Getting married in Morocco in December 2014 - advice requested


I am an American woman engaged to a Moroccan male (neither have previously been married).  We are interested in having a civil marriage in December, 2014 in the town of Zagora Morocco.  I have read the US Embassy website listing documents for marriage in Morocco and believe I understand the document requirements but would like any advice to be better prepared and to help the process move quickly as I can only be in Morocco for about 2 1/2 weeks from November 27 through December 14, 2014.

1)     The American Consulate in Casablanca has an online appointment setting feature.
         I will set an appointment online for Friday November 28 to get an "Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry".

         Info from US Embassy website: completed Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry. This document may be
         obtained at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca during our public hours. There is a US $50 fee for a
         Consular Officer to notarize the document. The document is in English and you will need to have it translated.
         This document is the only reason you will need to visit the U.S. Consulate General in relation to getting married
         in Morocco. Please note that this document is only valid for 1 month.

         A valid U.S. passport and notarized copies of the biographic page and the page containing your date of entry to
        Morocco. Notarized copies of your passport can be obtained at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca during
        our public hours for a $50 fee.

2.)  I will bring with me:
      An original copy of your birth certificate.
      An American police record obtained from the FBI.
      Evidence of employment from employer in the United States.
      A written statement indicating your intention to marry in Morocco.

3.)  After obtaining the above documents, I will have them translated into Arabic in Casablanca using one of the translators listed on the US Embassy website.

4.)  It is my understanding i do not need any document regarding my religion as I am female.
       website info:  If male, a notarized statement of religious denomination or a certified copy of a conversion         
        document to Islam. Women do not need this document

5.)  We will travel to Rabat to go to the Ministry of Justice to request Moroccan criminal  records  (a casier judiciare for me and a fiche anthroprometrique for him)  we are hoping we can get this in 1-2 days? or is it possible to order it in advance from the usa or online?

5.)  We will travel to Zagora Morocco where we will both get:
       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).

6.)  My fiance will provide in Arabic:
      An original copy of your birth certificate.
      A written statement indicating your intention to marry in Morocco.
      A copy of the residency card.
      Moroccan police record from Zagora (has not lived elsewhere)
      A notarized statement of religious denomination  - does he need this?

7.) We will pay the fee for submitting an application for marriage to an adoul
      listed on the Embassy website as:  150 Moroccan Dirhams.

8) and have a police interview.
9) finished? married with documents!

1.)    I am assuming I only need one appointment at the US consulate not one for each of us.  Is that correct?
2.)   Can the notarized copy of the passport pages be done somewhere other than the consulate. If yes, would it be significantly cheaper? or just easier to do at the consulate?
3) Is it a requirement to use a translator from the US Embassy website? If no, does anyone have a recommended translator for the documents from English to Arabic?
and what do you think is a fair rate per page? or for all the required (five)documents ?
4) I am assuming the certified copy of the passport and entry stamp pages do NOT need to be translated.  Is that correct?
5)  Can we assume the fee for the Adoul in Zagora is approximately 150 durham?
6.)  Do I need to provide pay stubs or is the letter from the employer stating I am employed sufficient?
7.)  Is my fbi clearance sufficient or do I need a police report from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat for Morocco?
8.) In order to accelerate the process, can I send the things from the USA to the embassy in advance of my visit?  or will they just be lost?
9) Do you think we can accomplish this in the 2 weeks we have available?

Please let me know if I have something incorrect or if I do not need some of the documents listed.  Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance for your assistance!


Hello. Congratulations on your happy forthcoming event.

How old are you and how old is he?

Thank you for your well wishes laduqesa; We are very happy and excited as November is approaching quickly  :) 
Any help you can offer with the posted questions would be greatly appreciated! 
Thanks :)

Hi all,

Please note that some off topic posts have been removed.

Armand Team

Hello, congradulations on your engagement, and future plans, by the way how did u 2 meet? and have u actually been yet to morocco to meet him and his family? or u have only spoken on the phone, via chat lines , like skype only?

I was successful at completing the marriage in 2 weeks in Morocco :)
We completed the paperwork at the american consulate in casablanca and all the requirements in Rabat in ONE day starting at 8:30am and finishing at 4:30pm. 

