How To Get Married in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is certainly a beautiful place that comes into mind when considering ideal locations to get married. It is most definitely a country rich in natural resources, from gorgeous beaches to impressive landscapes and rainforests. Whether you choose to elope or host a big wedding, it can surely provide you and your partner with the wonderful experience you are looking for. But what are the legal aspects you need to consider when planning your wedding and getting married in this country?
The first thing you need to consider is whether you will have a valid migratory status in the country when getting married. If you are a tourist you can definitely get married here, as long as you have not exceeded you tourist status by the time of your wedding.
Moreover, be sure to ask a trusted attorney and notary public for assistance. This professional will be sure to properly guide you through the documents you will need to provide in order for your wedding to take place and be registered by the Civil Registry without any complications. For starters, you should present a valid passport or Costa Rican ID card, and information pertaining to your nationality and marital status.
In Costa Rica, the law requires that two witnesses be present, so if you want your loved ones to be in your wedding, remember to select them by considering whether they have a valid passport or Costa Rican ID, as well as whether they will have a valid migratory status at the time of your wedding.
Also take note that in this country, same as other jurisdictions, you can certainly set up a prenuptial agreement to fully protect your and your partner’s assets. This agreement can be set up prior to the wedding or after the wedding has taken place. We advise that you discuss this among yourselves and if you both wish to execute one, be sure to do it prior to the wedding so as to avoid any possible misunderstandings. Be sure to request legal advice on this matter as well.
Furthermore, if you get married either in Costa Rica or abroad to a Costa Rican national, you will be eligible to apply to the residency through marriage category (please read on this subject here). If you marry in Costa Rica and wish for your marriage to be recognized in your home country, you can surely accomplish that as well, by requesting it to the appropriate authority in your home country. Approximately 15 days after you get married and your marriage is registered by the Civil Registry, you will be able to request a marriage certificate, which you would then need to apostille/legalize and translate (if Spanish is not your country’s official language) for you to start the process of registering your marriage abroad.
We at Outlier Legal Services can happily advise and assist. We offer the option of a simple civil wedding in one of our offices, either in our San Jose office surrounded by a beautiful garden with complimentary champagne and a bouquet for the bride, or—if it is closest to you—in our Liberia office. Otherwise, we would also be happy to marry you at the location of your preference.
We would also be glad to assist you with anything pertaining to a prenuptial agreement, residency process, as well as with completing the apostille/legalization and translation of your marriage certificate for its registration in your home country.
We look forward to hearing from you!