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Mixed Marriage Process in Morocco

Hi everybody,

I am a British female who has recently married my Moroccan fiancé in September 2016. I wanted to write a post on an up to date process to help those who are in a similar situation going through the process or planning to get married in Morocco in the future! ☺

We were married in Tinghir on September 30th after travelling back and forth to court in Ouarzazate. It can be a very long and tiring process, if you are not prepared. In total it took us about 10 working days to complete the papers, get the permission and get married. I do believe that we could have done it in less time, had we known about some papers and there were also days where we decided to wait an extra day. However, I know it can often take people a lot longer but the key is preparation and organisation – it can be done within 2/3 weeks if you are patient and organised.

The papers for the marriage need to be dated within a 3 month period to be accepted within Morocco. Both my fiancé and myself prepared the papers that we could prior to me arriving in Morocco.

In the UK the papers you need to get are:

-    A birth certificate issued within the last 3 months (this must be a FULL birth certificate – with information of mother and father)

-    Letter of employment (stating where I work, start date of employment, working hours and annual salary)

-    Payslips for the 3 months before arriving in Morocco to submit the papers

-    A UK police check – ensure this is the ACRO police certificate, which can be ordered online. (Mine took around 10 days to arrive upon placing the order).

I had taken copies of these over to Morocco on a prior visit to get translated in preparation to completing the process. If unable to take these over in person, I would suggest emailing/faxing them to your partner to translate prior to arrival, as this usually takes a couple of days.

There are a number of different documents that your fiancé will need too. He can contact the local court or an adoul and they will be able to provide a list of the documents. They include: a copy of identity card, updated birth certificate, police check, capacity to marry (single status), medical check. My fiancé needed the medical check and 2 witnesses in order to get the capacity to marry paper, so it is important to begin planning these papers in advance otherwise it can add extra time to the process.

The papers you will then need to get whilst in Morocco:

-    Medical check
-    Police check from Morocco – Ministry of Justice (Rabat)
-    Capacity to Marry – British Embassy (Rabat)
-    Certificate of Nationality – British Embassy (Rabat)

We were also asked for a certificate of religion for me when we presented our papers at the court. We completed this in Arabic and had it certified, so it may be worthwhile to also prepare this paper, as I believe some courts do still require it.  (The paper we prepared just stated my name, date of birth, passport number and that I am of Christian faith).

Make sure that you book an appointment at the British embassy for marriage online in advance. They only have appointments on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. I recommend doing this a few weeks in advance to ensure you get an appointment!

Make sure you also have a number of photocopies of your different papers also – the original documents and the translated versions and have these with you at all times. We did 5 copies of everything. We also got 8 passport size photographs each.

Below is our experience:

MONDAY

I had arrived in Marrakech over the weekend and we stayed here for a number of days whilst completing further documents. This day we picked up the papers that we had previously submitted for translation (police check, employment letter, birth certificate). We also then went to a local clinic and requested a medical check. The doctor just asked if I had any medical problems, then wrote a paper to say there was nothing wrong with my health! This cost us 250 MAD, make sure that you take your passport when getting the certificate.


TUESDAY

We caught the 4:45 train to Rabat from Marrakech. We arrived in Rabat by around 9:30. First – we went to the Ministry of Justice to request a Moroccan police check. I had to go in alone as fiancé’s are made to wait outside. I went inside and was given a form in French to complete – basic details, passport number, mother/father names etc. I then sat and waited before I was called to a desk, I gave the form and a copy of my passport and was given a card saying to come back at 3pm.

11:30 – we had our appointment in the British Embassy. We filled in a couple of forms and were then given the 2 documents we needed.  This took 30 minutes.

From the Embassy – straight to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were given a ticket, and we were both allowed in together. We sat downstairs and a man came in calling out numbers, once they call your number you head upstairs. Once again you wait, they call your number and then you go to a desk where the clerk stamps your papers. It was all finished within about 15 minutes.

