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Marrying abroad: Malta

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Malta is one of the countries near Bulgaria where citizens of our country of the same sex can marry without the requirement to have a permanent address on the territory of the country or citizenship.

On 12 July 2017, the Maltese Parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

When partners submit documents to the marriage institutions in Malta or Gozo, they must provide information on the date and place of the ceremony, complete marriage declarations, and disclose to the authorities their marital capacity and past marriages, if any.

Applications must be submitted no later than 6 weeks before the wedding date, but no earlier than 3 months before the wedding date. All documents must be translated into English and/or Maltese.

The ceremony can take place in a ritual or conference room, as well as in the ritual houses of Malta or Gozo. It is not recommended to hold it around swimming pools and beaches as weather conditions on the islands change quickly.

There are many gay-friendly wedding agencies that specialize in the preparation and conduct of same-sex marriages that you can contact and get the assistance you need.

For more information: Marriage Registration

About the series:

In recent years, more and more same-sex couples in Bulgaria are living openly, starting families and raising children. In quite a few cases, couples from Bulgaria choose to travel abroad in order to get married there. Countries in the EU that give same-sex couples the right to marry are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Sweden.

If you have any questions about getting married abroad or about the rights of same-sex couples in Bulgaria, contact us at or on our Facebook or Instagram.

We would be delighted if you would share with us your story of why you married your mate or why you wish to do so in the future.


By 15 September 2021, the Bulgarian government must submit a written statement on Lily and Dari's case to the ECtHR.

Some time ago, we told you about the story of Lily and Dari - a gay female couple who married in the UK in 2016, the fruit of a long-standing relationship that began in 2009.

Upon their return to Bulgaria, they are denied recognition of their marriage by our institutions, thus exhausting all domestic remedies.

Deystvie has filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights in September 2020. The court's case law says that same-sex couples need legal recognition and protection of their relationship, such as the form of protection provided by the institution of registered cohabitation.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on developments in the case.


Since 2014 LGBT Youth Deystvie has been providing free counselling and legal assistance to people from the LGBTI community for violations of their rights. You can register on our legal platform through this link:

This publication is produced in the framework of the National LGBTI Legal Programme project. The main goal of the project is to empower the LGBTI community by providing direct access to legal protection through the National LGBTI Legal Programme in the cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Veliko Tarnovo. The filing of cases leads to official national statistics and official coverage of an existing problem, which in turn will lead to changes in legislation and improved lives for LGBTI people in Bulgaria.

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The entire responsibility for the content of this document lies with LGBT Youth Action and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this document reflects the official position of the EEA Financial Mechanism.

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