How to Register a Danish Wedding in Germany

In Denmark, after a wedding has been conducted, both the bride and groom receive identical marriage certificates. These certificates have the names of both persons, their dates of births, citizenships, places of birth, place of marriage and city or municipality of marriage written on them. Although – and this is according to my local Standesamt – these certificates are enough in that state to be recognized in Germany, it is a good idea to get an Apostille stamp on them as well. Better be safe than sorry.

The Apostille stamp can only be gotten from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The offices of the ministry are located in the capital Copenhagen. To get an Apostille stamp, you have to go to the ministry, pay a fee and get one or both the marriage certificates legalized. For the German authorities, one document should be enough but you can have both legalized as well if you wish. An Apostille is like the Danish Federal Government, guaranteeing that you have indeed been married in their country. According to the Hague Convention on Apostille, it should be recognized in all signatory countries. Here is a list of countries which recognize this convention. The procedure for getting the Apostille is stated here. For this reason, I recommend marrying in Copenhagen because you can get the Apostille stamp on the same day as well! It takes 5 minutes, usually. On a side note, the city is beautiful and has lots of attractions.

Once you have your marriage certificate from Denmark with the Apostille stamp on its back (that’s where they stamp it), take it to the Standesamt when you’re back in Germany. The Standesamt will change its records and list you in the married section. Your spouse can then decide whether they want to change their name or not (only if they’re German, though). Once you’re done with that, you can go to the Rathaus and register yourself as married there too.

(Note: The next section is for those of you who are marrying a German citizen. Please ask your local Ausländeramt what the rules are if you have married a citizen of another EU country. I’d appreciate if you could tell us all those rules here as well in your comments.)

But the bigger hurdle, as always, is the Ausländeramt. Now, the Ausländeramt may huff and puff, but remember: your marriage is recognized in Germany now. There is no need to be afraid of them. This isn’t the time to hanky panky. The non-EU spouse can now ask for a change in residency status on the basis of them being the spouse of a German citizen. From here onwards, read very carefully. The Ausländerbehörde can now offer you 2 options. Depending on your status, that is.

  1. Get a 3 year residence permit and do a German B1 language exam on your own.
  2. Get a 3 year residence permit and commit to doing an Integration Course which includes a B1 language exam as well as a course and exam on life in Germany.

You will only be offered option 1 if you have completed at least a Bachelor degree from a university anywhere in the world. It is assumed that you will find a job and integrate in German society on your own. Otherwise, it’ll be option 2.

Option 2 requires you to first present an A1 language course exam results to launch the residence permit proceedings. This is because the Integration Course starts from the A2 level. If your language skills are good, you can ask the language school to waive your language test and then you can just sit in the classes for the life in Germany exam. Clear this with both your language school and the Ausländeramt. If you get 17 out of 33 questions correct on the life in Germany exam taken at the end of the Integration Course, you won’t need to do a Citizenship Exam (Einbürgerungstest) should you decide to become a German citizen in the future.

I hope this was useful 🙂

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40 thoughts on “How to Register a Danish Wedding in Germany

  1. Hi, my name is Tahir khan and currently living in berlin.i have currently completed my masters from Humboldt uni berlin and now i am here waiting for my documents from Pakistan. My question is, how long does it take to translate my docs here in germany, also you said that they will send the docs for verification to pakistan so is it like for sure or only incase they are suspecious coz u said it takes about six months which i dont have that much of time. We have been to standesamt and they didnt say anything like that. This is my email, yarsah1@gmail.com, please let me know as soon as possible. And also thanks for the blog. It is really very helpful. Oh one last question. How much time does it take to register a danish marriage here and then apply for residence permit. Total time i mean. Thanks

    • Hello Tahir. Thank you for reading this blog. I am very happy that you find it informative. As far as my information on the law goes, the documents do not HAVE to be checked by the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) but they always are in cases of countries like Pakistan. Unfortunately, there is a trust deficit because of a large number of cases involving fake documents. Perhaps you should ask the Standesamt how your OLG works usually in cases such as yours. It took us 15 minutes to get our Danish wedding certificate to be recognized in Germany. We went to the Ausländeramt on the same day and if I’d had my photo with me and had reached a decision on whether or not to do an integration course, I’d have gotten the whole process done behind me in 20 minutes. If you have any more questions and are unwilling to share personal information here, feel free to use the contact page to contact me via email 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for creating this blog! It’s been of great help for me as a Non-EU citizen trying to figure out a way to marry my German partner… To be honest, I was totally lost in all the documents and webpages about it before I found your blog and it cleared everything up. We also made a decision to get married in Denmark because I’m kind of pressed with time as my residence permit expires soon, and I don’t want to get caught up with OLG approvals that take ages. This article was super helpful, but I wanted to ask you how did this process go for you in the end? How long did you have to wait until you received the permanent residence permit (+ the right to work)? Also, did you have any interviews regarding your marriage and all that kind of stuff? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Kate. In the beginning, you should receive a limited residence permit on the basis of Paragraph 28 of the German Foreigners’ Law. Only after fulfilling certain criteria within the period of validity of that residence permit will you be able to get a permanent one. Conditions might include a job where you earn enough money, passing a German language course, etc. However, if you have lived in Germany for 7 years and you do an integration course, you may get permanent residency or even German citizenship much sooner. Good luck with everything and (advance) congratulations on getting married

      • Thank you for a quick reply! Oh, I meant the 3 year residence permit that you were talking about in this article, not the “real” permanent residence permit that one can get after years and years living in Germany. I was wondering how long does it take to actually receive the 3-year permit after you apply at Ausländeram? Is it around 1-2 months or longer? Sorry for confusing you with the permit types. I’m just interested in what happened after you applied for the 3-year permit because you stop the article right after the moment you applied for it 🙂

  3. Hi …..it’s really informative group…..
    Can you inform me that after getting married in Denmark and recognizing in Germany standesamt and rathaus then auslandersbehordeamt accepts everything or they ask to verify everything from Pakistan? ???and how much time they take for residence permit ????

    • Normally, a wedding in Denmark should be accepted at face value if you have a notarized Apostille. The residence permit should take only as long as the processing time takes. It, of course, depends on how quickly you produce documents as well.

  4. Good day,

    I am a South African citizen marrying a my German partner. I would like to know how long the process takes of the State department to register your marriage in Germany? We are also considering going to Denmark to get married as the paperwork for Germany is to intense. I will enter the EU with a Schengen Tourist visa but will also have all documents required for marriage in Germany as well. My worry is that my tourist visa will expire before our marriage is recognized in Germany. Also how long do you think the Schengen Visa should be in order to sort out all matters with the German state department and Aliens office. I thought two months should be enough but at this point I am not sure.

    Thank you for answering my question.

    • Hi. It took me about 20 minutes to get my marriage from Denmark recognized in Germany. However, this will ONLY work if you have an Apostille from Denmark. That is absolutely essential. You can then go to the your local Foreigners’ Authority and ask for your residence permit. It would also be a good idea to look into whether they convert a tourist visa into a spousal residence permit.

  5. Awesome blog. I’m Australian and my wife is German. I can verify that marriage in Denmark is a wonderful and easy experience. Our marriage certificate was recognised in Germany without even needing an apostille. (Maybe Australians have more favour). We still have a few hurdles to overcome in changing my wife’s name, but I have my permanent visa now so we have lots of time. I highly recommend marriage in Denmark.

    • Thanks, Peter. The Apostille isn’t really needed but it’s recommended to have it. It depends on the Standesamt and the official you go to. They may be fine without it or they may demand it. Therefore, it’s better to have it. I’m curious as to why changing your wife’s name is a hurdle. With us, it was quite straight forward. We showed the marriage certificate and just ordered a new ID and passport for her.

  6. Good day! I have a quick question about the language requirements. I am going to the Ausländeramt tomorrow and getting a bit nervous 🙂 I cannot find any official document that says that having a Bachelor degree allows me to get an exemption from the integration course. I’m located in Dortmund, NRW. I am worried that they will make trouble about this in the Immigration Office and I would really appreciate not to do an Integration Course. Could you give me any advice? Thank you so much

    • Hello Petra. The law is as follows: if you are a qualified professional, it will be assumed that you are able to integrate by yourself. Therefore, you would not need to do an Integration Course. However, whenever you go to for getting a Niederlassungserlaubnis (Permanent Residence Permit), you will nonetheless need to show a B1 level proficiency in the German language. It is better to go for the Integration Course option because it allows you to earn a B1 certificate at a subsidized rate and get one year less from the whole process of obtaining a German citizenship or Niederlassungserlaubnis by passing the Orientation Test (at the end of the course). Don’t be afraid of asking the Ausländeramt about this rule. They HAVE to give you a residence permit on the basis of being married to a German. Don’t be intimidated.

