Greece is the most popular destination in Europe for British couples to get married. This should be one of the happiest times of their lives, and yet many fall foul of stringent requirements for personal documentation, often only finding out that they cannot marry as planned because they do not have the required documents with the correct level of legalisation to be used in Greece.
We have helped numerous couples to get their documents ready for this big day, helping to prevent issues when they arrive in Greece. The following information will help you to make sure you are properly prepared:
In all cases, each British national wishing to get married in Greece will need to present the following documents as applicable to their personal status:
- Full Birth Certificate (Including Parent's names) for evidence of identity. If the person has been adopted, it is a copy of the Adoption Certificate that is needed and not the original Birth Certificate.
- Certificate of No Impediment to prove that the person is legally entitled to marry
- Where applicable a Decree Absolute divorce certificate to show that a previous marriage has been dissolved
- In the case that a previous spouse has died, a copy of the Death Certificate will be required
- If there has been a change of name since birth, other than by marriage, a copy of the Deed Poll will be needed
UK Legalisation of British Documents
Any document that is to be presented to the Greek authorities will need to be legalised for use abroad. This process is known as an Apostille and is performed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Each document will be verified and then 'Stamped' by the FCO by way of attaching an Apostille document to the reverse of the document and finally sealed.
Greek Translation of British Documents
Once a document has had the Apostille attached to the reverse, it will then be required to be translated by a recognised translator, authorised by the Greek Embassy in London. These translations, once completed, will then be verified by the Embassy as accurate.
Whilst many overseas countries will be happy to recognise a translation that is completed by a ATC member translation company, and then notarised, the Greek authorities do not recognise this and therefore the documents must be handled by an authorised translator.
Certification by the Greek Consulate
The final step in this process is to have the Greek translation certified, or attested, by the Greek Consulate in London. They will stamp the translated document providing it has been carried out by one of their authorised translators and signed by them.
Special Requirements for a Greek Orthodox Church Marriage
If the wedding is to take place within a Greek Orthodox Church, then the non-Orthodox partner must obtain their Certificate of No Impediment from the British Embassy in Athens or one of the British Consulates in Greece once they have been resident in Greece for at least 21 days. Once the Certificate on No Impediment has been issued, this will then need to be signed, sealed and dated by the Anglican Church Authority. Enquiries for this certification should be addressed to St. Paul's Anglican Church in Athens in all cases other than for Corfu which is handled by the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Corfu.
Order Legalisation & Translation of UK Documents
We offer a combined service to completely legalise and translate these documents to allow you to marry within Greece. Please get in touch to find out more.