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Marriage in Kuwait

Disclaimer: The information below is a general guide based on information provided to the U.S. Embassy 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 U.S. Embassy does not guarantee that this information is accurate and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies in this information.  U.S. Citizens 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 practicing in Kuwait.  However, the following notes have been prepared to provide some general guidance for U.S. 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.

U.S. Embassy Kuwait does not conduct marriage ceremonies nor register them in the United States.

Free-to-Marry Affidavit

Any foreigner who wishes to marry in Kuwait is required by the Government of Kuwait to demonstrate his or her eligibility to marry.  The U.S. Government does not maintain a central marriage registry.  Therefore, the embassy is unable to provide verification of a U.S. citizen’s eligibility to marry.  U.S. citizens seeking to marry in Kuwait may choose to complete an affidavit declaring he or she is eligible to marry.  However, the Government of Kuwait may not find the document acceptable and may refuse to accept the document.  Please note the embassy cannot make changes to the document.  U.S. citizens seeking to marry in Kuwait may need to contact the custodian of records or the respective state agency to identify vital records in the U.S. that may meet the criteria for the Government of Kuwait.  U.S. citizens obtaining certified vital records from the custodian of such records will need to follow the process for the authentication of documents in the United States.  Please visit the Department of State website for more information on the Authentication of Documents.

Non-Muslims who would like to marry in Kuwait in a civil marriage ceremony may:

  1. Visit the ACS Notary Services page for information and requirements for notary appointments. Click here to review the update on notary services for the “Free to Marry” affidavit below.
  2. After reviewing the information on the notary services main page, if you still wish to proceed, complete the attached “Free To Marry” affidavit form.  This form must be notarized by the Consul at the U.S. Embassy (do not sign the affidavit until you appear in front of a Consular Officer).  Do not make any changes to the format of the document. There is a non-refundable fee of $50 (or KD equivalent) for each document notarized by the Embassy.
    Note:  When two U.S. citizens wish to marry, both are required to complete separate “Free to Marry” affidavits.  Foreign nationals must contact their respective Embassies to seek similar assistance.
  3. The Authentication Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait must then authenticate the “Free to Marry” affidavit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in Shuwaikh next to the Kuwait News Agency. The office is open from: 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM, telephone: 2243-0541.
  4. The “Free to Marry” affidavit must be translated into Arabic.  The Embassy cannot translate documents, but can provide a list of translators.
  5. Take the “Free to Marry” affidavit with the Arabic translation to the Office of the Public Notary in the Ministers Complex for the marriage ceremony. Address:  Murgab area, Ministries complex, ground floor, Block no. 15, room 25, telephone: 2248-6444.  The office is open on Sundays and Wednesdays from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 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.