Getting married in Kenya

Perhaps you understood me wrong now.

The marriage laws have changed quite a lot. Today anybody can marry anyone regardless of gender etc. Therefore, also in many countries the immigration laws have changed, and marriage does not play a big role in the actual right to obtain a temporary / permanent residence. If you read the regulations (the current ones), they are very clear not to even mention marriage. I do not know why. The only regulation is that one can prove by fact that the parties actually are a couple, and that the couple have the financial capacity to maintain it (education, work and somewhere to live). Marriage it self does not prove that the persons actually are a couple (this is for reason you probably know). Also, with the divorce rates today, it is kind of irresponsible not to protect one self. However, as I said very few think about these things when they are in the state of mind of getting married (and the brain in in the pants). I hope that I am not cynical, but factual.

"Today anybody can marry anyone regardless of gender etc."  That depends upon where you are - there are still plenty of countries where people in same sex relationships cannot marry and some where the relationship itself is illegal.

Of course many countries have had to update their immigration law to reflect modern relationships.  I can only really talk for the UK, which does allow unmarried partners to reside in the UK.  But, the scrutiny and evidence that the government require for an unmarried couple are considerably more thorough than for those applying following marriage.   

I agree that some marriages are those of convenience, but the British are very good at detecting these.  Divorce rates are high too, but no one with any sense is going to get a divorce before their residency is sorted out!

Hi I am british national living in UK I married my Kenyan husband in May 03 of this year at Sharia house. I was in Kenya for only 21 days and married within that time no problem. I applied for a special license. Everything was straightforward as long as you have the correct documentation. I applied for the dependens pass the next day. I am still waiting for it however. I hope it comes soon so I can move to Kenya to live with my husband

Need some advice please. I am a UK citizen and my girlfriend has joint nationality. We wish to get married and are thinking of two ceremonies one in U.K. and one in Kenya due to family in each country. What documents do we need? We are both divorced and the papers from UK and Kenya. Is the Decree Absolute from the UK sufficient?

So, I take it that your 'proper' wedding will take place in Kenya?

Generally you need a certificate of no impediment for a wedding in Kenya.  The Decree Absolute might be acceptable though.


Dear Tamp,
Noting that you are both divorced you will both be required to produce the decree nisi(absolute)   to the authorities in Kenya. This is because the certificate of no impediment applies to only those who haven't been married before.
to be on the safe side have yours notarized before coming to Kenya.
All the best.

Thanks, you've clarified the question on the CNI. Fortunately one divorce is from the Kenyan court so it is only my UK one to sort

she can get her copy from the courts in Kenya if she was married here. However if it was a customary marriage an affidavit will work for her.

Get married in the UK and hold a ceremony in Kenya.  Arguably easier in my opinion and its what we did.  You can't marry twice after all!

can anyone advise me, im a kenyan national living in kenya my fiance is a uk national residing in the uk ,we plan to get a civil marriage done what do we both require

It might be helpful to let us know where you hope to live after your wedding?

If, for example you wish to go to the UK, you will need to arrange the wedding in Kenya, then apply for a spouse visa to travel to the UK.  In reality, there is likely to be a wait for this and your spouse may have to initially travel home without you.

There is lots of information throughout this thread about the documents etc that you will need.

hello my i inquire what documents you were asked to furnish and as i the groom is a kenyan could you tell me what to look out for and keep ready as id like to relocate to the uk to join my fiance

I read that Kenya allows any number of women to marry one man. I want to come to Kenya to be married to maybe 6 or 12 women. I don't care about proving the marriage to any country thereafter, because my wives will act like they are not married to me: to save a lot of trouble with people and governments that do not approve of polygamy. BUT, I do not believe in sex outside of marriage so the main thing is to justify myself in the eyes of God and myself. Regardless if a country where we live does not accept our polygamous unions, we will lie if necessary and claim no such unions; but secretly we will be married. Polygamy is now legal in Kenya FOR KENYANS, but can I a foreigner also partake of that law? Can I bring 6 or 12 women with me and can we be married consecutively? AND, if so, why is a Certificate of No Impediment To Marriage necessary? Such a document is a contradiction of terms for polygamy!

Also, would it be better if at least 1 of the women I marry is a Kenyan? Would that make
the process any easier?


I believe that you have to be a Kenyan citizen to legally marry more than one woman, under Kenyan law.  It does not apply to foreigners!

