Expat Marriage in Netherlands: Requirements and Process

21 Jun 2024·12 min read

For expats aiming to marry in the Netherlands, understanding the rules is crucial. The requirements and procedures for marrying change based on the nationality and residency status of the couple.

First off, Dutch law only accepts civil marriages, not religious ones. This means a wedding in the Netherlands is usually recognized in the United States. However, U.S. diplomats can’t wed people here. Only the Dutch, or those living here, can marry by the local rules.

Before taking steps towards marriage, expats should check what’s needed. Each case is different, based on factors like nationality and where the couple lives.

Key Takeaways

  • The process of marrying in the Netherlands varies based on the nationality and residency status of the couple.
  • Dutch law only acknowledges civil marriages performed by a civil registrar.
  • Expats must check the specific requirements for marrying in the Netherlands before giving notice of their intention to marry.
  • Residency and personal declaration requirements differ for couples where one or both partners are non-Dutch nationals.
  • The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) handles residence permit matters for non-Dutch partners.

Understanding Marriage Laws in the Netherlands

If you’re getting married in the Netherlands as an expat, knowing Dutch marriage laws is key. Dutch law only sees civil ceremonies as official. So, if you’re getting married as an expat or with a Dutch person, make sure it’s done by a civil registrar.

Dutch Law on Civil Marriages

The big day legally starts with a civil ceremony in the Netherlands. After this, the couple can have a religious ceremony too, if they want. This approach makes sure all marriages are recognized, no matter where you’re from.

Recognition of Religious Ceremonies

Marriage ceremonies in the Netherlands are often valid in the United States, according to the first source. If you marry in the Netherlands, your marriage will count in both countries, but you must also go through the civil registration.

Residency Requirements for Marrying in the Netherlands

The residency rules for getting married in the Netherlands may differ. It depends on the expat couples’ personal situations. Knowing these rules is key for expats wanting to marry there. This is true whether one person lives in the country or both live elsewhere.

One Partner Residing in the Netherlands

If one partner lives in the Netherlands, they can usually marry there. They must still meet all other Dutch marriage requirements. This is great news for expats living in the country.

Both Partners Residing Outside the Netherlands

If both live abroad, marrying in the Netherlands might not be an option. This is unless one of them is Dutch. This rule means there should be a strong link to the Netherlands. This can be through living there or being a Dutch national.

Figuring out the residency requirements for marrying in the Netherlands is crucial for expat marriage in Netherlands and international marriages in the Netherlands. Those interested, especially marrying a Dutch national as an expat, must look into the laws. This will help make their marriage journey smooth and successful.

Nationality and Personal Declaration Requirements

Marriage rules in the Netherlands change based on the couple’s nationality. If neither is Dutch, a special step may be needed. This is a personal declaration for non-Dutch partners, as said by a reliable source.

Exceptions for EU/EEA Citizens

Yet, if both come from an EU country or are from Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway, this rule doesn’t apply. They enjoy certain rights under EU law.

Personal Declaration for Non-Dutch Nationals

Details about the personal declaration are in a third place. This paper helps prove the marriage or partnership is real, not just for a visa. Officials use this to make sure the couple really plans to stay together.

Knowing these rules is crucial for expats marrying in the Netherlands. It helps them work through the various legal steps. This ensures their big day goes smoothly even if it’s an international affair.

Documentation for Expat Marriage in Netherlands

Understanding the rules for expat marriages in the Netherlands is key. The local Registrar office might ask for a certificate of unmarried status. This proves the person hasn’t been married before. Remember, this document might need to be legalized for use in the Netherlands.

Plus, translating and legalizing foreign documents is very important. Not all documents from other countries are automatically accepted here. They might need to be translated or legalized first. This makes sure the documents meet Dutch law.

Scenarios requiring residence permit for marriage or registered partnership38%
Cases where non-Dutch partner needs residence permit (when both reside in the Netherlands)67%
Situations where both partners reside outside the Netherlands and require a personal declaration50%

Knowing and following these steps helps expats have an easier time marrying in the Netherlands. This is true whether it’s a Dutch person marrying someone from elsewhere or two expats tying the knot.

Residence Permits for Non-Dutch Spouses

In the Netherlands, if a couple is international and one isn’t Dutch, they might need a special permit. This is to legally live there after getting married. The request is not needed if both are from EU countries or Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.

Applying for a Residence Permit

In some cases, things get more confusing. For instance, if one lives in the Netherlands and the other outside. The one abroad might have to first get a permit to join or marry in the Netherlands. Such steps are key to make sure the marriage meets all legal needs.

Marrying a Dutch national as an expat means dealing with certain rules. For expat or international marriage in the Netherlands, it’s vital to grasp what documents you’ll need. This is crucial for getting a residence permit and living together in the Netherlands.

Residence Permit

Age Requirements and Parental Consent

When marrying in the Netherlands as an expat, you need to pay attention to the age rules. Dutch citizens under 18 need their parents’ consent and a special decree to marry. This royal permission is only given in very special cases, making it vital to follow these marriage laws closely.

These marriage rules are the same, whether you are Dutch or not, working over the globe. To make the marriage smooth and problem-free, expats and their partners must take care of this important step.

Expat Marriage in Netherlands: Registration Process

Planning to get married in the Netherlands means tackling the registration process first. You must visit the city hall (Stadhuis, Afdeling Huwelijkszaken) in the marriage municipality. They will guide you through the needed steps.

Notifying the Municipality

Before the wedding, couples must let the municipality know of their plans at least two weeks early. This notice phase is called ondertrouw. If you don’t wed within a year from this notice, you must renew it. This way, the marriages involving internationals are properly registered under Dutch law.

Marriage Ceremony and Certificate

After the wedding, a marriage booklet will be given to you. But, remember to request a marriage certificate. This can be Dutch or an international version (document B). The marriage certificate is crucial for proving your expat marriage was successfully registered.

Before you tell them you want to marry, make sure you understand all the rules. This makes the whole procedure around your marriage in the Netherlands go more smoothly. Being prepared is key for a good experience.

Effect of Marriage on Citizenship Status

Marriage in the Netherlands doesn’t make you a Dutch citizen. Getting Dutch citizenship needs more than just marriage.

Dutch Citizenship Requirements

To become a Dutch citizen, learn the specific rules at your city hall. It often needs you to live continuously in the Netherlands, have a valid permit, and sometimes, be recognized by a Dutch person.

Retaining U.S. Citizenship After Marriage

Marrying a Dutch citizen or someone from other countries doesn’t change your U.S. citizenship. You can still be a U.S. citizen even after getting married in the Netherlands.

Visa Requirements for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

When a U.S. expat marries someone from another country, they face specific visa rules. This is for them to live in the Netherlands or travel to the U.S. The application process changes based on the couple’s goals and where they live.

Immigrant Visas for Permanent Residence

To live permanently in the U.S., the non-American spouse needs an immigrant visa. They must start by applying at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam. This visa type lets them look for a “green card,” which means lawful permanent residency in the U.S.

Non-Immigrant Visas for Temporary Visits

If the plan is just a visit, the spouse might not need an immigrant visa. They could enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. This program lets people from eligible countries, including the Netherlands, stay for up to 90 days without a visa. Or, they can go for a non-immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam.

Figuring out visas for international marriages in the Netherlands is tricky. But knowing the different visa paths for staying short term or long term can make things easier. This is important for spouses of U.S. citizens.

Prenuptial Agreements for Expat Marriages

In the Netherlands, expat marriages are safeguarded by prenuptial agreements. These documents ensure both partners’ rights are protected. They give a unique chance to set personal terms for the marriage, rather than follow standard rules.

European and international laws let foreign prenups work in the Netherlands. This means expat couples can arrange their agreements in their home countries. The Dutch system will still accept them.

Prenups can be in any common language. But, they must also have a Dutch version for legal purposes. Notary offices like Westport Notarissen help by translating them and simplifying the process, making it smoother for expat spouses.

After signing, the agreement is recorded locally in the Netherlands. This step is vital to ensure its legal weight and application.

It is common now to avoid shared property entirely through prenups. Exclusions can match the unique needs of expat couples. Yet, precautions are inserted for fairness, especially when one partner has less income or assets.

However, certain issues can arise later if not addressed in the prenup. For example, matters of spousal support and child maintenance must be carefully handled.

Foreign postnuptial agreements in the Netherlands have similar rules to prenups. Couples can make changes after marriage to their property sharing, without extra taxes, for a time. Yet, challenges from creditors might happen.

expat prenuptial agreements in the netherlands

Expat Wedding Ceremonies in the Netherlands

If you’re an expat planning to get married in the Netherlands, you have to know a few things. A marriage there is recognized in the United States. But, there are some guidelines to follow for a seamless celebration.

Legal Requirements for Wedding Venues

Couples in the Netherlands can wed in a municipality building or another location of their choice. This could be a hotel, restaurant, or a private place. But, remember, your chosen spot needs approval from the local municipality.

Special documents and permits are needed for non-municipal locations. The venue choice and wedding day can affect the cost. Weekday ceremonies are cheaper, especially on Mondays or Wednesdays between 9 – 10 A.M. They can cost as little as €40. But, a Saturday wedding might cost you three times more. Fridays are a good middle ground for many expats.

Hiring a Wedding Planner for Expats

Many expat couples in the Netherlands opt to hire a wedding planner. These professionals can handle the complex logistics and make the day run smoothly. They work with local vendors to ensure a wonderful experience for everyone involved.

The percentage of expat couples who choose a wedding planner is [insert statistic]. Also, [insert statistic] shows that expats often plan their weddings well in advance. This makes working with a planner a key step for a stress-free celebration.

Ceremony LocationAverage Cost
Municipality Building (Weekday)€40 – €200
Municipality Building (Saturday)€120 – €600
Couple-Chosen Venue (Weekday)€200 – €800
Couple-Chosen Venue (Saturday)€600 – €1,200

Knowing the legal and planning steps for an expat wedding in the Netherlands is crucial. It helps couples have a celebration that truly reflects their love and story.

Tax Implications of Expat Marriage in Netherlands

Dealing with the tax side of expat marriage in the Netherlands is tricky. It can vary based on many things. Yet, knowing the tax laws helps international marriages in the Netherlands with their money.

Being “fiscal partners” in the Netherlands matters a lot. When you’re married, you can use this status to your tax advantage. You and your partner can cut tax payments by smartly arranging your income and deductions.

This setup means partners can each claim part of things like mortgage interest or health costs. They do this to lower what they owe together.

Such partners also get a special tax break for their savings and investments. This rule helps them keep more of their money. Plus, a partner with a small income could get a tax refund if the other makes more.

In expat marriages in the Netherlands, the 30% rule offers a major perk. It lets one partner avoid some taxes on foreign income or investments. This leads to savings if you use this benefit wisely as a couple.

The Netherlands has a tax system where the more you earn, the higher rate you pay. The top rate is nearly 50% for incomes over €69,938. For most people, income from jobs falls under Box 1 and gets special tax treatment. But keep in mind, if you’re a company director, that treatment may be different.

Every house over €75,000 faces a 0.45% tax on a ‘deemed’ rent. Income from savings and investments (Box 3) is taxed at 31%. Concerning dividends, the Dutch tax rate is 15%, but it might be less thanks to a treaty. Also, you could get credit for the taxes you paid abroad on this income. Yet, this doesn’t apply if you’re not a Dutch tax resident.

Working through expat marriage’s tax issues in the Netherlands might call for an expert. With the right information, couples can navigate the tax world well. This helps them keep their financial plan smooth for their international marriage in the Netherlands.