I am posting this today with the hope that the information will benefit someone.  I was so lucky that an incredibly kind woman privately messaged me and encouraged me at a time when others on this forum were so negative; I am so grateful to her and would like to show my thanks by helping others.  Below is the process we experienced:

American Consulate: 
I had an 8:30am appt at the american consulate which i booked 3 weeks in advance online on their website.  After showing my printed paper with my appointment confirmation and passport, the guards allowed me inside on time and everything went smoothly - through security, to window, given paper to fill out, told to go to second window to pay $100 usd, receipt to first window, waiting, paper recvd - completed within 1 hour.

I contacted every translator listed on the consulate website by email but only 2 responded.  I responded to the first asking for a price and if the docs could be sent in advance but received no response.  The second  Mr. Messaoudi was extremely professional, prompt and willing to accept the documents in advance.  The cost was 150 dh per document for a total of 750 dirhams for 5 docs: birth certificate, fbi background report, employer letter, passport/entry stamp, and affidavit to marry. 

His office is close to the consulate and took less than five minutes to drive there.  After greeting us, he asked that we wait comfortably in the waiting room until he could translate the affidavit to marry.  It only took about 15 minutes to complete -- we paid his admin and were on our way to Rabat.  This was fantastic and I would recommend him to everyone!

(the office is not too difficult to find but we looked for it the day before our appointment to ensure we would not have any difficulties finding it; also note street parking in the blue lines requires payment.  we didnt know this so we came out to a boot on our car.  luckily we were able to pay 30 dirhams and have it removed in 15 minutes)

Mohamed Messaoudi
26, Rue Allal Al Fassi Apt 7
20000 Casablanca
Office: +212.(0)522.22.53.28
Mobile: +212.(0)670.31.38.12
It took about an hour and a half to get to Rabat on the toll road.  we went to the Ministry of foreign affairs but were directed to another building -- street parking was brutal..   I stood in line (men and women separated) about 10 minutes.  We were given a small paper with a number on it as we entered and then sat in a waiting area about 15 minutes.  all of a sudden a man said something (i dont speak arabic) and everyone tried to rush up the stairs. once up, there were more chairs and everyone waiting again.  they began to call numbers and though I was very confused, the guards and the guy beside me pointed me to the counter when it was my turn (about 5 minutes) he stamped a paper and pointed to another counter...i went there and he asked to be paid 2 stamps at 40 dirham each for a total of 80 dirham. then pointed me back to the original man. he signed the stamped form and sent me away.

Now we went to the Ministry of Justice for the moroccan police report for me (american never lived in morocco: i was told by the american consulate that i didnt need this but the govt office in zagora said we needed it - my fiance asked 3 different times and was always told we must have it - so we decided to get it)  it was not far to drive but again parking was horrible.  we found the building fairly easily (although without my fiancee i would probably not have been able to find anything as i dont speak arabic nor french)  security looked at my passport and told my fiancee to go get copies and a 10 dirham stamp.  we crossed the street and bought them,  we returned and i passed through security and went to an officer at a desk. he asked for my passport then gave me a slip of paper and said tomorrow.  i panicked and said "no today"  we just both looked at each other in a seemingly eternity of silence... and then he crossed out the number and said 3 oclock.  i thanked him and left.  we walked a block or so and sat in a cafe to have lunch and returned at 2:45.  back thru security and waited in chairs near desk.  he started calling names as he was handed reports and i got mine last but it was about 3 oclock.

we drove back to casablanca and were back in our rented 2 bedroom apartment by 4:30pm
fyi:  rented from airbnb for about $50 us dollars - it was not far from the american consulate, large, and very comfortable with heating and hot water on demand  i recommend it!

listed as:  joli appartement Maarif casablanca  by Lehna
Rue Ishaak Ibnou Hanine, Casablanca, Morocco

we got married in Zagora so I will make a second post describing the process there.

I hope this helps anyone else who faces this process.  Everything was quick and as expected in Casablanca and Rabat.  However, the process was a bit more daunting as we worked through the local moroccan govt requirements.

