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Weddings Legal Marriages

Legal situation

Due to the amount of legal requirements for Notarised Weddings and possible changes to the law, the easiest option for non-residents of Cape Verde (tourists/foreigners) is to have their marriage notarised and legalised in their own country. Some couples may then choose to have a Religious Blessing arranged by us with the Evangelical Church on the island of Sal.

This means that citizens of the UK should have their marriage legally performed by the Registry Office in the UK and then they can arrange to have a Religious Blessing performed here by the Evangelical Church. NOTE: The Religious Blessing is not a legal marriage ceremony in Cape Verde.

The following information was obtained from a legal source in 2012. It is meant as a guide only, as laws change and it is not easy to obtain information of changes. We do not provide updates on the requirements for Civil marriage ceremony in Cape Verde.

Legal Marriage in Cape Verde

Legally, Cape Verde Law only recognises a Notarised (Civil) marriage that is officially recorded and performed by the Notary (Civil Registry) in Cape Verde. Cape Verde law only recognises the Catholic Church as being able to marry people but the marriage must also be legally notarised by the Notary. The Notary (Registrar) is the only person legally authorised to oversee and approve Catholic Priest marriages, to provide information on what is required and/or or perform the civil ceremony herself.

Religous Blessing (symbolic) with the Evangelical Church (Church of the Nazarene).

We at 'Cape Verde Weddings', work with the Pastor of the Evangelical Church to provide couples with a religious marriage blessing on Sal Island.

The marriage performed by the Pastor of the Evangelical Church is a Christian Religious 'blessing' . This 'blessing' is not a legal marriage, as the Church is not recognised by Cape Verde Law for providing legal marriages. This 'blessing' therefor cannot be Notarised. You would have to have a seperate legal ceremony performed by and at the Notary for a legal civil marriage.

Non-Residents of Cape Verde

2012: Tourists and foreigners mostly visit Cape Verde for 7-14 days. To legally marry here you will need to have been in Cape Verde for at least 30 days. We cannot say when the legal ceremony can then be performed after the 30 days. All relevant documentation and translations in Portugueses need submitting to the Notory for acceptance. If one or both are nationals of Cape Verde the requirements may be different. You would need to try and contact the Notory in Espargos on Sal, or on other islands if you wanted to enquire about the legal process. Enquiries are best done in Portuguese!

If you are a Citizen of Cape Verde (2012)

If you have a Residents ID card you can present your official documents to the Notary and that of your partners whether your partner is also a Resident of Cape Verde or a Non-Resident (Foreigner). Please make your own enquiries at the Notory for up to date changes and information to the marriage requirements.

If you are a non-Cape Verdean National (a foreigner) who wants to legally marry your Cape Verdean partner, he/she can make enquiries at the Notary as to the documents you both need to provide. The Notary will explain the procedure, you (the foreigner) will not be required to be on the island or for 30 days before you can legally marry a Cape Verdean, however, this is only if all the documents have been received by the Notary are correct.

If one or both of the partners has lived outside their country for 12months or more, you may be required to provided 4 witnesses (in addition to a Certificate of No Impedement) to vouch for your identity and your good good character. A Cape Verdean citizen may choose to have a Christian Religious Blessing performed by a Pastor of the Evangelical Church, however the wedding should also be Notarised at the Conservatoria do Registo Civil (Civil Registry) in order for the marriage to be legal in Cape Verde.

Legalities (info provided pre-2012)

For Non-Residents (tourists/foreigners) to marry legally in Cape Verde, the Notary requires:

- Passport copies

- at least 30 days of residence

- Non-impedement of marriage

- Payment fee (different rates)

- Posting of announcement of marriage for 8 days at the Notary

Notes (2012):

Re above documents (original and translated) have to be recognised and processed by the Embassy or Consulate of the Country of origin.

- A Certificate of non-impedement may only be valid for a few months!

All Civil marriages must be performed within 3 months from the start of proceedings with the Notary.

If you are sending your documents to be officially authenticated or translated to your Embassy or FCO, please allow enough time for this.

Please check the period of validity of all original and translated documents as they may only be valid for a few months, they need to be in date when they are presented to the Notary.

The Civil Registo and Cape Verde Law recognises Catholic marriages:

Cape Verdean citizens can legally get married by also marrying in a Catholic Church with a Priest performing the marriage ceremony. This marriage will also need to be registered with the Notary and will be accepted as legal as long as all the necessary formalities of a Notarised wedding are followed by the Priest of the Catholic Church.

Non-Residents of Cape Verde (Foreigners) will need to have their wedding Notarised in a civil ceremony here if they want it to be recognised by Cape Verdean Law.

Information on legalities

We are aware that the above may be subject to change. We have not provided all the information for this reason. We cannot provide information about the laws concerning the recognition of marriages by other countries.There are other conditions regarding certain situations and formal procedures not quoted within this website. As we are not lawyers we can only provide information as guidance and won't be able to provide accurate information on the legalities of the laws of this country or other countries.

(Post 2012 - Please make your own enquiries at the Notory for up to date changes and information to the marriage requirements). Enquiries are best done in Portuguese!

You can contact the Notory Office or Registration Office for an update.

Notory on Sal Island, contact: :

DRA. FATIMA MONTEIRO.

EMAIL: (FATIMA. A. MONTEIRO @ RNI . GOV . CV) email in lower case:

fatima.a.monteiro@rni.gov.cv

TEL: (+238) 241 3725 (Notory Office)

TEL: (+238) 241 1156 (Registration Office)

Symbolic ceremonies on Sal Island

We arrange Symbolic Religious Blessings, Renewal of Vows and Love and Devotion Readings on Sal Island. More information on Weddings Cape Verde

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