Getting married in Kenya

Hi all,

We invite all the ones who got married in Kenya or who are about to get married in Kenya to participate in this thread :)

What are the formalities to get married in Kenya? Is it the same for a couple of foreigners of for a mixed couple (between a foreigner and a native of Kenya)?

Are the procedures complicated?

How long does it take to carry out all the formalities?

Thank you in advance for participating,


Hello Armand,

I have been in the wedding industry for a while now, and know that getting married in Kenya really does not need to be a complicated process. The most important thing is getting the necessary licenses and approvals from the Registra of Marriages and in good time as most require you to give a notice.

There is normally a charge for these licenses payable to the Registra's office. and they also require some documentation from those intending to get married before the process starts.

If you need more information let me know.

Hi wlaw!

Thanks for your help ;)


Hi, just have married here one year ago. Here is the list of all docs and procedures … arproc.pdf

From my experience can recommend to check VERY WELL before applying with your embassy, as some countries demand applying for the permission before wedding, otherwise the marriage will be never accepted in the country of origine (welcome to France, for example), so it is better to have more time -more then 21 days in the country. Generally speaking, it can be even more easy to register here, but, again-the embassies often do not inform about some afdditional procedures, so highly recommend attend the embassy officer before fixing the date. In any case you need to varify all certificates in your consular... It seemed, that for Kenyan citizen the aditional docs are necessary, so it is better just to come in the morning at Sheria House and ask (better even to show the docs, that you have already). And have a bit of patience, it is Kenya!!! by the way, official ceremony is VERY fun (if you are ready to spend several hours waitiong your turn in the narrow corridor). So better to pay more and do it somewhere in a nice place.

:top: MaraD!

Regarding the time one can need to finish all formalities-since you manage to collect all docs and bring them to the registration office, it should take 21 days. But they usually ask the foreigners, which day do they prefer or need (in case you specially came to Kenya) and you can have it earlier. For me it took one week to get all translations and verifications from both embassies (the original birth certificates were already here) and then around 3 weeks to register the marriage. It tooks maximum 5 minutes in the office and you need two witnesses and rings (why not masai rings? :-) The very serious lady signed the paper. By the way, to legislate your marriage in your country you also need to "dance a bit", depending on your origin. Usually, you should demand the copy of wedding certificate (it can be ready in one week) and then bring it to the Minestry of Foreign Affair. After their confirmation, your consular should also confirm it. I have not done it yet, for different countries the procedures differ a lot, so  if you do not want to be in the troubles in your country, ask the correct questions to your embassy.

Hi people, am a kenyan lawyer and i would suggest you have the following documents:
1. Passport & Birth certificate
2. Sworn Affidavit of Non-Marital Status (you can get this from the US embassy from your relevant consular, the kenyan must get his/hers stamped by an lawyer)
3. The documents to be filled are available at sheria house, a 21 day notice period is necessary to be given a date for the marriage ceremony(There is a special provision for a 3 day notice period that costs more),Otherwise the whole process costs less than Ksh 10,000 . You need two witnesses and are married! Feel free to contact me

Thanks all for helping ;)


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Take note that the marriage laws have changed quite a bit since this post was put up. The Marriage Act 2014 is now effective and marriage ceremonies and certificates from November 1st have to comply with the new rules. Also ensure that your marriage certificate is legalised in Kenya for it to be recognised by your country of origin.

Best of luck

I have met a stunning lady from Kenya and am hoping to head over there next year (if i can get the money raised) and Marry her. She has already said yes to me and whats to live here in NZ
Have started looking at the mountain of paperwork that i need to do.
But we love each other and I will do what ever it takes to marry my lady.

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hi guys am dating a polish guy and am a kenyan he is visiting next month and we should come and get married and go back together kindly tell me the procedure

Hi, I was looking for more information on who to contact, who to call to give notice that my fiance and I would like to marry in Kenya in about 4 weeks time.

We are going for a holiday and have decided we would like to elope! I am Australian and he is Indian.

Pretty much would like all information to actually get the ball rolling and to book stuff as I know there is a 21 day waiting period after lodging the intention to marry notice.

You can contact me.

