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Marriage in Cuba: General Information About the Legal Process

Jun 3 , 2024

Marriage is a civil contract between two people that creates a legal and socially recognized union. While in some places it can only be performed between a man and a woman, in others it can be performed between people of the same sex or between several people.

Marriage in Cuba has changed in recent years, especially since the approval by popular vote of a new Family Code, which establishes more updated guidelines for the formation of the family and the legal aspects that regulate its structuring.

Since then, new forms of union that do not necessarily imply marriage have been recognized and new ways of contracting marriage have emerged so that this contract may benefit the greatest number of people who choose to do so.

Marriage in Cuba is subject to conditions that are a prerequisite for the possibility of its contraction:

  • Equality of rights
  • Equality of duties
  • By mutual agreement
  • Legal capacity

In addition, it is always performed between adults (over 18 years of age). At the time of the new union, there must be no previous active marriage.

In Cuba, the marriage is performed in front of a notary or a competent official, who formalizes the civil contract according to the laws of the country.

Who can get married in Cuba?

Literally any couple can formalize their union on Cuban territory, provided they have the necessary documents and meet the requirements. You’ll need to go to the appropriate office depending on your immigration or citizenship status. You’ll also need to have the necessary documents to apply.

Marriage in Cuba is available to all natural Cuban citizens, expatriates and everyone in between. Therefore, it does not matter if the person is a Cuban resident or emigrant, or if the person is a foreigner residing or not in the national territory.

The following summarizes the characteristics of marriages between persons of different immigration statuses.

Couples can formalize their union at law firms, notary publics, or civil registry offices:

Cubans resident in Cuba: they must be in the company of two witnesses, all of whom must have their identity cards. If one spouse is unable to attend, the other spouse is required to present a special power of attorney attesting to their ability to attend.

The international law firms or specialized service providers can formalize their partnership:

  1. Cubans residing in Cuba and Cubans residing abroad: they must appear together with two witnesses, all of them with their identity cards and the emigrant with his Cuban passport and his permit to enter and stay in Cuba.
  2. Cubans residing abroad: they must bring with them their Cuban passports and their authorizations for entry into and stay in Cuba.
  3. Cubans residing abroad and foreigners residing outside Cuba: Cubans must present their Cuban passport and entry/residence permit. The foreigner must bring his/her birth certificate, a valid passport (or other identity document that proves his/her visa to stay in Cuba), a certificate of bachelorhood, divorce or widowhood, if applicable.
  4. Cubans resident in Cuba and foreigners resident outside Cuba: the Cuban must attend, together with two witnesses, all with their identity cards. The foreigner must bring his/her birth certificate, a valid passport (or other identity document that proves his/her visa to stay in Cuba) and a certificate of bachelorhood, divorce or widowhood, if applicable.
  5. Cubans residing in Cuba and foreigners residing permanently or temporarily in Cuba: the Cuban must appear with two witnesses, all with their identity cards. The foreigner must bring his birth certificate, a valid passport (or any other identity document proving his right to be in Cuba), a certificate of bachelorhood, divorce or widowhood, if applicable, and his permanent or temporary residence card in Cuban territory.
  6. Foreigners: Both of them must be present with their birth certificates, passports (or identity documents proving that they have a visa to be in Cuba).

Note 1: If you are divorced, you must also provide a copy of your divorce decree or the signature of your former marriage certificate.

Note 2: In the case of widowhood, you must also present the certificate of widowhood or the mark representing it in the previous marriage document and the death certificate of the spouse.

Note 3:All documents must be written in Spanish or translated into Spanish, and subsequently legalized at the Cuban consulate corresponding to your place of residence.

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Opapeleo is your agency for procedures 100% online or telephone. We are in Washington DC 150 meters away from the Cuban Consulate. We provide services for the Extension and Renewal of Cuban Passport, Legalisations, Powers of attorney on all kinds, Authorisations for minors to leave the country, DVT, Visas to Cuba, Top-ups, applications for Cuban certificates, delivery of official documents and all kinds of procedures related to Cuba.

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