3pm – headed back to the Ministry of Justice. Took the card they gave earlier and also a 10DH stamp, which can be bought from a shop just around the corner. Went inside, waited until being called and then collect your paper from the ladies at the desk, and get it stamped by the police officer at another desk.

We then headed to a nearby fax shop in order to fax the documents to the translator that we use, so we were able to pick them up the next day. All finished by 3:30pm and we got the next train back to Marrakech.

WEDNESDAY

Collected our translated papers from the day before at 12. We then made photocopies of all of these (original and translated version). We then made the long 8 hour bus ride to Tinghir.

THURSDAY

The nearest court to Tinghir is Ouarzazate, another 2 hour journey! Went to submit our papers at the court. Was told all of my papers were correct and good to go. However, they requested that my fiancé got another 2 papers – a paper to state where he is currently living and that he is single (despite already having a number of papers stating this!!). Back to Tinghir to complete these papers.

FRIDAY

My fiancé headed back to the court the next day with the papers in order to try again. This time was told that I needed the certificate of religion. Myself and my fiance’s father completed this paper in Tinghir and faxed it to the court in Ouarzazate. Papers then submitted, given an envelope to be taken to the Criminal court. Taken there and signed by the representative of the King, then given an envelope to take to the police.

MONDAY

Went to the police first thing and gave them the envelope. This is easier if you have connections, which we were lucky in that my fiance’s father knew the head of the police in Tinghir. The only things they asked me was the name of the company I worked for, when I started work and the last time that I visited Morocco. They then prepared a paper that they said would be sent to the court the next morning.

TUESDAY – we decided to wait a day for the papers to arrive to ensure that we hadn’t wasted another journey to Ouarzazate!

WEDNESDAY

Went first to the Criminal court, they had received the papers from the police. Gave us a paper to take to the family court. Back to the family court, was told that the judge was not there today. Gave us 2 papers to fill in and said they would get it signed by the representative of the court. Went back at 3pm, the clerk had given the representative the Moroccan marriage papers to sign and had forgotten to give the mixed marriage papers to sign! (Very frustrating!!!). Waited to see if the representative would come back to sign our paper, however he was not able to.

THURSDAY

Try again – my fiancé went back to the court the next morning. Received our permission to marry signed and stamped by the judge around 10am.

FRIDAY

Went to the adoul and completed the marriage! All finished!

The marriage certificate has then been sent back to the court to certify – once again this may a few weeks for it to be ready. It is hard work but persevere as it all pays off and is so worth it once you are married. Good luck to those of you who are completing this process - if you have any questions feel free to ask I just hope this post will be able to help someone and to understand that it is not always a lengthy, difficult process ☺

Kind regards,

Jess

Thank you so much for this xxx

Much needed especially for us foreigners !

Thanks that's very helpful!

At anytime did you hear of a "certificate of residence"

I have been seeing it some places and not seeing it other places, Canada issues one, however it only means you pay taxes in Canada and is used for tax treaty stuff if you pay taxes in 2 countries, not that you are an actual resident or live in a house.

Big helpful!!! My fiance and your husband from same city. We planing to marry on next month , I think we need a same process.

Hi kintaro.oe,

I did not hear of a certificate of residency during the process, however it may be worth checking with your embassy if this is a required document. The British Embassy provides a certificate of nationality - which is basically a certified document of the passport and stating that the individual is a British citizen etc. So I would assume if you are also having a document similar to this it should be sufficient, however if it is easy to get a copy of the certificate of residency then I would definitely would advise to just in case - as I found the court would sometimes ask for more papers after the original list that we had!

It's not easy to get, it takes 6-8 weeks... which makes sense, no government wants it to make it easy for you to not pay them taxes :D, our embassy also gives out a certificate of nationality

Thank you for all your explanations I just would like to ask you a few questions , me and my fiance are getting married in morocco we prepared all the documents they are submitted to be translate now he will here in a week he is Spanish and he lives in England the problem is we don't know what we are going to do after the marriage what we should do apply for UK marriage visa or apply for residency visa for Spain ??
Also I would like to know how long it takes the act of marriage to be done ??

