South Africans who want to marry abroad might be required to submit a Letter of No Impediment. Authorities need this letter in order to verify that you are not already married. If you are getting married in a Hague Convention member country, this document will also have to be apostilled in order to be used abroad legally.
If you are set on getting married in a country like New Zealand, Australia, or England (to name but a few), you will be required to submit an Apostilled Letter of No Impediment. South Africans getting married in a country that is not a signatory of the Hague Convention will need to go through the process of authentication certificates, which is done on at least three different levels. But regardless of whether or not you are getting married in a signatory country, the Letter of No Impediment is still essential for you to obtain your visa and permits.
The Importance of Letters of No Impediment
A Letter of No Impediment may be referred to as any one of the following:
- Certificate of No Record of Marriage
- Certificate of No Impediment
- Single Statement
- No Marital Status Certificate
- Negative Statement of Marriage (term often used in the US)
- Non-Impediment Letter
- Non-Impediment Certificate
- Declaration of Non-Impediment to Marry
- Certificate of Freedom to Marry (term 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; term often used in the Philippines, etc.)
- Certificato di Stato Libero / Nulla Osta (terms often used in Italy)
These certificates are government documents that provide information indicating that a search has been conducted on your credentials and that no record of marriage has surfaced on your name. Sometimes this is limited to a certain time period.
In South Africa, Letters or Certificates of No Impediment are issued by the Department of Home Affairs and confirm an individual’s marital status. These certificates are usually valid for six months from the date they were issued, but this is best confirmed with the authority requiring the document.
How do I Apply for a Letter of No Impediment?
Should you require a single status certificate in order to get married abroad, you can apply for it with the South African High Commission office. There will be a form that has to be filled out along with a fee that has to be paid and depending on how many cases the office has to process, your Letter of No Impediment may easily take up to 6 months (or longer) to be finalised.
Before you apply for a Letter of No Impediment, it is advisable to check your marital status in South Africa. There are a lot of fraudulent marriages that get reported to the Department of Home Affairs every year. Thus, in order to ensure your identity was not used in a scam, all you have to do is contact us to verify your marital status or status in general on the DHA system.
We can help you apply for your Letter of No Impediment should you require it to get married abroad. See pricing and get in touch with us.