This post is based on a British/Polish couple of opposite sex getting married in Poland.
Once you know the date of your wedding, there are several very important documents you need to get married in Poland. If you only intend to have a civil ceremony, you must submit the following documents to a Polish Registrar Office (in Polish, “Urząd Stanu Cywilnego = USC”) at the municipality where you intend to marry. For instance, a couple who gets married in Brunów (a small village in Poland) needs to submit their documents in the registrar that is based in Lwówek Śląski (it’s the name of a municipality Brunów is in). Visit this page for a list of municipalities in Poland.
If you’re a Polish citizen
To have a civil ceremony organised in Poland, you’ll need only two sets of documents: the copy of your birth certificate, and your passport. Under the new law, obtaining your certificate is easier. As of the 1st of March 2015 the USC is required to keep an online database of birth certificates, including: birth, marriage, death. The certified copies of these documents could then be obtained from any USC across Poland. What does that mean? It means that you no longer need to be worried about having the certificate with you when you go to submit your documents to get married – the USC offices have direct access to them. The cost is 22zł / copy.
Timescales: you’ll need at most a few hours to take care of his.
If you’re a citizen of a different country than Poland
These are the documents that you’ll need to present at the Polish USC:
- A certified copy of your birth certificate. This can be obtained online for £9.25/copy. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, the document can be delivered the next day. Cost: £32.65 (post: £23.40 + £9.25 for the certificate).
- Certificate of No Impediment (a document which confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership abroad): allow at least one month to obtain this. To get this document is the trickiest of all: you’ll be required to meet with your local Registrar Office to fill in and sign a Notice of Marriage*, and then wait for the certificate is delivered to you. Cost: £65 / copy.
- Passport. Even though you will only need to provide a copy of your passport to the register office, make sure you have it on you.
Timescales: make sure you start to take care of your documents at least 3 months before your wedding. If you’re getting married in a registry office, the Polish registrar needs to receive the documents at least one month and one day before the wedding. If you’re getting married in a church, this can be done 2 days before the wedding. At the time of writing, Certificates of No Impediment issued in England, Wales and Northern Ireland don’t have expiry dates – however, you should double check this is the case with your local registrar office.
Translation. Before submitting your documents to a Polish registrar office, you’ll need to have them legalised, i.e. translated into Polish by a certified translator (use this link to find certified translators in Poland: prawo.money.pl). Please allow some additional time for this.
* You’ll receive A Notice of Marriage before your Certificate of No Impediment is approved. A Notice of Marriage is a legal statement that you need to sign as a proof that you and your future spouse are not already married. The document states the names, age, marital status, address, occupation and nationality of the people intending to marry or form a civil partnership. It also states the intended venue for the ceremony. Make sure you have this information when attending your meeting. (Find out more about a Notice of Marriage). Cost: £35 / copy.
If both of you and your partner are Catholic, you need to prepare a list of following douments to show your Polish priest:
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- Certificate of No Impediment
- baptism testimony
- confirmation testimony
- a proof you’ve attended marriage preparation classes (or a proof you’re currently taking some right now)
- passports (or — if you’re Polish — identity card)
- details of your best man and maid of honour
Please note, it’s not necessary for a priest who marries you to speak the same language as you do. You’ll only need to make sure that there is a translator on a day of your wedding so he/she can translate to you what the priest is saying. Also, your marriage preparation course doesn’t need to take place in the country you’re planning to get married in. You can take the lessons where you live and, once you’re done, ask a priest to provide you with a confirmation letter that states that both of you have attended theses lessons. Before you do all that though, contact the church and reconfirm every detail with your priest.
Timescales: make sure you have your confirmation testimony. If not, allow enough time to get it (sometimes even 3 months). Marriage preparation classes usually take months to attend (e.g. you meet for a few hours every few weeks). However, there are also courses that last one weekend (but these usually involve whole two days spent on studying. Google to find out whether such courses are offered in your city.
Last update: 29/07/2017
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