You are going to get married in a foreign country and the jurisdiction of your upcoming marriage is asking you to provide a document called a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage from your government. What is this document and where can you get it? A Certificate of non- impediment to marriage is a document provided by some jurisdictions certifying and confirming that there are no obstacles to you getting married, or re-married and that you are free to do so. Unfortunately, Canada does not issue such Certificates. What Canada does issue, however, is a Statement in Lieu of (which means “statement in stead of”) a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage.
What is a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage and who issues it?
The Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage is issued by Global Affairs Canada. The disadvantage of this Statement is that this letter only states that Canada does not issue certificates of non-impediment to marriage abroad. This Statement in Lieu does not contain any other additional details, such as your marital status or your ability to get married in another country. This is typically of little use to the foreign jurisdiction requesting the Certificate of non- impediment to marriage in the first place as it does not satisfy their criteria for permitting a foreign national to get married in their country.
Since the Statement in lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage does not speak to whether you are eligible to marry, some countries may ask you to provide them with another document, most commonly, an Affidavit of Single Status from those who are looking to get married in their jurisdiction.
What is an Affidavit of Single Status?
An Affidavit of Single Status is a sworn document declaring that one is not currently married or has not remarried after a previous divorce and therefore the individual is free to marry. This document can be prepared by a lawyer and sworn in front of a lawyer, commissioner of oaths or a notary public.
Once the Affidavit of Single Status is signed and commissioned, the Affidavit will require authentication from Global Affairs Canada, Ontario Document Services (ODS) or any other provincial equivalent which some countries may accept instead of an authentication by Global Affairs Canada.
Once authenticated by Global Affairs Canada or a provincial equivalent, the document will need to be taken to the respective embassy, consulate, or high commission of the destination country where the marriage will take place, where it will be legalized and authenticated for use in the destination jurisdiction.Subject to any other additional requirements or conditions from the marriage destination jurisdiction, you may proceed with your wedding plans.
If you have any questions or require any assistance on this matter, or any other family law matter, or need an Affidavit prepared and notarized, please contact our office at email@example.com. We would be happy to assist you.