How To Get A Certificate Of No Impediment To Marry Outside The UK


When planning to get married outside the UK, a certificate of no impediment is required. The certificate gives a go-ahead to marry. Therefore, it pays to understand how to get one. Having a certificate of no impediment (CNI) is proof that you can marry abroad without any impediments to the proposed union. This certificate has various names depending on where the marriage is to take place including certificate of unmarried status, single status certificate, certificate of legal capacity to marry, or certificate of marital status. Marriage abroad can’t take place without having this certificate.

When is a CNI required?

The certificate of no impediment proves that you can marry in another country apart from the UK. Keep in mind that not all countries request for this certificate. So, you have to understand the requirements of the country where the marriage is to take place to determine whether you need the CNI or not. When getting married in a commonwealth country, this certificate is not necessary. Read on for ideas on how to get the certificate of no impediment.

Local registry office

You have to registry office near your location to arrange an appointment to request for the certificate. The process requires submitting support documents including address, proof of nationality, and current marital status. Find out the essential documents required before arriving for your appointment. You can get the CNI from a local register office after placing a notice regarding your intended marriage. After receiving no objections, the certificate is issued after about 3 to 4 weeks but you have to pay a small fee.

After getting the CNI, contact a document attestation service to attach an apostille. This makes the certificate legalized for use abroad. After getting the no impediment certificate from the UK, you can then exchange it for a local certificate in the country where the marriage is to take place. This is possible through the British Consulate in the foreign country or the foreign country’s consulate in the UK.

British embassy

When residing overseas and planning to marry in another country, you have to understand the whole process. You have to contact the British embassy where the marriage is to take place for a certificate of no impediment. Keep in mind that the embassy has a right to issue out this certificate or to deny. In case your request is turned down, contact the local authorities in the country where you plan to have the wedding from for a suitable alternative document.

Getting married in a CommonWealth country

When planning to marry from a CommonWealth member country, there is no need for a certificate of legal capacity to marry. This is true since the UK and the country where to have the wedding from are all members of the CommonWealth. However, you have to contact the local authorities for an acceptable alternative document that works like the certificate of impediment.

How to handle a CNI in a foreign language

The certificate of impediment requires exchanging into local equivalent language through a consulate. This is very important since the civil registry department in the country for the wedding will request a certified translation of the no impediment certificate into English. This requires finding a certified translator for the job. This might take a few hours or days depending on the person handling the translation.

Fortunately, you can just find a professional agency to get an apostille stamp on the certificate while offering certified translations as well. The ideal agency will understand all the nuances of the requirements in the civil registry office of the country where the wedding is to take place. Ensure to apply for the CNI about 3 months for the wedding. Keep in mind that the registry office might take about 28 days to complete the process. Giving the process enough time saves you from panic and limits making errors when rushing to beat deadlines.

Using an alternative document

For situations where the certificate of impediment is not necessary, you have to understand the best alternative document to use. A good alternative to the CNI is the statutory declaration. This confirms that you are free to marry outside the UK. This declaration is made in the presence of a legalized notary public or practicing solicitor. Before embarking on the process of getting the CNI or alternative document, inquire from local authorities of the country where you are to marry from about the appropriate documents required.

Bottom line

Regardless of your intentions to get married outside the UK, it pays to understand the process and related guidelines. This requires understanding the guidelines of the country where you are to marry from and the appropriate documents required. For situations where the CNI is not required, you have to understand the appropriate alternative document to use such as the statutory declaration.