Marriage in Austria
US citizens may get married in Austria. However, the procedure requires time and thorough preparation. Therefore, US residents contemplating marriage in Austria should be familiar with the following requirements:
1) Legal Age for Marriage:
The legal age for either sex is 18. Persons at least 16 years of age may also marry upon presentation of written, notarized consent from both parents and if the other spouse is at least 18 years old.
2) Required Documents:
b. Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)
c. Driver's License or like document that shows address of residence
d. A residence registration form ("Meldezettel") issued by the Austrian authorities after arrival, unless the applicants are staying in a hotel, youth hostel etc.
e. Documentary proof of dissolution of previous marriage(s), if any, e.g., final divorce or annulment decrees (Mexican divorces are usually not recognized in Austria) or death certificate(s) of previous spouse(s). The marriage certificate(s) of such previous marriage(s) is/are also usually required.
f. U.S. marriage license
g. Notarized parental consent, if required (see above).
Documents (other than passports and driver's licenses) not in German must be accompanied by certified translations done by an official translator. Further, certain US documents (e.g. birth certificate) might have to be certified and an apostille be affixed.
3) Place of Marriage:
Only civil marriages are legal in Austria. They may, however, be followed by religious ceremonies if desired. Civil marriages are performed by officials of the Vital Statistics Office (Standesamt) in the appropriate jurisdiction. The ceremony takes place at the Standesamt.
If either party to the marriage is an Austrian citizen or resides in Austria (regardless of citizenship), the application for marriage must be filed at the Standesamt in the locality of that residence.
If both parties to the marriage are neither Austrians nor residents, the application must be filed at the Standesamt for the First District of Vienna (Standesamt Wien-Innere Stadt, Schlesingerplatz 4, A-1082 Vienna, Austria; phone: 01143 1 40134 08580; fax: 01143 1 40134 99 08580; e-mail: post-a08(at)m61.magwien.gv.at).
Both marriage partners - bringing with them the required documents listed above - should apply in person at the appropriate Vital Statistics Office (Standesamt). The Standesamt will forward the documents for approval of the marriage to the appropriate Superior Court (Oberlandesgericht). After payment of the court fees, the file is returned to the Standesamt which then schedules the date of the wedding (there may be some difficulty obtaining appointments during major holidays). The overall fees for the various procedures and services can reach up to approximately Euro 300.00. The ceremony itself lasts approximately 15 minutes. In case one or both marriage partners do not speak German, they must engage the services of an official Austrian interpreter at their own expenses.
Please be advised that you need an apostille affixed to your Austrian marriage certificate since it will otherwise not be accepted by the authorities in the US. You should apply for an apostille at the Standesamt where your marriage ceremony is to take place.
5) Time required to complete application process:
Although Austrian law does not require a period of residence in Austria prior to marriage, the administrative procedures involved usually require two to four weeks to complete.
Usually both marriage partners should be present in Austria during the entire period necessary to arrange for the ceremony. If only one partner can be present in Austria, he/she may make the arrangements providing he/she obtains the authority from the other partner on a form called "Ermächtigung". These forms (in German) are available from all Standesamt offices.
For additional information, US citizens can also contact the US Embassy, American Citizen Services, Gartenbaupromenade 2, A-1010 Vienna; Phone: 01143 1 313 39 7575; Fax: 01143 1 512 5835; e-mail: consularvienna(at)state.gov.
7) Validity of Austrian marriages:
Binding advice regarding the validity of an Austrian marriage in the United States can be obtained only from an attorney or an official in the appropriate state. However, marriages legally performed in Austria are generally recognized in the United States.