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How to Get Married in Morocco

My husband and I didn’t get married in Morocco, we instead filed for a K1 visa and were married in Morocco. We later applied for my residency and are attempting (still – long story) to register our marriage in Morocco. But a lot of people ask me how they can get married in Morocco – and I had no idea.

So, I asked a good friend of mine who did get married in Morocco how they did it. I’ve broken the story apart to the step by step process and removed names. Note, this is for an American woman marrying a Moroccan man. For other nationalities the process may not be the same.

Also this is simply a guideline of the process. The exact steps will vary person to person and situation to situation. As is the case with most things in Morocco there is NO standard procedure.

This is advice only; if you are seeking the start to finish process, please hire a lawyer in Morocco who can walk you through the process.

One Month Before Arrival in Morocco

Most people have a limited time they can be in Morocco, in this case it was 2 weeks. One month before arrival the Moroccan partner began collecting the papers to expedite the process. The first point of contact was a local imam who helped for a fee.

Papers Acquired by Moroccan Partner

  • Signed doctor’s statement of good health.
  • Certificate from the mukata certifying partner is not married, requires signature of 2 witnesses. Should be stamped and signed.
  • Certified and stamped copy of Moroccan partners birth certificate.
  • Certified and stamped copy of court/police record of Moroccan partner.
  • Stamped and certified copy of Moroccan carte sejour.
  • Four (4) passport pictures.

Three (3) copies of every paper needed to be made. Each one needs to be signed and stamped by the mukata and given to the imam.

American Partner Papers to Gather

  • an FBI background check
  • Certified copy of divorce decree that stated the divorce was final
  • If you have not been married then a certificate stating you have not been married would be applicable.
  • Original birth certificate
  • Paystubs from the last 3 months or a letter from an employer stating place of employment, salary and length of time employed.

These documents were scanned and emailed to Moroccan partner who took them to a certified translator as well as being physically mailed to the Moroccan partner.  The translations were completed but not signed and stamped until the originals arrived in Morocco and could be verified with the scanned copy. The price of this can vary widely depending on where it is done.

If you do have a divorce decree some more advice to keep in mind, “we had great difficulty with the divorce decree as the translators were looking for the English word “Final” in the document.  In this case the decree did not have the actual word FINAL but a different word meaning the same thing.  The first translator refused to accept that the alternate word in the document meant the same thing so it was brought to a 2nd translator who agreed the other word worked and finalized the translation.” 

Three (3) copies of these documents were made. They too were taken to the mukata to be signed and stamped. All original and copies need to be stamped and signed.

American Partner Arrives in Morocco

Cassablanca

An appointment with the American consulate in Casablanca should be arranged before arriving to Morocco. At the consulate the proof of appointment, divorce decree, and passport copy were presented. The officer presented an Affadavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry, and asks a few questions.  They take a copy of the biographical page of the passport as well as the entry stamp to Morocco and notorize. These are then brought to the cashier and a fee of $50 was required for each notarization.

Rabat

There are several places in Rabat that need to be visited.

The Translator:

  • copies of xxxx documents dropped off to be translated – this was arranged prior to the drop off so that it could be done quickly.
  • Buy 3, 10 dh stamps from a shop before next step.
  • Moroccan Ministry of Justice (preferably in the morning);
    • present a copy of USC Moroccan entry stamp
    • copy of passport
    • copy of Moroccan partner’s Carte Sejour
    • Complete a paper provided at the Justice ministry with basic biographic information.
    • Submit all papers listed above, here.

If time is short you’ll want to push them to provide the papers to you the same day. They will automatically tell you to come back the next day but if you live far from Rabat or are “leaving Morocco the next day” then they most likely will say come back after lunch.

  • Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • stand in the holding area for a period of time
    • groups are then let into the interior waiting room
    • people are called one at a time as clerks are available
    • A copy of the papers are handed over and 80dh is required to stamp some of the papers.
    • NOTE: The Moroccan partner is NOT permitted to enter here, and most all business is conducted in Arabic of French, which can be very intimidating. Just do your best!
  • Moroccan Ministry of Justice
    • Return to pick up papers
  •  Return to translator to pick up the translations.

