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Old 10.10.2014, 13:10
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Getting married without a birth certificate

I'm a Canadian that arrived in Canada as a child-- as a refugee. As such, I have no birth certificate.

My brother told me when he got married that he was able to use his driver's licence when he married in Canada. I no longer have one of those as I have a swiss one now and no residency documents in Canada, even though I obviously have a Canadian passport. My brother also got married in a church and some requirements are waived.

If I were to marry or have children in Switzerland, I need a birth certificate. The country I was born in has no embassy in Canada, but there is one in Switzerland. Problem is, I'm not on good terms with this country, never learned to read the state language and my partner is not a muslim... which puts even more people in trouble.

We're not getting married in the next year for sure, but it looks like we may need over a year of prep work for this. Anyone have any advice as to who to ask about this for when it becomes an issue?
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Old 10.10.2014, 13:14
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

Talk to the Canadian embassy and explain your problem. You'll need a birth certificate to marry in Switzerland or documentation, perhaps from Canada explaining why you can't get it.
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Old 10.10.2014, 13:25
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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Talk to the Canadian embassy and explain your problem. You'll need a birth certificate to marry in Switzerland or documentation, perhaps from Canada explaining why you can't get it.
Well, what do you mean by documentation? Because this is the problem.

I am sure many other people don't have birth certificates out there. What is the alternate documentation? I don't know that the Canadian embassy can't issue anything but a passport (which I have). I used my passport in Canada for things that would require a birth certificate. But that's clearly not enough in Switzerland.

Maybe someone here has had this issue and there are notaries that do background checks and that's enough? (I seriously have no idea here....)
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Old 10.10.2014, 13:31
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

could you get married in another country? for example, you don't need a birth certificate in italy.
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Old 10.10.2014, 13:52
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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could you get married in another country? for example, you don't need a birth certificate in italy.
My understanding is that we need the birth certificates to register it here. Is this true?
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Old 10.10.2014, 13:57
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

does it need to be registered here? is that because one of you is a swiss citizen? for swiss immigration documents (permits etc) you only need to show a foreign marriage certificate.
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:06
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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does it need to be registered here? is that because one of you is a swiss citizen? for swiss immigration documents (permits etc) you only need to show a foreign marriage certificate.
It is my understanding that we have to register it here for tax purposes as our taxes will go up and not registering it will cause some legal problems. Also, there may be a change of permit for me in the future as my partner is Swiss.
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:10
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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I'm a Canadian that arrived in Canada as a child-- as a refugee. As such, I have no birth certificate.

My brother told me when he got married that he was able to use his driver's licence when he married in Canada. I no longer have one of those as I have a swiss one now and no residency documents in Canada, even though I obviously have a Canadian passport. My brother also got married in a church and some requirements are waived.

If I were to marry or have children in Switzerland, I need a birth certificate. The country I was born in has no embassy in Canada, but there is one in Switzerland. Problem is, I'm not on good terms with this country, never learned to read the state language and my partner is not a muslim... which puts even more people in trouble.


We're not getting married in the next year for sure, but it looks like we may need over a year of prep work for this. Anyone have any advice as to who to ask about this for when it becomes an issue?
Hello, I must say, I don't envy you your predicament, can't be a good feeling at all.
I looked a little online and perhaps through this link, you may be able to obtain an international birth certificate through Canada, look down at the bottom of the page and you can click on there to submit a form you can fill out and they will try and process this for you. They make no guarantees, but I do hope so, you said you have a passport, so that must help, good luck for the future.
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:13
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

i see. i guess everyone's situation is different.

i would think there must be lots of refugees with no birth certificate born in a state that no longer exists or has no records though.
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:38
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

Not sure how you can progress forwards and I wish you the very best of luck. Tell us how you get on.

Sadly, your task will be made more difficult by the fact that the authorities all over Europe have become aware that 'losing all documents, passport, birth certificate, etc' has become a scam from some refugees to get asylum status and lie about their true origins.
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:55
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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I'm a Canadian that arrived in Canada as a child-- as a refugee. As such, I have no birth certificate.

We're not getting married in the next year for sure, but it looks like we may need over a year of prep work for this. Anyone have any advice as to who to ask about this for when it becomes an issue?
If you arrived in Canada as a recognized refugee, your best bet would be to get appropriate authorities to issue you with a sworn birth affidavit. From a quick search on the web, it looks like you can do this in front of any Canadian lawyer. I'm not sure what options exist for doing it from abroad.

Have a look here: http://www.trackitt.com/canada-discu...cate-affidavit

See post #5 for a sample of the text.

See also post #13 of this thread where someone had a similar problem: Birth Certificate
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Old 10.10.2014, 14:59
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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Not sure how you can progress forwards and I wish you the very best of luck. Tell us how you get on.

