How to Get a Certificate of No Impediment

How to Get a Certificate of No Impediment

Getting married abroad can be an exciting experience — but it can also get complicated. Frequently, getting hitched in another country means submitting official documents to local authorities to ensure your marriage is legal. One of these documents is referred to as a "certificate of no impediment," or "CNI," and it simply states that you are legally allowed to get married in your home country. While the process for getting this certificate is relatively straightforward, it does differ depending on whether you're in your home country or already living abroad.[1] X Research source

Method 1 of 2:
Before You Travel

1
Contact the embassy or consulate of your destination country for details. Call the embassy or consulate of your destination country and explain that you're planning on getting married in their country. Ask what documents you'll need to ensure that your marriage is legal both there and in your home country. [2] X Research source You might also be able to find out this information on the embassy's website. The embassy or consulate might have a form that you can get your local clerk or register to fill out. If you have the form from your destination country, that might ensure that things go more smoothly.[3] X Research source
2
Call your local register or clerk's office to make an appointment. Look up information for the government office that keeps local records of marriages. In the UK, it will be your local register office. [4] X Research source In the US, it's typically your city or county clerk's office. [5] X Research source When you call, tell the employee who answers that you're getting married in another country and want to make an appointment to get a certificate of no impediment. Ask them what documents you need to bring with you and when your certificate will be issued. Some offices may be booked up for several weeks, so don't leave this to the last minute! You want to make sure you have all of your documents in order before you leave the country so your marriage will be legal. If the office isn't particularly busy, they might tell you that you can drop in at any time during business hours. If this is the case, get over there as soon as possible to take care of it. A CNI is called by different names in different countries. For example, some states in the US call this document an "Affidavit of Single Status." Double-check with the embassy or consulate of your destination country to make sure the document you get will be acceptable.[6] X Research source
3
Bring documents with you to verify your address and identity. While the specific documents vary depending on where you live, generally, you'll need to bring something that proves you live in the area served by that office, as well as a government-issued identity document. [7] X Research source To prove your identity and citizenship, a passport, birth certificate, or a government-issued photo ID usually works. You might need more than one document. For your address, a lease or mortgage statement, utility bill in your name, or bank statement should suffice.
4
Complete a paper application if it's locally required. Some offices have a paper form you'll need to fill out with details about your impending nuptials, including the name of the city and country where you're planning to get married and biographical details about yourself and your partner-to-be. Typically, the clerk will give you a copy of the application when you show up for your appointment. [8] X Research source If the office has a website, you might be able to download a form there and fill it out in advance — but don't sign it yet! Some offices require you to sign the application in the presence of the clerk after they've verified your identity.
5
Pay the requested fee for your certificate. The fee for a certificate of no impediment varies greatly depending on your location, but it's usually not very much. The clerk will tell you exactly how much you need to pay and what forms of payment are accepted. [9] X Research source If you're concerned about the cost or the methods of payment accepted, call ahead or ask when you make your appointment. If the office has a website, you can probably get information about fees there as well.
6
Ask the clerk when and how your certificate will be issued. Some offices may issue the certificate immediately while you wait. However, it's more common for them to mail the certificate to the address you provided when it's issued. While every office is different, expect it to take a couple of weeks. [10] X Research source You might also be able to return to the office to pick it up when it's ready, rather than waiting for it to arrive in the mail. If you're planning to travel soon, this might be a better option.
7
Get your certificate legalized by an apostille or notary public. Some countries require an apostille or notary public to certify that your certificate is an official legal document. You can find this out from the country where you plan to get married. If you're not sure, go ahead and get it done anyway — it won't hurt, even if it's not required. [11] X Research source You'll typically have to pay an additional fee for the services of the apostille or notary public, usually a relatively small amount (say, a few dollars).
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Method 2 of 2:
While Abroad

