Foreigners must meet the criteria for marriage in their home country, including age limits.
However, it is usually, but not always possible for same-sex couples to get married in Belgium, even if their new status will not be recognised in their home country.
The translator does not need to be a certified professional but should be competent.
At the time of writing, in January 2015, a casual reading of the English webpage for the Belgian department of immigration suggests that foreigners can get married in Belgium with a 'class C' Schengen visa.
However, this is a misunderstanding caused by the site being under construction, and is not supported by the French texts.
Belgium was the second country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2003.
The processes, ceremonies and rights for same-sex couples are nearly identical to those for heterosexual couples, so unless otherwise stated the information below applies to both.
The legally binding ceremony must take place at a registry office, which is typically in the local town hall () will conduct the ceremony, which includes reading out certain sections of the Belgian legal code covering the rights and duties of a married couple.
At the end of the ceremony, the couple will be issued with a family record book (), which acts as your copy of your marriage registration.
You will need to prove your residential status to this authority, eg. Foreign documents may have to be authorised with an Apostille stamp, also known as 'Apostillisation' or 'legalisation', or an equivalent.
The issuing government stamps a document with a unique ID, indicating that it is a true and accurate copy for recognition abroad.
Both of you must be over 18 and not already married.
Those over 16 may get married with the permission of their parents and the courts.
Therefore, in addition to couples, it is also possible to have a legal cohabitation with a member of your family whom you could not marry (a parent or adult sibling, for example).