The procedure for a foreigner (e.g., an American citizen) to get married in India depends on whether the parties wish to participate in a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony. If required, the Embassy can issue a “no objection” letter to any American citizen who wishes to obtain an Indian marriage certificate. The letter can be obtained free of charge from the American Citizen Services Unit any weekday from 10:00 – 12:00 or 2:00 – 3:30, simply by presenting a U.S. passport. If after marrying, you are interested in obtaining an immigrant visa to the United States for your new spouse, please contact the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (previously known as “INS”) to obtain more information about filing an immigrant visa petition. Their website is http://www.uscis.gov. Their office at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi can be reached by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 2419-8506 (begin by dialing 011-91-11- if calling from the United States). Religious Ceremonies In India, a religious marriage ceremony is considered a legal marriage. However, for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, the certificate issued by the temple or gurudwara may not be legally sufficient for all purposes. Rather, members of these religions may seek a formal marriage certificate from the Registrar of Marriages. If one of the parties is a U.S. citizen, the registrar may request a “no objection letter” from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and also may request proof of termination of any previous marriages, before a marriage certificate will be issued. If the parties are married in a Christian, Muslim, Parsi, Jewish, Baha’i or other religious ceremony, the certificate issued by the religious authority (e.g., the church’s marriage certificate, the mosque’s nikah nama, etc.) generally is sufficient proof of marriage, and no certificate from the marriage registrar is necessary. Civil Ceremonies Parties who do not wish to marry in a religious ceremony can instead opt for a civil ceremony pursuant to the Special Marriage Act. Again the American citizen who wishes to participate in a civil marriage ceremony may be required to present to the marriage officer a “no objection letter” from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, as well as proof of termination of any previous marriages. The parties generally are required to wait at least 30 days from the date of initial application to formalize the marriage so that the marriage officer can publish a newspaper ad allowing for the opportunity for any objections to the marriage to be voiced. The marriage registrar’s office generally is located in a local community’s court complex or municipal building.