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US Marrying Polish in Poland

18 Apr 2007 #1
I'm a US citizen living the UK where I met my Polish boyfriend. We want to get married in Poland and are looking on advice as how to go about this. I'll be ok to transfere my UK visa over (we'll be living in the UK the first 2 years) to my new name once married, but we need to know how to go about getting all the legal stuff sorted. If anyone has any advice or knows of a web page where I can find advice, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much
18 Apr 2007 #2
do a seach on the forum you will find what you looking for
1 May 2007 #3
here is a complicated one for you. I am an Indian and girl friend is polish and we both are in the US. I am on an work vis and she is out of status. we want to get married but do not know how to resolve her visa situation. any advice will be helpful

2 May 2007 #4
Hi Dawn,

You should check with the UK authorities (I assume it would be the Home Office) about transferring your British work permit to your new name. It should be no problem but you might have to watch the number of days you are outside the UK for. I used to be an immigrant in the UK but now I live in Poland so I am really not up to date on UK visa law.

Getting married in Poland is not easy for foreigners at the best of times. For a foreigner who does not live in Poland it's going to be even more difficult. It certainly won't be impossible but my recommendation is that you get married in the UK in a registry office (fairly easy for foreigners) and then do the church service wedding in Poland. That way you will already be legally married and so will need to jump through fewer hoops here, things like needing to go to court to have a decision issued that you can legally get married (because you are already legally married in another EU state).

Anyway, here's an article I wrote for Wprost i Kultura English Edition a month or two ago:

Getting Hitched - a beginners' guide

Valentine's Day, a meal for two in a romantic restaurant, perhaps one glass too many of champagne, a sudden rush of blood, you gaze deeply into your beloved's eyes. Before you know it you're engaged! Don't worry, it happens to the best of us, but what do you do next?

BubbaWoo 33 | 3,506
2 May 2007 #5
good article Harry - thanks
3 May 2007 #6
going to the states to get marryed to him wud be alot better and alot more ez
my wife is from england and means im not from the uk or any of the eu we went to the states where im from and did it there it was alot better to do it there all the paper work u can find alot or calling home land sec and there will tell u what paper work u need
TheKruk 3 | 308
4 May 2007 #7
going to the states to get marryed to him wud be alot better and alot more ez

Carl is right I married a Polish girl (I am from USA) and it was so very damn complicated not impossible but you would have to make a few trips to Poland to complete everything and your boyfriend can tell you how slow things move here when a government office is involved. We decided to go to the States, all you need is passport Birth certificate(translated of course for Polish citizen) and bam you can get married. We took our American marriage certificate to Poland and in 10 days we had a Polish marriage certificate. The problem is most European countries have a Free to be Married document the USA has no such thing and it is required to be married in Poland the US GOv. will send a paper saying "We don't have such a paper" to the Polish Gov. and you could be stuck. It might be easier in England just register at your local marriage office and in a month or so you can be married. Then go to Poland and do it again everyone loves a wedding!
7 May 2007 #8
Hmm, just noticed that the article didn't come out, guess there must be a character limit on the posts here.

Once you’ve popped the question (or once she’s shown you the test results) the obvious choice is the ‘do not sober-up until leaving the Elvis Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas’ approach. But Poles need visas for the USA and the chances are 98% that your intended doesn’t have one. In the unlike event that beloved is one of the chosen few, Tim Hyland from Travel Express says “We can get you to Vegas within 24 hours for under 2700 PLN, hotel and alcohol not included”. Tempting eh?

So, it is a wedding where you call home or a wedding in Poland? We’d go for the Polish option. Partly because the drinking session afterwards will be of truly epic proportions but mainly because getting a fiancée visa is a very long and laborious process (many countries have had problems in the past with Poles marrying their citizens just for paperwork). These days getting a fiancée visa is as easy as finding a sober politician and then getting an honest answer out of him. For example, the Australian embassy charge 3,300 PLN as a non-refundable processing fee and need so long to organise the paperwork that you’d be able to invite your great-grandchildren to your own wedding. And the Australian embassy is among the easiest to deal with! As the Polish government is very protective of Poland’s reputation as the most bureaucratic country in Europe, when you get back to Poland, you’ll need deal with even more bureaucracy to have your marriage legally recognised here.

