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 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 between Swiss and Ethiopian
Marriage in Ethiopia
Swiss partner: In general the passport and a confirmation from the commune of origin in Switzerland (Personenstandsausweis, certificat individuel d'état civil, certificate individuale di stato civile), with cantonal legalization, have to be provided to the Ethiopian authorities (or divorce certificate, or death certificate of former spouse). The Ethiopian partner must provide to the Swiss Embassy before the marriage: birth certificate, the certificate of non impediment, Ethiopian ID card.
After the marriage, please submit the marriage certificate, if resident in Ethiopia.
Marriage in Switzerland
Same documents as above. In addition, different forms for the preparation of the marriage have to be filled in at this Embassy. The Ethiopian partner has to apply for a visa. The complete file will be checked by the relevant authorities in Switzerland, which are also in charge to grant the permission for the visa.
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”.