Best of luck to any and all :)


Mabrok biggest congratulations to you both I have been through this and it's hard but worth it in the end my husband is now here in the UK and all is well hope you have a happy life xxxxx



kaan wrote:


Too late for both of them.  What's that old adage about "haste" and "leisure"?

I can only hope that they are both one of the successful 5%.

is it 5%  i heard 1%    becareful    i see there is no mention of ages   or if they actually meet   huge risk

I don't know where these statistics come from I know a few poeople including myself very happily married indeed

Oh dear me. Some people enjoy living their lives learning the hard way while ignoring reality. Whatever floats their boat I say. As for the sensible amongst us, be careful before you rush and make a life-time commitment. To answer Laduquesa's question for everyone's benefit, it's:

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Very true indeed when it comes to marriages to those in the 3rd-world. Even truer when the age gap is quite large.

I'd say follow your heart be in love with passion and wonder life is short go for it worth all trails Blaising for me I have a wonderful handsome caring nurturing and strong husband however my ex from the uk was weak a drinker not living irresponsible and selfish hmmmm do the maths guys

Hi all,

This is to inform you that the initiator has asked questions about formalities, not questions about whether she should get married or not.

@ nothingbychance >  :heart:  Congratulations from the team !

Priscilla  :cheers:

Thank you Raezworld, Aicha2015,  and Priscilla:)

Below is the part 1 of the process we experienced in Zagora:

Day 1:Thursday

*Passport photos(8): took about 10 minutes and then come back and pick them up in about 30 minutes.

*Doctor:  no appointment needed. it only took about 5 minutes;
The receptionist asked a few medical questions + my fiance translated. we paid 100dh and she gave us the paper.

*Internet cafe:  this cafe was special because the man was very familiar with govt documents.  He wrote the intent to marry paper in french and my religion declaration paper in arabic. (we did get a bit of run around as the govt wanted the intent to marry paper in arabic not french and it did not have the correct title for a mixed marriage so we had to go back twice to have it revised and reprinted.  However, I believe that is fairly normal to find something small "wrong" to send you away.  Luckily for us we had a car (highly recommended) and could easily drive back and forth on numerous goose chases.)  in total I think we ended up paying the internet cafe about 150dh  (not sure as it was a bit of a blur)

Family court:
Once we had all the above papers gathered, we went to the Family Court building
The man at the reception desk reviewed all our papers one by one and put them into the order of his list, we waited about an hour. He told us to make one set of copies and take them to the kasbah admin building for a stamp then bring them back.

We took the papers to the office and the man reviewed everything.  He told us the intent to marry letter needed to be in arabic not french.  process stopped - off to fix it.  we came back and the review began again; this time same form needed to say mixed marriage on top. process stopped - off to fix it.  returned, reviewed, all good - so we paid 160dh and headed back to the family court building. 

The man reviewed all the papers again - we waited.  he then said everything was in order and we should go and make copies of everything  (why didnt he tell us this before?!?!  crazy!)  process stopped - off for yet more copies.
When we returned the man was not there. 2 women looked at the papers but said we needed to wait.  we waited.  When the man returned, he reviewed things yet again.  He said everything was good but it was now too late around 3 oclock and the judge was gone so we should come back tomorrow at opening 8:00 AND to bring someone to translate for me.  This was a surprise so we were not prepared.  Luckily my fiance had a friend who is  teacher and also speaks english and he agreed to help us.

Day 2: Friday

Back to Family court 8am - waiting...say they open at 8:30.  waiting... allowed inside but no one at reception...waiting.
9:30 man arrives says we need to wait for judge.  several hours - still waiting    told to come back after "lunch"  returned....still waiting.  Told to come back monday   we accomplished nothing in the entire day.

Day 3: Monday

We arrived before opening.  waiting for the judge.  several hours pass then we are told to go upstairs. yes!
up we go to...wait in different chairs. ugh!   finally it is our turn and we are asked into the judge's chambers. The judge was given our files and he asked us both some basic questions (all of which is in the paperwork he is looking at)  I was asked my date of birth, age, and my job, how much i earned, and where we would live after marriage.  There was a guy taking notes but the time in chambers was fairly quick.  The translator was released and we were asked to wait again.  originally the man at reception had told us he would give us the papers to take to the police but now he said the courier must take it.  We waited about an hour and then we drove the courier to the kasbah building and were told it would be tomorrow for the police interview.

