If you are planning to get married abroad, make sure you know the requirements of that particular country before you start your travel. Generally, it is the local civil or religious officials who perform the marriages and US consular officers do not have a say in that. The process and procedures differ from country to country it might be time consuming.
In some countries, per the law, the persons who intend to get married should have been a resident in that country for a stipulated period of time before they can get married in that place. Parental consent, blood tests are other requirements. In certain countries, documents certifying for the end of a previous relationship (death or divorce certificate) is mandatory. It has to be translated into the local language and authenticated. Some countries do ask for an affidavit by the parties as proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract. (This can be executed at a US Embassy or Consulate.)
As mentioned earlier, the process can be time-consuming and expensive. So if you are planning to get married abroad, it is very important that you find out the requirements of that particular country before beginning travel. You can get in touch with the embassy or tourist information bureau of the country where you intend to get married. The list of foreign embassies and consulates in the US is available on the Department of State’s website. You can also get US embassy and consulate contact information on the Country Specific Information for each country. You can contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate if you are already abroad.
After you get married in a foreign soil, US consular officers can authenticate your foreign marriage document. However, this authentication simply proves that your foreign marriage documents are real, but it does not mean that your marriage will be recognized by your home state in the US. In such cases, to get the marriage recognized in the US, consult the Attorney General of your state of residence in the US.
Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen
Per the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), most children born abroad to a US citizen parent(s) acquire US citizenship at birth. After the birth, the US citizen parent has to contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If the Consulate believes that the child has acquired US citizenship, a consular officer prepares a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the US. This document is recognized in the US as proof of US Citizenship, and can be used to get a passport, entering school, and most other purposes. If you do not document the child’s citizenship, it might be difficult later when trying to get a passport or register for school.
Divorce and Death Abroad
If you were divorced abroad, its validity will differ according to the requirements of your state of residence. It is best recommended to consult the authorities of your state of residence in the US to know these requirements. US consular officers abroad will provide assistance to the families of US citizens who die abroad.