Custom Search

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Marriage in Pakistan: Marriage Certificate, Availing, Registering, for purpose of UK Spouse Visa



I will be updating this post as I get more updated information about it.



A marriage certificate is known as “nikanama” in Pakistan. It is allowed for a foreign woman to marry a Pakistani man in Pakistan. Although not required to change her religion if she is either a Christian or a Jew, it is recommended that she does if the man is a Muslim. It is recommended that a lawyer be present on wedding so that he can guarantee that all clauses of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (below) are satisfied. The marriage certificate also needs to be stamped by the Pakistan Foreign Office.



There are two types of marriages in Pakistan


1. Court Marriage

This is held in the district court in presence of a judge. A nikanama is signed.

2. Religious Marriage

This is when a local maulvi / imam (priest) conducts the marriage in an Islamic manner, usually in the house or a hotel.



The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961


This is the law that the marriage is conducted under. Here is an excerpt from it:



1. Short title, extent, application and commencement
(1) This Ordinance may be called the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance,
1961.
(2) It extends to whole of Pakistan, and applies to all Muslim citizens of
Pakistan, wherever they may be.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Federal Government may, by
notification in the official Gazette, appoint in this behalf.
2.
Definition
(a) “Arbitration Council” means a body consisting of the Chairman and a
representative of each of the parties to a matter dealt with this Ordinance:
Provided that where any party fails to nominate a representative within the
prescribed time, the body formed without such representative shall be the
Arbitration Council.
(b) “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Union Council
or a person appointed by the Federal Government in the Cantonment areas or by
the Provincial Government in other areas or by an Officer authorised in that
behalf by any such Government to discharge the functions of chairman under
Ordinance:Provided that where the Chairman of the Union Council is a non-Muslim,
or he himself wishes to make an application to the Arbitration Council, or is,
owing to illness or any other reason, unable to discharge the functions of
Chairman, the Council shall elect one of its Muslim members as Chairman for the
purposes of this Ordinance.
(c) “Prescribed” means prescribed by rules made
under Sch. II.
(d) “Union Council” means the Union Council or the Town or
Union Committee constituted under the Basic Democracies Order, 1959 and having
jurisdiction in the matter as prescribed.
(e) “Ward” means a ward within a
Union or Town as defined in the aforesaid Order.
3. Ordinance to
override other laws, etc.
(1) The provisions of this Ordinance shall have effect notwithstanding any
law, custom or usage, and the registration of Muslim marriages shall take place
only in accordance with these provisions.
(2) For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that the provisions of
the Arbitration Act, 1940 (X of 1940), the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (Act V
of 1908), and any other law regulating the procedure of Courts shall not apply
to any Arbitration Council.
4. Succession.In the event of death of any son
or daughter of the propositus before the opening of succession, the children of
such son or daughter, if any, living at the time the succession opens, shall per
stripes, receive a share equivalent to the share which such son or daughter, as
the case may be, would have received if alive.
5. Registration of marriage.
(1) Every marriage solemnized under Muslim Law shall be registered in
accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance.
(2) For the purpose of registration of marriage under this Ordinance, the
Union Council shall grant licenses to one or more persons, to be called Nikah
Registrars, but in no case shall more than on Nikah Registrar be licensed for
any one Ward.
(3) Every marriage not solemnized by the Nikah Registrar shall, for the
purpose of registration under this Ordinance be reported to him by the person
who has solemnized such marriage.
(4). Whoever contravenes the provisions of such-section (3) shall be
punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extent to three months,
or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
(5). The form of nikahnama, the registers to be maintained by Nikah
Registrars, the records to be preserved by Union Councils, the manner in which
marriage shall be registered and copies of nikhanama shall be supplied to
parties, and the fees to be charged thereof, shall be such as may be
prescribed.
(6) Any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, if any, inspect at
the office of the Union Council the record preserved under sub-section (5), or
obtain a copy of any entry therein.




