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How to get Married in Morocco

This is a topic that comes up often in my Expat and Sister groups on Facebook. I notice a good deal of my readers are involved with Moroccan men, as are most of my friends. It can be a controversial topic, due to the amount of Sham Marriages as a means out from the lack of opportunity here. We'll be discussing that in another post, however. You can find an official disclaimer from the US Embassy located here

If you're coming to Morocco to get married, Congratulations! It's a long process, and you and your partner are going to need a ton of patience. It took us about a month (If you're coming during Ramadan, the process will be even longer) and you'll need to obtain the following. It's best to have your Moroccan partner gather his/her paperwork in advance, as things can take a terribly long time here. 

List taken from US Embassy:
  • An Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry. This document is obtained at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca by appointment.  There is a $50 fee for a Consular Officer to notarize the document. This affidavit is valid for six months from the date it is signed and notarized at the U.S. Consulate.
  • Copies of your biographic passport and the page containing your entry date to Morocco must be notarized at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca for a $50 fee.
  • If divorced, provide original or certified copies of proof of dissolution of any previous marriage(s).
  • If former spouse is deceased, provide original or certified copy of his or her death certificate (s).
  • Provide an original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Evidence of employment from employer in the United States or source of income.
  • A written statement indicating your intention to marry in Morocco.
  • If resident in Morocco, a copy of the residency card.
  • If resident in Morocco, obtain a Moroccan police record from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat (Office of Penal Affairs and Pardons).  (For U.S. citizens, resident in Morocco, you will need both an American and Moroccan police record.)
  • If male, a notarized statement of religious denomination or a certified copy of a conversion document to Islam.  (Conversion documents are obtained from and notarized by Adouls, or religious/court notarials, at the Ministry of Justice in Rabat.)  Women do not need this document.
  • A medical certificate of good health from a doctor in Morocco.  This document must be obtained in Morocco.
  • Four (4) recent passport photos (3cm x 4cm, please note this is the same size required for a Moroccan passport).
  • The fee for submitting an application for marriage to an Adoul is 150 Moroccan Dirham.
  • An American police record must be obtained from a police department in the state where you last resided or from the FBI BEFORE coming to Morocco.
Please note, your English documents will need to be translated into French or Arabic prior to submission. This can only be done by a certified translator in Morocco. The price list should always be posted inside the translator's office, and please do NOT hire one off of the street offering to translate for cheap in Rabat. Here is a list of certified translators that paperwork is accepted from in Morocco.

Take your completed Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry and other documents to the following Government of Morocco office to be certified.  There is a fee for this certification.   The length of time needed to complete this phase of the process varies from a few days to a few months.
Annexe du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères & de la Coopération
Zankat  Tetouan
Hassan, Rabat
Tel: 0537-76-61-02
After obtaining the certification from the above office, you and your Fiancé (e) must provide the Family Law Section at the Prosecutor’s office at the Court of Appeal in the city where you will be married with all the required documents.  Authorization to marry should be granted after the court completes administrative processing. The length of time required for this process varies. The file with your documents is forwarded to a family judge who will inform you of the next steps you must take in order to obtain your Moroccan marriage certificate.
During this process, you'll meet many people eager to help you for a fee. There's no need to employ them, as this can be done with a visit to your fiance's local police station, the translator, the embassy, the ministry of justice, the courts, and the Adoul. 

If you are Muslim and do NOT have a certificate of Shahada, you will have to visit an Adoul for this as well. This was roughly $30 for me to obtain, and took about a week. As for the Doctor's note of good health, this varies from person to person, as a lot of ladies are now being asked for ultrasounds as well. 

Please note that life in Morocco is very slow paced, and nobody gets in a rush about anything. This process will make you want to cry some days, but when it's over, it's also worth it. I've heard stories about people offering to *speed things up* for a fee, but please know that It's very illegal to give bribes, so disregard any hints at this and please don't bribe the officials! :) 

The total cost of this for us ended up working out to around $1,000.00 USD, travel to Rabat and Casablanca included. This was for documents and permission to marry only, and does not include the cost of our actual wedding. Once we had the documents, we just wanted it all to be over, honestly. We married in our home with about 40 guests, mostly those living in our village and close family members. Our documents came about two weeks later, and we've been good to go!

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments!


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