I will write details of days 4-7 in a separate post :)

You did well to get it done in 7 days! It's certainly an experience getting married in Morocco as a foreigner. Look forward to hearing part two.

I was just thinking before how hard and stressful it was it certainly was not a pleasant experience at all running round offices

Congratulations!! It all sounds so chaotic, I'm with a Moroccan man and am British. I hope that our plans run as smoothly as yours, I don't even know what half of these papers are haha. I am putting off the wedding because of all the hassle. Maybe the end of this year or next year we will do it. Did it work out expensive? Did you have a celebration in his village (which is what my partner wants to do). I hope this helps us to plan our wedding.
And before anyone asks the questions I will tell you...NO we did not meet online! YES I spend a month every 2-3 months in Morocco. NO there is not a big age difference. YES he will hopefully live here in UK with me as I want to stay here. NO he will not be living off the state,he will work. YES I have a good relationship with his family.

Thank you jobyo1 :)  I hope some of this info helps you in your process.

Days 4 - 6 of the process in Zagora:

Day 4 (Tuesday):  We were given 2 packs of sealed documents and told to deliver them to the 2 police offices.  Once interviews were completed, they would send the packets back to the family court.  We spent the entire day trying to get an appointment for the 2 police interviews.  waiting waiting waiting...back and forth, more waiting.  no success, try again tomorrow.

Day 5 (Wednesday)  again waiting, finally the interview - I could not believe I had to be questioned by the head of the police.  Finally we got the appointment and we spoke for about 30 minutes - he really didnt have much in the way of questions; turns out he studied in america so he told me about that and chatted in general. He gave us the thumbs up and said he would expedite it for us.  Additionally, we had to meet with another head man in a different building (sorry i don't really know what the office fiance said it was like police ??!??!)  This man had many questions:  the usual where were you born, job, salary, age, parents names...but he had a very accusatory manner about him.  He asked me where i had traveled in the past and grilled me about countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan  -  places i have never traveled and he had my passport so he could see there were no stamps for these countries.  He asked about my politics and if i was ever in prison.  when i told him i am not political and never been to prison he laughed and asked again never in prison?  3 times he asked me!  WTF!  and then he asked if I was ever with terrorists.  His english was not good and i thought for sure i was not understanding him - so again i answered strongly that i was never in prison or trouble and had no political opinions and do not understand what he is asking.  at that point he dropped it and began to ask about my salary and if i am rich?  i assured him i was not.  he asked if i lived in an apartment?  i explained i own my home.  he wanted to know if it was a big home.  at this point i just answered yes and no and looked at him.  he asked a few more brief questions but then said we were finished and he would review things. It was a bizarre interview in my opinion and his questioning was based on nothing at all in my background.  Apparently everything was okay because we were approved!

Day 6 (Thursday)  All papers were confirmed returned from the police to the family court office.  We were told to wait for the judge to sign the papers depending upon if it was approved or denied - we waited from 8:30am until 11:30.  Finally the man at reception told us it was approved and we would be given a receipt.  We continued to wait and finally were given the receipt around 12:30.  We immediately hurried to the adoul's office.  We gave the receipt and copies of the paperwork.  They began to write things in the ledger and ask basic questions. date of birth where born mother and fathers names.  They asked how much my fiancé was giving for dowry.  When we were unsure what to answer they suggested 1000 dh.  we said okay. Then they asked my fiancé to give me the money. After he did, they asked if I was okay with everything. yes!  more writing then they asked us both to sign.  We were told it would take some time to be sent and processed but the need for me to be present was no longer required - process complete!  My fiancé was told he could check back in a week.

