Family matters

Father, mother and two small children at the breakfast table

Mixed nationality family, © Colourbox


Marriage in Germany

  • If neither you or your fiancé(e) live in Germany, the application for the marriage has to be filed with the registrar's office where you intend to marry.
  • The registrar's office will tell you which documents are required for your marriage in Germany. In many cases, foreign documents need to be translated or / and legalised. The Embassy does not provide any translation service.
  • If you are not a resident in Germany, you will probably be required to produce a certificate from Rwanda called “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis”. You can obtain this certificate from your local registry office at the place of your residence in Rwanda. Please request a certificate of non-impediment to marriage.
  • Normal requirements before German nationality is granted include a good knowledge of the German language and residence in Germany.

Registration of a marriage

in the German marriage Register

The following documents are required as originals with two photocopies each:

  • Legalization of Rwandan documents marriage certificate
  • Proof of the citizenship of the spouses (Passports or German “Personalausweis”/ID card)
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalised German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” if you have one
  • Birth certificates of both spouses (in case of foreign certificates the documents must Legalization of Rwandan documents)
  • If applicable: Proof of a marriage name (certificate of a name declaration issued by a German Registrar’s Office)
  • If applicable: marriage certificates of all previous marriages
  • Divorce decree absolute for divorcees (in case of foreign certificates please Contact the Consulate)
  • Proof of residence (for example utility bill or bank statement) for Rwanda
  • A deregistration certificate (“Abmeldebescheinigung”) from your last German residence or a current registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”) from your (last) place of residence in Germany
  • Translations of foreign language documents into German by a translator certified in Germany
  • Birth certificates (full version - stating the parents’ names) of all children of the parents including older siblings
  • If you are still registered in Germany, you can register your marriage with the local Registrar’s Office in Germany personally or you can apply through the German Embassy in Kigali.
  • If you are not sure whether a name declaration for your child is needed in your case or if you want to do the name declaration please Contact the Consulate
  • Please note that the German Embassy cannot predict how long this process will take. Processing times may vary considerably depending on the complexity of the case and the individual Registrar’s Office.

  • This page provides information for most routine cases presented to the Embassy. Due to the complexity of the German name law and the multitude of conceivable case scenarios each individual case may have to be treated differently. This information is therefore meant only as an orientation and neither substitutes legal advice based on a detailed case nor does it foreclose the decision of the registrar, which remains reserved in all cases. Should your case not be covered please contact the Embassy.

“Married Name”-declaration

In Germany the spouses can opt for one of their last names to become a so-called “married name” (Ehename) when they get married (or later) by name declaration. The spouse whose name does not become the married name can add his or her previous name with a hyphen in front of or behind the married name.

If you got married outside of Germany and have made a name declaration at the time of your wedding and your marriage certificate shows evidence of this, please contact the Embassy in order to find out whether this name change is recognised by German law.

If no name declaration is made (as is the case with all marriages in Rwanda) the name has not changed and each spouse still bears the same name as before the marriage – even if one spouse has already been using the other spouse’s name in everyday life. Please also note that a name change per deed poll is not valid for a German citizen. To officially declare a married name by German law you will have to formally submit a name declaration at the Embassy.

If you are not sure whether a name declaration for your child is needed please contact us.

  • In case a German spouse was not divorced in Germany, Contact the Consulatein which country the divorce took place and when the petition for the divorce was filed. Your name declaration will then be forwarded to the competent Registrar (Standesamt), where it will be processed. As soon as the Registrar confirms the name and issues a name confirmation certificate, this will be send to your address and you can then apply for a new passport. The confirmation certificate will only be issued on your request and the Registrar will charge a fee for this – you will need the certificate for the passport application. The fee is about 10,00 €.
  • Please note that the German Mission cannot tell you how long this process will take. Processing times may vary considerably depending on the complexity of the case and the individual Registrar’s Office.

Registration of a child’s birth

If you want to apply for a German birth certificate for your child you have to register the birth in Germany.

Acknowledgement of paternity

  • If the father of the child is not mentioned on the child’s birth certificate then a formal acknowledgement of paternity is usually needed.
  • Please find detailed information in the download below.
  • For further questions you may contact the Consulate.
  • If the child’s parents are married at the time of birth of the child generally no acknowledgement of paternity is needed.

Additional content

The legal term father According to paragraph 1594 et seq. of the German Civil Code (BGB), the legal father of a child is either the man who is married to the mother of the child at the time of the…

Acknowledgement of paternity

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