Our Marriage: US Citizen Process

If you’re like us, the marriage process requires a bit more attention than usual and the process can be rather slow, especially if you’re not prepared for the paper trail and you’re in a foreign country. Hopefully sharing our experience will help you if you are looking to marry someone that is living in

another country.

Getting Married

Our particular case was an American (me) marrying a Moroccan (Zouhair). The specific rules and processes vary from country to country. Google is the first stop. I used the marriage information of the US Embassy website for Morocco. I didn’t just use it. I printed it out, made highlights, and notes all over to organize what documents I could acquire in the US and what I needed to wait to collect in Morocco. Unfortunately, this list did not provide every document that I specifically needed, but luckily Zouhair had a document from an l'Adoul, a religious man who is certified by the government, to follow and piece in anything I was missing from my list. The documents required for the US citizen: 1. An Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry. This document is obtained at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca by appointment at: http://morocco.usembassy.gov/appointments-2011.html. This document must be obtained in Morocco.

There is a $50 fee for a Consular Officer to notarize the document. This affidavit is valid for six months from the date it is signed and notarized at the U.S. Consulate.

Be sure to make an appointment online before you go at https://evisaforms.state.gov/In structions/ACSSchedulingSystem.asp and print your appointment confirmation page to take with you to the embassy.

If you plan to go with your fiance to the embassy, be aware that he/she may not enter the embassy without their own individual appointment, so plan accordingly for your spouse to wait around an hour (depending on how busy the office is) for you to finish gathering your affidavit from the embassy.

Before you enter the embassy you may not have any electronics and you and your belongings will be checked by security.

Once inside the embassy the process is rather simple. Give the man or woman your primary documents and they will process them. After, you will swear that you agree to enter into marriage with a Moroccan, you pay your fees ($100 and credit cards are accepted), and you are given a piece of paper that says you can get married.

2. Copies of the biographic page of your passport and the page containing your entry date to Morocco.

I notarized mine at home while in Indiana and it was free.

3. If divorced, provide original or certified copies of proof of dissolution of any previous marriage(s). 4. If former spouse is deceased, provide original or certified copy of his or her death certificate (s). 5. Provide an original or certified copy of your birth certificate. Try to get a certified copy of your birth certificate, or if you can, take two originals with you. I only took one original certificate and they do not return the original to you. 6. Evidence of employment from employer in the United States or source of income. I took copies of some pay stubs. It didn’t seem like they really cared that this was included in our documents, but it’s on the list, so take a few to be safe. 7. A written statement indicating your intention to marry in Morocco. Like the proof of employment document, they didn’t seem to care about this document, but write up why you want to marry your fiance, print it out, sign it, and notarize it (in the US if possible to save money on the notary service). 8. If resident in Morocco, a copy of the residency card. 9. If resident in Morocco, obtain a Moroccan police record from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat (Office of Penal Affairs and Pardons). (For U.S. citizens, resident in Morocco, you will need both an American and Moroccan police record.) 10. If male, a notarized statement of religious denomination or a certified copy of a conversion document to Islam. (Conversion documents are obtained from and notarized by Adouls, or religious/court notarials, at the Ministry of Justice in Rabat.) Women do not need this document. 11. A medical certificate of good health from a doctor in Morocco. This document must be obtained in Morocco. I assumed this would be difficult and scary, but it was one of the easiest things we did. We found a doctor, walked in, waited two minutes, my husband spoke with the doctor in Arabic for a medical certificate, and without taking weight, temperature, or blood pressure, we had our certificate and signature. The price for the “check-up” and the certificate was $5 for one person.

12. Four (4) recent passport photos (3cm x 4cm, please note this is the same size required for a Moroccan passport). I had my photos done by CVS in Indiana prior to leaving for Morocco. If you have the camera and the patience, I would recommend doing it yourself. I believe the price was $12 for 1 photo and if you need 4 photos, it’s a big chunk of change. If you wait to take your passport photos in Morocco, we found the price was $2 for four photos. Mucho better. 13. An American police record must be obtained from a police department in the state where you last resided or from the FBI before coming to Morocco. Find an electronic fingerprint location in your area. It will save you so much time than sending paper fingerprints in to the FBI.

In Indiana, I went to identogo.com and found a location only four miles from my home that takes electronic fingerprints. Find an agency and call and make an appointment. I paid for everything over the phone and when my appointment came, I drove myself to the location of the printing, gave them my name, they took my fingerprints and within a week I had my record. Very, very easy. 14. This item was not listed on the US Embassy list of required documents, but was required in Morocco and that was a celibacy certificate. This document certifies that you have had no previous marriages. You may obtain yours by going to your local court house in the records division. It was free for me and was rather quick to acquire. 15. A court record from Morocco. This document must be obtained in Morocco. The claim is that this document must be acquired from Rabat, but we found that this document could be easily acquired online and receive it from the primary court in the same city that your fiance is living. The website we used: http://casierjudiciaire.justice.gov.ma We used http://casierjudiciaire.justice.gov.ma for me to receive a court record from Morocco. The courts in Morocco require this document for marriage. It was very easy to achieve. After we requested the document online at casejudiciare we picked up the record at the primary court in my husband's city of Tetouan. If you request this document in the morning the record can be ready for you at the court the same day (at least in Tetouan).

After you have all of your documents be sure to make copies and place them in a sturdy folder that is durable and will last nicely through your travels across the ocean. When you arrive in Morocco you will need to translate all documents in English to Arabic. The price was 10 USD per one paper for us. If you are comfortable with it, you could send your documents to your partner in Morocco to be translated and ready prior to your arrival. Best of luck to you all in your journey of international marriage. We hope this information from our experiences help you!

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