Planning to get married in Kenya: New Marriage Laws in Kenya


There has recently been numerous cases of frustrations from couples travelling to celebrate their marriage  in Kenya but can’t do so because the Marriage rules in Kenya have changed since 2015.

Previously,  couples were allowed to provide an affidavit confirming that they are free to marry. However,  these rules have since changed and have caught many couples by surprise.

It is now mandatory for all foreign national or a holder of a non Kenyan passport or Identity Card planning to marry in Kenya to provide a Certificate of No Impediment. The certificate  confirms that you are free to marry and without the certificate no marriage can be conducted in Kenya.

Also you must provide your birth certificate and where an applicant is a refugee in their country of residence and a holder of a passport of that country, they must provide the original documents granting them refugee status.

In the UK, the Certificate of No Impediment can only be provided for British nationals via the Register Office in the district in which you live.

How to obtain a Certificate in UK:

You should contact your local register office to arrange an appointment. This should be organised in advance  as there can often be an 8 week or more wait for appointments.

Further you will need to know  the town and area where the marriage is taking place along with any unusual spellings as that will be indicated in the Certificate.

 Documents required:

At the appointment you will need to provide evidence of:

1: Nationality – Valid passport

2: Proof of Address – one of the following:

~Utility bill dated no more than 3 months prior to the date of the appointment

~Bank or building society statement or passbook dated no more than one month prior to the date of the appointment

~Council tax bill dated no more than one year prior to the date of the appointment etc

3:Name – evidence of any name change

4: Evidence of condition – one of the following

~Decree absolute

~The death certificate of the spouse

~The presumed death certificate of the spouse

NB: Only original documents can be provided.  Photocopies will not be accepted.

Please also note that there is a fee for booking and using this service.

Please note that these rules are very stringent and must be complied with. Failure to provide the above documents, no marriage will be conducted in Kenya.

For more advice and assistance seek advice from the nearest Kenyan Embassy or contact us :

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