Thank you waiting for answer  :)

Hi Zahrita,

I hope it all goes well for you! It took us roughly about 2 weeks to complete the entire process and be officially married!

In terms of the visa I guess it depends on where you would be living? If you will be in Spain, then the residency however if it will be in the UK then apply for the UK visa. I think that the UK Visa may give you a bit more flexibility in the longer term - but it really depends on where you plan to live within the future :)

Thank you for your time
We are planning to live in the UK so I guess we need to apply for UK visa , please can u tell me how long it takes u the act of marriage to be done ??

Hi everyone. Im an Aussie getting married in Morocco in march next year and Im a bit stuck on one thing and I would appreciate if someone can shed some light.
I know I have to get a no impediment to marriage certificate here in Australia, but has anyone heard of a capacity of marriage certificate and do I actually need this ? And if so, where can I get this from, as there is no Australian embassy in Morocco.
Thanks in advance guys x

Dmc1972 :

Hi everyone. Im an Aussie getting married in Morocco in march next year and Im a bit stuck on one thing and I would appreciate if someone can shed some light.
I know I have to get a no impediment to marriage certificate here in Australia, but has anyone heard of a capacity of marriage certificate and do I actually need this ? And if so, where can I get this from, as there is no Australian embassy in Morocco.
Thanks in advance guys x

HI Dmc,

The Canadian embassy in Rabat represents Australia as well in Morocco. They might help you get the information you are looking for.

Dmc1972 :

Hi everyone. Im an Aussie getting married in Morocco in march next year and Im a bit stuck on one thing and I would appreciate if someone can shed some light.
I know I have to get a no impediment to marriage certificate here in Australia, but has anyone heard of a capacity of marriage certificate and do I actually need this ? And if so, where can I get this from, as there is no Australian embassy in Morocco.
Thanks in advance guys x

Yes, you will need the capacity of marriage certificate for Morocco. It's to show you have not had any previous marriages. I'm from the US and I went to my local courthouse to collect it, but we call it a celibacy certificate. It doesn't seem like there is a difference between an impediment to marriage and a capacity of marriage certificate. I would confirm this information with your Australian government, but all I needed was a celibacy certificate in Morocco.

Best of luck to you!

Great story and love all of the details. I got married in Morocco on April 1, 2016 in Tetouan and it took us about 3 weeks. I have listed all of our details on my blog at rehazu.com and I've listed the direct links to both our Moroccan process, the US citizen process, as well as the process for attaining a Moroccan family book!

http://www.rehazu.com/single-post/2016/ … an-Process

http://www.rehazu.com/single-post/2016/ … ess-Part-I

http://www.rehazu.com/single-post/2016/ … in-Morocco

Best of luck to all!

Thank you for your reply

Hi Jess

Firstly huge congratulations on your wedding. May god bless you both and your marriage.

Thank you so much for the detailed information. It's very helpful. I too am British and intend to marry in Marrakesh God willing.

Your list of documents says full british birth certificate issued within 3 months. My birth certificate was issued many years ago when my birth was registered. Or do I need to rewuest another copy before going to morocco?

I see that you sent your documents to marraksh to have them translated before you got there.

Please may I have details of the translator you used? And contact details of anyone else I will need for the whole process please?

Also you mentioned that your fiance went to collect the paperwork/approval without you (and then you both returned the next day to get married). Due to work I may need to return yo the UK whilst we await approval. Do you know if its possible to do that, and if so, how soon would i need to return (with parents) to get married?

Because of work, and the length of time the whole process takes I am likely to go and submit all the necessary papers and then come home to the UK. Then once my fiance collects the approval from the court I will then go to morocco with parents and sign the marriage contract in parents presence. Some people have mentioned that we would have to sign the marriage contract within 1 month from receiving approval, others have said 3 months. Do you know?

