downloaded from the website of the competent French consulate in the country concerned.

Transcription allows you to obtain a French family record book or to update the record book you already have.

Transcription requests for marriages celebrated in Algeria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Morocco, Monaco, Poland, Switzerland and Tunisia must be sent only by post to this address:

Service central de l’état civil
11, rue de la Maison Blanche
44941 Nantes Cedex

What happens next?

As soon as you return to France, you can apply for registration of your marriage with OFPRA.

You first need your OFPRA file number. It is a 9-digit number like XX-XX-XXXXX written at the top left of each letter sent by OFPRA.

You must complete this form and send it with these documents:

  • the certificate of capacity to marry or the certificate of publication of banns;
  • a photocopy of the travel document with entry and exit stamps from the country where the marriage is celebrated and a photocopy of the plane or train ticket;
  • a copy of the foreign marriage certificate with a certified translation by a sworn translator, as well as a photocopy of both sides of this certificate and its translation.

> Read: the Réfugié sheet “Obtain the official translation of a document”.

You must send your file by mail to this address:


201 rue Carnot

94136 Fontenay-sous-Bois Cedex

It is advisable to make a photocopy of the form and send it with acknowledgment of receipt.

If the marriage was celebrated abroad after obtaining international protection, OFPRA or French town halls cannot issue a family record book . This document must be requested directly from the authorities of the country where the marriage was celebrated.
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