Returning to Australia

We were married in Greece and we live in Melbourne, Australia

How do we register our marriage in Australia?

The short answer is that you DO NOT register your marriage in Australia.

Please read on for the long answer…

Groom and bride with wedding certificates at aisle tent sea background

A Marriage that has been performed in Greece is recognised in Australia

Marriages entered into in Greece are generally recognised as valid in Australia if the marriage was recognised as valid under Greek law, at the time when it was entered into, and providing the marriage would have been recognised as valid under Australian law if the marriage had taken place in Australia. There is no requirement to register a marriage in Australia which takes place overseas. The Greek marriage certificate is prima facie evidence in Australia of the occurrence and validity of the marriage in Greece.

Click here for more information:

Why do I need a Marriage Certificate? 

There are numerous circumstances for which you may need to produce your Marriage Certificate to the Australian Authorities or Departments in Australia. These Authorities include, but are not limited to:

  • Births, Deaths and Marriages for change of name to a spouse’s name
  • Centrelink offices
  • the Immigration Department for Visa and other types of applications
  • Passport office
  • VicRoads or other State Road offices
  • children’s schools
  • Family Courts etc

You can use a standard Marriage Certificate issued in Greece as proof of your wedding for official purposes. Check with the relevant Australian Authorities for all requirements that pertain to your individual case.

If you were married in Greece, your Greek Marriage Certificate may be proof of marriage for official purposes in Australia. You need to obtain an official NAATI certified translation into English in order to use your Greek Marriage Certificate for those purposes.

gold wedding rings with a marriage certificate

We provide official certified translations for use in Greece and Australia. 

  • When you have received your Greek Marriage Certificate, please send it by email to [email protected]. Please ensure that you have sent us front and back pages of the document (including all Apostille and other stamps).
  • When we have completed the translation, we will send the certified translation to you by mail. You will need an original translation with a stamp and signature. The total cost for translation will be $100.
  • You can make payment by direct bank deposit, PayPal payment or over the phone by credit card.
  • When you have received your translation, you can take it along with your original stamped document to Births, Deaths and Marriages for an official name change, if you wish to change your name based on your marriage.

How do I change my surname to my husband’s surname if I was married in Greece? 

Your best resources come from Births, Deaths and Marriages and the Passport Office. Click on the following links:

You are not required to change your name in Australia when you get married. If you do wish to change your name, however, you may be able to do this at Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State that you were born or, if you were not born in Australia, in the State where you reside.

Some agencies may allow you to change your name on their records based on your Greek Marriage Certificate. Australia recognises marriages performed overseas, provided they meet Australian legal requirements. However, some agencies will not accept an overseas marriage certificate as evidence of a name change. You may therefore need to apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state or territory, for a formal change of name. Find more information here:

Seek advice from Births, Deaths and Marriages for more information and what is required in your particular case.

When you change your name in Australia, there are two documents that may be issued:

  • If you were born in Greece or elsewhere overseas, Births, Deaths and Marriages may provide you with a Change of Name Certificate, based on which your legal name in Australia will be your new married name. Please remember that this does not mean that your name has now been changed in Greece. In order to change your name in Greece, you may require a lawyer in Greece to apply for a name change in a Greek Court or by deed. You may also need to ask whether your marriage has been entered into any Municipal or other family records in Greece. Please request legal or Consular assistance if you need to register your family status in Greece.
  • If you were born in Australia, Births, Deaths and Marriages may provide you with a new Birth Certificate with a History of Name change on the back page, based on which your legal name in Australia will be your new married name. You may need to provide them with your old, original Birth Certificate before they can issue your new one. If you have lodged your original Birth Certificate to the Greek Authorities in order to get married in Greece, they may likely have kept that Birth Certificate on file before they issued you with a Marriage Certificate. In this case, you may need to provide Births, Deaths and Marriages with a Statutory Declaration or Sworn Statement to that effect. Please call Births, Deaths and Marriages to request further advice.

If you are an Australian citizen with 2 years or more left on your passport, you may be eligible for a free replacement Passport in your new name if your marriage took place 12 months or less ago. Please click here for more information:

If you have dual citizenship and your name on your Australian passport has been changed but you hold a Greek passport as well, under your maiden or family name, please seek Immigration or Consular advice.

Please remember that the above steps are only valid for specific circumstances, at the time of updating this website, as found in the respective Authorities’ websites and public documents. You will need to obtain official advice in each individual case.

Call us on 1300 665 233 or speak to Calliope Sofianopoulos directly on 0421 677 881.

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