Certificate of No Impediment
If a British national is getting a marriage or civil partnership abroad, they might need certain documents from the UK government, for example a certificate of no impediment (CNI).
If the applicant lives in the UK, they will simply need to contact their local Registry Office and inform them of their intentions to marry abroad. Notices will be placed and the certificate will be issued 28 days after the application has been made.
If the applicant is a British National living abroad, the closest British Embassy can be contacted, who will then complete the process on behalf of the applicant or provide alternative documentation. A Certificate of No Impediment may not be issued for marriages in Commonwealth countries. There may be a requirement to obtain the certificate from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office but this is based on who the applicant is marrying.
Alternative documents can include a Statutory Declaration confirming that the applicant is free to marry. This declaration should be made in the presence of a practising solicitor or Notary Public and legalised accordingly. The applicant should always check whether alternative documents will be suitable and sufficient for the government body who will receive it.
Details Contained within the Certificate
The Certificate of No Impediment will contain 8 pieces of information for both the Bride and the Groom. This includes:
• Name and Surname
• Condition to Marry (for example – Single, Previous Marriage Dissolved etc)
• Place of Residence
• Period of Residence at the address
• Location where the Marriage shall be taking place
• Nationality & District of Residence
Once the certificate has been obtained, the applicant should check whether it requires legalisation at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the affixing of an Apostille stamp before submitting it to the government body abroad who has requested it. It should be noted that this process should not be completed more than 3 to 6 months prior to the wedding as some government body.
The applicant should also check if any further documents are required such as birth certificates, proof of divorce, or a sworn affidavit confirming that the applicant is legally able to marry.