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Mixed nationality family, © Colourbox

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Marriage in Germany

If you would like to get married in Germany, please contact the registry office at your or your fiancé(e)'s residence 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. From abroad, naturalisation is only possible in cases of a public interest in this naturalisation, for instance if ancestors were deprived of their German citizenship within the period of 30.01.1933 until 08.05.1945, or if the person is a well-known scientist.


More detailed informations in the download below.

Registration of a marriage in the German marriage Register

The Registrar’s Office responsible for foreign marriages is the Registrar’s Office at the place where the applicant has his/her residence in Germany. If none of the spouses has a residence in Germany, the Registrar’s Office I in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the marriage and issuing a marriage certificate.

Only the spouses can apply for a marriage registration. If you wish to change your name after the marriage (name declaration), both spouses have to sign the application. If a name declaration is not required, the marriage registration can be made by either of the spouses alone.

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

  • Legalized 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
  • 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
  • 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 either German or English
  • Birth certificates (full version - stating the parents’ names) of all children of the parents including older siblings.

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary or can be requested by the Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany at a later date.

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 us.

The fee for certifying the signature(s) on the application is 25 Euro (around 22.000 RWF). Please note that the German Embassy can only accept cash. We kindly ask you to provide an exact amount. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations the fee may change slightly without further notice. In addition the German Embassy has to charge a fee for the certification of the photocopies required by the Registrar.

Your application will then be forwarded to the competent Registrar (Standesamt) in Germany, where it will be processed. The Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany will charge a fee for initiating the procedure and issuing the marriage certificate. The fee amounts to about 70-120 EUR. You will have to pay the fee directly to the Registrar’s Office in Germany.

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.

Both spouses must come in person, as both their signatures have to be certified in order for the name declaration to become valid.

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

  • Valid passports for both spouses (or German Personalausweis/ID card)
  • Birth certificates of both spouses
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree absolute for divorcees
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalized German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” (if you have one).
  • Proof of residence (e.g. 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 documents in German or English (not required with “international” documents).
  • Birth certificates (full version – stating the parents) for all children the spouses have together (whether born before the marriage or during). If the child was born in Rwanda, please bring along the birth certificate (“acte de naissance”).

All documents have to be presented in legalised form.

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary or can be requested by the competent Standesamt (Registrar) at a later date.

The fee for the name declaration is around 22,500 RWF. Please note that the German Embassy can only accept cash. We kindly ask you to provide an exact amount. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations the fee may change slightly without further notice. In addition the German Mission has to charge a fee of 9,000 RWF for the certification of the photocopies required by the Registrar.

In case a German spouse was not divorced in Germany, please let the German Mission know in advance in 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.

This page provides information for most routine cases presented to the German Embassy in Kigali. 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 German Embassy.

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.

In German law a child whose parents are married at the time of the child’s birth and who bear a married name (Ehename) will obtain the parents’ married name as birth name. In cases where the parents are married, but do not have a married name, or when the parents are not married and another name as the mother’s surname is desired as the child’s surname, the parents will have to make a name declaration as part of the birth registration. Please refer to our “name declaration” leaflet for further information.

If a name declaration is not required, the birth registration can be made by either of the parents alone.

In order to hand in the birth registration application for your child and if you live in Rwanda, please book an appointment via phone or through our contact form below.

If you are not sure whether a name declaration for your child is needed in your case please contact the Embassy.

The following documents are required as originals with one photocopy each:

  • Duly filled application for registration of a child’s birth,
  • Valid passports for both parents
  • Birth certificates of both parents (Rwandan Certificates must be legalized by the German Embassy)
  • Child’s birth certificate (“acte de naissance”) - stating the parents’ names (Rwandan Certificates must be legalized by the German Embassy)
  • If you wish to make a choice of law declaration (also refer to name declaration of a child), proof that the child bears the intended name under the law of the respective country (passport or birth certificate issued by the authorities of that country)
  • If you are married: your marriage certificate (Rwandan Certificates must be legalized by the German Embassy)
  • If applicable divorce decree absolute for divorcees
  • Naturalization certificate for naturalized German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” if you have one
  • Translations of foreign language documents into either German or English

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary or can be requested by the Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany at a later date.

The fee for the name declaration is around 22,500 RWF (25,00 EUR). Please note that we can only accept cash payments in Rwandan Francs. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations the fee may change slightly without further notice. In addition the German Embassy have to charge a fee of around 9,000 RWF (10,00 EUR) for the certification of the photocopies required by the Registrar.

Your application will then be forwarded to the competent Registrar (Standesamt) in Germany, where it will be processed. The Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany will charge a fee for initiating the procedure and issuing the birth certificate. The fee amounts to about 70-120 EUR. You will have to pay the fee directly to the Registrar's Office in Germany.

Please note that the 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 leaflet 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 via the e-mail address mentioned above.

Name declaration for a child

Different possibilities include:

  1. A child whose parents are married at the time of the child’s birth and who bear a married name (Ehename) will obtain the parents’ married name as birth name. In cases where the parents are married, but do not have a married name, the parents will have to make a name declaration in order for the child to obtain a birth name, even if the child has already been registered abroad under a certain name.
  2. A child whose parents are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth will usually have the mother’s surname as birth name. Therefore, if you want the child to have the mother’s name in these cases, a name declaration is not necessary. If the parents want the child to bear the father’s name they will have to do a name declaration.
  3. A double name combining the parents’ surnames or the possibility according to Rwandan law to create a name (Eigenname), is usually not possible according to German law.

Both parents must be present since their signatures on the name declaration must be certified.

The following documents are required as originals with two photocopies each (please note that Rwandan documents have to be presented in legalized form.

  • Valid passports for both parents
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Child’s birth certificate (“acte de naissance” - stating the parents’ names)
  • If you wish to make a choice of law declaration (see above, no. 3), proof that the child bears the intended name under the law of the respective country (passport or birth certificate issued by the authorities of that country)
  • If you are married: your marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree absolute for divorcees
  • Naturalisation certificate for naturalized German nationals or “Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis” if you have one
  • Proof of residence (e.g. utility bill or bank statement)
  • A deregistration certificate (“Abmeldebescheinigung”) from your last German residence or a current registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”) from your (last) place of residence in Germany (very important!)
  • translations of foreign language documents into either German or English
  • Birth certificates (full version - stating the parents’ names) of all other children of the parents including older siblings.

Depending on the case more documents may become necessary or can be requested by the Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany at a later date.

The fee for the name declaration is 25 Euro (around 22.500 RWF). Please note that the German Embassy Kigali can only accept cash. We kindly ask you to provide an exact amount. However, due to exchange rate fluctuations the fee may change slightly without further notice. In addition the Embassy has to charge a fee of 10 Euro (around 9000.—RWF) for the certification of the photocopies required by the Registrar.

In case a German spouse was not divorced in Germany, please let the Embassy know in advance in which country the divorce took place and when the petition for the divorce was filed.

Please note that, as a rule, applicants who are late or do not have the required documentation cannot be seen that day and will have to make a new appointment.

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 passport for your child. The Standesamt (Registrar) in Germany will charge a fee for the certificate. You will need the certificate for the passport application.

Please note that the 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 German Embassy in Kigali. 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.

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.

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