Translation of Marriage Certificate in English


A marriage certificate needs to be translated into English before submitting it with a Spouse Visa application. This can be done by a lawyer in Pakistan, an advocacy and translating service in UK, a notary public in Pakistan. A stamp of “oath commissioner” in Pakistan needs to be on the documents. It also needs to be stamped by the Pakistan Foreign Office. A sample. You can also contact Gerrys.


Change of name when back in UK


When back In the UK, if the woman wants to change her name legally to her new name (last name of husband), she needs to do it via a Deed Poll. A solicitor can help with this.


Registration of marriage in the UK / Validity of marriage in the UK


According to UK General Registry Office (GRO) a wedding conducted in Pakistan can not be recorded at a register office. Since it clearly says this:



Conditions

1. your wedding has to have taken place in one of the countries from
which we can accept formal notifications. See the
full
list
of countries below.

2. one of you must be a British citizen - and only
that person can apply to deposit the details.

Countries from which we accept formal notifications:

Afganistan
Guinea &
Bissau
Paraguay
Algeria
Haiti
Peru
American
Samoa
Hawaii
Philippines
Andorra
Honduras
Poland
Angola
Hong
Kong
Portugal
Argentina
Hungary
P'tugese
Timor
Armenia
Iceland
Puerto
Rico
Austria
Indonesia
Qatar
Azerbidjan
Iran
Reunion(Paris)
Bahrain
Iraq
Rhodes
Belarus
Israel
Romania
Belgium
Italy
Russian
Fed
Bolivia
Ivory Coast
Rwanda
Borneo
Japan
St.Pierre &
Miq
Bosnia
Jerusalem
San
Marino
Brazil
Jordan
Sardinia
Bulgaria
Kalimantan
Saudi
Arabia
Burma
Kampuchea
Senegal
Burundei
Khazakstan
Slovakia
Canary
Kirgistan
Slovenia
Cape Verde
Korea
Somali
Celebes
Kuwait
S.W.Africa
C African
Rep
Laos
Spain
Chad
Latvia
Sudan
Chile
Lebanon
Sumatra
China
Liberia
Sweden
Colombia
Libya
Switzerland
Conakry
Liechtenstein
Syria
Congo
Lithuania
Tadzhikistan
Corsica
Luxemborg
Tahiti
Costa
Rica
Macao
Thailand
Crete
Macedonia
Timor
Croatia
Malagasy
Rep
Togo
Cuba
Maldives
Tunisia
Curacao
Mali
Turkey
Czech
Republic
Martinique
Turkmenistan
Denmark
Mauritania
Ukraine
Dominican
Rep
Mexico
United Arab
Emirates
Ecuador
Moldova
USA
Egypt
Mozambique
Uruguay
El
Salvador
Monaco
Uzbekistan
Equat'l Guinea
Mongolia
Vatican
City
Estonia
Morocco
Venezuela
Ethiopia
Nepal
Vietnam
North
Fernando Poo
Netherlands
Virgin Is (USA)
Finland
New
Caledonia
Yemen Arab Rep
France
Nicaragua
Yemen Dem
Rep
Gabon
Niger
Zaire
Georgia
Norway
Germany
Oman
Greece
Palestine
Guatemala
Panama

The reason for this is that Pakistan comes under the list of Commonwealth countries. However they can be deposited with the register office. However for Pakistan, according to Foreign and Commonwealth Office website even that is not possible, since Pakistan is a Commonwealth country.



To deposit your documents:

1.you must have been married in a foreign country, but
2.not a commonwealth country (see list below) or an overseas territory

3.one of you must be British

you can deposit a civil partnership document from any
country in the world (i.e. foreign and commonwealth countries and overseas
territories)


Commonwealth countries

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus,
Dominica, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya,
Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and
Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon
Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and
Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Zambia,
Zimbabwe


So what do we do? Well the good news is that depositing or registering a marriage is not a legal requirement. In fact as said on the links given above, registering is not possible altogether, depositing is in certain cases.


