Foreign nationals in Albania may marry in a civil ceremony, a religious ceremony, or both. The marriage must be registered with the Office of Civil Status (Zyra e Gjendjes Civile) to be considered legal in Albania and the U.S. There are no residency requirements for foreign nationals who choose to get married in Albania.
Documents you might need:
- Your Birth Certificate:
If you were born outside of Albania, you will need a certified copy of your birth certificate issued within the last three months authenticated with a special seal called “Apostille”. For the United States, the state that issued your birth certificate will also issue the apostille. The easiest way to find specific instructions for getting an apostille is to do an Internet search for “birth certificate apostille XX (state),” but general information on apostilles is provided here. You will need to have your apostilled birth certificate translated into Albanian at a licensed Albanian notary public.
- Divorce Decree or Certificate (if applicable):
If you were married before, local authorities might request a certified copy of your divorce decree or certificate with an apostille attached to it, or an apostilled death certificate for your previous spouse, with an official translation. (See above for more on apostilles and translations.)
- Your U.S. passport and a Copy of the Biographic Page;
- If your future spouse is an Albanian citizen, his or her Personal Certificate and Albanian Passport or ID Card;
- Two Witnesses:
The witnesses must be present when the marriage is registered and they can’t be related to either you or your new spouse.
- Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry:
Albanian authorities require proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract in the form of certification by competent authority that no impediment exists to the marriage. No such document exists in the United States. U.S. citizens who wish to get married in Albania must provide an “Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry in the Republic of Albania” (PDF 284 KB) certification issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. The standard notary fee of $50.00 applies. We accept cash (dollars or leke) and credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners Club, and Discover).
- Please schedule an appointment with our office in order to obtain the above affidavit.
A marriage may be registered between a man and a woman who are at least 18 years old. Marriage of a person under 18 requires court approval.
At least 11 days before the planned marriage, the future spouses must appear at the Office of Civil Status in the municipality where the marriage registration will take place. If one spouse is an Albanian citizen, this will be the district where he or she has legal residence. If neither of the spouses hold Albanian citizenship, they may marry at the Civil Status Office covering their usual place of residence.
A legal marriage performed in Albania is fully valid in the United States. There is no need to ‘register’ your marriage with the embassy.