Civil Partnerships Abroad

Back in 1989 Demark led way and where the first country to introduce civil union status. There are now many more countries that offer a form of legal gay marriage or civil union. Countries where gay marriage is legal include:

  • France since 2013
  • Sweden since 2009
  • South Africa since 2006
  • Portugal since 2010
  • Norway since 2009
  • Netherlands since 2001
  • New Zealand since 2013
  • Iceland since 2010
  • Denmark since 2012
  • Canada since 2005
  • Argentina since 2010
  • Belgium since 2003
  • Uruguay since 2013
  • Spain since 2005
  • United Kingdom since 2014
  • Estonia sice 2014
  • Slovenia since 2015
  • Finland since 2015
  • Luxembourg since 2015
  • Ireland since 2015
  • United States since 2015

Other countries and states that recognise same-sex civil unions and civil partnerships but do not offer equal rights to heterosexual couples include:

Other countries and states that recognise same-sex civil unions and civil partnerships but do not offer equal rights to heterosexual couples include:

  • Switzerland
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Hungary
  • Greenland
  • Germany
  • French Guyana
  • Finland
  • Falkland Islands
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Andorra

Australian Territories:

  • The Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

US States:

On 27th June 2015 The US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. This meant that the 14 states with bans on same-sex marriage would no longer be able to enforce them. President Barack Obama said the ruling was a "victory for America".

  • Alabama by court decision 2015
  • Alaska by court decision 2014
  • Arizona by court decision 2014
  • California by court decision 2013
  • Colorado by court decision 2014
  • Connecticut by court decision 2008
  • Delaware by State Legislature 2013
  • Florida by court decision 2015
  • District of Columbia 2010
  • Hawaii by State Legislature 2010
  • Idaho by court decision 2015
  • Indiana by court decision 2014
  • Iowa by court decision 2009
  • Kansas by court decision 2014
  • Maine by Popular Vote 2012
  • Maryland by Popular Vote 2013
  • Massachusetts by court decision 2004
  • Montana by court decision 2014
  • Nevada by court decision 2014
  • New Hampshire 2010
  • New Jersey by court decision 2013
  • New Mexco by court decision 2013
  • New York by State Legislature 2011
  • North Carolina by court decision 2014
  • Oklahoma by court decision 2014
  • Oregon by court decision 2014
  • Pennsylvania by court decision 2014
  • South Carolina by court decision 2014
  • Rhode Island by State Legislature 2013
  • Utah by court decision 2014
  • Vermont by State Legislature 2009
  • Virginia by court decision 2014
  • Wisconsin by court decision 2014
  • Washington State by Popular Vote 2012
  • Wyoming by court decision 2014

For a full explanation of gay marriage legalities in each of these countries and states please visit of legalities of gay marriage section.

You cannot register an overseas civil partnership ceremony in the UK. As long as your civil partnership is valid and legal in the country in which it took place, it is likely to be recognised in the UK. If you wish to have a civil partnership abroad you can apply to have your documents sent from the relevant country via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and deposited with the General Register Office (GRO). Copies of your civil partnership record can then be easily obtained.

What Documents do I need for my Civil Partnership Abroad?

In some countries you will need a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) – you should contact the local British Embassy’s website which will confirm this.

You may also need to exchange the UK CNI for a Consular CNI at the British Embassy.

The CNI and other documents may also need to be legalised by the UK Legislation Office.

After your civil partnership ceremony abroad you should create a record of your civil partnership by obtaining your original documents or certified copies issues by the foreign authority. You can then deposit your documents with the General Register Office but this is not a legal requirement.

To create a record of your civil partnership:

  • One of you must be British and only this person can apply to deposit the certificates
  • You can deposit a civil partnership document from any country in the world
  • If you are abroad, only the consul for the district of where the marriage took place can send the documentation to the General Register Office.
  • If you are in the UK you must contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about depositing your certificates.

For more information on depositing your certificates you can visit:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/births-deaths-marriages-civil/marriage-and-civil-partnerships/depositing

For a list of countries where relationships are automatically recognised as civil partnerships please click here:

http://www.equalities.gov.uk/what_we_do/sexual_orientation/schedule_20_countries.aspx

Other Useful Articles:

What Documents do I need for my Civil Partnership Abroad

Civil Partnerships