This reflects some tribal traditions.  For example Kikuyu people frequently had more than one wife.

HI, thanks for the information. Where can I get the affidavit for single status? Am a Kenyan citizen.

Hi my fiance is from America n am a Kenyan, he will b coming to Kenya for 2 wks so we can get married, so how long does it take to acquire certificate of no impediment in American Kenyan embassy thank u

I would like to know how long it will take American embassy to provide single status affidavit in Kenya thank u

My fiance is an American n will b coming to Kenya for two wks so we can get married, so can he get certificate of no impediment in his embassy in America? Or is it a must he gets it in Kenya? N if so how long will it take? N wat documents will he require to provide to get it? Thank u

Am a Kenyan lady n my fiance is an American so can he get the certificate of no impediment in his American embassy in America? Or he will have to get it in Nairobi embassy? If so how long will it take? N wat documents will he require to provide to get it? He will be coming to Kenya for two weeks to get married thank u

Hi the certificate of no impediment can my American fiance get it in his home country n where? Am a Kenyan lady planning to get married in Kenya thank u

Hello thank you so much for the  advice. My Fiancee is British never been married before.  He iw coming ove to Nairobi so we can get married. Am divorced kenyan lady. What documents should he bring along? Your advice will be highly appreciated. Thank you in Advance

Hey dear we both are foreigners so do you have any idea about the process and how long it takes to us

Hi, I realise this is an old post but I am a Kiwi wanting to Marry a Kenyan local can you shef some light on the procedures etc required?

Kindest regards


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Hey! My fiance and I are planning to get married in Kenya during April but my fiance only has 10days to be in the country not enough time for the 21days notice,how would you advise us?

How does it work with the special license? What are the procedures to follow and how long does it take?

I have just read that Sheria House requires a CNI (Certificate of no impediment) for Foreigners who wish to get married there but the British Gov website says that they do not issue these for Britains wishing to get married in Commonwealth Countries.

Anyone know how to get round this?

Hi Nick
Do you know if law has changed since you married in 2016? currently says they will not offer CNI for marriages in commonwealth countries ....

Did you need a CNI to marry at Sheria house?
If so how did you get one?
Many thanks

Hello dear am in a similar position as u, plz if u get help lemi know how to go about it, I also want to know thanks u can inbox me

According to the Kenyan Marriage Act; foreign nationals marrying in Kenya do need a certificate of no impediment (or similar - see below).

For those countries that don't produce a certificate of no impediment, an alternative document/affidavit can be used.

For USA citizens, I understand that this can be obtained from the Embassy in Nairobi.

For UK citizens, the High Commission will produce a letter to explain their position on the certificate of no impediment, but an alternative document/affidavit will be needed from a UK solicitor or Notary Public.  So, better to sort this one out, before entering Kenya for the wedding. 

If already in Kenya, there are one or two British lawyers practicing in Nairobi;  Guy Elms is one.  Whether he would be able to provide this service, I really don't know.

Here is a link which will give more information on the documentation needed.

Thank you so much longonot 22

Thank you so much!
Do you mean high commission in Nairobi?

Sheria House told me on the phone this morning that they wanted CNI! They also said that anything online on websites was not legitamate and worse that there was no 4 day special license available to speed up the process (this is mentioned on many websites).

They said the fastest was a 7 day service in church or garden which obviously costs more & involves a pastor!

Wat?? So within that one week u do it in church?? But I guess one can look for a licenced church n a pastor who can wed u, it doesn't hv to be necessarily a big wedding just like 10pple to witness, no bridesmaid as long it's a church, I prefer if ur far away u send someone who is in Kenya to inquire more

Hey I am sheryl wanted to know who is required to be there for you have to a wedding?like is it a must for parents to be in attendance?

Hello is it true that if u Dont wait for 21days they require you to do the wedding in church? Or garden wedding? Cz my fiance is coming for two weeks only thanks

Hi Kate-Florence,
Can u show me those web sites cose i have been doing a lot of searching about that special
We have all documents and getting in Nairobi next month and hoping to getting married with that special license.

Thank you in advance

what if we want our wedding to be in Germany,am a kenyan citizen and hes a german citizen,both never married before

Hey...would you kindly mind to share your journey and testimony with me for i am looking forward to the same with my American fiance next email is susankalunda[at] thanks in advance

Hey Pette
Kindly enlighten me up on the procedure and your experience if you dont mind..... S***

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