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Registration of a marriage

In Singapore the Registry of Marriages and the Registry of Muslim Marriages are responsible for marriages. Please contact them directly if you have questions concerning marriage in Singapore:

Registry of Marriages

Registry of Muslim Marriages

If you need German documents for marrying in Singapore, please contact the responsible marriage registry at your place of birth in Germany (e.g. for birth certificates) or at your last place of residence (e.g. for Ehefähigkeitszeugnis).

To apply for an Ehefähigkeitszeugnis please refer to the information provided on our German website: Familienangelegenheiten


Marriage registration in Germany

General information

There is no legal obligation to register the marriage abroad of a German national in Germany, nor to request a German marriage certificate. However in certain cases it is recommended to apply for a marriage registry or a German marriage certificate - for example, if you intend to live with your foreign spouse in Germany in the foreseeable future.

If you want to take on the name of your spouse, a name declaration according to German law will be necessary, e.g. when applying for a new passport. It is possible to make this name declaration when registering your marriage in Germany. Then you may also obtain a German marriage certificate which indicates your new name.
Please carefully read the information leaflet on name declaration and name change

Which registrar’s office is responsible?

The registrar’s office responsible for foreign marriages is the registrar’s office in the place where the applicant has his/her residence in Germany.
If none of the spouses has a residence in Germany, the primary registrar's office in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the birth and issuing a birth certificate.

1) No residency in Germany: If you are not registered in Germany the Standesamt I in Berlin is responsible for registering your marriage.

If you live permanently in Singapore, you can register your marriage at the German Embassy in Singapore and request a German marriage certificate.

2) With residency in Germany: If you are still registered as living in Germany, you can also register your marriage with the local registrar’s office personally or you can apply via the German Embassy in Singapore.
If you want to register your marriage via the German Embassy, both of the spouses have to come personally to the Embassy at the same time.

Which documents have to be submitted?

Please bring the following documents:

1.    Fully completed and signed application form (see right side)
2.    Legalised marriage certificate (original and two copies)
3.    Passports of both spouses (original and two copies each)
4.    Residence permit for Singapore of both spouses (original and two copies each)
5.    Birth Certificates of both spouses (original and two copies each)
6.    if applicable: proof of dissolution of any previous marriage of both spouses (e.g. decree of divorce or death certificate of spouse) - original and two copies each

In individual cases, further documents may be required.

In principle all foreign documents have to be submitted with a legalisation.

1) No residency in Germany: Documents written in any language then German or English must be submitted with translations into German.

2) With residency in Germany: All foreign certificates have to be submitted with a translation into German. Please also read the following information:

Legalisation of foreign documents
Translations

A name declaration may also be required if you want to take on the name of your spouse. Please carefully ready the following information before coming to the Embassy: Name declaration and name change

Fees

The fees for registering a marriage and conducting the associated formalities amount to approximately 60 to 80 EUR, depending on where in Germany the registrar’s office is located. The fees for registering the marriage must be transferred directly to the account of the registrar’s office. You will receive an email with detailed information.
At the German Embassy, the following additional fees apply:
Fee for certification of photocopies: 10 EUR
Fee for certification of signatures: 25 EUR
The fees have to be paid when submitting the application. The fees will be converted into SGD according to the current exchange rate of the Embassy. You may pay in cash or with credit card (Visa, Master). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

Processing time

It can take up to several months to process the registration of marriage. The German Embassy in Singapore has no influence on the registration process and cannot provide any information as to the current status of any application.

Registration of child's birth

There is no legal obligation to register the birth of a child to a German parent abroad, nor to request a German birth certificate.

However, It is recommended that you register the birth or request a German birth certificate under certain circumstances – for example, if the child is to live in Germany in the foreseeable future.

In certain cases, you may need a declaration of your child’s name when applying for a passport. This declaration differs from the birth certificate, but it can be given as well together when you register the birth.

Name declaration for a child

If a child of German parents is born outside of Germany, the child' name is not automatically evident according to German law, even if in the foreign (e.g. Singaporean) birth certificate of the child a surname is already indicated.

Children of parents who carry a common surname according to German law automatically receive the surnames of their parents. If the parents carry different surnames at the time of the birth of the child, a name declaration for the child is usually necessary.

A name declaration is usually necessary when applying for a passport, or when the registration of a German birth is requested.

Birth certificates for persons born in Germany

Obtaining a birth certificate from Germany

To obtain a birth certificate from the Federal Republic of Germany, you must contact the competent German agency (i.e. the "Standesamt" or Registrar's Office). Your letter should be addressed to the Standesamt of the place (Village, Township, City) where you were born. You can find the contact information for your Standesamt by searching the World Wide Web for the key words: Standesamt+place where you were born.
Information about the fee will be sent to you with the certificate. Please do not forget to mention your name and address!

The German Embassy in Singapore recommends to order the international version of the birth certificate. This version is already translated into several languages, including English and French, and will save you the expense of a translation.

Information of the Standesamt I in Berlin on obtaining German birth certificates (in German only)

Obtaining birth certificates from former eastern German territories

In order to obtain a German birth certificate from the former eastern territories of the German Reich and Prussia, please contact the registrar's office "Standesamt 1" in Berlin. The address is:

Standesamt 1
Schönstedtstraße 5
13357 Berlin (Mitte)
Germany
E-Mail: urkundenstelle"at"labo.berlin.de

If the relevant register is available at the Standesamt, a birth certificate will be issued. Otherwise (eg if registers have been destroyed during the war), you will receive written confirmation that the Standesamt is not in a position to issue a birth certificate in your case. When inquiring, please include a postal address, as birth certificates can not be sent via E-Mail.

Legalisation of German birth certificate for usage in Singapore

Sometimes Singaporean officials ask for a legalised birth certificate. To legalise a German birth certificate, please contact the Embassy of Singapore in Berlin

Recognition of a divorce

The place at which the marriage was solemnized does not automatically determine which court will have jurisdiction over the case or which law will be applied to the divorce proceedings. Both these issues have to be determined in each individual case.

According to section 606a of the German Code of Civil Procedure, German courts have jurisdiction over matrimonial matters, inter alia, when one spouse is a German national or, if both are foreign nationals, if they are both habitually resident in Germany. This jurisdiction is not exclusive, i.e. it may also be possible to get divorced abroad and, under certain conditions, to have such a divorce recognized in Germany (cf. "Recognition of a foreign divorce" below). Whether it is possible or sensible to get divorced abroad is something to be discussed with a specialist lawyer.

Information on divorces abroad

A divorce in Singapore is not automatically recognized in Germany; in order to have your divorce recognized, an application to the relevant Landesjustizbehörde must be submitted through the German Embassy.

Application form

Please have court-certified copies of your Certificate of Divorce, your Divorce decree and your Marriage Certificate (each to be authenticated by DFAIT first) with you. These documents are part of your application and have to be legalized by the German Embassy.

Pension matters

German authorities mainly pay two different kinds of pensions:

(1) Old age pensions for working in Germany/survivor pensions of persons who worked in Germany and
(2) compensation pensions (e.g. for incarceration in a German concentration camp).
These two forms of pensions are paid by different authorities. Some beneficiaries receive both kinds of pensions. Persons who worked in a Ghetto might fulfill the criteria for receiving an old age pension or a lump sum payment.


German old age pension

Many persons residing in Singapore receive old age pensions from Germany. These payments are not made by the German missions, but by different German pension authorities. In general, banks carry out the payments for the pension authority.Should you require information on your old age pension, please contact the German pension authority directly.

As the official language in Germany is German, you might receive information from your pension authority in German only. The German Embassy in Singapore does not offer translation services. Please contact a translator for assistance.

Applying for a German old age pension or survivor's pension

Pensions from the German Social Security Insurance are only paid upon application and when all conditions are fulfilled (e.g. contributions for a minimal insurance period, age limit).

