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Egypt Marriage License Information

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WARNING About Documentation Requirements:

Getting married in Egypt as a foreigner has become much more complex. Basically, the door has been closed on foreign marriages. If you are planning to get married in Egypt, make sure you understand the requirements and marriage regulations.

You should consult an attorney or the services of a notary since May 12, 2007, news from the U.S. Consular Section of the Embassy is that the Consular Section is not providing the affidavit required by the Egyptian Government to authorize the marriage of a foreigner in Egypt.

Even if you have documents authenticated by the U.S. Department of State, there is no guarantee that the documents will be accepted by the Egyptian government.

It will probably be necessary for you to get a notarized, sworn statement that you are free to marry. Since the Consular Service is not providing this form any longer, if you are an American, you should consult an attorney or the services of a notary.

You will also be asked to state whether you are Muslim, Christian, or Jewish. This document then has to be certified at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Egyptian Family Law:

Americans considering marrying an Egyptian citizen should learn about Egyptian family law aka personal status laws. "Especially for women, their rights as both spouse and parent would be very different in Egypt from those in the U.S., as would the rights of any children resulting from the marriage."
Source: ArabicNews.com.

ID Requirement and Ceremony:

Proof of citizenship or a valid passport. All documents need to be translated into Arabic. You need to have two male witnesses who have identification papers with you when you apply for the marriage license.

There is no residency requirement.

Ceremony:

A marriage in Egypt is legal only if it is a civil ceremony performed at a local marriage court. You can have a religious ceremony later.

Waiting Period:

There is a three months waiting period if you've been divorced.

If you are a widow, you will need to wait four months and ten days.

Previous Marriages:

You will need to show proof of termination of any previous marriages. The original or certified copy of the divorce decree must be authenticated.

As mentioned previously, the Office of Authentications, U.S. Department of State, does not guarantee that the Egyptian government will accept the paperwork. We recommend consulting an attorney in Egypt.

Physical Exam:

Sometimes a routine physical examination by an Egyptian physician is required.

Interfaith Marriages:

Interfaith marriages are allowed except if the bride is Muslim and the groom has a different faith.

Under 18:

If either of you are under the age of 18, parental consent is required.

Fees:

Approximately $100 in US funds. There may be additional fees depending on whether you are Muslims or Christians.

Polygamy:

Yes. Although less than 3% of Egyptian men have multiple wives, a law passed in 1985 allows a man to have four wives.

In 2000, a new law was passed that permits a man and woman to agree via a signed contract that the husband may not have more than one wife.

Proxy Marriages:

No.

Same Sex Marriages:

No.

Cousin Marriages:

Yes.

Islamic Marriage in Egypt:

Couples must have:
  • Consent of both families to the marriage.
  • Consent of both the bride and groom to the marriage.
  • The groom must have financial means to support a wife and family by providing a furnished apartment.
  • Bride accompanied by her guardian when she signs the marriage contract.
  • Presence of witnesses.
  • Payment of the bride's wedding gift.
  • Public declaration of the marriage.

PLEASE NOTE:

Marriage license requirements often change. The above information is for guidance only and should not be regarded as legal advice.

It is important that you verify ALL information with the local marriage license office before making any wedding or travel plans.

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