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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello, my fiancee ,who is british but living permantly in brittany france, and I,a white south african citizen, living and working in south africa are planning on getting married in july or august 2010. he went to the mairie ,who has given him a booklet stating what is needed

one of the things required is that i must get a certificat of attestation, what is this. something to do with entittlement to marry
i have also been reading up that i have to get permission from the french embassy to get married, is this so

what is a Certificate de Coutume" or a "Certificate of No Impediment" or a "Certificate of Nulla Osta" or simply a "Certificate of Freedom to Marry law - where do i get it from

does a south african have to fill in a certifcate of custom/law marriage

this is all so confusing.. thats why i need advise please

thanks :
 

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In order to marry in France, you need to apply for a long-stay visa while you are still in South Africa.

When you get to France, you can start assembling some of the more obscure documents required to actually marry. The Certificat de coutume is something you may be able to get from your consulate in France (i.e. the South African consulate in France). If the consulate or embassy can't provide the document they can tell you how to get one.

Basically the certificat de coutume is a document prepared by an attorney or an official from your country that declares that you are eligible to marry both in France and in your country of origin. The document is prepared based on a review of your other paperwork - birth certificate, any previous marriage or divorce paperwork, etc.

You should plan on arriving in France about a month before the wedding in order to give yourself enough time to get all the paperwork together without making yourself too crazy. But basically, anything they are asking for that you don't immediately recognize, check with your embassy or consulate in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In order to marry in France, you need to apply for a long-stay visa while you are still in South Africa.

When you get to France, you can start assembling some of the more obscure documents required to actually marry. The Certificat de coutume is something you may be able to get from your consulate in France (i.e. the South African consulate in France). If the consulate or embassy can't provide the document they can tell you how to get one.

Basically the certificat de coutume is a document prepared by an attorney or an official from your country that declares that you are eligible to marry both in France and in your country of origin. The document is prepared based on a review of your other paperwork - birth certificate, any previous marriage or divorce paperwork, etc.

You should plan on arriving in France about a month before the wedding in order to give yourself enough time to get all the paperwork together without making yourself too crazy. But basically, anything they are asking for that you don't immediately recognize, check with your embassy or consulate in France.
Cheers,
Bev
hi bev,
thanks for responding, so i can apply for a long stay visa before getting married, i didnt know that
thanks ,
do you know if south africa recognizes a married performed in france.

the other question i need to know is, the mairie knows about our forecoming marriage, but do i have to inform the french embassy in south africa.

thanks again for your response
cathy
 

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It depends a bit on what your plans are. If you're just going to get married in France and then settle elsewhere, you don't need the long stay visa.

As far as I know, South Africa should recognize a marriage performed in France - but in part, that's what the certificat de coutume is all about. It basically certifies that you meet all the requirements in both South Africa and in France for getting married - the main thing is that you aren't already married outside of France.

Once you're married, the mairie in France will contact the South African embassy or consulate to notify them that you are now married. Applying for a long stay visa, giving your marriage to a French person as the "reason" you are looking to stay in France should be notice enough to the French embassy in SA.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It depends a bit on what your plans are. If you're just going to get married in France and then settle elsewhere, you don't need the long stay visa.

As far as I know, South Africa should recognize a marriage performed in France - but in part, that's what the certificat de coutume is all about. It basically certifies that you meet all the requirements in both South Africa and in France for getting married - the main thing is that you aren't already married outside of France.

Once you're married, the mairie in France will contact the South African embassy or consulate to notify them that you are now married. Applying for a long stay visa, giving your marriage to a French person as the "reason" you are looking to stay in France should be notice enough to the French embassy in SA.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks again for replying, we will be settling in france, as my fiancee owns a house.

i have been searching for months and have not come up with any answers until i stumbled across this site yesterday, you have been such a great help