1
Contact your home country's nearest embassy or consulate. If you're living in another country and want to get married there, but that country requires a CNI from your home country, you can usually get one through your home country's embassy or consulate. Search online for the contact information of the nearest location. [12] X Research source When you call, tell the consular officer that you want to get married in the country and need a certificate of no impediment. Since specifics vary among countries, they'll tell you what you need to do to get your certificate and roughly how long it will take. Typically, you'll need to schedule an appointment if you want to apply in person. If you're unable to travel to the embassy or consulate, ask if you can mail in the application and supporting documents you'll need.[13] X Research source
2
Get official copies of documents that prove your identity and citizenship. To check records and issue your certificate, the embassy or consulate needs official government documents with your name and birth date, as well as other information that proves you're a citizen of that country. Any photocopies may need to be certified by a clerk or notary public so the consular officials know they haven't been altered — ask the consular officer about this. Specific documents vary depending on your country of origin, but you'll likely need: [14] X Research source Your passport (or a photocopy, if you're mailing your application) Your driver's license or other government-issued photo ID (or a photocopy, if you're mailing your application) A certified copy of your birth certificate A bank statement or utility bill showing your current address
3
Complete the application form. The form typically asks for information about you and your partner-to-be, the city and country where you're planning on getting married, and your current residence. Your partner-to-be might be required to provide information or sign the form as well, even if they're not a citizen of your home country. [15] X Research source If you want to fill out this form before your appointment, you might be able to download a copy from the website of your country's embassy or consulate. Ask the embassy or consulate to mail you a form if you can't travel to the location in person and need to mail it in.
4
Submit your application and documents along with the fee. Your embassy or consulate will charge a fee to issue a CNI. The cost varies greatly among countries, although it's usually not very much. A consular officer can tell you exactly what the fee is and what forms of payment are accepted. The fee is typically payable in local currency. [16] X Research source If you're submitting your application and documents in person, your partner-to-be might need to come along with you. Check with the embassy or consulate to make sure.
5
Wait at least 2 weeks to get your certificate in the mail. After the embassy or consulate receives your application, they'll check records with your home country to verify that they can issue a certificate. Provided everything is in order, they'll issue the certificate and mail it to the local address you provided. [17] X Research source If you live near the embassy or consulate, you might also be able to go there and pick it up. They'll either call you when it's ready or tell you what day to come get it when you submit your application.
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Method 1 of 2:
Before You Travel

1
Contact the embassy or consulate of your destination country for details. Call the embassy or consulate of your destination country and explain that you're planning on getting married in their country. Ask what documents you'll need to ensure that your marriage is legal both there and in your home country. [2] X Research source You might also be able to find out this information on the embassy's website. The embassy or consulate might have a form that you can get your local clerk or register to fill out. If you have the form from your destination country, that might ensure that things go more smoothly.[3] X Research source
2
Call your local register or clerk's office to make an appointment. Look up information for the government office that keeps local records of marriages. In the UK, it will be your local register office. [4] X Research source In the US, it's typically your city or county clerk's office. [5] X Research source When you call, tell the employee who answers that you're getting married in another country and want to make an appointment to get a certificate of no impediment. Ask them what documents you need to bring with you and when your certificate will be issued. Some offices may be booked up for several weeks, so don't leave this to the last minute! You want to make sure you have all of your documents in order before you leave the country so your marriage will be legal. If the office isn't particularly busy, they might tell you that you can drop in at any time during business hours. If this is the case, get over there as soon as possible to take care of it. A CNI is called by different names in different countries. For example, some states in the US call this document an "Affidavit of Single Status." Double-check with the embassy or consulate of your destination country to make sure the document you get will be acceptable.[6] X Research source
3
Bring documents with you to verify your address and identity. While the specific documents vary depending on where you live, generally, you'll need to bring something that proves you live in the area served by that office, as well as a government-issued identity document. [7] X Research source To prove your identity and citizenship, a passport, birth certificate, or a government-issued photo ID usually works. You might need more than one document. For your address, a lease or mortgage statement, utility bill in your name, or bank statement should suffice.
4
Complete a paper application if it's locally required. Some offices have a paper form you'll need to fill out with details about your impending nuptials, including the name of the city and country where you're planning to get married and biographical details about yourself and your partner-to-be. Typically, the clerk will give you a copy of the application when you show up for your appointment. [8] X Research source If the office has a website, you might be able to download a form there and fill it out in advance — but don't sign it yet! Some offices require you to sign the application in the presence of the clerk after they've verified your identity.
5
Pay the requested fee for your certificate. The fee for a certificate of no impediment varies greatly depending on your location, but it's usually not very much. The clerk will tell you exactly how much you need to pay and what forms of payment are accepted. [9] X Research source If you're concerned about the cost or the methods of payment accepted, call ahead or ask when you make your appointment. If the office has a website, you can probably get information about fees there as well.
6
Ask the clerk when and how your certificate will be issued. Some offices may issue the certificate immediately while you wait. However, it's more common for them to mail the certificate to the address you provided when it's issued. While every office is different, expect it to take a couple of weeks. [10] X Research source You might also be able to return to the office to pick it up when it's ready, rather than waiting for it to arrive in the mail. If you're planning to travel soon, this might be a better option.
7
Get your certificate legalized by an apostille or notary public. Some countries require an apostille or notary public to certify that your certificate is an official legal document. You can find this out from the country where you plan to get married. If you're not sure, go ahead and get it done anyway — it won't hurt, even if it's not required. [11] X Research source You'll typically have to pay an additional fee for the services of the apostille or notary public, usually a relatively small amount (say, a few dollars).
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Method 2 of 2:
While Abroad

