Do I need to be in India for 30 days prior to marrying?

#1 Jun 23rd, 2017, 15:02
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Hello! I can't seem to find the answer to my question! Basically, I am English - living in England, and want to marry my fiancé, an Indian living in Delhi. What I want to know is: do I need to be 'living' in India for 30 plus days before I can apply for a marriage certificate? If so, this is a little hard for me with my job at the moment. I would have to leave my job I think - something I'm rather not do just now! Or can I do paperwork here, send it to finance and then as long as 30 days have past, travel to India for 10'ish days (on a 6 month visa if that helps?) and marry in that time? I'd need to come back to England for a bit after that though. Fiancé seems to think we BOTH have to be in India for 30 plus days. Any answers to this would be SO APPRECIATED
#2 Jun 23rd, 2017, 18:19
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#2
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Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Hello! I can't seem to find the answer to my question! Basically, I am English - living in England, and want to marry my fiancé, an Indian living in Delhi. What I want to know is: do I need to be 'living' in India for 30 plus days before I can apply for a marriage certificate?
Quick answer is NO.
Have him check with his nearest registration office (there a many for Delhi) based on where he resides. They will give him a checklist. Just follow it !
#3 Jun 23rd, 2017, 20:51
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Nycank, thanks for this. I'm hoping it's easier than it seems. My fiancée and I can't communicate perfectly due to language barrier (he has to make all the effort, I can't complain.) I was really hoping that I could also see a checklist in English. An Indian lawyer friend of his said 'you must both live in india for 30 plus days' which I think is misguided. I JUST WANT THE FACTS! Haha
#4 Jun 23rd, 2017, 21:25
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Are you getting married under Special Marraige Act? If yes do read the act.
#5 Jun 23rd, 2017, 22:17
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Yeah the special marriage act. I have read it and I'm sure it says that at least one person must have lived in India for 30 days prior to marriage. It's one of those things though where I don't understand the language completely. I am looking for someone to tell me I person...thanks for your help! X
#6 Jun 23rd, 2017, 22:39
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You expect to be told in person.!!!!!!!!

This is a webased site.
#7 Jun 24th, 2017, 00:18
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Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Yeah the special marriage act. I have read it and I'm sure it says that at least one person must have lived in India for 30 days prior to marriage. It's one of those things though where I don't understand the language completely. ... ... ...
The Special Marriage Act is written in English, albeit a little bit legal-English. If English is not your first language, then I can sympathise with finding it a bit difficult to navigate the Act.

It's a long time since I did what you are about to do, but let me summarise my understanding:

One of you must have lived for thirty days, within the jurisdiction of the Registrar who marries you . That is actually a bit more restrictive than "living in India." Remember: this Act was not written with foreigners in mind, it simply provides a civil, non-religious method of becoming legally married, and this 30-day/jurisdiction thing applies to couples who come from different cities just as much as couples who come from different countries.

The thirty days residence is, if I remember correctly, before giving the required thirty days notice. When my wife and I got married, we thought we both had to give the notice. Subsequent information posted here says we were wrong: one person can.

Hope this helps. I tried to simplify things, but have a horrible feeling I may have made it more complex
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#8 Jun 24th, 2017, 01:56
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Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Nycank, thanks for this. I'm hoping it's easier than it seems. My fiancée and I can't communicate perfectly due to language barrier (he has to make all the effort, I can't complain.) I was really hoping that I could also see a checklist in English. An Indian lawyer friend of his said 'you must both live in india for 30 plus days' which I think is misguided. I JUST WANT THE FACTS! Haha
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Yeah the special marriage act. I have read it and I'm sure it says that at least one person must have lived in India for 30 days prior to marriage. It's one of those things though where I don't understand the language completely. I am looking for someone to tell me I person...thanks for your help! X
I am a bit confused. I presume, maybe wrongly, that English is your first language ? And, your spouse-to-be does not speak English ? Or, does pokito ? Or with the help of machine-translation ?

The reason this is important, is because he has to personally go and file with the registrar for his sub-division the notice of intent, 30 days in advance.


All information necessary is on the Delhi's local government website.

Keep these in mind:
  • Marriage and Registration are essentially two separate function.
  • SMA 1954, rolls both functions into one.
  • While the SMA 1954 is nationwide (except J&K) marriage registration is a state/City function.
  • The registrar can depending on the local social climate, ask for extra documents
  • There is a bit of a discretion given to the local registrar.

If you think SMA 1954 is complicated, you should peruse the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872 as light reading
#9 Jun 24th, 2017, 04:36
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Thanks Nick-H, finally I am getting somewhere! Firstly, this is embarrassing. I am actually English!! But the reason I am feeling confused is that when I research online, people who have married in the way I am wanting to have said that they (the foreigner) had to be in India for some time before, I guess to prove that the marriage is genuine? And also, this lawyer person has confirmed it the same. However, when I read the marriage act it did seem to say that it only needs to be one of the party. The other thing is, I'm not familiar with marriage in general - I get confused with marriage and registration and all the procedures. And with my fiancé being Indian and speaking only basic English (we get by) it's tricky for me to really grasp how it works in India! I contacted a solicitor but they just told me to look at government website. Which takes me again to the marriage act. I would love to speak to someone who gives me a step by step guide as to what to do, so that when I arrive in India I know what I'm doing! Thanks again for your information (which seems to match with what I have researched), it's encouraging : )
#10 Jun 24th, 2017, 04:43
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Hi nycank, this is ever so helpful. My fiancé does speak English, so he would be fine to go and register. So you think he can do that without me, and then after 30 days has passed and assuming no one objects, I can arrive and we could marry?

