What do I need to take into account if I want to marry a foreign national in the Netherlands?

You must meet certain conditions and make certain arrangements if you wish to marry a foreign national in the Netherlands. For example, if you are not a Dutch national you must have a residence permit or a completed personal declaration. The same rules apply if you wish to enter into a registered partnership.

Options for marriage or registered partnership in the Netherlands

You can marry or enter into a registered partnership in the Netherlands in the following situations:

You live in the Netherlands and your partner lives abroad
Nationality Personal declaration* required Residence permit needed Permitted to marry or enter into a registered partnership in the Netherlands

You are Dutch and your partner is not

Yes, for your partner living abroad No, your partner lives abroad Yes
Neither you nor your partner is Dutch Yes, for both of you Yes, for the person who lives in the Netherlands** Yes
You and your partner both live in the Netherlands
Nationality Personal declaration* required Residence permit required Permitted to marry or enter into a registered partnership in the Netherlands
One of you is not Dutch Yes, for the partner who is not Dutch Yes, for the partner who is not Dutch** Yes
Neither you nor your partner is Dutch Yes, for both of you Yes, for both of you** Yes
You and your partner both live abroad
Nationality Personal declaration* required Residence permit required Permitted to marry or enter into a registered partnership in the Netherlands
One of you is not Dutch Yes, for the partner who is not Dutch No Yes
Neither you nor your partner is Dutch     No

* Declaration for non-Dutch nationals.
** You do not need a residence permit if you are a national of a member state of the European Union (EU) or of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Residence permit needed

If you need a valid residence permit, contact the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

Declaration for non-Dutch nationals

If you or your partner are not Dutch and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership, you will need to complete a personal declaration. You can fill in and sign this declaration when you notify the municipality of your intention to marry or enter into a registered partnership.

The IND will check your residence status and the Aliens Police will conduct an investigation to ensure the relationship is genuine and rule out a sham marriage or sham registered partnership. This checks are carried out when a couple intends to marry or enter into a registered partnership for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit for the non-Dutch partner.

Marriage and dual nationality

If you or your partner has another nationality in addition to the Dutch nationality, you will need to meet the requirements prescribed by Dutch law for marrying or entering into a registered partnership. If you meet these requirements you can marry or enter into a registered partnership, even if the country of the non-Dutch partner(s) does not permit it. You should take into account that you might have difficulty having the marriage recognised abroad.

Certificate of unmarried status

If you have lived abroad, the Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships may ask you to submit documents they need to draw up a civil status record. They may also ask you for proof that you have not already entered into a marriage or registered partnership abroad.
You can apply for the certificate of unmarried status in the last place you lived abroad. In most cases you will need to have before you can use it in the Netherlands.

Ministry responsible