Marriage in Tunisia

Specially designated Notaries at the City Hall Registry Office “Bureau de l’Etat Civil a la Municipalite” perform marriages in Tunisia. Only marriages celebrated before such an official in compliance with Tunisian Law No. 57 August 1, 1957, as amended are legal. If one or both of the contracting parties are foreigners, Tunisian law requires that the marriage also fulfill the marriage requirements of the foreigner’s country. Neither a fixed period of residence nor publication of bans is required. A religious ceremony may subsequently be performed at the option of the couple.

In Tunisia, marriage may occur between

  • Tunisian men and foreign women without any requirements.
  • Foreign men and foreign women provided each party obtains from their respective embassies the documents required by the Tunisian authorities prior to marriage.
  • Foreign non-Muslim men and Tunisian Muslim women without any requirements.

The prospective husband and wife are each required to submit the documents listed below to the City Hall Registry Office in order to obtain an appointment for the marriage. All documents must be translated into Arabic or French by a sworn translator and all, except the passport, are retained in Tunisian Civil files.

Required Documents

All must be originals or certified copies. All documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations into English.

  1. Birth Certificate bearing the impression seal of the issuing authority.
  2. Passport
  3. Affidavit of Eligibility to marry – Tunisia requires proof of legal capacity to enter into a marriage contract in the form of certification by competent authority that no impediment exists to the marriage. No such document exists in the United States. Therefore, the parties to a prospective marriage abroad will have to execute an affidavit stating that they are free to marry.  This is called an affidavit of eligibility to marry and must be executed at the American Embassy or consulate in the country in which the marriage will occur. The fee for the American Consular Officer’s certification of the affidavit is $50.00.Go here to make an appointment (for a notarial service)
  4. Warning: Title 22, Section 4221 of the United States Code provides that any person who willfully and corruptly commits perjury in swearing an affidavit before an American Consular Officer may be charged, proceeded against, tried, convicted an dealt with in any district of the United States, in the same manner, in all respects, as if such offense had been committed in the United States.
  5. Prenuptial Marriage Certificate – This is a medical certificate establishing eligibility to contract marriage. This certificate must have a maximum validity of two months at the time of marriage. Each party must be free of any contagious diseases (primarily tuberculosis and syphilis), alcoholism and mental illness. The City Hall in Tunis will supply a printed form for this certificate upon request. All doctors practicing in Tunisia are authorized to perform these medical examinations.
  6. Divorce Decree(s) – Such decrees must be final and valid in the country of the interested party’s nationality. For example a Spaniard who has been divorced by the authority of another country, such divorce not being recognized by Spain, cannot contract marriage in Tunisia because Tunisian law requires compliance with both, Tunisian laws and the national law of the foreigner.
  7. Prior spouse’s death certificate – bearing the seal of the issuing authorities.
  8. Written Consent of parent or guardian if either party is under 20 years of age (article 5,6 and 153 of the Tunisian Personal Code)
  • Full name
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Profession
  • Current address in Tunisia
  • Full names of parents
  • Verbal declaration that they are free to marry
  • Name of two witnesses

The marriage affidavit notarial service costs $50 USD, payable in United States dollars, Tunisian dinar, or by credit card.


Many marriages between Tunisians and Americans are successful. However, individuals who enter into a relationship for the principal purpose of immigration to the United States are violating U.S. law and could face serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

In the Embassy’s experience, it is not uncommon for Tunisians to seek relationships with Americans solely for immigration purposes. Relationships developed via correspondence, particularly those begun on the Internet, are particularly susceptible to manipulation. The U.S. Government urges Americans who meet Tunisians on the Internet or while touring the country, to take the time necessary to get to know them before considering marriage. Unfortunately, the Embassy has seen cases of abuse against American spouses, or marriages that end in divorce when the Tunisian acquires a green card or citizenship in the United States. These cases invariably occur when the relationship is based mostly on Internet communication and very little face-to-face interaction.

Periodically, the Embassy is contacted when an American has met a Tunisian online, and while visiting their contact in Tunisia, found themselves in financial or otherwise difficult situations.