The form I saw looked funny - it asked for both my parents names. Will they be wanting my mum and dads permission?!!? Cute, but It's just that neither of my parents are alive!

Oh gosh, I may give the Christian act a miss, I think that's a step too far for me
#11 Jun 24th, 2017, 04:50
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When we got married in Delhi way back in 1986, we both has to post a notice. The notices had to run one after another. I filed a notice first at the office of the registrar and once 30 days were over future Mrs GP had to file one at the Australian consulate.
You might need to post a notice in person at the British Consulate in Delhi. The duration of the notice is 30 days.
Good luck with your prince.
#12 Jun 24th, 2017, 05:23
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#12
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Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Thanks Nick-H, finally I am getting somewhere! Firstly, this is embarrassing. I am actually English!!
That's ok. It's a bit daunting. Been there, been daunted. But read and digest that Special Marriage Act. It does actually tell you, give or take a helpful/unhelpful registrar (ours was great), exactly what is needed.
Quote:
But the reason I am feeling confused is that when I research online, people who have married in the way I am wanting to have said that they (the foreigner) had to be in India for some time before, I guess to prove that the marriage is genuine?
It isn't, at least at this stage of the game, like that at all. In UK, you might be subject to intrusive investigation: inspectors knocking on the door at midnight and checking of the sheets are warm, and all that sort of crap. India won't give a damn. Lots of Indians get married who never met before anyway, quite legitimately.

Quote:
And also, this lawyer person has confirmed it the same.
Time to cut lawyers out of the loop. You've probably wasted enough money already. Forget them. Better advice on Indiamike for free!

Quote:
I get confused with marriage and registration and all the procedures.
What you are about to do is almost exactly the same, in principle and practice as a British Register Office wedding.

Quote:
And with my fiancé being Indian and speaking only basic English (we get by) it's tricky for me to really grasp how it works in India! I contacted a solicitor but they just told me to look at government website. Which takes me again to the marriage act. I would love to speak to someone who gives me a step by step guide as to what to do, so that when I arrive in India I know what I'm doing! Thanks again for your information (which seems to match with what I have researched), it's encouraging : )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliciamcd View Post Hi nycank, this is ever so helpful. My fiancé does speak English, so he would be fine to go and register.
He should be able to speak in his local language (Hindi?) to the registrar. Of course, you should be doing stuff together, but I would say that, if you want to marry in India, it is the Indian partner who would be primarily responsible for getting to grips with the bureaucracy and practicalities.

Quote:
The form I saw looked funny - it asked for both my parents names. Will they be wanting my mum and dads permission?!!? Cute, but It's just that neither of my parents are alive!
lol. Cute indeed. It's an Indian thing: you'll be filling in forms like that, daughter/of, wife/of, for ever now! No, they will not want your parents' permission.

You will have to show that you are over 18 (birth certificate, passport, etc.). The tricky think is showing that you are not already married. That's the next chapter in the HOWTO

(Typed in a hurry at bedtime: will check it tomorrow!)
Last edited by Nick-H; Jun 24th, 2017 at 14:08..
#13 Jun 24th, 2017, 06:21
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#13
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Firstly, this is embarrassing. I am actually English
Understandable if you are under 40 from my experience. However, none at all the understand my English. My spouse speaks King's English and interpreted for me with older still English speaking uK folk. They were gob smacked at what I had been trying to communicate and were delighted to converse with, my spouse.

I'll ditto #2 having done just. I showed up a day or two before the wedding. In my next reincarnation I will be less of a headache to my in laws. Do keep in mind that officialdom can pull your chain for no particular reason so..
#14 Jun 24th, 2017, 13:34
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#14
This no-impediment thing...
It's actually easier if you are widowed or divorced: they will accept the death certificate or divorce papers as evidence that you are now single and this able to marry.

British govt, of course, does not give not-married certificate. What to do? Somehow I skated around this problem. See other threads for up to date help on this.

And this proving the marriage is genuine thing. A decade ago I got an X (Entry) visa, in London, just by showing my marriage certificate. Had spouse handy, but they didn't even ask to see her. If you come to do stuff like applying of OCI (qv) then you will need stuff signed by spouse, and, if in India, they will ask your local police to take a quick look at you, ask the neighbours if you guys really live together, etc. Or not. Depending on how they feel at the time. Again: bureaucratic hassle. but nothing so intrusive and objectionably personal as a colleague of mine and his Japanese wife suffered in London fifteen years ago.

By the way, do you plan to live in India after marriage?
#15 Jun 24th, 2017, 15:51
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#15
You are so helpful! Thanks so much! I agree, it should be him who is doing the groundwork. I will make sure he goes to the office to get correct information. I am fine about almost all of it. It's just this 30 day thing! But I am feeling more relaxed about it since hearing from you. We are not sure yet where we will live. He is very overwhelmed by the idea of getting even a tourist visa to England, due to being called Mohammed and having listened to people he knows in India (also Muslim) who in my mind have been a little negative. He does not have any friends who have travelled to England, despite being in quite a cosmopolitan. However, being a white British woman, what would I know about descrimination. Anyway, I have been thinking more and more about living in inida. I would not want to live in delhi though, so we have been taking about mumbai, which I quite like. I'd rather be in the south though. Where do you and your wife live?

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