To get married in Russia, you need to prove to the authorities you are who you say you are, and that you are free to marry.
To do this you provide your passport (to show who you are), a certificate of non-impediment and if necessary your divorce certificate (to show you are free to marry). The certificate of non-impediment is available from your local registry office and takes a little over 21 days to obtain, please contact them and they will be happy to provide you with advise on how to obtain it.
Obviously these documents need to be translated correctly, accurately and completely so that the officials in Russia may understand them.
However, a simple translation of these documents on its own is not enough. A Russian registrar has no knowledge of UK passports or other UK government certificates, and this is where the Apostille comes in.
Basically an Apostille, which is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, is an internationally recognised method provided by the 1961 Hague Convention to allow official documents or documents that have been notarised by a solicitor or Notary Public in one country to be accepted in another.
So, this is how it works:
- An accredited translator provides a certified translation of the documents.
- The certified translations and original documents are taken to a Russian speaking solicitor or Notary Public.
- The translator asserts that the translation is true and accurate and, if the Notary Public is satisfied, they will Notarise each translation to attest this fact.
- The translated documents, with the stamp and signature of the Notary Public are then taken to Admiralty House in Whitehall, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for issuing Apostilles.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Legalisation department provide the Apotille to show the documents are legal in the UK and that the stamp and signature provided by the Notary Public is true and genuine.
OK, so now we have our certified translations that have been notarised to say that they are true and accurate and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have provided the Apostile that allows the documents to be accepted in Russia. There is however one more step …
- The Apostille is in English and as such the registrar in Russia will not be able to read it, so the documents are returned to the translator who will provide a certified translation of the Apostille.
You should remember, that a Russian registry office will only accept the certified documents for a period of up to 3 months from the date of issue including the Certificate of No Impediment, so please ensure that you plan your dates of travel, document issue and translation appropriately. Further, please check with the registry office that you intend to use if they have any variation on this general rule.
At each step of the way we personally deliver and collect your documents and ensure that each process has been carried out correctly, we do not pop things in the post and hope for the best! The day your documents are ready we return them to you either by Royal Mail Special Delivery or by any other method you choose.
While we have tried to make this explanation as complete as possible to allow you to choose Real Russia to manage this process on your behalf, if you have any questions or require further information, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help or look through our forum for questions and answers from others.