Marriage in Algeria

Marriage in Algeria is based on its civil code and it can take three to four weeks to obtain authorization.  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.  However, only the civil marriage is recognized as a legal marriage in Algeria and the United States.  Same-sex marriage is not legal in Algeria.

Prior Marriages:  For those citizens who have been married before, the Algerian government requires foreign citizens to provide authenticated copies of foreign divorce decrees.  In order to have your U.S. divorce decree authenticated, you should have it authenticated by your home state’s Secretary of State; you can then have that signature authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Office of Authentications; finally that signature can be authenticated by the Algerian embassy in Washington, DC or the Algerian Consulate in New York.  The U.S. Embassy in Algiers cannot authenticate U.S. documents.

Eligibility to Marry:  For those who have never been married before, the Algerian government requests a certificate of eligibility to marry.  Because marriages in the United States are recorded at the state level rather than the federal level, the U.S. federal government does not maintain records on the marital status of U.S. citizens and the U.S. Embassy does not issue certificates or letters regarding marriage eligibility.  However, if the local authorities insist on a document, you can make a written statement about your eligibility to marry and have that statement acknowledged (witnessed) at the U.S. Embassy.  See information on our notarial services.

Interfaith marriages:  For marriages between an Algerian woman and a foreign, non-Muslim spouse, the couple must show proof of the husband’s conversion to Islam.  For foreign women (including U.S. citizens) of Judeo-Christian background marrying a Muslim Algerian man, conversion is not required.