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International marriage registration in Moscow, Russia

I'm asked this question regularly, so here is the procedure. Please fill in the missing info or make comments by writing or posting to my BBS. I took a few people through registering their marriage and am writing this from memory.


Step 1 is to go to the marriage registration office (ZAGS) at Butyrsky Val 17  (M. Savelovskaya) and double check what papers you'll need. Open ...... to ....., lunch ....., closed Wedn.???? You may want to give them a ring at  285-0694, 285-1960 before coming. Start with a visit there. Go early. A crowded but a friendly institution, and the official will take time to make sure you understand the requirements and procedure.

If you are marrying elsewhere, every city and region will have a registration office that processes international marriages. The procedure is essentially the same but for details check with the local ZAGS.

Second, go to your embassy to and get an affidavit that you are free to marry. It will cost you $30-50????. The US embassy is at Novinsky Boulevard 9???? (west outer side of the Garden Ring, nearest subway stations are Smolenskaya and Barrikadnaya - the one by the Zoo).  The Canadian Embassy is at Starokonushenny 23, M. Arbatskaya or Smolenskaya or Kropotkinskaya.

Do not bother bringing this affidavit from home because (a) it may not be accepted by the registration office here and (b) even if it is you will have to get it translated and certified.

Having obtained the affidavit, proceed to the Ministry of External affairs office at Neopalimovsky (about 10 min. walk from the US embassy) with a plan to spend a few hours there. The purpose of this visit is to have a stamp put on your affidavit. DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO SEND YOU TO NEW ARBAT 21, TO THE MAIN BUILDING OF THE MIN. OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS.

Obtaining the seal will normally take 2 visits to Neopalimovsky, but last time I succeeded in getting them to do it same day. Can't promise but will try. Plan to spend a good part of your day there. Even if you get out of this bad aura establishment faster you'll be good for nothing.

With your certified and sealed affidavit and a translation of the main page of your passport, proceed to Butyrsky Val and file a petition to get married. That will typically be a 2-hour visit.

Your marriage will be registered in about a month. If your visa expires or you have other serious circumstances, beg them to register your marriage sooner.


I will be able to make your process through the above smoother. If I hand-guide you through each step the total time input will be around 20 hours and the bill will be $400. Chances are you'll save yourself a few days by enlisting my help, thus economically justifying the expense of hiring me.

Contact me or Olesya at inbox@unclepasha.com