Marriages in the United States, the United Kingdom, and most other nations must be supported by marriage certificates with a "Apostille" stamp. This is not the case with Canadian and certain other marriage certificates, which must be validated by the Greek consulate in those countries. The Apostille stamp certifies that a foreign public document has been authenticated as true and accurate by a responsible authority within the Greek government.
The Apostille process was created by French president François Mitterrand in 1992. Before this time, many countries did not require official documents from other countries to be certified as true and correct. These days, almost all countries require some kind of certification for important documents. The Apostille process provides such certification for a small fee. Countries that participate in the system include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Wales.
An Apostille stamp should be placed on the birth certificate (see below). If one has previously been married, a death certificate or final divorce order, as well as an official translation into Greek, are required. If both civil and religious ceremonies are to be performed, two sets of the aforesaid documents are necessary.
The marriage must be registered at the local registry office within 10 days after it has taken place. The couple will then have 90 days to return to the registry office with the required documents.
The registration card issued by the registrar is valid for one year. It can be renewed by going back to the registry office.
You need to bring several documents when getting married in Greece. These include your passports, birth certificates, divorce papers if applicable, and evidence of residence such as rent receipts or deeds to property.
In addition, the pastor conducting the wedding ceremony will also require the names and addresses of at least five people who can vouch for you. He/she will use this information to make sure that everyone knows what's happening and that no one is being denied permission to marry you. There was some talk about requiring blood tests as well but this has not yet been implemented.
Getting married in Greece is very easy because many government agencies work together to ensure that everything is processed correctly and within time limits.
Foreigners asking for a marriage license in Greece must present the following documents (the bride and groom must individually submit these documents): A passport is required. A current residency permit (if applicable). A genuine or certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate, as well as an official Greek translation
Documents verifying the termination of any prior connection (such as death or divorce documents), translated and validated in the local language. Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry: Some nations require the parties to sign an affidavit as confirmation of their legal competence to engage into a marriage contract.
Marriage to a Greek or European Union citizen You can reside in Greece if you are married to a Greek citizen. For same-sex couples, Greece also has a civil union option. If you are married to an EU citizen residing in Greece, you will also have residency choices.
If your husband or wife dies, you will be eligible to apply for the status of resident alien in Greece. However, even if you are not a legal resident, you may be allowed to stay in Greece if you can prove that you are the spouse of a Greek citizen and that you have a valid visa to stay in the country.
To be granted a residence permit, you will need to provide evidence of: marital status, proof of relationship, evidence of income, evidence of health insurance, and evidence of having applied for a passport. If any of these requirements is not met, you will not be able to retain your residence permit. Additionally, if you are under 18 years old when you marry your partner, one of you will need to be over 16 years old.
As with many other countries, residents who marry foreign citizens lose their right to work in Greece if they do not meet specific requirements. The government may allow some exceptions if there is a labor shortage in certain industries. Otherwise, you must secure alternative employment to remain in the country.
Americans can marry in Greece in either a legal or religious wedding, or both. You do not have to live in Greece to marry, but the bureaucratic procedure of obtaining a marriage license might take several weeks. A religious wedding may be more appropriate if you want something small and intimate.
The best place to get married in Athens is the city center - it's convenient for everything there is to see and do. If you get married at a church or temple that charges fees for weddings, then the priest or minister will need to give you permission to marry someone who is not a Christian. If this applies to you, then you should explain things to your husband-to-be before you marry.
You can also marry outside Greece, but only if one of you is a citizen of Greece or Europe, depending on where you get married. Otherwise, the marriage contract has no validity in Greece and cannot be used as a basis for getting a residence permit.
If your wife isn't born into citizenship by birth or descent, then she won't be able to apply for a residence permit. However, if she gets a valid work permit, then she can stay without problems.