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Validity of Marriages Abroad

In general, marriages which are valid abroad also are legally valid in the United States. Inquiries regarding the validity of marriage abroad should be directed to the attorney general of the state in the United States where the parties to the marriage will live. See Marriage of U.S. Citizens Abroad on the Department of State's Consular Affairs Web site for additional information.

Iraqi Laws and Procedures

Iraqi Social Status Law (civil) establishes marriage laws in Iraq. Foreigners marrying in Iraq are subject to the provisions of the Social Status Law. Interfaith marriages are permitted except in the case of a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man.

Marriage Procedures

In all cases the bride and groom must do the following in order to obtain a marriage certificate:

  • The parties must appear personally in front of a judge of the Social Status Court in order to submit an application for marriage;

  • If the groom is a non-Muslim, there must be a religious marriage ceremony prior to the parties appearance at the Social Status Court;

  • After submitting the application, the parties must obtain a medical examination per instructions from the court clerk;

  • After obtaining the medical examination, the parties return to the Social Status Court with two witnesses;

  • If an Iraqi woman is marrying a non-Iraqi, one of her parents (or a legal guardian) must be present;

  • A marriage contract is issued by the court and signed by both parties.

Location of the Social Status Court in Karakh – Baghdad

Cross the 14th July Bridge toward the Damascus Square. The court is across the street from Alzawra Zoo, and next to the Institute of Fine Arts.

If you intend to get married in the United States, see the Nonimmigrant Visas section of this Web site for information related to fiancé(e)s visas.