Sadly, your task will be made more difficult by the fact that the authorities all over Europe have become aware that 'losing all documents, passport, birth certificate, etc' has become a scam from some refugees to get asylum status and lie about their true origins.
Well, I didn't say we had no documents, I merely stated I had no birth certificate. I was born in a weird time, during a revolution, days before a war started. And we had documents from other countries since my parents had been educated and worked abroad.
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Old 10.10.2014, 16:01
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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My understanding is that we need the birth certificates to register it here. Is this true?
It is true. And! it shouldn't be older than 6 months, if you can imagine that. So even if you normally have one because your parents got it at your birth, you have to go back to your home country and ask for a "new" one.

Frankly, I feel for you. But, I suppose there are exceptions to this rule.
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Old 10.10.2014, 18:06
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I'm a Canadian that arrived in Canada as a child-- as a refugee. As such, I have no birth certificate...
There's nothing to worry about. I know plenty of Iranians who came to Europe or N. America as refugees and after a few years were able to reclaim their Iranian passports, birth certificates, driving licence and other legal documents.

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my partner is not a muslim... which puts even more people in trouble.
Not 100% sure about Iran, but in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, it's illegal for Muslim women to marry outside faith. Muslim men can marry outside faith.

A Muslim man can marry a Christian woman and she can remain a Christian.

A Muslim woman can marry a Christian man, only after the Christian man converted to Islam.

You may contact your Zurich Mosque for further information.

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The country I was born in has no embassy in Canada, but there is one in Switzerland. Problem is, I'm not on good terms with this country, never learned to read the state language

Dont be shy: plenty of Persian-Americans / Persian-Canadians and other Iranians in the diaspora are not fluent in Farsi (the language of Iran) but they have no difficulties getting consular service.
Best would be to call the Embassy of Iran in Bern and check with them

iranembassy.ch

031 351 0801

hth

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.10.2014 at 12:37. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 10.10.2014, 18:10
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

My wife was also a refugee, and has no birth certificate. Whenever she's been asked for it here (and in other countries around the world), we've provided her UK naturalisation certificate, and that's been accepted.
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Old 10.10.2014, 19:29
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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I am sure many other people don't have birth certificates out there. What is the alternate documentation? I don't know that the Canadian embassy can't issue anything but a passport (which I have). I used my passport in Canada for things that would require a birth certificate. But that's clearly not enough in Switzerland.
Like the previous poster said, take to the embassy first off because I'm sure it will not be the first time this has happened and more than likely they will have already come up with a solution for this kind of situation.

For example when I was getting married over here 25 years ago I need a certificate from my community in Ireland to say I was free to marry. Of course since the concept does not exist in Ireland this was not possible. A quick visit to the Irish embassy and I had a very official looking document in German with lots of wax and seals on it. As soon as the registrar for marriages saw it she was happy and that was an end of the issue.
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Old 11.10.2014, 00:04
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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There's nothing to worry about. I know plenty of Iranians who came to Europe or N. America as refugees and after a few years were able to reclaim their Iranian passports, birth certificates, driving licence and other legal documents.



Not 100% sure about Iran, but in UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, it's illegal for Muslim women to marry outside faith. Muslim men can marry outside faith.

A Muslim man can marry a Christian woman and she can remain a Christian.

A Muslim woman can marry a Christian man, only after the Christian man converted to Islam.

You may contact your Zurich Mosque for further information.
Yeah, I'm sure it would go great for an apostate to contact the mosque to find out whom she may marry...
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Old 11.10.2014, 05:50
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

If you married in Canada, the marriage would be recognized here, wouldn't it? I ask because when we moved here, and for all permit purposes, we've only used our passports and international marriage certificate.


It might be different if you've not been married long. We arrived here married, and I don't recall registering our marriage.
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Old 11.10.2014, 12:43
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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If you married in Canada, the marriage would be recognized here, wouldn't it? I ask because when we moved here, and for all permit purposes, we've only used our passports and international marriage certificate.

It might be different if you've not been married long. We arrived here married, and I don't recall registering our marriage.
Edot, are you married to a Swiss citizen, by chance? I am, and I had to provide my birth certificate and marriage license/certificate (less than 6 months old) and register the marriage here. We got married in the States, but still had to do some paperwork even though I arrived here married.

I think NaT's suggestion of the naturalization certificate is a good one. Good luck, OP!
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Old 11.10.2014, 12:48
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Re: Getting married without a birth certificate

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If you married in Canada, the marriage would be recognized here, wouldn't it? I ask because when we moved here, and for all permit purposes, we've only used our passports and international marriage certificate.


It might be different if you've not been married long. We arrived here married, and I don't recall registering our marriage.
If neither of you is Swiss, then indeed you don't have to register the marriage here.
On the other hand, in OP's case it might be worth going to Canada for marriage than going to all the hustle for obtaining a birth certificate. That wouldn't surprise me.
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