Not that there’s an absence of red tape if want to get married here. Even the US embassy website warns “Getting married in Poland requires considerable time and can be complicated”. A foreigner who wants to marry here must show a passport, a birth certificate (us foreigners, we just love to lie about being born), a “Certificate of No Impediment to the Marriage” (which show they are free to marry), and certified sworn translations of it all, including your birth certificate. Some embassies will issue the Certificate of No Impediment. The Australian embassy hand the things out immediately at a cost of 254 PLN. The British embassy put up a notice in the consulate that you intend to marry, then after 21 days give you the certificate (at a cost of 492 PLN). But other embassies, including the American embassy, cannot give you the magic paperwork; instead you have to go to the family court, which can mean waiting for up to xx weeks for an appointment. Once you get a date, you swear an oath that you are legally entitled to marry and the judge asks you (and your beloved) if you really do want to get married. Then the court checks that what you are claiming is really the situation with your country. If the court has experience dealing with your nation things move fairly quickly but if you’re from, say Cape Verde (a tiny African country virtually no Pole has heard of), and you want to get married in Bytow (a tiny Polish town virtually no foreigner has heard of) it’s going to take a while. Once everything’s been given the official OK you get a certificate saying you can indeed get married. Expect to pay between 200 and 500 PLN court fees, a few hundred for a sworn interpreter and more for a lawyer (not that one is really needed).

Next choice is church wedding or civil wedding. If you go for the civil route you need to visit the Urzad Stanu Cywilnego (the registrar/county clerk) of the place where your partner lives. Take your Certificate and both the original and certified sworn translation of your birth certificate. It’s a good idea to bring you passport too and your Polish residency card if you have one. You need to wait for at least one month between dropping off the paperwork and getting hitched but this time can be shortened in “special circumstances” (we aren’t sure if arriving with a girlfriend who is very pregnant and a soon-to-be father-in-law who has a shotgun counts as special circumstances).

Or you can have a church wedding and skip the civil wedding completely. This being Poland, ‘church’ means ‘Catholic church’. If you are a heathen infidel, which all of us non-Catholics obviously are, as far as the Polish government is concerned a non-Catholic religious wedding in Poland is about as valid as getting the old lady who lives next door to do the ceremony (less valid actually as the old lady next door is most probably not a heathen infidel like the shaman who performs the ceremony at your temple of false gods).If you want to be legally married in Poland, you need to have a civil wedding to go with your heathen infidel wedding. You might think that this is a very obvious infringement of your European Union right to equal treatment regardless of your religion but you’d be wrong: in Poland all religions are equal, but some are more equal than others.

For more information contact the Urzad Stanu Cywilnego for the place where you plan to get hitched. It’s best to ask that specific one as it seems that the regulations are interpreted slightly differently in different places. Alternatively you can just work out that it is far quicker cheaper and easier to just head for Bali and have a Jagger-style beach wedding (and as Mick knows, getting a waiter to play minister can seriously cut down on divorce costs). But doing that would mean you miss the best part of a Polish wedding experience: the reception. These are very highly recommended; at the first one I went to the bride’s grandmother literally drank me under the table.

17 May 2007 #10
To all the couples that are planning to get married in Krakow, Poland:
If you are looking for a good photographer for your wedding please take a look at our website:
I really hope you don't mind me advertising here :-)
Kurczak - | 1
11 Jan 2008 #11
If you intent do organize wedding recepition in Poland and need help check out at website:
jones101 1 | 349
14 Jan 2008 #12
Even if living in PL it takes at least 3-6 months to do all the paperwork and meet the requirements to be allowed to set a date and get married. In the USA you can do it in ONE day.

We (gf and I)are flying to the states to do it...cheaper and easier.

Then just come back to PL and register it....done.

Oops sorry didn't see how old the post was! I guess the OP is either married or divorced by now ;)
kabanos1 - | 4
2 Jan 2009 #13
hi jones. sorry, this 3-6 months, is that the paperwork processing time for a civil wedding? =(
16 Mar 2010 #14
Ha bribes work there. I got to Krakovia on Christmas and was married by feb 23rd, I was offered feb 14th but the polock wife said no ,,, too easy to remember the anniversary date that way. But my mother in law just went and had some meeting with some guy and things happenened. I know the guy was in the room 3 weeks later when we picked our date for the court wedding. Now I have to say the first time I went alone I would not been able to pick a court date for 6 months, or that is what I was told. Maybe my lack of the polish language I misunderstood. or I wassn't using the right translator, Benjamin Franklin,, he speaks Polish y'all.. All and all I had it easy , I was there from Christmas till the end of March. The hard part was Bringing her home to the states,,,
Torontonian 1 | 12
2 Jul 2010 #15
You can also get married in Canada, ~$150 and you are good to go same day

plus there are hardly any countries that require a visa to come to canada

Asian countries of course due to the high amount of refugees from that area, but EU dont require a visa (except Czech Republic; still require a visa)

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