To register either a marriage or a partnership in Switzerland or abroad, your main point of reference is the registry office in which you have decided to celebrate the marriage or conclude your partnership. It is normally this office that decides what documents are required to mark this civil status event.
Marriage and registered partnership
You are advised nonetheless to learn in advance about the formalities involved and the civil status documents that may have to be prepared prior to the celebration of a civil status event. These advance steps will facilitate matters when it comes to entering your marriage or registered partnership in the Swiss civil status register (Infostar). To register in the register Infostar, the documents listed on this webpage (see leaflets below) are to be submitted to the Swiss representation competent for the country where the celebration has taken place.
A marriage that has been legally celebrated abroad, and decisions or measures taken abroad with regard to a registered partnership, will normally be recognised in Switzerland (Federal Act on Private International Law (PIL SR 291)).
Marriage in China
The Embassy is not a civil registrar office and cannot perform wedding ceremonies.
Swiss citizens must, in most cases, present their passport and a personal record sheet (Personenstandsausweis/fiche d’état civil), that can be obtained from the registrar office of the place of origin in Switzerland (Heimatort/commune d’origine). This record sheet must be translated into Chinese and legalised at the Chinese Embassy (Kalcheggweg 10, CH-3006 Berne, Tel.: +41 (0)31 351 45 93, Fax: +41 (0)31 351 45 73). The legalisation of the document through the relevant State Chancery and the Federal Chancery in Berne (Staatskanzlei/chancellerie du canton d'origine and Bundeskanzlei/chancellerie fédérale) is also required.
If the personal record sheet has to be legalised by the Swiss Embassy in Beijing, or the Swiss Consulate General in Shanghai or Guangzhou, it also has to be legalised previously by the relevant State Chancery or the Federal Chancery in Berne.
As the requirements in China are not the same everywhere, it is recommended that you ask the civil registrar office where you want to get married what documents are requested.
After the marriage has been celebrated in China you have to register it in Switzerland. For all information regarding the requirements and procedure, please refer to the below information sheet according to your province. There you can also find information regarding the visa procedure.
Documents and information required by the Swiss representations
For information regarding the documents required for marriage in Switzerland please refer to the following information sheets.
If your Hukou (the so-called family book or place of origin for Chinese citizens) is in one of the following provinces:
For all provinces that are not mentioned below
For Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang
For Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi
Marriage in Switzerland
Should you wish to marry in Switzerland, you will have to sign the “Application for preparatory procedure for marriage” and the “Declaration preconcerning conditions for entering into marriage” at the corresponding Swiss representation in China following your place of residence. Please make an appointment, bring your passport and all documents mentioned above with you.
New naming and citizenship law
Information and fact-sheets that are also available on the webpage of the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ)
If you plan to take up residence in Switzerland after marrying or registering a partnership, bear in mind that your foreign spouse or partner will need a residence permit and may require an entry visa. Please consult the Visa – Entry to and Residence in Switzerland section regarding an application to enter Switzerland for the purpose of family reunification.
If you are registered with a Swiss representation and have married or entered into a registered partnership in Switzerland you will need to report your change in civil status to the representation concerned so that the register of the Swiss Abroad can be updated. This will require submission of the following documents (as hard copy or in electronic form):
- photocopy of the Swiss marriage certificate, Swiss family record or Swiss registered partnership document;
- photocopy of the identity document of the foreign spouse or partner.
There is no fee for the registration in question.
If prior to the marriage or registered partnership your Swiss spouse or partner was not resident in the consular district of the Swiss representation, and plans to take up residence with you following the said civil status event, he or she will have to register in accordance with the application procedure described under the heading “Registration and change of address”.