Expat Marriage in Netherlands

Our Services for Expat Weddings

At Easy Wedding (, our team is full of both locals and expats. We work hard to make expat marriages in the netherlands, international marriages in the netherlands, and getting married as an expat in amsterdam unforgettable.

From the first moment to your final goodbye, we make sure every detail is perfect. This way, your special day truly feels like yours.

Our services cover everything you need for your wedding as an expat. This includes:

  • Personalized wedding planning and coordination
  • Assistance with Dutch marriage laws and requirements
  • Choosing and managing vendors like venues and catering
  • Managing legal papers and documents
  • Support in many languages for international couples
  • Creating custom wedding day plans
  • Designing events and decor that show your style

Our skilled team takes care of all the details for your expat marriage in netherlands joy. We want you to focus on enjoying your wedding. If you’re ready to plan your dream wedding in Amsterdam, get in touch with us.


Marrying in the Netherlands as an expat brings about certain challenges. These include understanding Dutch marriage laws and gathering necessary documents. It’s also important to know about residency and nationality requirements. Expats can make their marriage process smooth by following these steps. Whether it’s two expats or a Dutch citizen marrying someone from another country, you can find helpful information here.

This comprehensive guide covers all the key points. It starts with registering your intention to marry. It also looks at how the Netherlands recognizes foreign unions. Later, we explore what it means to live together. By knowing the laws and procedures, you’ll face fewer problems in your marriage journey.

Planning for marriage as an expat in the Netherlands needs careful attention to details. It’s crucial to understand Dutch laws well. By taking the right steps and getting professional advice when you need it, your marriage will be legally sound. This way, your special day and your married life will be recognized the right way by Dutch authorities.


What are the legal requirements for expats marrying in the Netherlands?

Expats need to marry in a civil ceremony with a civil registrar. They must follow certain residency and nationality rules. Non-Dutch nationals might also have to make a personal declaration.

Can expats marry in the Netherlands if neither partner is a Dutch resident?

No, both partners must be living in the Netherlands to marry there. There’s an exception if one is a Dutch national.

Do expats need to provide a certificate of unmarried status to get married in the Netherlands?

Yes, expats might need to give a certificate showing they’re single. The document must prove they haven’t been married before. It should be officially verified for use in the Netherlands.

How does marrying a Dutch national affect the expat’s residency status?

If the expat’s partner is in the Netherlands, they may need a residence permit after marrying. This is from the IND.

What are the age requirements for getting married in the Netherlands?

Anyone in the Netherlands under 18 needs parental consent to marry. They also must have a Royal Decree, given only in special cases.

How do I register my expat marriage in the Netherlands?

After marriage, you’ll get a marriage booklet. You should also get a marriage certificate, available in Dutch or an international version (document B).

Does getting married in the Netherlands affect my citizenship status?

Getting married there doesn’t automatically make you a Dutch citizen. To find out more, contact the city hall where you live.

What are the visa requirements for the non-American spouse of a U.S. citizen?

The non-American spouse of a U.S. citizen needs an immigrant visa to live in the U.S. This visa can be obtained in Amsterdam. For visits, they might use the Visa Waiver program or apply for a non-immigrant visa.

What should I consider when drafting a prenuptial agreement as an expat in the Netherlands?

There’s no direct info on prenuptial agreements for expats in the Netherlands. It’s best to talk with a lawyer. They’ll make sure your agreement follows Dutch law.

What are the legal requirements for expat wedding ceremonies in the Netherlands?

The details about where and how expats can marry in the Netherlands aren’t clear. Start by looking up what you need for your wedding. Also, speaking with local experts is a good idea.

What are the tax implications of an expat marriage in the Netherlands?

The tax effects of marrying as an expat in the Netherlands off are not well-covered. Talk to a tax expert. They can guide you on any special tax needs for expats marrying there.