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Old 05.12.2011, 22:35
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Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Hi! I will break this post into bite sized nuggets and would appreciate any input.

Fact:
Me- British citizen & Swiss Permit C holder.
My wife- Portuguese citizen, Swiss Permit C holder and about to start Swiss citizenship paper work.

Background:
We married 10 years go in Switzerland. Our Swiss marriage is officially recognized in UK and in Switzerland. Our marriage is not recognized in Portugal because Portugal does not recognize Swiss marriages. For our marriage to be recognized in Portugal the Portuguese consulate back then told us that we would have to re-submit all documents and get them translated from English/German to Portuguese by an official translator. We would also have had to provide birth certificates and without it they said the application would get rejected.

Getting a birth certificate turned out to be very difficult for me as I was born outside UK and because I renounced the citizenship of the country I was actually born in. Having no direct connection with my country of birth made it impossible for me to get it. Also no proper records were kept back then.

So at the time we decided not to go ahead with the Portuguese paperwork as there was no point spending few thousand francs on official translation without even having my birth certificate. We absolutely don't care that our marriage is not recognized in Portugal. We intend to stay in Switzerland and have no desire to live in Portugal. Swiss have no issues with our marriage and that is what counts for us as Switzerland is our home.

Question:
My wife's Portuguese passport is up for renewal and I am confused if she should write "SINGLE" or "MARRIED" under martial status? As legally Portugal does not recognize our marriage am I correct in saying that she should write SINGLE? Well writing married won't be an option as proof would be required and we would be back to square one like 10 years ago.

So is any law being broken by her writing single? Is there anything I need to be aware of? We have no personal property in Portugal nor are any kids involved. Anything we need to be careful about?

Thanks for reading and have a virtual glass of port wine on me

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Old 05.12.2011, 22:47
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Sounds much the same as in this thread:

International Wedding Certificate
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Old 05.12.2011, 22:47
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question.

Simple answer - get your wife to speak to the Portuguese consulate general in Switzerland. She won't be the first person on that situation, and she won't be the last.

You are married, you just haven't had it officially recorded by Portugal. I can't see how she can write 'single' - nor would a marriage certificate be required for her passport normally, if she is applying in her maiden name.

It will get somewhat complicated if she is wanting a passport using her married name (ie. your surname)...
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Old 05.12.2011, 23:32
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Yes. She can just check "single". In fact, they will probably insist that she does.

My mother was shocked to find out that her marriage was never registered on her record though it was on my father's.

Anyway, even though she is now a widow in the eyes of Portugal she was never married. Her Portuguese passport has her single names.
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Old 05.12.2011, 23:41
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question.

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Simple answer - get your wife to speak to the Portuguese consulate general in Switzerland. She won't be the first person on that situation, and she won't be the last.
She did speak to them in the past and they said that they require my birth certificate. It is bit of a bureaucratic nightmare. They even asked her how come the Swiss did not ask for my birth certificate. My wife told them that the Swiss accepted the date on my British passport along with a letter explaining why I could not get a birth certificate. To which the Portuguese gentleman sarcastically said "Ah! well we are not Swiss"

Quote:
You are married, you just haven't had it officially recorded by Portugal. I can't see how she can write 'single' - nor would a marriage certificate be required for her passport normally, if she is applying in her maiden name. It will get somewhat complicated if she is wanting a passport using her married name (ie. your surname)...
She does not have my surname. Only on the Swiss marriage certificate she has my surname. On Swiss C permit she has her unmarried name as Swiss permit takes the name from the Portuguese passport. She would not be trying to get my surname when she renews the passport. Maybe in the future as I will make another attempt to get some sort of birth certificate.

Our most pressing fear at the moment is that if she says that she is married they might stall her passport renewal until she updates all the paperwork. Currently we are too occupied to deal with the shit we had to deal with 10 years ago.
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Old 05.12.2011, 23:43
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Quote:
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Yes. She can just check "single". In fact, they will probably insist that she does.

My mother was shocked to find out that her marriage was never registered on her record though it was on my father's.

Anyway, even though she is now a widow in the eyes of Portugal she was never married. Her Portuguese passport has her single names.
Thanks for the information.
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Old 06.12.2011, 00:03
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Oh dear.

I have a very fresh experience in registering my marriage in Portugal. Was married to my Portuguese husband in Finland, no problems. Got all the documents with pretty stickers and stamps, nooo problems. Trying then to register the marriage in Portugal, huge problem.

First it was the birth certificate (that we don't use in Finland). I had a document stating all the needed birth related information but it still was not the Portuguese standard so it wasn't good enough.

Even our wedding certificate "looked fake" even though it had an apostille stamp and it was in an international format. They insisted on seeing the certified copy of the book we had signed (what book, we never signed any damn marriage book?) and I also got the famous "This is not Finland" line as I was wondering how a marriage in one EU country could be so difficult to register in another EU country. Even if we did have all the documents, it would've been pretty expensive to get all the million and two papers translated.

After trying to register in Portugal and Switzerland's consulate, we flew back to Finland a week ago, met a guy at the Portuguese consulate who has seen it all before (you wouldn't believe all the stories he had to tell) and after a very friendly chat and 100€ got everything done and now we're finally married in Finland AND Portugal (it was easy to register in CH, too).

I totally feel your pain with the Portuguese authorities....
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Old 06.12.2011, 00:34
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Re: Portuguese passport renewal and marital status question

Thanks for the post mmmilk. I enjoyed reading it
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