Getting Married In Kuwait
Are you looking to get married in Kuwait? Here we take a closer look at the advice and regulations from the British Embassy in Kuwait to make sure you are following all the rules and the laws of the land...
Guidance for Marriage
Disclaimer: The information below is a general guide based on information provided to the FCO by the relevant local authorities and is therefore up to date and accurate to the extent that such authorities provide us with timely and accurate information. Accordingly the FCO does not guarantee that this information is accurate and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British Nationals wishing to obtain information about marriage must also contact the relevant local authorities to be sure of the requirements that they need in order to proceed with their ceremony.
Advice on marriage in Kuwait can only be given by the Kuwaiti authorities or by a lawyer practising in Kuwait. However, the following notes have been prepared to provide some general guidance for British Citizens based on experience which has been passed on to the Consulate. If you have any doubts about the validity of the marriage, it is best to check with a lawyer.
It is possible to get married in a church in Kuwait and under Sharia law in the courts. If you are a British National residing and wishing to get married in Kuwait you must post your marriage bans to acquire a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) from the British Embassy.
Certificate Of No Impediment
To apply for a Certificate of No Impediment, you need to first post a Notice of Marriage at the British Embassy. This notice is needed only for British Nationals: if both parties getting married are British Nationals, each party is required to post a separate notice and acquire individual CNIs.
Following are the steps you need to take to acquire your CNI:
1. Posting a Notice of Marriage
a) You (British National) must be in the country for 21 continuous days prior to coming into the Embassy
b) On or after your 22nd continuous day of staying in Kuwait, you may then come into the Embassy with your original
- Long form birth certificate(including parents’ names) www.gro.gov.uk
- Naturalisation certificate (if applicable)
- Divorce decree absolute certificate (if applicable) and/or
- Ex-spouse’s death certificate (if applicable).
If your fiancé is from the Philippines, you will also need to provide a CENOMAR document (Certificate of No Marriage) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in Manila. The CENOMAR certifies that the Philippine citizen (or previous Philippine Citizen) has no record of marriage with the NSO. Please note that the CENOMAR issued by the NSO Manila should be presented to the Embassy/Consulate within 3 months of it being issued.
Any documents not in English, must be translated into English
c) You would also need to bring in the above mentioned documents (originals) for your Non British fiancé/e. If your fiancé/e is a British National, he/she would also have to come in; if he/she is not a British National, then he/she would not need to come in.
d) Request for and fill in the Notice of Marriage form (Fee 12) and swear an oath/affirmation to the effect that there is no impediment to your marriage, which will then be posted for 21 days in the Embassy.
2. Collecting your CNI
After 21 days, come back to the Embassy and request for a Certificate of No Impediment (Fee 13). If no legal impediment to the marriage has been shown to exist, the CNI will be issued in English and Arabic.
Marriage in the Ministry of Justice, Kuwait (Civil Ceremony)
After acquiring your CNI, you are required to take them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait to be stamped. The Bride and Groom are required to provide the following documents:
- Original Kuwaiti Civil IDs and copies
- Original Passports and copies
- CNI from respective Embassy, stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Kuwait
The British Embassy cannot be held liable for any additional documents required by the Ministry of Justice.
Two male witnesses are required. Make sure that the witnesses carry either their passports or valid identifications (someone with a Kuwait civil ID is preferable) with them. Take photocopies of the identifications for all parties involved.
Civil wedding ceremonies are performed at the Ministry of Justice, Block 15, Ground Floor, Ministries Complex, Murgab Area. For further information on Civil Ceremonies, please contact the Ministry of Justice on 00965 2248-6444
Civil ceremonies are held on Sundays and Wednesdays between 0800 and 1100 at the Ministry of Justice.
Muslim wedding ceremonies are held at the Reggaie Courts, Reggaie.
Where the bride is a Muslim, only a religious marriage under Islamic law is permitted and the groom must be a Muslim.
If the bride is a British National, the Ministry of Justice requires you to submit a Certificate of No Impediment issued by the British Embassy. She will also need a male representative of her family to be present at the ceremony or give official approval.
Where the groom is a Muslim, only a religious marriage under Islamic law is permitted although it is not obligatory for the bride to be a Muslim.
If the groom is a British National, the Ministry of Justice do not require you to submit a Certificate of Impediment. Although he will need to submit his Conversion Certificate, if converted to Muslim.
For further information, please contact the Ministry of Justice – 00965 22465600
Marriage in the Church
The Church will provide you with details of documentation, fees and other requirements. Regarding the validity of the marriage, please consult with the Church's Priest.
Marriage in a foreign country (not commonwealth)
If you are resident in Kuwait and wish to get married in a foreign country (but not a Commonwealth country), you must still post your Notice of Marriage at the British Embassy. See above for list of documentary requirements.
After you will collect your original Notice of Marriage which was posted for 21 days, you must present it to the Embassy/Consulate in the country where you will marry. For full information on marriages in a foreign country where you will marry, we recommend that you to contact the British Embassy/Consulate or the local authorities of that country.
Marriage in a Commonwealth Country
If you are resident in Kuwait and wish to get married in a Commonwealth Country, please contact the British High Commission/Consulate or the local authorities of that country for information.
Marriage in the UK
British nationals who wish to marry in the UK should be aware that if their fiancé(e) is not a British national or a national of an EEA country or Switzerland, their fiancé(e) will need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK to be married. Further information on obtaining a visit-marriage visa can be found at on the UK Border Agency website, or by contacting the Visa Application Centre (VAC) website in Kuwait (telephone number: 00965 2297 1170 / 2247 7490).
Marrying a non- British Citizen
British nationals marrying a non- British national should have their partner verify with their own Embassy/Consular, the validity of the marriage in their own country.
UK immigration law requires a person seeking entry to the United Kingdom for settlement as the spouse of a British subject to hold a current entry clearance (visa) granted for that purpose. The spouse of a British citizen does not automatically acquire British citizenship on marriage nor do they have the automatic right to settle in the United Kingdom. Please note the Consular Section of the British Embassy is unable to answer any questions relating to the issue of visas. For more information, please contact the Visa Application Centre (VAC) website in Kuwait (telephone number: 00965 2297 1170 / 2247 7490).
Registering a marriage
It is not possible to register your marriage in Kuwait with the Embassy, however we can arrange for your local marriage certificate to be deposited with the General Register Office in the United Kingdom. This is not a legal obligation and has no bearing on the validity or otherwise of the marriage. It simply means that you are able to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate directly from the GRO, should you need to do so in the future. There is a charge for this service.
For more information and the latest regulation please visit the great website for the British Embassy in Kuwait>>