1
Contact your home country's nearest embassy or consulate. If you're living in another country and want to get married there, but that country requires a CNI from your home country, you can usually get one through your home country's embassy or consulate. Search online for the contact information of the nearest location. [12] X Research source When you call, tell the consular officer that you want to get married in the country and need a certificate of no impediment. Since specifics vary among countries, they'll tell you what you need to do to get your certificate and roughly how long it will take. Typically, you'll need to schedule an appointment if you want to apply in person. If you're unable to travel to the embassy or consulate, ask if you can mail in the application and supporting documents you'll need.[13] X Research source
2
Get official copies of documents that prove your identity and citizenship. To check records and issue your certificate, the embassy or consulate needs official government documents with your name and birth date, as well as other information that proves you're a citizen of that country. Any photocopies may need to be certified by a clerk or notary public so the consular officials know they haven't been altered — ask the consular officer about this. Specific documents vary depending on your country of origin, but you'll likely need: [14] X Research source Your passport (or a photocopy, if you're mailing your application) Your driver's license or other government-issued photo ID (or a photocopy, if you're mailing your application) A certified copy of your birth certificate A bank statement or utility bill showing your current address
3
Complete the application form. The form typically asks for information about you and your partner-to-be, the city and country where you're planning on getting married, and your current residence. Your partner-to-be might be required to provide information or sign the form as well, even if they're not a citizen of your home country. [15] X Research source If you want to fill out this form before your appointment, you might be able to download a copy from the website of your country's embassy or consulate. Ask the embassy or consulate to mail you a form if you can't travel to the location in person and need to mail it in.
4
Submit your application and documents along with the fee. Your embassy or consulate will charge a fee to issue a CNI. The cost varies greatly among countries, although it's usually not very much. A consular officer can tell you exactly what the fee is and what forms of payment are accepted. The fee is typically payable in local currency. [16] X Research source If you're submitting your application and documents in person, your partner-to-be might need to come along with you. Check with the embassy or consulate to make sure.
5
Wait at least 2 weeks to get your certificate in the mail. After the embassy or consulate receives your application, they'll check records with your home country to verify that they can issue a certificate. Provided everything is in order, they'll issue the certificate and mail it to the local address you provided. [17] X Research source If you live near the embassy or consulate, you might also be able to go there and pick it up. They'll either call you when it's ready or tell you what day to come get it when you submit your application.
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