You can receive application forms from your German Pension Authority. The completed forms have to be submitted directly to the German Pension Authority.

Application processing takes at least up to six months. If you want to inquire about the current status of your application, please contact the pension authority.

The German Embassy in Singapore can only provide general information and is not a branch of the German Pension Authority abroad. Specific questions with respect to your pension or the amount of your pension can only be answered by the experts of the German Pension Authority. You can find the contact details of the Pension Authorities on the website of the German Pensions Insurance

Refund of pension contributions

nder certain conditions (for example when contributions were paid over less than five years) the pension contributions that were paid through mandatory pension schemes can be refunded.
An application for a pension contribution refund can be made if more than 24 months since the last contribution have passed. Please contact the German Pension Insurance directly to find out more.

Death of a pensioner

When a beneficiary passes away the Pension Authority needs to be informed without delay. It will then discontinue the payments. The information can either be forwarded by the next of kin/executor of the estate or by the German Embassy. The following information/documents are required by the German Pension Authority:

-    death certificate of the beneficiary
-    date of birth
-    name and file number of the Pension Authority
-    name and contact details of the executor of the estate

You can find the contact details of the Pension Authorities on the website of the German Pensions Insurance

The pensioner is entitled to the pension for the month in which he/she passed away. In most cases the pension payment was made at the beginning of the month/end of the previous month. Pension payments which are made after this time must be paid back to the Pension Authority.

Taxation of German pensions

On January 1, 2005 a new law on taxation of old age pensions (Alterseinkünftegesetz) entered into force. According to this law, pension from the statutory pension insurance (and other forms of pensions) shall be gradually carried over to full taxation. This process will stretch from 2005 until 2040. Depending on the year of the first pension commencement, the tax and revenue office determines the so-called taxation rate of the pension and the fixed tax exempt amount. The taxation rate identifies the taxable percentage of your pension.

In case of a pension commencement in 2005 or before the tax office determines a fixed tax-exempt amount considering a taxation rate of 50%. The tax-exempt amount is in principle accounted for every year and during the whole retention of the pension payment.

For every new pensioner age group from 2006 onwards the taxation rate rises by two percentage points, and for every pensioner age group from 2021 it rises by one percentage point. Thus, the tax-exempt amount resulting from this declines gradually for every new pensioner age group. For pensioner age groups from the year 2040 100 % of the pension form the statutory pension insurance will be subject to taxation.

If you have further questions regarding taxation of your pension in Germany, you have the option to either contact the competent tax authority in Germany or a tax accountant with knowledge in international taxation regulations. Due to the complexity of this matter, the German Embassy is not in a position to offer further information or counseling.

The Finanzamt Neubrandenburg (tax office specialized for pensions paid to pensioners living abroad) can be reached as follows:

Finanzamt Neubrandenburg
P.O. Box 11 01 64
17041 Neubrandenburg, Germany
telephone: 01149-395-44222 47000
fax: 01149-395-380 1059
e-mail: ria@finanzamt-neubrandenburg.de

Life certificates

Every summer, recipients of a German pension are required to submit a "life certificate" to the pension authority to secure payments for the following year. These forms are mailed out directly to the pensioner by the competent pension authority.

Please refer to the back of the life certificate for detailed information on the administrative procedures.
Recipients of a German pension are required to submit a „Declaration for Further Collection of Pension from the Federal Republic of Germany (life certificate)“ to the pension authority once a year. A form will be mailed directly to the pensioner by the competent pension authority in Germany.

You have to return the signed and certified form directly to the pension authority in Germany on time. The time limit is given on the top right hand corner of the life certificate form. If the pension authority does not receive the life certificate within the set time limit, a reminder containing a second form will be sent out. If you fail to submit the form in time, your pension will be suspended.

Your signature on the life certificate needs to be certified. If the pensioner is not able to sign, the holder of a valid power of attorney can sign instead. Please make sure to provide the pension authority with a copy of the relevant power of attorney.
The authorities which are entitled to certify your signature are listed on the form. We highly recommend to contact one of these authorities for certification.

