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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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What is the procedure for two foreigners to have a civil marriage in Russia?

You may simply be able to choose to tie the knot at one of your countries' embassies. However, some embassies, for example the U.S. Embassy, do not perform marriage ceremonies.

Foreign citizens also have the right to get married in a ZAGS, or civilian registry office, said Alyona Kalmykova, a lawyer with Shcheglov and Partners. In Moscow, it is only the No. 4 wedding palace at 17 Butyrskaya Ulitsa that marries foreigners. You must prepare and have ready the following documents: your passports and their notarized translations; your visas and Moscow registration permits or stamps; and a document from your embassy(s) attesting to the fact that each of you is either single or divorced. The format of the document and its cost varies from embassy to embassy, explained Yekaterina Kalashnikova of the Family Lawyer legal practice. At the U.S. embassy, a U.S. citizen receives a so-called "affidavit of marriage" in Russian, which takes a $30 fee and 30 minutes to produce. Then the document must be authenticated in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' legal department (tel: 244-3797). The document takes a 100-ruble fee ($3.50) and up to seven days to authenticate. If you have a divorce certificate from your home country, it should also be translated and notarized

Then you pay another 100-ruble ($3.50) fee at any Sberbank branch for the ceremony and file all of the above documents with the No. 4 registry office. You will be married a month after you have filed the application. If you have a good reason, the registry can get you married in less than a month or push the date back for another month.

The wedding palace performs the ceremonies in Russian so you might also have to budget for an interpreter.

To pick up forms and for more info, call the No 4 wedding palace at 285-1960 Tuesday through Sunday.

-- Anna Smolchenko

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