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Getting Married

Who may perform marriages abroad?

Dutch law only acknowledges civil marriages, performed by a registrar of marriages (ambtenaar van de burgerlijke stand).  Once the civil ceremony is completed the marriage may then be solemnized in a religious ceremony if the couple so chooses.  You do not need to register your marriage with the U.S. Consulate General.

Does marriage affect my citizenship?

If an American citizen marries a Dutch citizen, he or she does not thereby acquire Dutch citizenship, nor does the Dutch citizen acquire US citizenship.  If the non-American spouse of an American citizen wishes to reside in the United States, he or she must apply for an immigrant visa.  For the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba immigrant visas are issued at either the American Embassy in Barbados (for St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius) or Colombia (for Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).

What documents do I need to get married in the Dutch Caribbean?

Send your request to get married in writing to the civil registrar. The letter should contain your personal information, full address of both parties, phone/fax number and e-mail address. The future husband and wife must both be at least 18 years of age and should both sign the letter.

Documentation you need to enclose:

  • Clear, legible copies of both passports;
  • Certified copies of your birth certificates. (the issue date must be less than 6 months before date of marriage), along with an Apostille stamp on each
  • Proof of single status;
  • If applicable, divorce papers or death certificate of former spouse;
  • Declaration of single status from the time of divorce or death of former spouse until present;
  • Names of parents, mothers’ maiden names, and their dates and places of birth;
  • Professions of bride, groom and their parents;

Original documents other than in Dutch or English need to be translated into the Dutch language (i.e. a French or Spanish document must be translated into Dutch, not English).

Please note that official documents, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates, need an “Apostille” in order to be recognized in other countries.  Apostille stamps certify the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document, the capacity in which that official acts and the identity of the seal or stamp the document bears.  An apostille does not imply that the contents of the document are correct.  You should start by contacting the Secretary of State for your state to inquire how to get an Apostille for your documents.  The Civil Registrar can tell you how to get your marriage certificate properly apostilled and the fee charged.

Send your letter and documents to:
Bureau Burgerlijke Stand
Att. Betto Christians
Schoolstraat 2
Oranjestad, Aruba

Send your letter and documents to:
Burgerlijke Stand
Attn. Hoofd afdeling Huwelijken
Roodeweg 42
(For questions, call: 011-599-9-434-1600 or email: info.bsbv@gobiernu.cw

St. Maarten
Send your letter and documents to:
Chief Registrar
Census Office
Soualiga Road
Philipsburg, St. Maarten  (For questions, fax to: +599-542-4267)