Please note that in some cases, additional certification/legalization may be required by the German Embassy. If this is the case, it will be clearly indicated on the form.

Please note: The German Embassy in Singapore is no longer authorized to forward your life certificate to Germany. Please send your life certificate directly to the respective German pension authority.
Life certificates are usually sent out until July of each year. Should you not have received your life certificate by that time, please contact your Pension Authority directly, as the German Embassy is not involved in this process.

Compensation payments (Wiedergutmachung)


Shortly after Word War II, Germany passed a law on restitution (Bundesentschädigungsgesetz). On the basis of this law many persons who were persecuted by the Nazi-Regime continue receive monthly compensation payments.

In 2007 the Federal Government adopted an ordinance relating to work in a ghetto. It states that entitled persons are to receive a one-time payment to the amount of 2,000 euro.

In July 2011 the Federal Government issued a new version of this Directive for a one-time payment. Under this new version, which has retroactive effect from 6 October 2007, this one-time payment can be received even by those whose work in a ghetto has been or could be taken into account in a pension claim.

Who should take action?

1.    Those who worked in a ghetto but have not yet made an application for a recognition payment.
2.    Those who have refrained from applying for a pension or for the recognition payment because they received the respective other payment.

Compensation payments are made by several different authorities. If you have any questions with regards to your compensation payment, or you changed your address, or you wish to pass on other information to the compensation authority, please contact it directly. Please refer to the  list of compensation offices on the right.

Please be informed that the German Embassy in Singapore does not offer any counseling on compensation pension.

Further details can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues (Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen - link see right side)
Application deadlines for compensation pensions expired at the end of 1969. Should you still want to make a claim, please contact the responsible authority.

As the official language in Germany is German, you might receive information from your Pension Authority in German only. Please kindly understand that the German Embassy in Singapore cannot offer translation services. Contact an officially recognized translator. List of translators

Death of a relative

Germany has very strict laws on how to handle human remains. As a general rule, all coffins and urns have to be buried in specially licensed graveyards. Private persons are not allowed to have urns in their possession.
Therefore, all transport in Germany has to be handled by licensed funeral homes. Coffins and urns are best to be shipped by the Singaporean funeral home to a funeral home in Germany directly. Please clarify with the carrier what type of coffin is acceptable for transportation with them. No customs are charged for the import of a coffin/urn which contains the remains of the deceased person into Germany.

Corpse transport permit

Please submit the following documentation:

1.    Certificate of death (original and two copies),
2.    Embalming certificate (original and two copies),
3.    Passport of the deceased (original and two copies),
4.    Information on the airline, flight no. and itinerary are entered into the corpse transport permit and therefore have to be given in detail.

The fee for the corpse transport permit will be 25 EUR. The fees will be converted into SGD according to the current exchange rate of the Embassy. You may pay in cash or with credit card (Visa, Master). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

Urn transport permit

An urn transport permit may be needed to send an urn to Germany. Please have the need for such a permit verified with your airline and receiving funeral home in Germany.
In case you want to ship a metal urn, please verify with the carrier if this is acceptable for shipment as the screening might cause problems. The urn has to be sealed, either through the funeral institute or through the German Embassy in Singapore.

The permit is issued by the German Embassy in Singapore. The following documents have to be submitted:

2.    Certificate of death (original and two copies),
3.    Certificate of cremation with a confirmation from the funeral home that the urn contains the ashes of the deceased person (urn should be sealed and numbered) (original and two copies),
4.    Passport of the deceased person (original and two copies).