Thanks in advance

And sorry for the lengthy post and all the questions. I really need advice from a brit who has experienced this in marrakesh and recently. Thank you

Hi Jojojojojo2015,

No problem at all, I will try my best to answer your questions and I hope that I am able to help!

In terms of my birth certificate - I only ever had a short birth certificate issued - so my parents had to go to our local registry office and I was issued with a full certificate. I just did this within 3 months, as I know sometimes within Morocco their papers tend to "expire" after 3 months. I don't know if it is necessary for birth certificates - but I would suggest maybe contacting your local registry office and see if they could issue recent copies of your birth certificate (I took 2 copies), just to be on the safe side!

The translator that we used was Mr Sabir Taraouat and his office is based in Gueliz. I sent my documents to my husband and he took them there direct for us to collect the translated version. However, once we had our papers in Rabat we faxed them so they could be translated and I know that they also have an email address. I will send the details to you in a PM :)

I believe that is possible - I even thought I would have to do that, but luckily we were able to get everything done within the time I had. I have heard that it is valid for 3 months, so it would be fine to get the permission and come back within 3 months to sign the marriage papers with the adoul. However, I can't confirm how long it is valid for...I would suggest asking your fiancé to ask at the courts to confirm!

Hi Jess,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me in detail. I really appreciate all your help so far.

May God bless you and your marriage

Jojo

Hi Jess,

I'm planning on doing the same as you at the end of February. May I ask you, apart from the Embassy appointment what other appointments did you make or can you just walk in everywhere else?

Hi MrBocca,

Yes, the Embassy was the only place where we had to pre-book an appointment. I would definitely recommend doing this online as soon as you know what day you are planning on going there!

For everywhere in Rabat, you can just walk in. I would also suggest to arrive early at the Ministry of Justice, as they seem to work in blocks. When I went in (around 9:30) I was then giving a slip to come back at 3pm to collect the paper, however if you turn up later you may not be able to collect your paper until the following day!

Hope this helps and good luck with the whole process! :)

Jess

Hi Jess,

Are you and your husband living in England together now? would love to be able to talk to someone about their experience but don't want to share everything on here. Is there a way I can PM you if you wouldn't mind? Sorry I'm new to all this.

Xx

Hi Peacock7,

Yes of course that will be fine  :) I will send you a PM now!

Thanks that's very helpful
But I'm really get confused ,you said that you visit first the ministry of justice then u back to the embassy,some ppl told me that we need to go first to the embassy then ministry of justice ?

Hi jess please can you let me know about what you did after u colect your paper from the embassy,and why you need to go to ministry of justice is it that paper you get from it did any one ask for it or not
thank you       khalid

Hi bocca I'm planning to do the  same thing in April please can u let me know what u did after British embassy?

Thank you       khalid

Hi I'm khalid Moroccan from agadir city planing to do same in April me and  my fiance know all the paper we need only the problem was that we want to know of the process
I think the first step is visiting the British  embassy the next issue don't know if u can help as if you are already fixed yours thank you

Hi Khalid,

Your fiancee will need to go to the Ministry of Justice in order to get a Moroccan Criminal record check. You will need this paper when you present them to the court for your marriage application. In terms of going to the embassy/ministry, it doesn't matter in which order you do this. I just found it was useful to go to the Ministry first as it can get busy and it ensures you can collect the police record later that afternoon :)

Thanks,

Jess

Hi Jess,

I have another few questions if thats okay?

1. Must we get the Police check from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat? Can it not be obtained from marrakesh? Or is that the only ministry of justice office in morocco?

2. You got you Capacity to Marry from the British Embassy (Rabat), but did you also need to get anything for this from the UK? I have read on some posts that people had to get something from their local registry office in the UK but im not sure what?

3. For the Certificate of Nationality from the British Embassy (Rabat) what did you have to take / show them to get this?

4. I am muslim and  my name is a muslim name. Do i still require a certificate of religion? If so, do i write this myself? Or can I ask my fiance to write this in arabic? And once i have this, where and who must i have this certified by?

