How can an Indian and NRI get Married in India?

An Indian and a Foreigner/NRI/PIO can get married in India under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 after fulfilling certain requirements. The parties should send a notice to the Registrar of Marriage regarding the intended marriage and fulfill some ancillary procedures. The marriage can then be registered in presence of the witnesses.

Sat Apr 02 2022 | HLL Knowledge Series | Comments (0)


In today’s transnational and globalized world, it has become quotidian to meet people from diverse cultural backgrounds and countries, which might sometimes develop such connections where we want to spend our lives together by getting into a social union.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is one such Act of the Parliament of India which allows solemnization of a marriage between individuals from various countries and cultures irrespective of religion or faith followed by either party which couldn’t be solemnized under the respective Marriage Acts of various religions.

Below is the list of individuals who are eligible to perform a marriage under the Special Marriage Act-

  1. Two Indian Citizens following different religions
  2. An Indian Citizen who wants to marry an NRI/OCI/PIO
  3. An Indian Citizen who wants to marry a foreign citizen in India.
  4. Two foreign nationals who want to get married in India

The mandatory conditions to solemnize a marriage under the Special Marriage Act are as follows-

  1. Neither party should have a spouse living.
  2. The man and the woman must have completed the age of 21 and 18 years of age respectively.
  3. The parties should not be within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless their custom permits a marriage between the two.
  4. Neither party should be incapable of giving a valid consent to the marriage due to unsoundness of mind or subject to recurrent attacks of epilepsy or insanity.

The parties intending to get married must send a notice in the specified form to the Registrar of Marriage of the city/district in which at least one of the parties has been residing for a period not less than thirty (30) days. The said notice will then be published/affixed in the office of the Marriage Officer for receiving any objections on the solemnization of the said marriage. If any person has an objection to the marriage, he/she is allowed to raise the objection within 30 days from the date of publication of notice by the marriage registrar. A declaration form is to be signed by the parties along with three witnesses declaring that the marriage is being solemnized with the free consent of the parties without any coercion or undue influence. The said declaration has to be countersigned by the Marriage Officer. After the marriage has been solemnized the Marriage Officer shall enter a certificate in the Marriage Certificate Book and this shall be signed by the parties to the marriage and the three witnesses, which shall be conclusive evidence of the marriage. Both parties are required to be present at the time of filing of the initial notice as well as after 30 days for the solemnization and registration of marriage.


Documentary requirements for Indian Citizens-

  1. AADHAR/Voter ID/ Driving license/ Passport
  2. Proof of Local Address
  3. High School Certificate/Birth Certificate
  4. Passport Size Photos

Documentary requirements for NRIs/OCI/PIO/Foreign Nationals

  1. Passport
  2. A valid Visa for more than 30 days
  3. Educational Certificates or Birth Certificate
  4. A ‘no-objection’ letter might be required in some States for solemnization of marriage under the Special Marriage Act, from the Embassy/Consulate of his/her country in India.

Solemnization of marriage under the said act is a lengthy process and hence the timelines involved are important to consider.

It is pertinent to note that one of the parties intending to get married must have resided in the district for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given to the Marriage Office of the district.

After submitting the application to the Marriage Officer, the parties have to wait again for at least for 30 days from the date of initial application to solemnize the marriage for the Marriage Officer to receive any objections to the said marriage.

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