Understanding the significance of Letters of No Impediment

Letters of No Impediment play a crucial role, particularly if you plan to get married overseas. This letter serves as a verification document required by authorities to confirm your marital status, ensuring you are not currently married, whether you are single, divorced, or widowed.

Certain countries may necessitate the apostillation or attestation of this document. This process can be notably swifter and simpler if you intend to wed in a nation that adheres to the Hague Convention, compared to countries that mandate attestation. For those contemplating marriage in countries like New Zealand, Australia, or England, an Apostilled Letter of No Impediment is mandatory. Conversely, if your chosen country is not a Hague Convention signatory, you must navigate the authentication certificate procedure, which comprises three distinct levels. Regardless of the country’s Hague Convention status, securing a Letter of No Impediment remains essential for acquiring your visas and permits.

Grasping the significance of Letters of No Impediment

Letters of No Impediment are known by various titles, such as a Certificate of No Record of Marriage, Certificate of No Impediment, Single Statement, No Marital Status Certificate, or Negative Statement of Marriage. These official certificates affirm that your records have been examined, revealing no existing record of marriage linked to your name.

Understanding the importance of Letters of No Impediment

The term “Letter of No Impediment” may also be referred to as any one of the following terms, depending on the country they are requested from:

  • Certificate of No Record of Marriage
  • Certificate of No Impediment
  • Single Statement
  • No Marital Status Certificate
  • Negative Statement of Marriage (commonly used in the US)
  • Non-Impediment Letter
  • Non-Impediment Certificate
  • Declaration of Non-Impediment to Marry
  • Certificate of Freedom to Marry (often used in Ireland)
  • Statutory Declaration of Single Status
  • Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad
  • Affidavit of Intended Marriage
  • Bachelorhood Certificate
  • CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage Record; prevalent in the Philippines)
  • Certificato di Stato Libero / Nulla Osta (frequently used in Italy)

These official documents affirm that your records have been scrutinised, indicating no record of marriage linked to your name, frequently within a specific timeframe.

In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs issues Letters or Certificates of No Impediment to validate an individual’s marital status. These certificates usually hold validity for six months from their issuance date, though confirming the duration with the requiring authority is recommended.

Applying for Letters of No Impediment

You can initiate the application process at the South African High Commission office if you need a Letter of No Impediment to facilitate your marriage overseas. Completion of an application form and payment of a stipulated fee are prerequisites. Depending on the office’s caseload, it may take more than six months to finalise your Letter of No Impediment.

Before applying, it’s wise to verify your marital status within South Africa. Given the instances of fraudulent marriages reported annually, reaching out to Evergration to authenticate your marital status is advised. If you require a Letter of No Impediment for an international wedding, our assistance is at your disposal. Feel free to explore our pricing and get in touch with us. Further information regarding these letters is available on our dedicated Letter of No Impediment page.

Final thoughts

Securing a Letter of No Impediment is an essential step in the process of getting married abroad. It ensures that your marital status is clear and recognised by foreign authorities, allowing you to proceed with your wedding plans smoothly. Whether you need an apostilled document for a Hague Convention country or an authenticated certificate for other nations, understanding the requirements and procedures involved is crucial. By preparing in advance and seeking the necessary documentation, you can avoid potential delays and complications, ensuring a seamless path to your special day.