New Zealand Embassy Brasilia, Brazil

Registration and Recognition of Marriage in New Zealand

There is no legal obligation for you to have your overseas marriage registered in New Zealand. Your marriage should be registered in the country where it took place.

The only practical benefit of registering your marriage in New Zealand is that a marriage certificate can be issued to you from New Zealand. However, this certificate does not replace the certificate issued to you in Brazil or one of our accredited countries.

Generally a marriage solemnised abroad in a non-polygamous country in accordance with the laws of that country will be deemed valid in New Zealand. Such marriages are recognised in New Zealand for the purposes of residence visa or citizenship applications.

If you feel it is essential to register your marriage in New Zealand, the 1995 Marriages Act requires that a New Zealand representative witness the marriage ceremony. An official from the New Zealand Embassy in Brazil would therefore need to be present at the formal ceremony.

If the ceremony is to be conducted locally and resources at the Embassy are available, then an officer may attend. All requests will be considered in terms of staff resources. Only in exceptional circumstances would a ceremony held outside of Brazil be witnessed by an Embassy officer.

A fee will be charged for witnessing a marriage. Also, if there are any costs incurred such as accommodation and travel, these are to be met by the person who requires a witness.

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