Norwegian regulations related to marriage
Prior to entering into marriage, a set of formal pre-requisites must be examined and deemed to be fulfilled. This includes checking your identity, that you and your future spouse are over 18 years of age, and that neither party is currently married.
The application for examination of pre-requisites before entering into marriage must be forwarded to the National Register, i.e. the local tax office in Norway, of the person who resides in Norway. If neither you nor your future spouse has ever resided in Norway, the examination of the formal pre-requisites may be processed by the Tax Directorate.
The following must be submitted:
- Declaration by the parties to the marriage prior to verification of compliance with the conditions for marriage, Form Q-0150.
- Statement by the sponsor "forlover", Form Q-0151.
- Declaration regarding estate, in the event you or your future spouse has been married before, Form Q-0160 (Norwegian).
- Application for name change (optional).
For more information and links to the forms, visit the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion (available in Norwegian only).
If you are not a resident in Norway, you are also required to provide the following documentation:
- Documentation that you are legally permitted to enter and stay in Norway.
- Documentation from your home country that confirms that there is no impediment to you entering into marriage.
- The documents must be in original.
- The documents must be authenticated (i.e. a Notary Public must authenticate that the person who has signed the document has the authority to do so. In Norwegian this is often referred to as "Apostille").
- The documents must not be more than 4 months old.
- Documents which are not written in Norwegian or English, must be translated, and stamped and signed by authorised translator. The translation must also include the authentication statement ("Apostille") if this is not written in Norwegian or English.
- Both the original of the document and the translation must be submitted.
- Your birth certificate or other relevant documentation (passport) which confirms your name and date of birth.
- If you have been divorced outside Norway, the divorce papers must be submitted to the relevant County Administrator ("Fylkesmannen") in Norway prior to the application for examination, so as to obtain approval before the pre-requisites can be assessed. This is required even if the authority which has issued the divorce papers is the same authority which has issued the statement of no impediment to marriage.
The processing normally takes 14 days. However, it is recommended that the application be submitted as early as possible prior to the ceremony.
Should the pre-requisites be deemed to be fulfilled, a certificate will be issued to the effect. The certificate is valid for 4 months.
The Examination Certificate will be forwarded to the residential address of the bride, but may also be forwarded directly to the person performing the marriage ceremony. If the couple wishes to collect the Certificate from the tax office, valid ID must be provided at the time of collection. The couple should provide the Certificate to the person who is performing the marriage ceremony.
Requirements for entering into marriage in Norway - permission to enter and stay
All foreign citizens who wish to enter into marriage in Norway must be legally permitted to enter and stay in Norway at the time of marriage, as provided in the Marriage Act, Section 5a.
The person must submit documentation of permission to legally enter and stay, as is provided in Section 7k. The documentation must be submitted together with the examination of the pre-requisites for marriage.
Your citizenship will be of paramount importance when considering if you are legally permitted to enter and stay in Norway. This must be documented by your passport or other identification papers.
The date of entry is of crucial importance when determining if a foreign citizen's stay in Norway is legal or not. A stamp in your passport, or a travel ticket issued in your name and accompanied by a boarding pass, may be used as documentation for date of entry.
Foreign citizens who do not require approval to enter and stay in Norway
- Citizens of the Nordic countries.
- Citizens of EEA/EFTA countries and their family members have the right to stay for 3 months from the time of entry, or six months if seeking employment.
- Other foreign citizens who are not subject to visa requirements may stay in Norway for up to 90 days when entering from an area subject to the Schengen Agreement.
Foreign citizens who do require approval to enter and stay in Norway
- Citizens of countries that require a visa to enter and stay in Norway. The visa label in your travel document determines the time period you are permitted and legally able to enter and stay in Norway.
- Citizens of the EEA/EFTA area which are staying beyond 90 days must, as a general rule have a particular residence permit.
- Employment seeking residents from the EEA/EFTA area have the right to stay in Norway for up to six months without a particular residence permit.
- Citizens from countries not subject to the Schengen Agreement, but who have a valid residence permit in a country subject to the Schengen Agreement, may enter and stay in Norway for up to 90 days without a visa.
- Asylum seekers who have a Certificate of Registry may remain until the application is determined and final.
- Foreign citizens with a temporary residence permit in, as well as travel documents issued by a country subject to the Schengen Agreement and relating to application for asylum or residency.
- Other types of permits, for example with reference to family reunification, work permit etc.
Circumstances as mentioned above in regards to residence-, work- or settlement permits may provide documentary evidence of your permission to legally enter and stay in Norway. This also applies to travel certificates for refugees, Norwegian foreign citizen's passports, and travel certificates for transfer refugees.
When you submit an application for a visitor.s visa, it is a requirement that you confirm by your signature that you will exit Norway before the visa expires You will have no automatic right to remain in Norway if you get married while only holding a visitor's visa. You are required to apply for family reunifications in accordance with the normal rules.
Should you travel to Norway on a visitor's visa and enter into marriage during the stay, you must as a main rule return to your home country and apply for family reunification from there, as provided by the Foreign Citizens' Regulation, Section 10. Exceptions to the general rule are provided in Section 10, Letter 'a' through to 'n'. Please contact the information service of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) should you have further questions about your ability to lodge an application while in Norway.
If you intend to enter into marriage during your stay in Norway, and thereafter reside lawfully while you application for family reunification is being processed, you may apply for residency based on the intent to enter into marriage ("Fiancé Permit"). This is a permit issued for 6 months when the intention is to enter into marriage within the 6 month permit period.
The permit is subject to the rules for family reunification; see the website of the Directorate of Immigration for further information. The application for such a permit is normally submitted to a Norwegian Embassy, which forwards the application to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. You may not enter Norway while the application is being processed. However, such a permit allows repeated entry into Norway for the duration of the permit, and you are also granted permission to work.
After you are married you may apply for family reunification with your spouse at the local police office. The application must be submitted prior to the expiry of the Engagement Permit, and you are then able to remain in Norway while the family reunification application is being processed.
Marriage entered into without the permission to legally enter and stay in Norway
Should the marriage have been entered into in contravention of the requirement to legally being permitted to enter and stay, the marriage is still valid. The marriage may only be dissolved by ordinary separation and divorce. Staying in Norway illegally may however have implications for any subsequent application to enter and stay in Norway.