5. You mentioned that your moroccan fiance needed evidence of where he lives and that he is single. What can he show as evidence? And where must these documents be obtained from?

6. Lastly, am i right in understanding from your post that everything must be submitted to the criminal courts first, and then once the criminal courts have done their checks we then submit everything to the family court?

Im sorry for all the questions. I'm just so anxious and trying to get organised.

Jojo

Hi Jojo,

No problem at all, I know how it feels like getting everything organised before the process and always ending up with more questions!

1. I'm not entirely sure - I remember reading something about being able to pick them up in Marrakech, I think it may be a new thing they are introducing but previously it has always been the case of going to the Ministry of Justice in Rabat in order to get the criminal record check.

2. Nope, for the capacity to marry - we just booked an online appoint on the gov.uk website and selected it was for "marriage documents". All we had to take along was the confirmation and passport. (I believe once you receive the confirmation it states what documents you need). When there, you will fill out a form with general details (name, address, date of birth, mother's and father's details), read out an oath to say you are free to marry. I believe they also needed ID card for Moroccan partner and family/address details. So just to clarify, I needed to do nothing in the UK for the capacity to marry.

3. For the nationality, it is similar to above, just booking the appointment and they will provide you with the 2 papers. The nationality certificate is just a photocopy of your passport with a blurb underneath just stating you are a citizen of UK. So all that was needed was passport and a form filled in at the appointment.

4. I believe if you have been Muslim from birth and have a Muslim name it should be fine. However, I would recommend that that your fiance write a paper of religion in arabic just in case. If your fiance takes it to his local administration they will be able to then stamp it and certify this and it will be accepted. If you have converted, then I would suggest to include the conversion paper.

5. I am not entirely sure what he used to obtain these papers. As far as I am aware he went to the administration centre and they were able to provide these papers for him (I don't believe he had to go anywhere else in particular to get these, just within his hometown).

6. We took everything first to the family court. This is where they review all of your papers and check that everything is OK to be submitted. If it is, they will then provide you with an envelope which must be taken to the criminal court who will process this and provide you with an envelope to take to the police. Once the police have processed this, they send the documents back to the criminal court. You then need to collect them from the criminal court and take them back to the family court for your application which will then go to the judge (I know it's complicated and feels like you're going back and forth!!)

Hope this helps a little bit! :)

Thanks,

Jess

Thank you sooooo much Jess. All your advice and tips have helped a lot. Cant thank you enough. I need to just go through all your above posts/messages and make a list so that i have it all in 1 place. Thanks again. And il try not to keep bothering you with more questions.

Jojo x

Thanks for ur effort :)
You write all informations that one needs

This is great information! :)
thank you!!

Hello Jess,
it is indeed very helpful for a lot of people the way you to describe all these steps for getting married. It seems though a pretty intense and exhausting administrative path but finally getting married makes it sure worth. Thanks again for taking the time to do this and for all the good advice!!!
Best regards!!!
Nozy

And congrats and a lot of happiness for the two of you!!
Nozy

Hi Jess

Can you please pm me? I am hoping to do this in June and have many questions!

Becky

Hi Nozy - thank you for your kind words  :)

Hi Jess

This brings back all the memory I have doing this so I could marry my wife Soumia 4 years ago. Are you currently living in the UK or Morrocco I have been trying to acquire a visa for my wife for the last 4 years we now have a son who is 2 in August.

Eann

Hi Eaan

Sorry to hear that your wifes visa hasnt been successful. Did Ukba give you a reason?

Hi

They kept saying that they do not trust her to leave after the visa has ended.

Why would she leave? Were you not applying for a spouse visa so that she can join u in the UK permanently?

Or was it just a visit visa?

We chose to go down the visit route first as my wife Soumia has never been away from her family for more than a few days at a time and never been outside Morocco also her English is not good enough to pass the English entry exam. I am currently sitting in Luton airport where I have been all night waiting on my flight to Essaouira.

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