Is Estonia the new Las Vegas?
This is exactly what one of our judges recently said to me in court. Apparently more and more foreigners/visa holders/temporary residents are getting married in Estonia. That sounds awesome but what does that have to do with going to court?
There are a few legal things to keep in mind that might postpone the ultimate relationship goal in our lives.
To start the journey, you need to submit an application (in Estonian) in the Vital Statistics Office (or to a notary or a clergyman). One of the unique documents in Estonia that would need to be added to the application is a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage in case the prospective spouse’s place of residence is in a foreign country or he/she has lived in Estonia less than six months.
Most countries do not have such a document so in this case you need to file an application to court and you then swear under oath that there are no obstacles for you to get married. It is a simple procedure with the state fee of 50 euros.
If you can actually get such a certificate then you need to bear in mind that a foreign document must be legalised or confirmed with an apostille, unless the international agreement states otherwise. This also applies to the birth certificates that are also required with the application. As we have written before, the EU countries do not require an apostille anymore in these kind of cases.
One last thing to bear in mind - you need to wait at least 1 month after the application to actually get married.