THANKS AGAIN
cathy
 

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hello, my fiancee ,who is british but living permantly in brittany france, and I,a white south african citizen, living and working in south africa are planning on getting married in july or august 2010. he went to the mairie ,who has given him a booklet stating what is needed

one of the things required is that i must get a certificat of attestation, what is this. something to do with entittlement to marry
i have also been reading up that i have to get permission from the french embassy to get married, is this so

what is a Certificate de Coutume" or a "Certificate of No Impediment" or a "Certificate of Nulla Osta" or simply a "Certificate of Freedom to Marry law - where do i get it from

does a south african have to fill in a certifcate of custom/law marriage

this is all so confusing.. thats why i need advise please

thanks :
Hi busy doing exactly that. To get the long term visa you will need to sort all the paperwork out at home first. Your boyfriend will need to book the wedding date with the mayors office but you will need to first send him the required paperwork.
He can start first by sending you the form in the booklet he recieved from the mayors office. You will need an "unabridged birth certificate" and "letter of impediment"(letter stating there is no record of you being married) from the Department of Home Affairs. In addition to this you will require a letter from a registered notary stating that you are free to marry,marriages performed in France are recognised in South Africa and also that publication of marriage bans are not a requirement in South Africa(you will need the letter of impediment before to get this document).Once you have all three documents you will need to have them translated by a certified official translator who is recognised by the French consulate (alliance francais does it in Cape Town). All three documents plus translations and a normal copy of your passport , plus the paper you need to sign from the marriage booklet from the mayors office will need to be posted to your boyfriend(I used DHL). Your boyfriend will use these documents to register the wedding at the mayors office. Your boyfriend will then need to send you the certificate of publication of marriage bans (no opposition to the marriage) and whatever else they give him, His proof of French nationality, he will also need to get a "attestation d'accueil" (a form stating you will be accomodated by him). You will need to provide proof of funds for three months(30 euros per day if you stay with him) as well as insurance cover for the 3 months and of course flight tickets. You will need to co-ordinate all this very well because the french dont like certificates older than 3 months and the Department of Home Affairs can take 6 weeks to 3 months to get the documents. All of this costs a bit of money. Expect to pay about R1000 for the notaries letter, about R650 for translations and about R70 per Home Affairs certificate. Will update if I get additional info but I advise you to contact your nearest French Consulate and get the info first hand as rules change all the time and consulate to consulate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi busy doing exactly that. To get the long term visa you will need to sort all the paperwork out at home first. Your boyfriend will need to book the wedding date with the mayors office but you will need to first send him the required paperwork.
He can start first by sending you the form in the booklet he recieved from the mayors office. You will need an "unabridged birth certificate" and "letter of impediment"(letter stating there is no record of you being married) from the Department of Home Affairs. In addition to this you will require a letter from a registered notary stating that you are free to marry,marriages performed in France are recognised in South Africa and also that publication of marriage bans are not a requirement in South Africa(you will need the letter of impediment before to get this document).Once you have all three documents you will need to have them translated by a certified official translator who is recognised by the French consulate (alliance francais does it in Cape Town). All three documents plus translations and a normal copy of your passport , plus the paper you need to sign from the marriage booklet from the mayors office will need to be posted to your boyfriend(I used DHL). Your boyfriend will use these documents to register the wedding at the mayors office. Your boyfriend will then need to send you the certificate of publication of marriage bans (no opposition to the marriage) and whatever else they give him, His proof of French nationality, he will also need to get a "attestation d'accueil" (a form stating you will be accomodated by him). You will need to provide proof of funds for three months(30 euros per day if you stay with him) as well as insurance cover for the 3 months and of course flight tickets. You will need to co-ordinate all this very well because the french dont like certificates older than 3 months and the Department of Home Affairs can take 6 weeks to 3 months to get the documents. All of this costs a bit of money. Expect to pay about R1000 for the notaries letter, about R650 for translations and about R70 per Home Affairs certificate. Will update if I get additional info but I advise you to contact your nearest French Consulate and get the info first hand as rules change all the time and consulate to consulate.

hi lerant, thanks so much for this additional info...i was wondering where one obtains the letter of impediment from., thanks for clearing that up..so once i have all the relevant documents i should then be issued with a long stay visa......just one thing , my boyfriend is british but has been living permenantly in france for 5 years , he has a TITRE DE SEJOUR..thanks again so much
 