Now take a look at the Entry Clearance Guidelines of the UK Border Agency (13.21) (Spouse Visa):



There are two requirements which have to be met before an
overseas marriage with one party under 16 can be recognised under the laws of
the United Kingdom:


· the
marriage is valid in the country in which it took place (i.e. it is legal for
parties under 16 to marry and the marriage itself complied with the formal
requirements of the country in which it took place);


· both
parties to the marriage had the legal capacity under the law of their domicile
to marry each other (i.e. the law of their domicile allowed marriage with a
person under 16, and they were free to marry in other respects).



Therefore it is clear that if the marriage is recognized in Pakistan, it is recognized by the British High Commission Entry Clearance Officer. So all we do is make sure the marriage is legal in Pakistan (done according to Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961).

Also take a look at this document from UK Border Agency Website which explains about marriages recognized in the UK. You will notice the following things:



2.5.1 In most cases where the marriage has been accepted for
immigration purposes it
will be safe to assume that a foreign marriage is
valid in our law. However the case
should be referred to NPSCU (EOP2) who
will, if necessary, make further enquiries if,
for example, it appears
that:
• the marriage was a church marriage in a Muslim country; or
• it
was a religious or a customary marriage which has not been registered with
the
civil authorities of the country in which it was celebrated; or

either of the partners was clearly not domiciled in the country where the
marriage
took place and, under the law of the country of domicile, the type
of marriage
entered into would not be valid; or
• a previous marriage was
ended by a divorce obtained in a different country from
the one where the
marriage, which it purports to dissolve, was celebrated, and
neither spouse
was:
i. habitually resident in the country where the divorce was obtained;
or
ii. a national of the country where the divorce was obtained; or
iii. domiciled in the country where the divorce was obtained (see
DIVORCE).(For this purpose each State of the United States of America
is regarded as a separate country); or
• it is a "common law" marriage (see paragraph 10 below)



Therefore point 1 above clearly shows that it will complicate matters if both man and woman are not muslims. Point 2 would be satisfied if done under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961. Point 3 would be satisfied by her Pakistani visa and my National ID Card. Point 4 would be satisfied by her Decree Absolute. Point 4 would be clearly satisfied since the definition of “common law” marriage is:



10.1 A common law "marriage" is one which has not been
contracted in accordance with
civil or ecclesiastical laws but:
• was
entered into by private agreement; and
• has existed for a long

A further description of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance:



15.10.1 The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 came into effect
on 15 July 1961 and applies to all Muslim citizens of Bangladesh and Pakistan
(and possibly some other Muslim countries), wherever they may be. It provides
for all Muslim (or Mohammedan) marriages to be registered by a Nikah Registrar appointed by the Union Council. The Pakistan courts have, in the past, refused to recognise marriages which have not been registered in accordance with the Ordinance. Polygamy (up to 4 wives) is allowed on condition that the man obtains permission for each marriage from the
Arbitration Council. The Ordinance is regarded as directive rather than mandatory since it makes no reference to the validity of marriages which do not conform to its requirements.


Another interesting bit to notice. Clearly this shows marriages in Pakistan are recognized by default if done in Muslim manner:


15.10.3 See also the paragraphs relating to marriage in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as
appropriate. Where a Muslim ceremony has taken place in a country other than Pakistan
or Bangladesh, the appropriate entry on the country concerned should first be consulted.
If doubt remains as to the validity of a Muslim marriage, the case may be referred to
INPD for advice.