  7. Hello. Were planning to get married in Denmark this August with Schengen visa, Im from Philippines and my fiance is from Ireland. Is there a chance that I can stay and grant me a spousal visa even I only have tourist visa. My fiance lives in Germany for almost 8 years by the way. And do I really need a resident permit after getting married even I only have tourist visa. Thank you for answering.

    • Hi. I’m not sure whether a tourist visa can be converted into a residence permit or not. You’d have to ask the Ausländeramt (Foreigners’ Authority). However, I do know that you would need a German residence permit if you wish to reside here. I’m pretty sure the Irish authorities will give you some sort of a permit for Ireland as well. Good luck!

  8. Hey there great blog!!!

    I am an eu citizen working as self employed here in Germany. My future spouse is not an EU citizen. I pay my taxes, rent my own place, have my health insurance, etc. But i am still not sure if there is any additional process i need to do.

    Please if you could provide more information on what i need to do on my side would be amazing. I am still not clear if i qualify as a german citizen, or if i need to go thru any process myself before getting married in Denmark. I

    ‘Please ask your local Ausländeramt what the rules are if you have married a citizen of another EU country’

    If you have any info on this would be amazing.

    • Hello Nicolas. Thank you for visiting the blog. From what you say, you and your spouse need not worry about whether the Ausländeramt will have an issue with you both not covering your expenses. However, that part comes much later on and isn’t relevant to get the initial limited residence permit for Germany and the Schengen Area based on marriage. You need not worry about not being a German citizen to get married in Denmark. Your EU identification and other documents listed on this blog are enough. Just make sure you get your marriage recognized in Germany as well as your home country. You might need to provide certain documentation to the Ausländeramt when your spouse goes there to lay a claim to a residence permit for Germany on the basis of you both being married. What documentation that may be, I unfortunately do not know.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Please send me your email address I have something really important to discuss.

    Thank you.

  10. Hi! I’m a Japanese who is going to marry to EU citizen next month in Denmark. We are not planning to get apostille in Denmark as I have that it is still effective in Germany as well.. Your work is excellent and I will come back to you with my experience in near future. Good luck to everyone who is trying to marry in Germany and Denmark! 🙂

    • Hi Ayuni. Thank you for your comment and for visiting this blog. A Danish marriage certificate without a Apostille stamp is legally valid in Germany as well. However, the bureaucrat in the Standesamt might sometimes impose an additional requirement on you to have that stamp. This is why I advise people to have it stamped while in Denmark to avoid an additional hassle later on. Congratulations in advance on your marriage and lots of luck with your married life 🙂

  11. hi there,sorry to border,i am a Nigerian man and i and my German friend intend to get married in Denmark and of course apostille the certificate and there after register in with the necessary authorities in Germany. However the big issue is that i am presently visiting Germany with a valid business\tourist visa so i am not sure where to apply for the 3 year residence permit,is it in Germany or in Nigeria,because my fear is that if i go back to Nigeria and apply for this permit my business visa may be cancelled and i may not be able to have access to my partner again.by the way i already made the A1 language test,thanks for your support.

    • Hi there. Thanks for visiting the blog. In my personal opinion – and I can’t stress enough that this my PERSONAL opinion, not that of a German Ausländeramt bureaucrat – I think you can apply for a residence permit herein Germany after getting married in Denmark. However, I recommend that you take your German fiance with you to the Ausländeramt and clear this question before you get married in Denmark. The reason is that Family Reunion Visas are notoriously hard to get and a lot of hassle and paperwork is involved. They are also not guaranteed.

  12. Hello everybody
    i just want to ask ..i have pirmition to stay in Malta i will marry German girl in Malta, and as you know Malta in EU but i dont know if its easy to register my marriage in Germany ?

  13. Hi,

    I would like to tell you that I am an Indian national and working in Saudi Arabia. My fiance is a Bosnian National which is Non EU as well and is going to get a work Visa for Germany. I would like to know if it is possible that I get married in Denmark and she helps in registering me there in Germany. Do I personally have to be available there when it is registered in Germany?.Should I be available on student visa and if at all student visa holders are allowed to get married and registered?. If you can please give me the contact of authentic agency that conducts wedding at low cost in Denmark as we just want our paperwork done. Your blog has been very informative and helpful to me.
    Can I please have your email on which we can have any further conversation/clarifications?

