Marriage in Ecuador
If you would like to get married in Ecuador, we advise you to review the requirements on the Ecuadorian Civil Registry for the latest information.
A foreigner may get married in Ecuador but some additional documentation may be required by local authorities, we recommend you have the following handy:
- Birth Certificate (apostilled and translated)
- Previous Marriage Certificates (apostilled and translated)
- Divorce Decree’s or Death Certificates (apostilled and translated)
- Certificate of Marital Status (apostilled and translate)
Certificate of Marital Status
In most cases when getting married in Ecuador, the Civil Registry requests a certificate of marital status from the vital records office of the state in which you are domiciled in the United States. This document must be apostilled in the United States and translated.
Since vital records are managed at a state and local level in the United States, the U.S. Embassy can not provide this document.
The United States Mission in Ecuador previously issued a document called an “Affidavit of Marriage.” We have discontinued the issuance of this document since it is merely a sworn statement by the individual regarding their own civil status. According to Article 42 of the Ley Orgánica de Gestión de la Identidad y Datos Civiles, sworn statements are only accepted for very specific cases. The Civil Registry requires a marital status certificate for U.S. Citizens from the vital statistics office of the state in which they are domiciled. This document must be apostilled and translated.
In the event that the Ecuadorian Civil Registry will not accept the certificate of marital status you have provided, please e-mail an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy the American Citizens Services section at email@example.com.
Registering your foreign marriage or divorce in the U.S.
If you wish to register your foreign marriage or divorce in the U.S. you will need to register it in the State that you reside, civil status changes cannot be registered at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Please get in touch with the Office of Vital Records of the State that you reside in order to register your civil status change, sometimes they request these documents to be translated and apostilled. For more information on how to get an Ecuadorian Birth, Death, Marriage Certificate or any public document apostille, please check the information on the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
A marriage that is valid under Ecuadorian law is generally valid in any state of the United States. Marriage of American citizens in Ecuador must be performed in accordance with Ecuadorian law. Please note that Dual nationals (American/Ecuadorian citizens) who wish to marry in Ecuador do not need to marry as U.S. citizens in order for their marriage to be recognized in the United States. They may instead marry as Ecuadorian citizens – a process which incurs less time and expense than the process to marry as a U.S. citizen.
The information below is therefore relevant to dual citizens who still wish to marry as U.S. citizens and to U.S. citizens who do not hold dual nationality with Ecuador. In addition, this is for general information purposes only, since the interpretation of Ecuadorian laws and regulations does not fall within the competence of the U.S. Embassy.
Immigration of Alien Spouse to the United States
The alien spouse of a U.S. citizen does not automatically acquire United States citizenship through marriage. The spouse must obtain an immigrant visa to be able to immigrate to the United States.
For further information on immigration; please visit the Family of a U.S. Citizen section at the USCIS website.
Divorce in Ecuador
Divorces are generally arranged with the assistance of a lawyer under Ecuadorian law. Depending on the circumstances, various documents (such as the marriage certificate, birth certificates, financial documents, etc.) must be submitted to the local court that is handling the case.
If you require assistance on this matter you can review the legal assistance section on this website.