If you are planning a wedding, congratulations! Many U.S. citizens opt to get married in Slovenia – for some it is because they are marrying a Slovene national while for others, it is because of the beauty of this country.
Does getting married in Slovenia affect my U.S. citizenship?
No. If you marry a Slovene citizen, you do not automatically acquire Slovene citizenship, nor does your spouse automatically acquire U.S. citizenship. If you and your spouse are planning to move back to the United States and you wish for your spouse to become a permanent resident in the U.S., you will need to file a petition for an immigrant visa. Similarly, if you wish to become a Slovene permanent resident or apply for Slovene citizenship, you will need to apply at your local Administrative Unit (Upravna enota.) Please see our page on residence permits.
What do I need so I can get married in Slovenia?
Only civil marriages are valid under Slovene law, although many folks choose to have a religious ceremony later on. Alas, U.S. Embassy consular officers cannot perform marriages.
You must register the forthcoming marriage with the Marriage Registry Office of the Administrative Unit (somewhat like a County Clerk’s Office in the United States, and known in Slovene as the “Upravna enota”) in the location where you wish to get married. You can register a marriage anywhere from two weeks to six months before the date of the wedding.
You will be required to submit the following documents to the Administrative Unit:
- Both spouses’ original birth certificates or certified copies, affixed with an apostille issued by the state Secretary of State from the U.S. state where the document was issued. Note: An apostille cannot be issued by the U.S. Embassy.
- Both spouses’ passports.
- A “Free to Marry” certificate for each spouse, also known as the Certificate of No Legal Impediments. Since no equivalent document is available from the United States, American citizens may come to the Embassy and swear an affidavit stating that they are currently single and free to marry. Print out this “Free to Marry” affidavit (PDF 221 KB) and complete it by hand, but wait on signing until your appointment at the Embassy. See our notarial service page for fees and appointments. Please remember to bring your passport. The “Free to Marry” certificate should then be taken to the Slovene Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consular Service at Šubičeva 10 to have the certificate notarized. Their office hours are: Monday from 9:00-12:00 a.m., Wednesday from 9:00-12:00 a.m. and 2:00-4:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00-12:00 a.m. Their fee is Eur 3.00. No appointment is needed.
- If either party has previously been married, then you must provide the original death certificate of the former spouse or the original final divorce decree, in order to prove the termination of the previous marriage(s).
- All documents not in Slovene must be accompanied by a translation performed by a certified translator.
- Both marriage partners should appear in-person at the Administrative Unit.
Once you submit these documents, then you can sign up for any available marriage date at the Administrative Unit. After the marriage has been performed, the Administrative Unit will issue a marriage certificate.
Will my Slovenian marriage be recognized by the United States?
In the United States, marriage is handled at the state, rather than the federal level. (There is no national registry of U.S. marriages.) However, generally the U.S. state (New York, California, etc.) will recognize the marriage if it was a legal marriage in the country where it was performed, such as Slovenia. Both the United States and Slovenia are party to the Hague Convention on the Legalization of Documents. This means that if you have your marriage certificate authenticated with an apostille, this is sufficient for use in the United States. You can obtain the apostille on your marriage certificate at the local District Court (Okrožno sodišče) in Slovenia.