    • Hello, Arshad. I will try my best to answer your questions. To get married in Denmark, you will at least need a tourist visa. Your presence will be required when the marriage is registered in Germany because your passport and residence permit/visa is needed at the Standesamt. Students are allowed to get married and registered. Please keep in mind that being married to someone who is a non-EU resident in Germany – like your fiance – you do not get the right to stay in the country. You can find the link for the page of the City of Copenhagen. There can’t be a more straightforward way of getting married in Denmark, in my opinion. You can send me an email on the contact page of this blog

      • Hi,
        It is very disappointing to know that I have to be available in Germany when registering may I know how long will it take for that. Also I feel really sad to know that I cannot stay there if am married to a non-EU resident, is there any solution you can advice me on this please because she has a proper working visa here in Germany and I dont want to stop this issue here.

      • Unfortunately, the Foreigners’ Authority has a lot to do these days because of the recent influx of refugees in Germany, so they might be unwilling to make any allowances for you. You can try finding on a job while on a student residence permit. That job should be in your field of study. If that is the case, you can apply for a residence permit (Arbeitsvisum) or a EU Blue Card. You can also consult an immigration lawyer and find out about the possibilities for you. Those are the only things I can think of. Good luck!

  14. Hi, i found this blog really helpful.

    I am an indian working in Dubai ,my fiance is holding German passport.I have recently visited Germany on schengen visa and got married in Denmark. Now i am back to Dubai.

    can you suggest what we should do , i may apply for residence permit in Germany after an year.
    meanwhile my wife will stay here with me.

    please advise , thank you in advance.

    • Hi, Gyan. Your first step will be to get your wedding recognized in Germany as well. If you have not already done that, you will need to go to the German Embassy or Consulate near you and inquire there about the correct and lawful procedure to follow for this. I am guessing that they will ask you to fill some forms, send your wedding certificate from Denmark to Germany, have it recognized and give it back to you along with the German documents. After this is done, you may ask the German mission to give you a visa changeable into a residence permit for Germany upon arrival (that does not mean straightaway at the airport). This is all conjecture and guesswork on my part. You should visit the German mission near you and ask there.

  15. Thank you for the guidance..

    Just wanted to know if there is any case where a Non-EU married to a Germany residence in Denmark on Schengen visa and later on granted a Family Union Visa.

    Advice , what corrective actions should i take in order to ensure that i can live with my wife in Germany. Any alternate way through legal procedure.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. Salam, I have found this blog very helpful. I am from Pakistan and working with and Italian partners company for last 10 years. I have planned to get married with German ciitizen (NRW-Germany) in Denmark as that is easy way. My girlfriend visited the Standesamt and the the person their informed her that if she will get married in Denmark then her marriage will not recognise and may problem for kids in future and all documents will have to sent Pakistan for further verification and we have to pay more fees for this so better to get married in Germany. Also i do not have any German language skill til yet.

    Please advice us, what would be the best solution for us that i can live with her in Germany and make this procedure clear.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Zeeshan. My advice is to either approach another Standesamt and see if they will be sympathetic or do as yours says. It might also be a good idea to seek some legal advice from a lawyer. That’s the best advice I can give you. Good luck!

  17. Hello very helpful article ! Me and my gf are about to follow these guidelines pretty soon. I have just one question from you: You said the Auslanderbehorde will issue 3 years residence permit, so would I be able to work freely or there are any restrictions ? Like current I have restriction that I can only work for 120 Full days in Germany as I am on student visa.

    Regards & Thanks.

  18. hello , i really found this blog so interesting for me
    and i see that you make a big effort to reply all comments i see it is so hard i was hesitating either to ask too or not , but i really need to know somethings
    well i`m moroccan boy studying in bucharest i got a temporary residency permit of 4 years in Romania so i`m resident of EU and i had a girlfriend with german passport so we just got married last monday in Denmark Aeroskobing , everything was easy and fast ,
    so i´m planing to get my danish marriage certificate changed here in Germany Freiberg Sachsen ,
    i´m going first to make Anmeldung and after that to the Ausländerbehörde , so the problem is i do not have A1 level i have a certificate shows that i have studied 3 months of A1 courses in Morocco and i have a bachelord degree (Abitur) In Morocco and i`m a student in Bucharest University so do you think i have to go back to Morocco to make A1 and have much trouble with papers again or it is going to be easy to change the marriage certificate can you give me more information please ? i would be pleased to hear from you and i really appreciate all you answer here ,
    best regards ,

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