Legal Guide for Getting Married in Fiji
Getting married in Fiji? We cover everything you need to know from applying to be married to the signed marriage certificate – ensuring the right paperwork is completed and your marriage will be legal – a very important thing to do!
Firstly, your marriage in Fiji is recognised legally worldwide. You do not have to get married again in your home country to make it official.
After your wedding ceremony, your official marriage certificate will be provided to you as a record of being married and this carries the same legal status as any other marriage worldwide.
- Main image: Ocean Studio Fiji Photography
- Applying for your marriage licence:
In order to get married, certified copies of the following documents will need to be provided in advance to a Births, Deaths & Marriage office in Fiji. We suggest doing this at least 2 months in advance in order to ensure there is no rush at the last minute to get your licence.
What you’ll need for both of you:
1. Birth Certificates
2. Passports with valid legal status
3. If applicable, Divorce Certificates
4. If a previous spouse is deceased, a Death Certificate
5. A Certificate of Single status or Certificate of No Legal Impediment (see further notes on this below)
Once you have these documents in order, you are able to apply for a marriage licence.
- How do I apply for a marriage license in Fiji?
All overseas marriage applicants are required by law to obtain and sign a Marriage License from a marriage registry or district office prior to the marriage ceremony.
Applications for a Special Marriage License can be obtained from Registries located in Suva, Lautoka, Labasa and District Registries in Nadi, Sigatoka, Navua, Ba, Tavua, Rakiraki, Korovou, Nausori, Levuka, Nabouwalu, Savusavu and Taveuni.
Submit scanned copies of all your paperwork well in advance to one of the following BDM offices. Upon arriving in Fiji, you and your spouse will need to visit the office in person, bringing all original documents with you for completion of your marriage licence.
The Registry offices are typically open from 8.00 am – 3 or 4.00pm Mondays to Fridays. The offices are closed on weekends and public holidays. For contact information for the registry office, see the following phone numbers (websites are not available):
Address: Ground Floor, Suvavou House, Victoria Parade, Suva
Phone: (+679) 3315 280
Address: Keasuna Building, Sigatoka
Phone: (+679) 6500 954
Address: GT Plaza, Vunavou Cresent, Nadi Town
Phone: (+679) 670 0312
Address: Level 1, Westfield Mall, Tukani Street, Lautoka
Phone: (+679) 666 5133
Once issued, the marriage license is valid for 28 days effective from the date of issue and within this period the marriage must be officiated. The Marriage Officer/Celebrant must satisfy that the license is still valid on the day of your ceremony.
We have attached a sample form below of the type of form you can expect from the registry office and suggest you source the official copy directly from a BDM office.
- How far in advance should I be in Fiji to get married?
While there is no legal requirement to be there a certain number of days in advance, we suggest that you arrive in Fiji 3 days before your wedding, to allow you time to get to the BDM office a couple of days in advance and ensure all details are in order.
- Am I able to bring my own celebrant?
Under the laws of Fiji, only Fijian celebrants are allowed to officiate a marriage, however an arrangement may be undertaken between the overseas and the local celebrant. The overseas celebrant could participate in the vows and the blessings of the ring but the Fijian celebrant will solemnize the marriage and sign the marriage certificate.
For Catholic marriages, a couple should bring their Baptism Certificate, written confirmations for the right to marry from one’s own parish priest and at least meet with the local Catholic priest.
- The marriage certificate
All registered marriage certificates will be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs to obtain an Apostille Seal, authenticating the marriage as legally binding and internationally recognisable.
2 witnesses over 21 years must be present at the ceremony, however if travelling alone most resorts can provide witnesses for you, please check with your wedding coordinator.
All copies of certificates of marriage must be signed by the party, witnessed and endorsed by the minister or celebrant.
One of the original A5 certificates will be given to you while the second certificate is forwarded with the license to the registry within 7 days to be registered. After that your registered Marriage Certificate is obtained for you and posted out.
- Single Status Certificates
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is ‘What is a Single Status Certificate and do I need one? Followed by ‘Where do I get one of these?
If you’re planning to marry in Fiji, you are highly likely to need a Single Status certificate. This certificate verifies that you’ve not been married before during a specified period of time, generally from 18 years of age. A search/certificate is required for both parties wishing to marry.
You can apply for a Single Status certificate in person or sometimes online (typically Births, Deaths and Marriages) in your home country, usually by State. Certificates are sent to you by the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in most instances.We have provided some samples of certificates below.
Who needs one:
A Certificate of Single status or Certificate of No Legal Impediment must be provided if:
• The marriage is between non-residents marrying in Fiji
• The marriage is between a non-resident marrying a local citizen
• The marriage is by former citizens of Fiji with two years & above residency abroad.
NB. Fiji had previously not required Single Status Certificates from a number of countries, however as of 2017, single status has been reinstated and it is now a requirement for overseas marriage applicants wishing to get married in Fiji (without exempting any country) to provide either “Single Status Certificate, Certificate of Search or Certificate of no Legal Impediment”
Useful contacts to obtain your Single Status Certificate
Still need help?
If you need further help with getting married in Fiji, we can point you in the right direction. Drop us an email and we will be happy to help!
- This article was written with the intention of being a helpful guideline. Common sense prevails and this information should not be taken as advice, legal or otherwise. We suggest if you intend to marry in Fiji, you plan well ahead to ensure that your paperwork is attended to on time so your wedding day is also a legal marriage.