Marry a Spaniard as a US Citizen: What Documents Are Needed?


“Marry a Spaniard as a US Citizen: tell me everything I need (Barcelona).

Currently in the U.S., I’m preparing to return to Spain where my Spanish boyfriend has proposed. We’ve been in a long-distance relationship and are ready to move forward. I am gathering necessary documents like my birth certificate and passport, but I’m finding conflicting information online about additional requirements such as an FBI background check and income stipulations.

Although I can work remotely for now, I’ll eventually need a job in Spain, which is challenging with my basic Spanish skills. My boyfriend’s income is modest, so my financial contribution is necessary. Additionally, I’m adapting from using unlimited well water to monitored usage, which is a small but notable lifestyle change. I’ve recently traded in my car, which I won’t be bringing to Spain due to high import costs and my discomfort with city driving.


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“I think you should wait to get married and that right now you are feeling overwhelmed with a lot of stuff.”

“The documents you need to prepare depend on how you want to get married. Is it through a civil wedding through the registro civil? Or a civil wedding through a notary office? Or is it a church wedding/destination wedding?

All required documents (birth certificate, certificate of singleness/proof that you are single) coming from your home country should be Apostilled/Legalized by the department of Foreign Affairs, then translated into Spanish by a traducción jurada (you can have it done once you get here).

You can send an email to your consulate/embassy here in Spain and ask for the requirements. But make sure to plan out how you want to get married + take note that some documentation has limited validity (6 months-1 year depending on the document).”

“You get it easily at the US embassy in Spain. In Valencia, they insisted that it wasn’t necessary, but I brought it anyway. Different people I know were asked to provide it.”

“The US embassy stopped issuing this document in 2020. I was told to instead show proof that they don’t offer it, and get a notarized statement that I’m single.”

“If you’re from the States, we don’t have a certificate of singleness – it’s on the embassy website. Just make sure to print it out and bring it with you when you for for your appointment to begin the process!”

“One suggestion is to get married in Gibraltar (I’m an American who married an EU citizen this way) and it was easier, quicker, and cheaper then getting married in his home country or Spain.”


Preparing for marriage in Spain as a US citizen involves gathering several essential documents like birth certificates and passports, which need Apostille certification and possibly translation.

Options for the type of wedding—civil through registry or notary, or a church/destination wedding—also influence the specific documents required. It is recommended to verify the latest requirements directly with Spanish authorities.