The fee will be 25 EUR. The fees will be converted into SGD according to the current exchange rate of the Embassy. You may pay in cash or with credit card (Visa, Master). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

A Death Certificate can be obtained at the Registry of Births and Deaths:

Registry of Births & Deaths
Citizen Services Centre
3rd Storey, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
Singapore 208718

Death of a pensioner

When a beneficiary passes away the Pension Authority needs to be informed without delay. It will then discontinue the payments. The information can either be forwarded by the next of kin/executor of the estate or by the German Embassy. The following information/documents are required by the German Pension Authority:

1.    death certificate of the beneficiary,
2.    date of birth,
3.    name and file number of the Pension Authority,
4.    name and contact details of the executor of the estate.

You can find the contact details of the Pension Authorities on the website of the German Pensions Insurance. The pensioner is entitled to the pension for the month in which he/she passed away. In most cases the pension payment was made at the beginning of the month/end of the previous month. Pension payments which are made after this time must be paid back to the Pension Authority.

Inheritance matters

General information

In Germany, the heir proves his/her legal right by a certificate of inheritance which is issued by the competent German probate court (Nachlassgericht) upon notarized application. It is normally required by banks or land register if the inheritance includes real estate or bank account(s) in Germany.

How to obtain a certificate of inheritance

1. The applicant has to provide all information necessary in advance, to enable the German Embassy to draft a formal application. Therefore, please use the prepared questionnaire. Please enclose copies of all documents proving the right to inherit (e. g. last will, letters testamentary, death certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.)
2. The German Embassy will prepare the application document and contact the applicant to set up an appointment for the applicant to appear at the German Embassy and to sign the document in due form. As German is the official language in Germany, the text of the application will be put forward in German only.
If the applicant does not understand German, the consular officer will explain the contents of the paper to the applicant and translate it orally. If he/she wants to have an English translation of the application, the applicant will be responsible for all costs incurred by a translation.
It is necessary that the applicant shows all the original documents of which copies were provided with the questionnaire during this appointment. The German Embassy will notarize the copies, so the Probate Court in Germany receives a complete application with the pertinent documents enclosed.
3. The applicant will receive the original and a first certified copy of the application. The original should be sent to the competent probate court. A certified copy is kept on file by the German Embassy.
4. After having received the application, the probate court will issue the certificate of inheritance and forward it to the person named as recipient in the application.

Fees

The German Embassy will charge a fee for the notarization. Fees are based on the value of the estate. The applicant is required to provide detailed information about the value of the estate in Germany. Please contact the land register (Grundbuchamt) in Germany or your lawyer for further details of the value of real property.
The fees will be converted into SGD. You may pay in cash or eith credit card (Visa, Master). If you pay with credit card, the transaction will be processed in EUR. Further bank fees may apply.

The German Probate Court will also take a fee for issuing the certificate of inheritance. These fees are also based on the value of the estate and have to be transferred direcly to the bank account of the Probate Court.

Additional information in restitution matters

In restitution cases, the certificate of inheritance will be issued by the probate court ("Nachlassgericht") free of charge. However, there is a fee for the notarization of the application at the German Embassy (see above).
The certificate of inheritance will be issued by the probate court free of charge only, if it is sent directly to the German office, dealing with the restitution claim (Landesamt/Amt zur Regelung offener Vermögensfragen, abbreviated: LAROV or AROV). A notarized copy of the certificate however, may be sent to a representative or to the applicant himself/herself.

Declaration of renouncement of succession

According to German law the heirs can declare the renouncement of succession to the German probate court within six weeks after being informed about the case of succession. This period is extended to 6 months, if the deceased had his/her last residence abroad or if the heir is staying outside of Germany.

The signatures on the declaration will, as a minimum requirement of form, have to be certified (signature certification). Both parents (one if it is a case of sole custody) of minor children, have to declare the renouncement of succession on the children’s behalf.

The certification of the signature is the "simpler" form of a notarization (as opposed to the full notarization of a document). By certifying the signature the consular officer confirms that the person indicated in the document signed it in front of him. The signature has to be given in person in the presence of the consular officer or has to be acknowledged in his presence. No advice about the legal meaning of the document to be signed is provided.

The declaration has to be sent directly to the responsible Probate Court.

Further information

More information on family matters as well as application forms are available on the German website

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