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hi lerant, thanks so much for this additional info...i was wondering where one obtains the letter of impediment from., thanks for clearing that up..so once i have all the relevant documents i should then be issued with a long stay visa......just one thing , my boyfriend is british but has been living permenantly in france for 5 years , he has a TITRE DE SEJOUR..thanks again so much
yeah , that might complicate things as I'am not sure what rights "Titre de sejour" gives to the holder in such a case. You will have to get your boyfriend to contact the OFII , at least that would be my first stop. I have my interview on thursday :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yeah , that might complicate things as I'am not sure what rights "Titre de sejour" gives to the holder in such a case. You will have to get your boyfriend to contact the OFII , at least that would be my first stop. I have my interview on thursday :eek:
good luck for your interview..do we all have to go for an interview and is it held in cape town......out of curiousity how long did it take you to collect all the documents you need.....
also what does OFII stand for

thanks
 

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good luck for your interview..do we all have to go for an interview and is it held in cape town......out of curiousity how long did it take you to collect all the documents you need.....
also what does OFII stand for

thanks
As far as I know everyone has to go (I did so for my holiday visa also) which is at your nearest French Consulate, Cape Town included. All my documents (sending and recieving back from France) took about 3 months. Department of Home Affairs is the longest. OFII is the office french immigration and intergration. They have a website which has an english version but best to contact them direct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As far as I know everyone has to go (I did so for my holiday visa also) which is at your nearest French Consulate, Cape Town included. All my documents (sending and recieving back from France) took about 3 months. Department of Home Affairs is the longest. OFII is the office french immigration and intergration. They have a website which has an english version but best to contact them direct.
thanks again and good luck...i was fortunate, i didnt have to go for an interview when i applied for a schengen visa in april..keep us posted .
 

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thanks again and good luck...i was fortunate, i didnt have to go for an interview when i applied for a schengen visa in april..keep us posted .
Just been informed by consulate of new rule change. I have to go to France on short stay visa to get married and then return to South Africa to apply for spousal visa. What a big mess now. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just been informed by consulate of new rule change. I have to go to France on short stay visa to get married and then return to South Africa to apply for spousal visa. What a big mess now. :(
oh no, really...so do you have to reapply for all the documents or are they still in the 3 month time period, so its now also going to cost you two return air tickets.. thanks for the update. well good luck and once again ,please keep me updated.
 

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Hi there,

I am new to this forum but it seems there is lots of useful information, and Bev, many of your previous posts and threads have already answered several of my questions. Few more still puzzle me though.

Long story short, I am a South African living with my French fiancé in South Africa (we will continue to live in South Africa after the wedding too, at least for a few years). We want to be married in her home town in France and have already collected the booklet from the Mairie of the town and booked a wedding date. Additionally I don’t need a Schengen visa to visit Europe because I have an ancestral EU passport (Irish) from my grandmother so I assume that this means I neither need the long-stay visa nor need to provide proof of residence in France for 30 days prior to the wedding? This is my first question, am I correct in assuming this?

Secondly, from the forum and booklet received I understand the procedure to obtain the full birth certificate and marriage status certificate (certificat celibate i.e. that I am single, unencumbered and free to marry) is obtained locally in SA easily at the Home Affairs office. However, I have seen two contradictory posts about the certificat de coutume. The one post said I need to get a notary to produce this in South Africa stating 1: I am free to marry in France and South Africa 2: that the notification for marriage bans in not a necessary requirements in South African law. But most of the other posts say I need to get this at the South African consulate in Paris (which is considerably more difficult given that we live in South Africa). So the second question is whether I can do the certificat de coutume in South Africa or not? If it helps the Mairie booklet says “Un certificat de coutume delivre par une authorite etrangere (Ministere ou Consulat) ou par un juriste Francais ou etranger (art. 530 et 546 de I’I.G.R.E.C.) “ which suggests its optional where we get it from, I think?

Once these three documents (birth certificate, certificat celibat, certificat de coutume) are available, I then get all of them translated by a French embassy recommended translator in South Africa and then Apostilled at the Intenational airport Apostille office. I then courier all these through to the Mairie who can post notice of the bans in France.

Are my assumptions correct?
Thanks in advance,
Richard
 
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