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Thursday, 7 May 2009

Marriage between foreign women and Egyptian men.

If you are planning on marrying an Egyptian (or believe you already are!!!) please check out inheritance, divorce etc laws as they are NOTHING LIKE the US or UK.

This is the position as I believe it to be:

There are 3 levels of marriage in Egypt - foreign women often don't realise this.

Basic Orfi - done in a lawyers office. Allows you to be with the guy unhindered by police. Because this is quite similar to a UK 'registry office' very basic affair, some western women think its a full marriage. It isn't, but you are STILL married. Some hotels or flats will accept it as a marriage but by no means all. This is the one where you can be divorced by the guy just by tearing up the paper. Women - make sure you get both copies of the paper - getting divorced from this one can be very hard if he does a runner and marries someone else and you, the woman, are still married under the law (all the hassle and none of the benefits - women, you can't marry again while you are still married with this one). First you have to find him, and then you have to persuade him to divorce you.

Court-Registered Marriage - its a full legal marriage in Egypt - and the only one you can get if you are a second wife (by which I mean he is still married to the first wife not divorced) - but is not recognized internationally. You can get marriage benefits with this paper - residence, Egyptian rates in hotels etc - while protecting your assets outside of Egypt (if this is an issue for you PLEASE take legal advice - I am just given to understand that this is the case). The marriage contract has both your photos on it. If it doesn't its a basic orfi. (Update 8th June 2009: I have been informed that you can register your orfi in Court and then it is a court-registered marriage but doesn't have your photos on it). Many foreign women are happy with this as they are legally married within Egyptian law. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity for 'contract conditions'! It's basically a 'pre-nup' but you should explicitly state things such as freedom to travel without husbands permission, and if you have kids things round that (but obviously you have to work within Egyptian law). Don't leave anything to chance!

Internationally recognized marriage (UK and US anyway) -has to take place at the Ministry of Justice in Cairo. You can't get this one if you are a second wife. MoJ checks whether he is already married (and you) as you cannot have a legal polygamous marriage under UK or US law.


There are many lovely Egyptian guys out there but ladies, do be warned. You may wish to check out your 'honey' on one of the following two sites:

Put Egypt in the 'search country' to get the Egyptian list


Russian site but a lot of the Egypt stuff is in English

As I said, don't shoot the messenger. I personally know 3 British women who have been ripped off for many tens of thousands of English pounds - over £300k in one case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello iam looking for a gospital to do the pre marriage exam do you know of one in cairo ? my fiance has been looking all morning and the keep sending him from 1 hospital to the next saying they dont do that there try this one and same angain at the next one please help iam only here for 2 more weeks and then have to leave thank you

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