Publishes by The Daily Star on August 05, 2014 (Link Over)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies.


I am Bangladeshi Muslim and currently living in United Kingdom. I am a student here and planning to get married with a foreign girl. She lives in Canada and she is originally from Philippines. I want to marry her in Bangladesh and where she can appear as a visitor. She will stay in Bangladesh about two weeks and we get married within this time. After that she will go back to Canada again. So please let me know the legal procedure which I need to follow in order to marry a foreign girl in Bangladesh.

Kazi Md. Giash Uddin

I would like to thank you very much for soliciting my legal opinion regarding the matter of marriage between a Bangladeshi national and a foreign national. Upon receipt of the query I have understood that you are a Bangladeshi Muslim boy and are desirous to marry a Filipino girl, living in Canada. As in your query you have not mentioned the religion of the girl, I will discuss various different situations regarding it.
The common notion of marriage is to have a social and legal union between man and woman in order to live together and often to have child. In Bangladesh the procedure of marriage is different in terms of religion as well the laws governing it.
If there is no such barrier regarding ages of you two and both of you are unmarried at the time of solemnizing the marriage, than you are legally capable of marrying each other. You did not mention in your query that whether the foreigner girl is Muslim or Non-Muslim and it is quiet significant to be acquainted with it before providing any legal opinion. If she is a Muslim, then you can marry under the Muslim Law. The Muslim marriage procedure is quite simple in Bangladesh. You can go to a ‘Kazi Office’ in order to get married and through the Nikhah Registrar/Kazi you can register your marriage under Muslim Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Act 1974.
The procedure as well the scenario of marriage will be different when the girl is Non-Muslim. Now-a-days we can perceive many cross religion marriages in our country. A Muslim male can have a legal marriage with a Kitabiyah (i.e. a Jewish or Christian girl). Since most of the people in the Philippine are Christians, the girl in issue may be a Christian. In such case as well, you can marry her under the Muslim law both keeping your religion unconverted.
On the contrary, if she is neither a Muslim nor a Christian; and does not want to convert to Islam, then you can marry her under the Special Marriage Act 1872.
However, irrespective of the type of marriages based on religions, since the girl is a foreigner and will merely be a visitor in Bangladesh at the time of marriage, it will be better to swear a declaration in the form of affidavit before the first class magistrate by both of you regarding the marriage. Besides, it may be a practically wise idea for you to request her to provide Unmarried Certificate/Marital Status Certificate’ from concerned authorities both in Canada and Philippines.
I hope you will have answer to your queries from the aforesaid opinion.

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