Marriage of foreign citizens in Portugal: What you need to know!

In Portugal, it is possible to celebrate a civil, catholic or religious civil marriage.

Get to know the legal process for getting married and also the property regimes.


Are you living in Portugal and think it is time to get married?

According to Portuguese law, foreigners living in the country can get married in an embassy/consulate of their country of origin. So, if you want to organize your wedding in Portugal, know what you have to do.


The marriage process:

The marriage process in Portugal starts with the declaration of intention to get married. The engaged couple must declare it personally or through a procurator in a civil registry office.

It will be necessary to indicate the type of marriage (civil, catholic or civil religious), the place, the date and time and also the property regime to be adopted. This declaration must be accompanied by:

– Residence permit, passport or equivalent document;

– Birth registration certificate issued less than 6 months ago;

– Certificate of the antenuptial agreement deed in case it has been celebrated;

– Certificate of matrimonial capacity if the country passes (issued less than 6 months ago) or else a document proving that it does not issue the certificate. British citizens do not need this certificate.


Property Regime of Marriage in Portugal:

The property regime determines who owns the assets of married people. In Portugal, there are three property regimes: community of acquired rights (comunhão de adquiridos), general community of acquired rights (comunhão geral) and separation of property rights (separação de bens).


Community of Acquired Property

Each spouse continues to own the property he/she had before the marriage, as well as any property he/she may receive through donation or succession. Assets acquired after the marriage and the product of the spouses’ work belong to both spouses. If no other choice is made, this is the regime established by law by default.


General community

Property acquired for valuable or free of charge belongs to both spouses, regardless of whether it was acquired before or after the marriage. If the spouses have children outside of their marriage, they cannot choose this regime.


Separate Property Ruling System

There is no community of property and each member of the couple is the owner of what they acquired before or after the marriage. This regime is compulsory if at least one of the spouses is over 60 years old.


Defining another property regime

It is also allowed to define a different regime, as long as it is within the limits of the law, in a marriage contract. If no prenuptial agreement is concluded, the community of acquired rights regime is adopted.



The process and registration of marriage costs 120 euros.


Validity of the marriage in the country of origin:

If you are a citizen of a European Union country, in principle your marriage will be valid in all other EU countries (except for same sex marriages, as there are countries where this union is not yet recognised). However, it is advisable to register the marriage in your own country. It’s best to contact your country’s consulate to find out how you can do this, as the rules can vary.


If you are not an EU citizen, contact the consular services to find out if the marriage is valid and how you can register it in your home country.