WEDDINGS
02/09/2012 12:06 pm ET

Getting Married In Morocco

Some couples are content to tie the knot at the courthouse down the road. But for those who are more adventurous, a destination wedding -- and an international marriage -- are a must. The Huffington Post's guide to international marriages will tell you everything you need to know to get legally married in Morocco. Read on to ensure all of your paperwork is in order before booking your ticket. --Joan Bahr

Residency Requirement And Waiting Period


U.S. citizens who wish to marry in Morocco do not have to be residents. The Moroccan marriage will be recognized in the United States. The length of time to complete the process can vary -- local authorities in Morocco can change the process according to their wishes.

Intent To Marry


There is no specific law requiring U.S. citizens to announce their marriage in Morocco. A written statement of intent to marry is included in the long list of documentation required for a marriage certificate.

The Ceremony


In Morocco, marriages cannot take place at U.S. Embassies or Consulates, and U.S. diplomatic personnel cannot preside over marriages. Marriage by U.S. citizens in Morocco is governed by legal authorities in Morocco. After documentation has been filed, a family judge ultimately decides the final steps to the marriage ceremony.

The Marriage Certificate


The Annexe du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres issues marriage certificates in Morocco. It can take anywhere from a few days up to a few months to get the certificate once the documentation is completed. After the couple wishing to marry has obtained the certificate, a family judge handles the completion of the process.

Legal Documentation


The list of documentation required for U.S. citizens to marry in Morocco is lengthy. All of the documentation must be translated into Arabic. Couples will need a completed affidavit of nationality and eligibility to marry from the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca, valid U.S. passports and notarized copies of the biographic page and date of entry to Morocco, certified copies of divorce decree or death certificate if there is a previous spouse, birth certificates, U.S. police records (an original from a home state is preferred), evidence of employment, a written statement of intent to marry, a medical certificate of good health from a physician in Morocco and four recent passport photos.

Same-Sex Marriage


Same-sex marriage is illegal in Morocco. Same-sex sexual activity of any kind is illegal as well, and offenders can be imprisoned for six months to three years and fined.

Additional Information


After a couple receives a marriage certificate in Morocco, they must visit the family law section at the prosecutor's office of the Court of Appeals in the city where they plan to be married. They will have to present all of the documentation; the file will be given to a family judge. The judge will inform the couple of the next steps to be taken. The U.S. Embassy to Morocco gives lengthy warnings on its website regarding marriage fraud and "Internet romance" in Morocco. U.S. citizens planning to marry Moroccans are urged to consider the possibility that the marriage is being sought only for immigration purposes.

View the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in Morocco.

Learn more about getting married abroad here.

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