Who May Perform Marriages in Iraq?
American diplomatic and consular offices are NOT permitted to perform marriages (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations 52.1).
Marriages abroad are almost always performed by local (foreign) civil or religious officials.
As a rule, marriages are not performed in the premises of an American embassy or consulate. The validity of marriages abroad
is not dependent upon the presence of an American diplomatic or consular officer, but upon adherence to laws of the country
where the marriage is performed. Consular officers may authenticate foreign marriage documents. The fee for authentication
of a document is $ 32.00.
Validity of Marriages Abroad
In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid abroad are also 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 live.
Iraqi Laws and Procedures
The Iraqi Social Status (civil) Law follows the Islamic Sharia (Islamic legislation). Under Islamic law, an Iraqi Muslim female
may not marry a non Muslim male. However an Iraqi Muslim male may marry a Muslim, Christian, or Jewish female.
Marriage of a Muslim to a Non-Muslim
Muslim women in Iraq are legally prohibited from marrying a non-Muslim. Therefore, the non-Muslim male must convert his religion
to Islam and file a petition with the Social Status Court to declare that he is Muslim. Muslim men in Iraq are permitted to
marry non-Muslim women if they are Christian or Jewish only. If the woman belongs to any other religion, she must convert
In all cases the bride and groom must do the following in order to obtain a marriage certificate: