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Useful instructions about marriage in Egypt

An official marriage with an Egyptian citizen for foreigners has a number of nuances, depending on what religion the groom is, what country the bride is from, and many more moments that are difficult to analyze.

In Egypt, there is only a religious marriage (wedding among the Copts and Nikah among Muslims), there can be no civil marriage (cohabitation) in this country.

Preparation stage

At the initial stage, before obtaining a “bride visa”, you have to prepare the necessary documents, some of which the bride must bring from her homeland.

  1. Document on religion (issued by the bride at homeland).

For marriage with a Muslim, it is allowed for the woman to be a Christian, Muslim or Jewish. If the bride accepts Islam in Al-Azhar, then they issue a certificate of acceptance of Islam.

To marry a Coptic Christian, a girl must provide a baptismal certificate and a document stating that she was not married in Church, certified by a clergyman and translated into Arabic. Documents are submitted for consideration by the spiritual committee of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which issues permission for the wedding. Also, the woman will have to be baptized again by the Coptic rules.

  1. Certificate that the bride is not married. If the bride was previously married, then you need a certificate of divorce or death of the spouse. These documents also need to be obtained by the bride at homeland.

On the basis of the documents provided at the Consulate, you need to obtain a certificate of marital status (or about the absence of obstacles to marriage) and legalize it in one of the Legalization Departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ARE (all are located in Cairo).

  1. International and internal (or ID) passports of the bride must be valid for at least a year.
  2. In advance, take a lot of colored photos 3.5 x 4.5 of both future spouses, several copies of all documents, especially the ID of the groom and the bride's passport (page with photo and page with the last entry visa).
  3. Draw up an orfi contract.

Bride's visa

If you have a tourist visa, you cannot marry an Egyptian. Usually a Bride's visa is issued for a period of 6 months.

It can be issued only after the expiration of the entry tourist visa. If the bride has previously extended a tourist visa, then she needs to contact the same Immigration office where she applied for a visa before. If not, Immigration and passport office at the place of residence of the spouse or at the actual place of residence, if there is at least a housing lease agreement.

To apply for a Bride's visa, you must pass an interview at the Mukhabarat (kind of State Security Service). There future spouses are asked questions about each other, about close relatives, etc., in order to find out how well the spouses know each other and whether the marriage will be fictitious. If the bride unofficially works in Egypt, then, of course, such information should not be provided in any case.

A bride’s visa can only be obtained once. So if you do not formalize an official marriage in six months, you will have to register a marriage in the bride’s homeland, or the bride to apply for any other non-tourist visa.

Since the Egyptians suffer from inattention - check the correctness of the indicated period of validity of the bride's visa, mistakes are possible.

If you understand that you will not have time to complete all the necessary documents for marriage, then there is a little trick: as long as the bride has a valid visa for the bride, you can issue a power of attorney to marry on behalf of the bride, for example, for a husband’s relative or a lawyer.

The last stage of preparing documents

At the post office you need to buy a “tabe zauvag” stamp for 50 EGP.

In the state (!) Hospital, both future spouses need to obtain certificates of the established form about their state of health, for this they need to take a blood test and undergo an examination by a doctor. The dost of this paper may vary.

The groom needs to get a certificate from the army.

For Copts, you need to get permission to marry from the Coptic Orthodox Church, get married in a church, register a paper in the Cathedral and Sharaa akari (the state notary office).

Making a marriage contract

If you have collected all the necessary documents, made several copies of everything, prepared photographs, money, you can go to the State Notary Office of the Egyptian Ministry of Justice (Lazgoli Square, 4th floor).

Be sure to take 2 male witnesses with ID with you (make copies). Witnesses can be found on the spot, but not free of charge.

If the bride does not understand Arabic, they may insist on the presence of an official translator to draw up a marriage contract.

The marriage contract indicates the amount of mahr (money paid by the groom to the bride before the wedding), the amount of money for wife in case of a divorce to be paid by groom. The amount of tax that needs to be paid directly depends on these amounts. In the contract, you can also prescribe special conditions that should be agreed in advance.

In the prenuptial agreement, check the spelling of all names, including the names of the bride's parents. Any changes to the signed contract are made only through the court.

The contract is sealed with fingerprints, so bring wet wipes with you to wipe the ink off your hands.

The finished contract is handed out about a month after registration.

Now a legal wife can safely apply for a resident visa, receive medical services and visit attractions at a cost for Egyptians. Please note that a resident visa does not give permission to work in the country.

In order make the marriage official on the territory of the wife’s country, the marriage contract must be legalized at the consulate of the wife’s country.

To do this, six months later, you need to get an electronic version of the marriage certificate, translate it into the native language of the wife's country, pay the consular fee and get a legalization stamp.

Now your marriage is official in both countries.

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