Can A Foreigner Gets Married In India?


Marriage is considered as very auspicious especially in India. Anyone can get married in India according to their choice. Civil ceremonies and as well as religious weddings are both identified as legally valid in India. Generally, civil ceremonies are performed in registrar’s office. But, a large number of people wants to perform religious weddings in India. Every religious institution has different rituals. For most religions, the marriage certificates are enough to recognise a marriage as valid provided by the religious institutions.1 However, for Hindus, Jains, 2Sikhs and Buddhists, couples must also obtain a marriage certificate through the local marriage registrar. Earlier same-sex marriage was not legally recognised in India, but now it’s legalised. Even, a foreigner can also get married in India legally with proper procedure. But, getting legally married in India isn’t a simple process. The procedure is very lengthy and time taking.


As we all know that, as per the Indian law the legal age for marriage is 21 for boys and 18 for girls. All the Civil weddings are governed under the special provision of special marriage act, 1954. According to this act, if a foreigner wants to get married in India then he has to be present in India at least for 30 days prior to submitting the notice of marriage in registrar office. For foreigners, it will work as a certificate for verifying it by the local police station.


The main procedure is to submit a notice prior to marriage which is available in the form can be downloaded from any web portal. The form has to be submitted to the registrar office in the party’s jurisdiction along with the required evidence such as a copy of residence, passports photographs having an intention of marriage. It’s not necessary for both the parties to be present there for submitting the notice.

If the parties will receive no objection from the registrar office during the 30 days then the marriage can take place legally in the civil form but they need to present at least 3 witnesses along with their identification proof, passport size photographs. But the certificate of marriage will generally after a couple of week to the parties.

But, the procedure is quite different when it comes to the place called Goa in India:


As the state of Goa has its own civil code, so for a foreigner, it will become more difficult to get married the procedure can be more lengthy and difficult. In the case of Goa, both the parties should stay there legally as a residence prior to 30 days of applying marriage. The couple should apply before a Goa court at least with four witnesses along with their identity proof and copies of passport photos.

This certificate is taken to the Civil Registrar, who’ll affix a Public Notice inviting objections within 10 days. If the parties receive no objection then they can get married. If both the parties leaving Goa before the 10 days expire, it’s possible to get the period waived by applying to the Assistant Public Prosecutor.

Foreigners can also hire a wedding planner to help in legal processing so that the marriage takes place in a smooth way.

There is also an alternative for the foreigners as they can also leave the legal procedure in India and it can be also done in their own country which is actually much easier and comfortable for the parties.


The documentation required to get legally married in India will depend on the type of wedding one is going to be. Such as proof of residency, original birth certificate, no objection letters etc.


At very first, one needs to submit the notice of intended marriage to the local registry office, as well as evidence of partners residency, certified copies of passports and birth certificates and photographs. Only one member of your party needs to be present to submit the notice. Then the party needs to visit a lawyer to create an affidavit confirming that both the parties are willing to the marriage which will cost around Rs. 500 for making the legal papers.

At the registry office, both of the parties need to sign three copies of the notice of intended marriage and need to verify the address and name to the registrar. If no one objects within the 30 day period before your wedding day, then both of them can be legally married in India.


Hence, any foreigner can legally get married in India with the proper legal procedure and legal documentations. But, both of the party’s should legally agree to the procedure and getting legally married in India doesn’t mean that the foreigner became a resident or a citizen of India.


1  Hindu Saṁskāras: Socio-religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments, Rajbali Pandey (1969), see Chapter VIII, ISBN 978-81-208-0396-1, pages 153–233

2  Natubhai Shah (1998). Jainism: the world of conquerors. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 203, 263. ISBN 978-1-898723-30-1.

This article is authored by Sneha, Second-Year, B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) student at Christ Academy Institute of Law, Bengaluru.

Also Read- Discuss Various Grounds of Divorce Under The Hindu Marriage Act 1955

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