What documents do I need to bring with me when I travel to Nairobi to apply for a marriage license?

I just checked online … quirements
and found this (for marriage between a Kenyan and a Foreigner)

Passport with valid entry visa or alien ID card
Birth certificate
Certificate of no impediment to marriage. (People from U.K may swear affidavit.) or,
- Death certificate (in case of widowed person) or,
- Divorce decree absolute (in case of divorced person).
- OR, certificate of capacity to marry if from civil law country.
A document to show it is urgent for allocation of date on priority basis.

Whilst it may seem straight forward, its never that straight forward in reality :). You may have to travel more than once to get this done. And...that is only the legal part - should the girls side want a 'cultural' side to gets long - very long but colourful and interesting...

I am from Poland and I am plan to get married with my kenyan fiancee. I am looking for necessary document. I am need Certificate Of No Impediment To Marriage . In my country this certificate will be issued but first is necessary "certificate of civil status" for my fiance. Do in Kenya is issued this kind of document and how exactly this document is named and where  my fiancee must apply for in order to obtain this document ? Thanks for all advice.

Thanks, I need any information that I can get.

She can obtain it from Sheria house in Nairobi, It is called a certificate of no impediment as well.

We are planning on marrying in the month of Dec. when I arrive on the 23rd, I want to have all my documents ready at this time. I have spoken with the embassy about picking the certificate of no impediment for myself. Is there an alternative route to getting this affidavit, … index.html

This stories are common in very careful...just saying:)

yes, but each case must go forward on its on merit in the eyes of the Creator....God bless you, my sister


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I am a UK citizen trying to get married in Nairobi to a Kenyan woman.  I presented my divorce paper, a Decree Absolute, but they said it is too old and I need a CNI.  All the authority websites I looked at say that a CNI is not required for a Commonwealth country.  Am confused.  Can anyone offer any advice?

Also, FYI, the affidavit for No Impediment is no longer accepted.


I have found out that your local registry office can issue a CNI.  It takes 28 days notice though.  You need a passport, driving licence and a Decree Absolute if divorced.  You have to apply in person.  You need to tell them the address of the place you'll be getting married in.

I am Polish man and I am arrived to Kenya on tourist visa and plan married Kenyan Woman as soon is possible . After marriage I am plan to put in certificate of marriage and want to obtain dependent pass from wife which have business and proof own income. Do possible is obtain dependent pass and how long the process may take . I am know that my tourist visa is valid only 3 months and I am able to extend next 3 months but I am not want to leave Kenya. Do possible is obtain dependent pass in 6 month tourist visa  ?

:dumbom: wife and I thank you
for your support.  :cool:

Well, I am writing this from Nairobi, I just got married here.  If you want to know anything I might be able to help.


pettefar :

Well, I am writing this from Nairobi, I just got married here.  If you want to know anything I might be able to help.


hi, did u get a CNI or did u have to get another document as CNI is not issued for commonwealth countries.

You need a CNI from your local council's registry office.  Costs £35 and takes 28 days.

thanks very much

I needed a passport and driving licence to prove identity and address.

CNI from Salisbury Registration Office.

Hi. i got married in Kenya. All happened in two days. I am a south African and my wife a Kenyan. As my wife is Muslim. I converted. Married next day.

Hi Pettefar,congratulations on your wedding. Kindly assist me with the detailed information on marriage requirements.
My boyfriend is from the US and I'm Kenyan lady. He has visited before and on his next visit here we plan on weeding here in Kenya. He's divorced. What documents and exact procedures are we supposed to follow? Thank you.

He needs to bring a CNI (certificate of no impediment to marriage) acceptable by Sheria house.  Also birth certificate.

He needs to spend more than one week in Nairobi, you have to register then wait one week.  You can find out about this, and the fees, at Sheria house in Nairobi.



Thanks a lot.

Hi I am traveling in 3 weeks to Kenya and have been told by my council they can't issue me anything for the no impediment to marriage please can anyone help with this as I am traveling with my 1 year old it is all very stressful and confusing

You need to get that No Impediment To Marriage document.  You cannot get married without it.  It takes 28 days in the UK from your local council.


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