*** Rules often change, so be sure to check with the Municipality where you're going to get married.***
If you'd like to live in Peru after you get married, you can find the information that you need in steps for a marriage visa and getting a CE (resident permit).
Don't forget about cultural issues. There are lots of good books written about Peruvian culture that can help you learn more about your spouse's culture. Another tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate, and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.
Civil and Religious Ceremonies
Only civil ceremonies are legal, so if you want to get married in the church, first you have to get married in the municipality (town hall). Exact requirements vary, so check with your municipality.
Name changes are optional. If you change your name and get a new passport, you MUST transfer your visa from your old passport to your new passport. You cannot just simply leave on a completely new passport. The only exception would be for Peruvian citizens.
Requirements Vary from Municipality to Municipality!People have reported that getting married in a small town is much easier since they often have more lax requirements, may not require things such as an AIDS test or apostillisation, may accept documents last minute, and may not have a waiting period before you can get married. See Tanya's story below.
Getting married in Peru can be a headache. It usually takes between 2-4 months if your documents are not in Spanish; it will take less time if they're already in Spanish. If you both are foreigners, you can still get married in Peru. Just follow get the documents required for foreigners.
Documents should be recent
In theory, all the documents that you use should have been issued within the last 90 days. However, some countries don't issue new birth certificates. Don't worry. You should be fine. If you can get a new birth cert then ask the municipality if you need it. If you were born in the USA, you have to have the records office at the county clerk and they will issue you another birth cert or a certified true copy. The same goes for single certificates or divorce papers, they should be recent. You can get them from the records office in your country or get a single certificate from your embassy.
Getting Married if You're Divorced
- Both sets of birth and divorce documents must be signed by apostillised. See Peru and the Hague Agreement for more info. If your country is not part of the Hague Agreement (Canada for example), then you have to get your documents legalised at the Peruvian embassy in that country, then legalised at the Ministero de Relacciones Exteriores (RREE). The same process is required for the divorce certificate, except what you seek from the court is the official judgement nisi. So you must find out the process within the county in which you were divorced to acquire that judgement nisi. Some Secretary of State's office will accept the judgement nisi directly without a notary or county clerk signature.
- Once legalized, the documents must be officially translated by accepted translators, see the list on the Ministerio's website.
- Some municipalities have waiting periods after a divorce. Ask yours if they require you to wait a certain amount of time.
- If you're a woman, foreign or Peruvian, you may have to undergo a pregnancy test if you get re-married within a year of your divorce. If found to be pregnant a DNA test will probably be requested to find out who the father is.
- Follow the rest of the steps below for marriage.
You have a few choices to get a single certificate.
- If you're from the US you should go to the county where you last held residency and ask them to search for your marriage. They will get you a page that says "Record Not Found", which means that you're single. If you're divorced, ask for your divorce certificate.
- You can sign an affadivit of single status. You might want to use the affadivit anyways because then you don't have to pay for the translation.
- You can go to your embassy here in Peru and ask them to give you an affadivit that says you're single. Most embassies will give you one that's in the country's language and in Spanish so you don't have to get it translated, but you will have to get it legalised by RREE. In the US, most banks have public notaries that will notarise documents for free if you have an account at their bank.
What You Need to Get Married in a Civil Ceremony in Peru
- Peruvians need: Original birth certificate and DNI (National ID Document).
- Foreigners need: Original birth certificate, a certificate saying that you are single (or your divorce certificate), a photocopy of your passport, your CE (if you have one). All documents need to be appostillised or authenticated at the Peruvian embassy / consulate. Documents not in Spanish need to be translated and then apostillised.
- Documents required: An application form listing basic information as well as the information about your two witnesses (they should be Peruvian citizens or hold Peruvian residency). An AIDS test, a newspaper clipping showing you published your marriage announcement in the newspaper.
- All documents from abroad first need to be apostillised. If your country is not in the Hague Agreement you can either get your documents stamped at the Peruvian consulate or embassy in your home country or get them stamped at your country's embassy in Peru. For example, a Canadian could take their documents to the Canadian Embassy in Lima or the Peruvian Embassy in Canada. See Peru and the Hague Agreement for more info.
- If these documents are in another language besides Spanish, you will have to get them translated by a certified translator, (see translations for more information). Then get the translation legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Relacciones Exteriores, RREE). Some people have gotten their documents translated by translators who are not certified translators in Peru. It's up to the municipality as to whether or not they accept them. Address, directions, costs, and more information can be found at RREE. Most official translators will translate the document as well as get the RREE stamps on both the original and the translation. You might have to pay a bit extra, but it's well worth it.
- While you are waiting for your documents, you can go to the Municipality and pay a fee in order to get an AIDS test form. Then you take the form to a certain medical post, pay another fee and take the AIDS test. The next day you can pick it up. Some people have reported not even needing an AIDS test or doctor's visit.
- Bring your apostillised birth certificate and apostillised certificate saying that you are single, (with translation if needed) the photocopy of your passport, the AIDS test, your soon-to-be-spouse’s DNI, their birth certificate, and photocopies of your witnesses DNIs or carne de extranjeria. You will then have to fill out the application forms and pay a fee.
- Publish your marriage announcement. You pick the day and then they give you a choice of newspapers you can publish it in. From the time you go to the Municipality, you usually have to wait a certain number of days, usually 7-15 before you get married. You also have to buy the newspaper and bring the entire page that has the marriage announcement to the municipality the day or day after it was published.
- Finally, you’re ready, bring your receipt from the municipality, your passport, your soon-to-be-spouse’s DNI and your witnesses DNIs or carne de extranjeria. The whole ceremony takes about five minutes and then everyone has to sign and fingerprint the paperwork. Then you are given your Partida de Matrimonio. Congrats!
- You can find more information at this discussion and here at Marrying a Peruvian
We got married last Friday (Sept. 2nd, 2016). Everything was very easy. My mother sent me my birth certificate (original) with a notarized translation from Russian to Spanish. It wasn't too expensive and it only took 4 days to get from Ukraine to my town in Peru by DHL.
My birth certificate was NOT apostatized, since the old format of my certificate doesn't allow to get an apostille.
We did not have to go to Lima neither to get an "official" translation neither to get the single certificate which the Ukrainian embassy indeed can provide Ukrainians with, should one require so. The municipality advised us we can get the single certificate with them.
The documents did NOT need to be recent. This cased me unnecessary stress.
I was born in Germany as a Ukrainian, 2 months after Soviet Union fell apart. My father was serving there as part of the Soviet army at that time.
When my mother tried to get an official copy (you cannot reissue a birth certificate in Ukraine) from the archives I was not found in the system. 2 companies were investigating about my papers and found my documents in the Moscow archives as we suspected. The companies asked for ridiculous money for making an official copy from the government archive and getting the birth certificate apostatized. Thank God by that time I have long known that this copy was unnecessary.
Regarding the AIDS test, we were only required to provide a certificate saying we were healthy. That was really easy to get. According to the forums the smaller the town the less religious they are with the papers. This turned out to be very true.
We live in a small town, the capital of the region. To get the health certificate we visited a private clinic, where the doctor not only didn't check us but didn't even ask us about our health. According to the forums I read this is widely practiced in smaller towns and villages. We got married in a tiny village 15 minutes away from our town(less paperwork). The last document I dropped in was the day before the ceremony. The photos, we brought them on the day of the wedding.
From what I've learned the information on your website is strictly regarding Lima and the bigger cities. For the rest getting married is quick and simple.
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