If you plan to get married abroad, you might be required to submit a Letter of No Impediment. Authorities need this letter in order to verify that you are not already married (i.e., that you are either single, divorced, or widowed). Often, however, you will also be required to submit a Confirmation of Marriage or a Marital Status Letter/Certificate, to prove that you are already married.
What is a Letter of Confirmation of Marriage certificate?
A Confirmation of Marriage may be referred to as a Marital Status Certificate or Proof of Marriage Letter. These letters are government documents that state a person’s current status. They indicate whether a person is married, divorced, or single, according to the National Population Register of South Africa.
A similar letter is the Letter of No Impediment, also issued by the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa, proving that an individual has nothing impeding their marrying someone, in other words that they are in fact SINGLE or DIVORCED.
These documents are often used by couples that got married outside of the country and wish to register their marriage in South Africa. In the event that an unabridged marriage certificate cannot be obtained fast enough, this certificate can be used as an alternative in certain cases. Please keep in mind that a Letter of Confirmation of Marriage is not the same as an unabridged marriage certificate.
In some cases, South African marriage certificates are not accepted by other countries. Often, foreign authorities need proof from Home Affairs that a person did not get divorced since the marriage certificate was issued. This document is sometimes also referred to as a Confirmation of Status. It can also be used by people that want to submit proof that they are widowed (WIDOW or WIDOWER).
These certificates are issued by the Department of Home Affairs and serve to confirm the marital status of an individual. Although the letter seems similar to the Letter of No Impediment, it is not the same. This specific letter does not state that you are free to marry. Instead, it verifies your current status on the SA population register.
How do I apply for proof of my marital status?
Should you require a Confirmation of Marriage for official use abroad, you can apply for it with a South African Consulate or Mission office, or within SA at Home Affairs. There will be a form that has to be filled out along with a fee that has to be paid. Depending on how many cases the office has to process, your certificate may easily take up to 6 months (or longer) to be finalised.
Alternatively, you can work with a document concierge service like Apostil.co.za.
We can help you apply for your Confirmation of Marriage and obtain it as soon as possible. If you need help with obtaining proof of marriage, we can assist in the shortest time possible. We always recommend that you submit any proof you might have to support your case. This can assist with expediting the finalisation of your application. See our pricing page and get in touch with us today.