In Israel, only religious marriages are permitted by law. Followers of recognized religious communities in the country can only get married. They must be of the same religion, and their marriage must be registered in the appropriate religious institutions. If the couple cannot or do not want to get married in Israel, there are two options then:
Registration of civil marriage – this is primarily a legal fact. Before making this step, we recommend consulting with a lawyer. A family law professional will analyze your situation and give recommendations on how to prepare for a change in family status in Israel (alimony from previous marriages, marriage contract, etc.) and in which country in the world, it is better to register a marriage. The Czech Republic, Georgia, Spain, the USA, and the CIS countries are famous for civil weddings. However, the most popular destination among Israelis is Cyprus that is a minimum of time, bureaucracy, and maximum savings
In Cyprus, citizens of any country can get married; there are absolutely no restrictions on the citizenship or religion of people who marry on this sunny island. Besides, most countries of the world, including Israel, recognize the legitimacy of the union concluded in Cyprus.
In its practice, the Patkin & Partners Law Office is faced with a huge variety of client situations, but in general there are four types of couples that are suitable for marriage registration in Cyprus:
It is important to remember that if one of the future spouses is not an Israeli citizen, as in the last three options, then he may have difficulty entering Israel immediately after registering the marriage. It is necessary either in advance, together with a lawyer, to get the right from the Ministry of Interior to enter the country after the wedding or wait for permission from Misrad HaPnim, when being outside Israel. Based on our experience, obtaining such permission may take from several months to a year.
The marriage in Cyprus is especially relevant for couples («eduim be tsibur») who are just planning to start or are already undergoing a step-by-step procedure for legalizing a foreign spouse in Israel. When at a certain stage, there is an opportunity or need to register a marriage, marriage registration in Cyprus becomes a very convenient and quick solution.
Why is it worth registering a marriage with graded procedure? It is worth noting that marriage registration greatly simplifies the step-by-step procedure for legalizing marriage in Israel. If the step-by-step procedure lasts at least seven years for a civil marriage, then it can be no more than five years for registered spouses. Thus, marriage registration, in the process of passing graded procedure, accelerates the receipt of a permanent residence permit for a foreign spouse.
Surely, you can get married in the birthplace of the foreign spouse, but for this, it is necessary to travel for a long period to register the marriage. In the CIS countries, for example, it is difficult to predict the time for collecting documents, certificates, etc. Often it is inconvenient, far away and can be quite expensive. A marriage in Cyprus can be registered in one day, spending about 3300₪ for everything.
As noted earlier, the bureaucratic component of marriage in Cyprus is minimal. The bride and groom will need:
Depending on the situation, as well as on the birthplace of the foreign spouse, the list of documents can be supplemented.
Cyprus authorities require a minimum package of documents from the bride and groom, but they are very scrupulous concerning the documents. If you arrive at the appointed time, but an error will be found in the documents, your marriage will not be registered. Neither your presence nor the time and money spent flying from Israel to Cyprus will be arguments for the municipality.
Therefore, we have a rule: it is mandatory to get approval from the municipality that all documents are in order. The bride and groom have only to come at the appointed time and put their signatures.
The most popular for weddings are the Cypriot cities of Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos, Ayia Napa. The Patkin & Partners Law Office has many years of experience in successful cooperation with the municipality of Larnaca. Therefore, we advise this city. In general, marriage can be registered in just a couple of days in Larnaca, from signing an agreement with a law firm to receiving an apostilled marriage certificate. Although, of course, we recommend that you don’t rush and devote two to three weeks for preparation.
You can get married in Cyprus on any day of the week, including at weekends. Wedding ceremonies usually take place until one in the afternoon. If you do not plan a magnificent celebration, participation of guests and a restaurant, then your whole wedding can be completed in one day. Omitting individual options (photo shoots, sightseeing, etc.), your wedding day may look like this:
We have direct contacts with local wedding photographers who will help capture this happy newlyweds day.
Important! When registering marriage in Cyprus:
- A foreign spouse needs to check the entry conditions in Cyprus and, if necessary, obtain a visa; Israelis do not need a visa to visit Cyprus.
- Take the originals of all documents
- After registration, receive a marriage certificate and check for an apostille (this is monitored by our family lawyer)
Provide a certified marriage certificate to the Ministry of Interior in Israel to change the family status.
The list of countries in which Israelis can register a civil marriage is quite long. Marriage in other countries (comparing with Cyprus) involves more bureaucracy concerning the list of documents of future spouses, as well as in the conditions of filing the application and setting the date of the ceremony. In some cases, a preliminary trip may be necessary, for example, to personally submit a package of documents. Flight schedule from Israel to some countries suggests that trips will last longer than one day. From filing the application and documents to direct registration mostly takes at least several weeks.
Separately or as a whole. This service is provided only as marriage registration in Cyprus, as well as in the package of legal support for the step-by-step procedure for legalizing a foreign spouse in Israel. One-time consultations concerning a package of documents, conditions for crossing the Israeli border by foreigners and other related issues are also provided.
Built and tested processes. We have repeatedly worked out all the procedures from the preparation of documents of future spouses to obtaining permission to register a marriage in the municipality of Larnaca, as well as providing all the necessary documents for Misrad HaPnim, if the spouses pass graded procedure.
Lawyers to solve any issues. Unforeseen circumstances may arise even in the most understandable and simple case. Our lawyers work in any areas of jurisprudence and can help quickly resolve any client issues with maximum benefit.
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