Hometown of Moroccan Partner

  • US citizen is required to get a medical check. The doctor will know what is required to get the medical certificate for marriage. The price is about 100 dirham.
  • An interview is required at the local police station. The police review all the paperwork and ask questions relating to the relationship and each partner. Questions vary. They sign off on a paper but also need the chief to sign off – this portion can take a long time. It must be done before it can be released to the court.
  • The police portion can take several days and the Moroccan partner will want to be persistent to make it happen. The papers are automatically sent to the court.  In this case the Imam was the “middle man” who facilitated each portion of the process. He typically is the one who knows the judges and their expectations. He also is the point of contact for the movement of the papers.
  • Once the approval is made of the court the process is finalized with the imam. The signing of the marriage contract by the two partners is the final step and the imam submits the signed final certificate.

As you can tell this is a long process. There are a lot of steps and a lot of paperwork required. If your partner lives a long distance from Rabat and/or Casablanca you should plan to spend a bit of time in these two cities to get all the papers needed. You also should make contact with a local imam immediately. Your partner may want to ask around to find an imam that has done international marriages so that they will be familiar with the different process. Also set aside a bit of money to help the process along.

I hope this is helpful but please know I am not a lawyer, or giving you any legal advice in how to marry in Morocco. This is a first-hand personal account of the process and steps could change at anytime. Use this as a general guide but be sure to get local help as well.

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Sher

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Can someone suggest a competent lawyer so I can get things done without any hiccups? i am planning to go there in june for 4 days and trying to accomplish as much as possible Please advise

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Hi - it's going to depend on the city (lawyer) that you're in and truthfully I don't think it will be possible to complete everything in just 4 days. Your best bet is to have your partner start talking to several lawyers now to get a feel for them, their prices etc and find someone that can take on your case.

Judi

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Can anyone tell me if my US criminal record needs to be less than 3 or 6 months old?

Amanda Mouttaki

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

It should be no more than 3 months old.

Al

Saturday 17th of October 2020

Hi! Please answer me asap. I need help. Do I need certificate copies of my original documents or only translated papers? For example: I have my birth certificate and I translated to arabic. so do I need make now certificate copy of my original paper or that translated? How many copies? For every copy I should pay? Please answer me Im so stressed...I don’t understand that procedure..

Amanda Mouttaki

Sunday 18th of October 2020

I'm really sorry but I don't understand what you're asking. You need certified copies of your original documents and the translated papers.

Dawn

Friday 25th of September 2020

Hello I’m in the process of gathering all my paperwork to marry a Moroccan man in December. I am from the United States. I have 2 quick questions: 1) Is it necessary to Apostilles my paperwork (Birth cert/divorce papers etc) if they are already originals and/or certified here in the US/State California? 2) Is it possible to complete this process of marriage within 1 business week? Any and all help or suggestions on this would be appreciated. Thank you

Amanda Mouttaki

Saturday 26th of September 2020

If you can get an apostille do it - it won't hurt and can only help. As for a week being enough - I'm going to say no, especially not right now given how backed up offices are unless your partner has a lot of connections and money to spend speeding it up.

Yusuf

Thursday 24th of September 2020

Engaged to a beautiful Moroccan woman. I have found your website useful.

However, for American citizens wanting to marry in Morocco your paperwork needs to be authenticated by the "Competent Authority" and if it is Federal like FBI report, there is only one place in the country that can be accomplished.

The State Department in Washington D.C.

I had to postpone until December because I didn't realize how long it would take (6-8 weeks from the usual of 12 days to process) and I think it is an important thing to mention.

I don't see anything about it, until I reach the comment section.

Also anything needs to be notarized first, before being taken to the Apostille, except for the federal documents.

I think. You wouldn't happen to know for sure would you?

Thanks

حبيبتي هي جميلة جداً

Amanda Mouttaki

Sunday 11th of April 2021

Like most things in Morocco it depends on who you get at the desk. I never had to have mine done the way you described, but I don't doubt it's been asked for. This is why I always suggest to speak with a lawyer first and that this information is not meant to be legal advice but general walk through of the information.

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