Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Allard John Keeley
A Canadian who marries abroad needs a Statement in Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad in order to prove single status
In order to marry overseas you need to prove your single status. This page explains how.
Prove Single Status in 4 Steps
In Canada, “proof of single status” is called “A Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad”. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but there’s a good reason for it.
How Do You Apply for a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad?
Provincial Affidavits of Single Status or provincial marriage searches which have not been authenticated by the federal government are likely not acceptable in most foreign countries.
You should apply for a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad from the federal government in Ottawa or get your Single Status Declaration or provincial Marriage Search authenticated by the federal government.
Tip: We here at Immigroup have agents in Ottawa and would be happy to help you get this service done. Just call us at 1-866-760-2623 or email us at [email protected]
If you have everything in order please scan and email us your documents so we can have a quick review to ensure everything is in order.
The advantage of a federal Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad is that it is widely accepted in foreign countries.
Step 1: Complete the authentication request form:
In order to get your Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad you must submit an Authentication of Documents form with the appropriate section completed. The federal Authentication of documents form will not open in your browser so please save it to your desktop and open it on your computer by right clicking on the link:
|Federal Authentication of Documents form||Sample Completed Federal Authentication of Documents Form (image)|
Step 2: Declare your marital status and residence in Canada in front of a Notary
Because Canada does not produce Certificates of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad, you must attest to your single status and residence in Canada. You must do this in front of a Notary Public who will notarize the declaration/affidavit.
Cheap Option (recommended ✅)
LawDepot is a company I have been using for years to get any legal template. I personally have a subscription with them. It’s worth checking out their website to get this document made for you. They make it easy with super simple to use, cheap and the end result looks professional . Visit LawDepot to start
Your last option is paying someone to draft up one for you. Here you can contact a local lawyer to do this for you. It may be worth asking a local Notary Public if they have an extra paid service to help you draft one up for you. Going to a local lawyer can be costly.
Tip: Keep this document to one page only. In some circumstances, if this letter needs to be authenticated at a Diplomatic Mission, it will end up costing you a lot more if your document is more than one page. For Example, here at Immigroup we do Cuban Marriage documents and an extra document will lead to $300 more in cost.
The simplest thing to do is simply search in Google, put in the following words “near me notary public” or “notary public [type in your city]”. For example when I type ‘Notary Public Toronto’
As you can see you get a lot of choices to pick from, just find some that are well priced and relatively close to you and fast. You can expect to pay from $13.00 to $30.00 per document. Your local lawyer could charge up to $50.00 to $75.00.
If you are in the Toronto area we recommend you use Jeff Brown from https://Toronto-Notary-Public.com. You will have to draft up your own letter but Jeff is very well priced, fast and just a great guy.
The benefit here is you will see prices and see what services the notary is offering. Very few notaries will do the letter for you and most will only notarise and expect you to draft up the letter yourself. That’s why we provided you with an example above.
Or you can find a notary by clicking on the link for your province:
- Find a notary in Ontario
- Find a notary in Quebec
- Find a notary in BC
- Find a notary in Alberta
- Manitoba – no directory
- Find a notary Saskatchewan
- Find a notary in Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick – no directory
- Newfoundland and Labrador – no directory
- Prince Edward Island – no directory
- Find a notary in Northwest Territories
- Nunavut – no directory
- Find a notary in Yukon
Tip: The cost of a Notary depends on how remote the area you live in is and if you have drafted your own Declaration of Single Status or the Notary did. A simple Notary can cost from $15.00 to $75.00, and the letter can cost from $50.00 to $300. The big variation in cost is typical in the legal industry.
Step 3: Certified Copies of Your Documents
In order to apply for a Statement in Lieu of Statement of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad you will have to provide certified copies of your proof of identity and single status.
A certified copy is an official copy of your identity document (such as your birth certificate) usually issued by the office which would produce that document.
Everyone needs a certified copy of their birth certificate, which you can get from your provincial Vital Statistics Office or Registrar General.
If you’ve been previously married you will also need to provide a certified copy of your divorce certificate (if divorced) or your spouse’s death certificate (if widowed). You can acquire the certified copy of the divorce or death certificate from the provincial Vital Statics Office or Registrar General.
Often, you can apply for such certified copies online:
- British Columbia
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
Please note: If you were not born in Canada you will have to provide additional proofs of identity, such as a certified copy of
- A Canadian passport
- A Canadian citizenship certificate
- A PR Card.
You need to do so because this is how the Canadian government will vouch for your single status.
Step 4: Apply for the Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad
- Fill out the appropriate section on the authentication request form (see step 1)
- Provide your notarized declaration from step 2.
- Submit extra documents from step 3.
- Mail your documents:
Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Don’t forget to include a self-addressed stamped envelope (or prepaid courier waybill) so that the Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad can be returned to you.
Tip: We here at Immigroup have contacts in Ottawa and would be happy to help you get this service done for you. Just call us at 1-866-760-2623 or email us at [email protected]
If you have everything in order please scan and email us your documents so we can have a quick review to ensure everything is in order.
Otherwise, you can search online for a company in Ottawa to submit the documents for you, just search the term “document delivery in Ottawa”.
Just remember a lot of companies just deliver the application and take no responsibility if things are submitted incorrectly and an extra cost will apply for redelivery. Expected costs to range from $75.00 to $300.00.
Are you planning to live in Canada with your spouse?
Here are some helpful articles:
How to get married in Canada to a foreigner?
Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend to Canada?
Free Spousal Sponsorship Course
Paid Support from Immigroup: Sponsorship
Top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Proving Single Status Abroad
What is Proof of Single Status?
If you are marrying in a country in which you do not have citizenship or immigration status, you need to prove that you are single and eligible to marry.
In order for this to happen, most countries require some kind of proof from your home country that you are single.
Your country will issue a document that proves that you are single to the best of their knowledge.
This document goes by many different names through the world:
- Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry (American States)
- Affidavit of Intended Marriage
- Affidavit of Single Status (Canadian provinces)
- Certificate de coutume (France)
- Certificate of Freedom to Marry (Ireland)
- Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry (UK)
- Certificate of No Impediment
- Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad (Norway etc.)
- Declaration of Non-Impediment to Marry
- Certificate of Nulla Osta (Italy)
- Free to Marry Certificate
- Notice of Intended Marriage (Australia)
- Single Status Affidavit (American states)
- Single Status Letter (American states)
- Statutory Declaration of Single Status
- Statement in Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad (this is the name in Canada)
The countries in brackets are the countries that issue the documents, not the countries which require them. Canada doesn’t require proof of single status for marriages. And some countries, such as the UK, do not require Canadians to prove single status.
Certificates are issued by the national governments to prove you are single. In countries where such certificates cannot be produced – because, for example, marriages are handled locally or regionally and there is no national database of marriages – you are instead asked to attest to your single status in front of a notary.
Why is it called “Statement in Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad” in Canada?
Canada doesn’t have a national marriage registry and the federal government cannot produce Certificates of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad for use abroad.
Instead, they issue a “statement in lieu” of a Certificate of Non-Impediment. You tell the government of Canada that you are single and they produce an official document stating that you are single and free to marry.
Do You Need a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad?
If you are a Canadian citizen and you want to marry in a foreign country, you may need a single status document.
In Canada this document is awkwardly known as a “Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad”. It is called that because Canada cannot issue Certificates of Non-Impediment.
Here is a list of countries where Canadians do not need this proof of single status:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
These documents will also need to be legalized by the consulate or embassy in Canada, depending on the country you are traveling to get married. In most cases this will be done by an Embassy in Ottawa. For a list of Embassies in Canada please click here.
Tip: If you need more clierty or information on the required documents you will need when traveling to get married outside of Canada, please visit Immigroup’s marriage documents page here.
When in Doubt: Apply in Canada
Not all countries who require this document will accept it if issued by a Canadian Embassy or Consulate. So be sure to apply in Canada before you travel.
What happens if you need to get everything done outside of Canada?
This depends upon the country:
Some countries will accept a Canadian Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad issued from a Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in that country.
However, many countries will accept Statements in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad issued from Global Affairs in Ottawa.
You can always contact Immigroup for someone to take care of documents for you when you are outside of Canada.
It is incredibly important that you know the rules for the country you plan to marry in before you get on the plane.
If you are in a foreign country which doesn’t accept locally issued Statements in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad you will have to either
- Fly back to Canada to get your Statement in Lieu…
- Mail your application for your Statement in Lieu… to Canada and have it mailed back to you in the foreign country, ensuring you have provided adequate return postage or an appropriate prepaid courier waybill.
Or: Hire someone in Canada to do this for you.
It’s much easier to do this in Canada. When in doubt, always get the Statement in Lieu… from Global Affairs in Ottawa before you get on the plane.
After I get this done, I will do my Family Class Sponsorship Application. What should I know about this?
We also have pages about marrying abroad in many countries; these pages provide information about the requirements of the foreign country when marrying there. You should learn about the marriage process before you get on the plane.
Once you are married, you need the marriage certificate from the foreign country. It must be translated into either English or French if it is not in either language.
In order to sponsor your spouse, you will need to provide much more documentation than just the marriage certificate. Learn more about spousal sponsorship here.
You do not need to “register” the certificate in Canada nor do you have to authenticate or legalize it for use in Canada. When you submit your marriage certificate (translated if necessary) to IRCC, they will check that the certificate is real at the local visa office.
I am outside of Canada and I would like to find out what I have to do to get married. I am Canadain and my girlfriend is Mexican citizen.
Since you are already in Mexico go to your local marriage registry and ask them what documents they need for you to get married as a foreigner.
I am outside of Canada and I did not know I was supposed to have these documents. Now the marriage ceremony is in jeopardy and may be cancelled. What should I do?
You quickly need to hire a document delivery specialist in Ottawa to get these documents for you. They can go on your behalf and do all the running around and courier your documents to you. Just remember if your marriage is in a few days, it will probably not be possible.
I live in Canada and I am thinking of just bringing my partner to Canada and getting marriage here in Canada. Is this a good idea?
This is hard to say. If your partner can get a visa, then it’s possible. But your partner may be interrogated at the border and they could refuse her entry in Canada. It’s a catch 22, you need to be honest but your honesty could end these plans with your partner being asked to turn around and go home.
Allard Keeley has been a published writer on immigration policy since 2013. Has written for publications like The Federalist. Fluent in Spanish and English. BA Honors Economics Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.