- Legal Wedding Requirements
Costa Rica at a Glance
Dense tropical forests, an endless variety of wildlife, volcanic remains and pristine coastlines; Costa Rica is the jewel of the Caribbean. Once considered a backpackers or biologists destination Costa Rica has exploded onto the travel market offering guests unmatched experiences ranging from peaceful rainforest walks to thrill seeking zip-line rides to secluded beaches. Exhilarating, tranquil and enthralling, Costa Rica is a holiday experience for all your senses.
Top 4 Reasons to Visit
The Rain Forrest. Hard to believe, but more than one quarter of Costa Rica is comprised of Rain Forrest. Thick, exotic and lush, it is a great place to see over 10,000 different species of plants and animals. Whether you are hiking though it or swinging over top of it, the Costa Rica Rainforest is an amazing experience.
Volcanoes. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Costa Rica credits much of its natural beauty and diverse landscape to the more than 200 volcanoes found in this tiny country.
Beaches. While not typically thought of as a beach destination, Costa Rica offers a beach for everyone, from rocky shores to gorgeous palm lined white sand beaches.
Food. With ideal conditions for fresh produce Costa Rica is a haven for vegetarians. The food is mild, homemade and hearty; perfect after a long day of rainforest exploration.
Legal Requirements for getting Married in Costa Rica
According to Costa Rican legislation, civil marriages are celebrated by a Notary Public; catholic marriages are celebrated by catholic priests, who act as a representative of the Church and notary publics at the same time.
Following are the documents required to get married in Costa Rica.
- Original Birth Certificate of both persons.
Single or Civil Status Certificate of both persons.
If you have been married before, you will require these additional documents:
a) A certified copy of the divorce statement.
b) A certified copy of your previous spouse’s death.
- Documents described above must be certified by the Consulate of Costa Rica, before arrival and must be issued no more than six months prior to the marriage ceremony. Certification fees: US$40 payable by deposit to the account No. 0005-4608-520, Bank of Montreal, Embassy of Costa Rica-Consular Services, please enclose the original and a copy of the receipt with the documents.The above documents should be authenticated by Foreign Affairs Canada, Authentication Office, for information call them at: (613) 2995-0119.
Two witnesses (non relatives preferred) must have the following documents:
a) For non Costa Rican citizens: A passport valid for at least six months.
b) For Costa Rican citizens: A Costa Rican identity card (cédula de identidad).
- Presentation of a valid passport once in Costa Rica.
- If you are marrying a Costa Rican citizen, your future spouse will require the
a. A valid Costa Rican identity card (cédula de identidad).
b. A Certificate of Single Status issued by the Civil Registry. (Certificado de Soltería del Registro Civil).
Registration of your marriage in Canada
You should arrange with your lawyer in Costa Rica the presentation of the appropriate documents in order to register the marriage in Canada.
Following are the documents and steps needed:
- Marriage Certificate issued by the Costa Rican Civil Registry (Registro Civil). Usually it takes up to six weeks to get the certificate from this office.
- Translation (Spanish to English or French) of the marriage certificate by an Official Translator of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Authentication from the Authentication Office of the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Authentication from the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica.
- Presentation of the documents described above to the Vital Statistics Office in your Province for the appropriate registration in Canada.