Although my fiancé checked back frequently, the completed marriage certificate was not available for just under 1 month. (much longer than we expected)  Once he received the certificate, he took it to the main administrative kasbah building to get the "official" stamps.  This was fairly quick less than 1 hour.  However, he was told that since it is a mixed marriage, he should take the certificate to Rabat to be stamped by the Office of Foreign Affairs.  We were told he must do this in person (a 12 hour bus trip) - crazy!  It took less than an hour to get the stamp in Rabat and cost 20 dirham (as well as all the travel expenses and 3 days time) 

After the certificate was stamped by the office of foreign affairs, he took it to an official translator  (listed on the American consulate website) to be translated into English.  It cost 250 dh for 1 page (considerably more expensive than in Casablanca).  We asked that it be prepared in advance but had to wait a second day because the translator did not understand something about where I was born.  He insisted i send my birth certificate electronically so he could ensure he translated it accurately.  This caused my fiancé to have to spend an additional night in rabat.  For that reason I would not recommend the translator as he had a copy of the document prior to arrival and if we had been notified we could have avoided the delay.  We did ask for 2  - the original and an official copy -  which he did provide for no extra fee.

We had many, many friends internally in these local offices helping us move things along and expediting this process – without them this would have taken much longer.  We were fully committed and willing to do whatever needed to be done and although we waited patiently we were relentless; when we were told to leave and come back later or another day, we simply stayed and waited instead.  It was incredibly frustrating and we really didn't think we would be able to complete it in time.  However, everything worked out well for us.

My advice to others would be to have at least 4 or more copies of everything before starting so that you don't have to run back and forth.  Be friendly and polite but be persistent.  We repeatedly explained we truly had limited time and asked for help to expedite the process in any way possible.  Thank you to everyone in Zagora who helped us!

I'm so happy that everything went well for you, nothingbychance!  My husband and I were able to be married in one week as well so I know how arduous the task is.  My interview with the police was grueling as well--the worst part of the process in fact.  My husband said that the officer wanted to ask even more questions but my father in-law pushed him along. 

Congratulations on your marriage!  I wish you much happiness!

Wow nothingbychance...busy busy busy. I'm sure it is all worth it in the end. I want a blessing in England too...just something small in both countries. I appreciate this information I am sure that it will help us to plan the days we need to organise the wedding and actually get married.
I wish you luck in you lives together! Xx

And all that is the start then you have to do the visa process which is horrendous to say the least the things we do for love x

Have you done the visa route yet Aicha? Is your husband in England with you? I often say to myself of all the men in the world and all the countries I've been to,I have to fall in love with a Moroccan. It's the not being together we don't like. I'm lucky that I get to go there regularly otherwise we would never be together.   :par:

JOBY01 wrote:

Have you done the visa route yet Aicha? Is your husband in England with you? I often say to myself of all the men in the world and all the countries I've been to,I have to fall in love with a Moroccan. It's the not being together we don't like. I'm lucky that I get to go there regularly otherwise we would never be together.   :par:

The visa process is horrendous, rightly so, to try to weed out fake marriages which are the majority of such unions from Morocco.

You have to demonstrate that you have (and have had for some time) a yearly income of a minimum of £18,500 which is extraordinarily low, seeing that the average wage in the UK is about £26,500. If there is (much of) an age difference, you would also have to demonstrate that you have savings of £65,000. These stipulations are to try to ensure that your spouse does not become a drain on the public purse. Of course, the government has statistics to hand that show that the majority of marriages between UK citizens and people from the developing world tend to fail once the foreign spouse gets residency, so they make it as difficult as possible to let them in. In addition, your husband may be asked to prove that he is in gainful employment as well as having a bank account with regular deposits in it. All this goes towards credibility. A visa can be refused for any reason and they won't tell you why.

Yes I've done the visa he's here now it took a while to complete and is so stressful be prepared for hard work you need to be earning 18.600 which in the north is very high indeed if you are then it will be very easy....

Hi thank you aicha2015, I have only just seen this reply I must apologise. I usually get an email telling me that I have had a reply but I must have missed it.
I am a lecturer in England plus I teach English as a second language so money is not a big concern.
Laduqesa my partner has been in the same job in Morocco for ten years and has a wage going into the bank and savings. Hopefully the Visa will not be too difficult to get.

