Overseas Marriage and Citizens of New Zealand
Generally speaking if you get married legally in a country which appears on this list, your marriage will be legally valid in New Zealand.
Validity of Foreign Marriage
Overseas marriages by New Zealand citizens are recognised as legal and valid within New Zealand provided:
- the marriage is legal under the law of the country where it took place
- the marriage would have been legal if it had taken place in New Zealand.
Certificate of No Impediment
Most countries require a couple applying for a marriage licence or for permission to marry to produce a certificate stating that they are free to marry, otherwise known as a Certificate of No Impediment.
To apply you must complete the form: Notice Of Intended Marriage Of New Zealand Citizen In Another Country.This is available from the Department of Internal Affairs.
Once the application has been received, a Certificate of No Impediment will be issued after a statutory period of 14 days.
If you live in New Zealand but are not a New Zealand citizen, you will be issued with a Certificate of Search. The certificate states that there is no record of a legal marriage existing in New Zealand.
Department of Internal Affairs
Births Deaths & Marriages
PO Box 10-526
Level 3, Boulcott House
47 Boulcott Street
Freephone: 0800 22 52 52 (New Zealand only)
Tel: +64 4 474-8150
Registering a Foreign Marriage
You do not need to register a marriage which took place overseas when you return to New Zealand, a valid certificate from another country will be fully recognised for all legal purposes.
However you can, provided certain terms are met, have a certificate issued from New Zealand, after your return. This will not replace the certificate issued by the country where you married. In effect it is just something you may wish to have, it isn't in any way advantageous to you.
If you do want such a cert, your marriage ceremony must be witnessed by an authorised officer from a New Zealand overseas post. You should organise this by making contact with the appropriate overseas post well in advance of your wedding - they may or may not be able to oblige.