Civil Status Events Abroad

Your place of residence is outside of Switzerland, and your civil status is changing or has changed already. For example, you are getting married, you are entering a registered partnership, you are going to have a baby, or you are getting divorced. Please report such event to the respective authorities.

Table of contents

Notification of civil status events

Foreign authorities do not always notify the Swiss authorities of civil status events. Please notify the Swiss representation in your country if your civil status or your personal status changes. The respective representation will forward the necessary documents including, if need be, their translation and certification to the relevant authorities in Switzerland. The respective change(s) will then be registered in the Swiss civil register. Always indicate your place of origin and your current address of residence.

Swiss representation abroad

This link will show you the relevant Swiss representation abroad to which you have to report any change of your civil status. Please choose your country of residence on the website of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).  

Birth and acknowledgement
of paternity

Please inquire with the Swiss representation in your country about the formalities to be completed after the birth of your child so that the notification of birth will reach Switzerland through official channels.

Required documents

Child’s parents are married

Certificate of birth (original)

Child’s parents are not married

Certificate of birth and certificate of acknowledgement of paternity (original)

If one parent is a foreign national, you are additionally required to submit all the documents related to the foreign parent. Please inquire with the Swiss representation in your country about the required documents.

Marriage and registered partnership

If you are a Swiss national and are getting married or are entering a registered partnership abroad, you are required to report such event to the authorities. The so-called «registered partnership» is an official concept that only exists in Switzerland. In other countries, there are different forms of legally recognized partnerships, such as «same-sex marriage». Such partnerships are recognized in Switzerland as registered partnerships.

Foreign authorities

Please inquire with the relevant Civil Registry Office and the Swiss representation in your country about the documents you need to submit from Switzerland. The marriage or civil partnership will be registered according to local laws and requirements.

Swiss Civil Registry Office

Change of name in case of marriage and civil partnership

Please inquire with the Civil Registry Office of your place of residence about your options. Please note that it is imperative for you to sign the respective documents before you get married.

Divorce

In order to have a divorce abroad registered in the Swiss civil register, you are required to submit the final divorce judgment (original) to the relevant Swiss representation in your country. Please inquire with the representation abroad about the necessary formalities to be completed in order to notify the Swiss authorities of the divorce through official channels.

Change of name

In order to check whether a change of name made abroad is valid in Switzerland, you must be a citizen or a legal resident of the country in which the name change was made. You must be able to prove this by means of a passport, any other proof of nationality, or an official proof of residence.

Death

If a Swiss citizen or a person married to or in a civil partnership with a Swiss citizen dies outside of Switzerland, the certificate of death (original) must be forwarded or handed over to the respective Swiss representation abroad. A certificate of death can be obtained from the Civil Registry Office of the place of death.

Foreign documents in Switzerland

If you are not able to contact or go to the relevant Swiss representation abroad, please immediately contact the Swiss supervisory authority for civil status matters of your canton of origin as soon as you return to Switzerland. Citizens of the Cantons of Zurich and Schwyz are asked to contact the authorities mentioned below.

Please note that foreign documents are only accepted in exceptional cases and only from persons directly involved. If all the required documents are submitted, we may be able to help you to forward the documents to the Swiss representation abroad. Please note that costs will incur in case you wish to forward documents via diplomatic courier.

Contact

Gemeindeamt – Abteilung Zivilstandswesen

More information

Address

Wilhelmstrasse 10
8090 Zürich
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Postanschrift

Postfach
8090 Zürich

Phone

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