If you earn 18.600 joby and you have adequate accommodation he will be allowed to come via the fiance visa route there will be no recourse to public funds for him but I'm sure your not bothered about that good luck you can then arrange a ceremony in Morocco for his family

Hi aicha2015, no he will not need public funds or even a suitcase lol. As long as both families get to share our happiness that's all I'm wanting. JOBY

I have a question, who do you submit the previous divorce decree's to? Do they need to be translated? Thank you :-)

Just get married in the USA, and avoid all the pointless hassle.

Good day to you, Sir.

LOL, thanks for the input but that wasn't my question. :-)

Hi. I'm an American getting married to a moroccan man at the end of the fall season. I've read the requirements on the website but with the medical exam, can I do that here in usa from my family doctor? There is a moroccan embassy in New York city only a couple hours away from me. Can I go there and get all my documents translated there and bring them to morocco. You think that will be ok. Never been married or anything, no kids. So I could really use some help and advice from someone who did the same thing.
Thank you


I did my medical "exam" in Morocco -- we paid 100dh ($10 usd) and I was asked a few questions by the receptionist/nurse.  It took about 5 or 10 minutes and we didnt have an appointment we just walked in.  Based on my experience, it seems it could be cheaper and easier to just do in morocco and not have to worry about translation.

Since you live near the embassy in ny you can ask them about the translations...i know it feels better to have as much done as possible before you go to Morocco.  Or --I contacted one of the translators from the casablanca US Consulate website via email and he agreed to prepare my translations in advance and they were ready for me when I arrived at his office -- very easy :)

Congratulations and Best of luck :)

Yes you can get all your translation done there its all a load of running around,  make  sure you get a local to help you do it all

Hi All,

Nice to read the positive posts. Congratulations to those of you who have been successful in the whole process. May u enjoy a lifetime of happiness with your spouse's.

Im hoping to marry in August 2016...
Was planning to submit my documents & have the police/medical report etc done while im there in April (as i have two wks vacation then).

If i get approval to marry from the court in April, does that mean I must get married there and then??

Can i not go back in August and have my nikkah (islamic marriage contract) with an Imam and witnesses in my fiances home?

Hi, it's not really a case of submitting documents, it's more like a paper chase. Once everything has been stamped and approved you go to the aduls office and he completes the nikkah and records the contract. You can then have your own party , film the party if you are then going to apply for a visa as it will help a lot. You can ask the court to carry on in your absence and resume when you return. It's best if you have someone who can talk Arabic , I had a fixer too which got the process done in two and a half weeks. It's an interesting process, enjoy the adventure of it

Hi GoldKhalifa,

Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate it ☺

Hopefully i will be having the ceremony filmed.

So just to clarify, i can have all documents stamped from all relevant people/departments, and then submit all the stamped documents to the court in april. At that point if the court say they cannot process/check my papers and application to give me a decision whilst im still in marrakesh,  i can ask the court to resume this part of the process when i return to marrakesh in the summer? Is this what you mean?

Or is it a case of, i get all papers signed/stamped and take to the court. Once the court approves i can then go to the Adouls office for the nikkah/marraige contract? If that is the process, would i be able to delay going to the adouls office by 3-4 months? So for instance if the courts give me approval in April, can I return to the Adouls office in August for the nikkah/marriage contract?

Also as a female do i have to have my male relative (brother, father) present at any point of this whole process?

What is a fixer?

I hope i can get everything done in 2.5 weeks too. That would be amazing. But the most time i can take off work in april is 2 weeks. Thats why im a little concerned

Thanks again so much

Part 1/2

part 2/2
The reasons for all my questions is because i intend to go to marrakesh alone when i take my documents etc to the court. Thats why i dont want to have my marriage contract done there and then when i get the courts approval.

I want to get the courts approval inshaaAllah then return to marrakesh woth parents+family to have my marriage contract, and have a party at the same sort of time. I want my parents/family present when i have my marriage contract (nikka) and the party/ceremony but realistically they will only go to marrakesh once.

Thats why i want to go back for marriage contract and ceremony as i will take my family with me that time.

Thanks again