Getting Married in Malta: Legal Requirements
The twin Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo have been long associated with the U.K., although they are now part of both the European Union and the Commonwealth. The two islands have a combination of stunning scenery, such as their cliffs, beautifully clear water great for snorkelling and diving, plenty of history, especially maritime history, and intriguing medieval architecture. This combination makes the Republic of Malta an exciting destination for those who wish to cement their relationship in a location that they will always remember.
This article outlines the requirements for UK citizens looking to get married in Italy, the documents and procedures required, and guidance on how to obtain translations or legalisations if any are required.
Getting Married in Malta
Malta is a relatively easy country to travel to or 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 Malta
You can arrange a ceremony for a civil union or partnership in Malta which is perfectly legal back in the U.K. Civil unions are quite legal in Malta and may be arranged for same sex couples as well as opposite sex couples. For all civil union ceremonies you will need to spend a minimum of 21 days in Malta before you have the ceremony.
A same sex marriage is also now possible in what has been a mainly Catholic country, since the law changed in July 2017. Malta is a relatively liberal country for gay individuals to visit making a wedding or same sex civil union ceremony a relaxed affair in this island nation.
What do I need to get a marriage license in Malta?
The two documents you will need to take to the registrar you have chosen in your Maltese wedding destination will be:
- a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) if available; and
- a statutory declaration.
CNIs (certificates of no impediment) are not normally provided by U.K. registry offices for any Commonwealth country like Malta, but it is not worth the hassle explaining this to your wedding registrar. Malta 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 Malta and any country that recognises the Hague Convention. The apostille should be translated into Maltese, even though English is spoken throughout Malta and translations are technically not necessary if presented in English because both Maltese and English are co-official languages.
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 Malta;
- it would be allowed under UK law.
|Other Documents Required||Legalisation Required?||Translation Required?|
|Declaration on oath||No||No|
- Civil Partnership: Legal if carried out at the high commission of Malta;
- Same-Sex Marriage: Legal if carried out at the high commission of Malta;
- It’s worth noting that your statutory declaration will need to be legalised;
- Interestingly, your documents will not need to be officially translated if they are presented in English or Maltese;
- The British government do not issue Certificates of No Impediment (CNI) to commonwealth countries;
- There may be additional documentation requirements for marriage on Gozo island;
- You will need to be resident for 21 days in Malta before you can register your civil partnership or same-sex marriage;
- There are no official residency requirements for same-sex marriage in Malta.
Click here for more information about getting married in Malta.