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Simplifying Marriage of Indian Expats in UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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marriage, Indian expats

If you are an Indian couple wishing to marry each other in the UAE, it is imperative to know the procedure involved therein and the eligibility factors. Marriage is seen as a legal contract between two a man and a woman, aimed at protecting the rights of the couple and their children, as per the UAE Law. Indian expats in the UAE does have the option of solemnizing/ registering their marriages at the Consulate as per the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969. Here we delve into the process involved.

Pre-Requisites of Valid Marriage

Before moving ahead with the marriage, it is imperative to know these prerequisites under the UAE Law for a valid marriage. The primary and the first condition herein is the bride's approval. Secondly, with respect to Residency status, at least one party to the marriage contract (husband, wife, or wife's guardian) must have a residency visa in the UAE in order to marry in Dubai. Whereas, both the bride and groom must be UAE residents in other emirates.

A positive pre-marital screening certificate issued by the concerned public healthcare institutes in the UAE for the couple. The UAE hopes to stop the spread of contagious diseases like AIDS by making pre-marital screening mandatory.

Kinds of Marriage and Documents Required

Now let’s delve into the kinds of documents required for Indian expats wishing to marry in the UAE. We would also delve into the relevant service fee involved here. The first step, Marriage Solemnization, where document submission is done is the step which is different for different kinds identified here. They must submit the following documents in order for their requests to be processed. These documents, if issued in the UAE are valid for a period of 3 months and if issued outside of UAE are valid for a period of 6 months.

  1. Marriage of Indian national with Indian national, where the Same is Solemnized at the Consulate
  • Passport and visa copies of prospective bride and groom.
  • Singleness Certificate / Divorce decree /Death certificate
  • 4 passport size photographs of Bride & Groom
  • Self-attested copies of passports & visas of three witnesses, plus originals passports
  • Duly filled in form for ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (4 copies)
  • Duly filled in form for ‘Declaration by Prospective Bride and Groom’(2 copies)
  1. Consulate Marriage of Indian National with Foreign National: Here, in addition to the above mentioned, these are also required-
    • A non-impediment certificate certifying the singleness of the foreign national from his/her respective Embassy/Consulate, attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of UAE. In the non-availability of such certificate from the embassy concerned, a sworn affidavit by the said embassy would do.
    • A certificate from the Consulate of the foreign national which states that their domestic law doesn’t prohibit marriage to foreigners

Now, if you wish to have your marriage elsewhere – say your Church, Gurudwara, Temple or the Local Court, the documents required would be different. There are two subclasses under marriages done this way. These are being delved into as 3 and 4 categories.

  1. Marriage of Indian National with Indian National
  • Passport and visa copies of prospective bride and groom.
  • Singleness Certificate / Divorce decree /  Death certificate
  • Self attested copies of passport & visas of three witnesses, plus originals passports
  • 2 passport size photograph of Bride & Groom
  • Marriage certificate issued from Church / Gurudwara / Temple / Local Court
  • Duly filled in form (Registration of foreign Marriage at the Indian Consulate, Dubai)
  1. Marriage of Indian National with Foreign National: Here again, like above, in addition to the documents mentioned in 3, you would need for the foreigner partner –
    • A non-impediment certificate certifying the singleness of the foreign national from his/her respective Embassy/Consulate, attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of UAE. In the non-availability of such certificate from the embassy concerned, a sworn affidavit by the said embassy would do.
    • A certificate from the Consulate of the foreign national which states that their domestic law doesn’t prohibit marriage to foreigners

If you have submitted the above-mentioned documents, then the next step is Appearance Before Marriage Officer. All individuals concerned, which includes the couple and the witnesses, must present themselves before the Marriage Officer for signatures with their original passports and photocopies, both at the time of submitting the forms and at the time of the solemnization of the marriage. Photocopies of passports are only required at the time of submitting the forms.

Final Procedures and Things to Note

Following the submission of the Form, the couple must give a newspaper notice for publishing in a local English newspaper (UAE) as well as an English newspaper in India's native country (at the place of permanent residence as indicated in the passport). The whole text provided by the Consulate should be included in the advertisement. This publication has to be submitted in original.

The date for the solemnization of marriage is kept at least 30 days following the date of the last publication of the notice, mentioned above. Here it has to be noted that original passports of the couple and witnesses must be given to the Marriage Officer one day prior to the day of the marriage solemnization. The prospective couple, along with the three witnesses, must be at the Consulate on the scheduled date for the marriage to be solemnized/registered. They should bring their original passports with them.

However, divorcees need to be aware of certain additional requirements if they wish to marry in the UAE. If the decree of divorce is issued in India, then attestation of the same by Home department of the State where the decree has been issued, and MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) would be required. If the same has been issued in the UAE then its translation to legal English, attested by the MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) needs to be submitted for the Consulate’s perusal. Here, it is also pertinent to note that marriages where either the bride or groom are Muslims will not be solemnized at the consulate.

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