Legal Requirements for Weddings in Cyprus

Created: Oct 21, 2020 | Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Cyprus has long been a favourite holiday and residential destination for Brits. It has reliable, warm to hot summer weather, great beaches, mountains to explore, intriguing villages, good food and wine. This all makes it an ideal destination to have a wedding or ceremony to celebrate a new relationship.


Cyprus Wedding Requirements: All You Need

Cyprus has long been a favourite holiday and residential destination for Brits. It has reliable, warm to hot summer weather, great beaches, mountains to explore, intriguing villages, good food and wine. This all makes it an ideal destination to have a wedding or ceremony to celebrate a new relationship.

The island of Cyprus is actually two distinct countries with their own rules and regulations. The following applies to the more commonly visited Greek part of Cyprus, called the Republic of Cyprus, which is both in the European Union and the Commonwealth. For legal requirements for weddings in Turkish Cyprus, officially called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, see the section on Turkey (link to Turkish wedding site here). 

Cyprus is a relatively easy country to travel to from the U.K. and organising a wedding there that will be accepted when you return home is also quite easy with only the minimum of paperwork. Like any wedding destination outside of the U.K., however, it’s important to plan the wedding and any legal requirements well before you travel and not leave it too late. 

 

Civil partnerships and same sex marriages in Cyprus

You can now have a ceremony for a civil union or partnership in Cyprus which is perfectly legal back in the U.K. The law was changed in 2015 to permit civil unions. You do need to spend a minimum of three days in Cyprus before having the ceremony and have two witnesses present.

Civil unions in the Republic of Cyprus may be arranged for both single sex couples and couples of different sexes who don’t want to have a wedding. 

The rules for Turkish Cyprus are quite different and a civil partnership or wedding for single sex marriage is not currently legal in this part of the island, which uses Turkish law, although it may still be possible for single sex couples to get married if they are both British at a British consulate or embassy.

 

What documents do I need to get married in Cyprus?

The two documents you will need to take to the registrar you have chosen in your Cypriot wedding destination will be:

  • Evidence that you are free to marry or have a civil union; and
  • a statutory declaration.

CNIs (certificates of no impediment) are not normally provided by U.K. registry offices for any Commonwealth country like Cyprus, but it is not worth the hassle explaining this to your wedding registrar. Greek Cyprus is in the unusual situation of being both in the E.U. and in the Commonwealth and it is certainly worth asking your nearest registry office whether they would provide a CNI for you. If this is not possible, the best alternative is a statutory declaration or affidavit declared and signed before a solicitor to say that there is no reason under British law that you cannot marry.

If you do get your CNI in the U.K. before you go to your wedding or civil union (the preferred option), you should still get a statutory declaration by making an appointment with a solicitor who will sign and stamp your declaration.  

Both the CNI (if available) and the statutory declaration should be legalised before they are valid. You can get them legalised by sending the documents to the UK Legalisation office who will confirm that the details are correct and provide an apostille, which is a separate certificate with a stamp and signature that is valid in Cyprus and any country that recognises the Hague Convention. The apostille should also be translated into Greek, even though English is spoken throughout Cyprus. You may also require a Greek translation for any other documents you are presenting.

For all other documents needed to obtain the CNI and statutory declaration please check our general destination wedding document information here.

Your civil partnership will be recognized in the UK as long as:

  • you follow the correct process according to the law in Cyprus;
  • it would be allowed under UK law.

Click here for more information about getting married.

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