Another point to notice as below. If conversion of religion does not take place then the Christian Marriage Act 1872 kicks in:



15.12 Pakistan
15.12.1 Most marriages in Pakistan are in
accordance with the Muslim religion, and are
governed by the Muslim Family
Laws Ordinance 1961 (see
15.10 above).
15.12.2 Under the Child Marriage
Restraint Act 1929, the minimum age for a Muslim
girl's marriage was 14, and
18 for a boy. The girl's age was raised to 16 by the Muslim
Family Laws
Ordinance 1961, and the boy's remained at 18. Although child marriages
are
illegal, and punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment, they are
nevertheless
regarded as valid.
15.12.3 The Christian Marriage Act 1872
provides for marriages in Pakistan when at
least one of the parties is a
Christian. Such a marriage solemnised other than in
accordance with the
provisions of the 1872 Act would be void.
Any comments would be welcome here but apparently from what I've seen, the Pakistani marriage certificate is usually accepted by the British Embassy.

Links:

http://www.visadropbox.com/mfa.asp
http://www.ukvacpk.com/


16 comments:

  1. Nikah Nama Translation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6781439/Nikah-Nama-Translation

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi, im salam who lives in uk, got married in pakistan in july, my wife applied for visa in pakistan. Can u tell me how long would it take to get her visa?

    ReplyDelete
  3. hi bro.
    I am malaysian and married to british pakistani in pakistani.When i apply can i just use my nikah certificate from pakistan or do i have to register locally in my country

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you want translation of Your Nikah Nama (Marriage Certificate) then visit http://english2urdutranslations.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. hi i got married in pakistan in 2005, my wife arrived in the uk in 2006 but we had a islamic divorce and she retured to pakistan, since then i have had a islamic divorec the taalaq, the question is am i married in the uk law as i did not go to a registay office?

    ReplyDelete
  6. hi
    well my case is like same with ur case i want to know that wht documents we need coz she is in uk.and does she should appoint a professsional lawyes of high court here in pakistan nd will she need to give any kind of lawyer fees..i will be waiting for u answer

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello,
    There are additional registration fees of $35,000US for the head of a household applying for citizenship and an additional $15,000US for a spouse and each minor child.

    ReplyDelete
  8. HI mate,
    i an in need of urgent advice if you could help me with it pls. i have married a lithuanian girl residing in the UK whereas i am a Pakistani. now whn i have to apply for the spouse visa, i am a little confused as people saying the wedding certificate has to be on some sort of website for the BHC to verify it, is it true? if so, how do i get it done.
    many thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. great sharing, there is a company which translate nika nama, i also translate from urdu to italian, Translation services is best service in translation world

    ReplyDelete
  10. Get your K1 Fiance Visa quickly. Automated Visa Preparation System without the high legal fees. Approved by Immigration Lawyers. Once you have begun the adjustment of status filing process, your spouse does not have to leave the country. In fact, they need to stay in the United States while the application is pending. The adjustment of status fees are not negotiable and must be paid as part of your application.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Get your k1 fiance visa. Automated Visa Preparation System without the high legal fees. Approved by Immigration Lawyers.This will allow you to start the process of obtaining their Green Card.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Any body Help me about my nikah namah.. My Nikah namah registered with wrong name.. So i want to make correction...Let me know the procedure and the time to have this done.My ID and passport named without my Sir name. but on the contrary my Nikaah Naama registerted with Sir name.Let me know the procedure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I got married in Pakistan about 5yrs ago. My nikkah was done by a Pir/imaam in Kotli.How do I get a copy of my Nikkah Naama? myw ife has lost the copy we had.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello there my ex husband who is from pakistan but living here in britan has givin me an islamic divorce, but he has stolen my marriage certificate how can i pre order another one or is there a way i can get it back because my divorce wont go through. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks but you have not reflected Ahmadi marriages, Ahmadis are declared non Muslims for the purposes of constitution and law since 1974, BUT declare them to be Muslims, have their own system of marriages registry and the BHC recognises their marriages or Nikah Nama and certificates

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,

    I am a Pakistani, studying in UK. my wife is from Egypt. I want to register my marriage in Pakistan. also I want to apply for her VISA. cold you please provide me with the starting point.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner