If you’re planning to get married abroad, you may need a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI). But first things first: What is a CNI?
A CNI is a legal document that confirms you’re free to marry. It’s also known as a ‘Certificate of Nulla Osta’ or ‘Certificate of Freedom to Marry’ in some countries.
It’s issued by the UK government, and it’s used to show that there are no legal objections to your marriage. Some countries may also require a CNI if you’re planning to get married in a religious ceremony.
Requirements for Obtaining a CNI
The requirements for obtaining a CNI vary depending on your country of residence and the country where you’re planning to get married.
In general, you’ll need to provide proof of identity, residency, and marital status. You may also need to provide a declaration of freedom to marry, which confirms that you’re not currently married and there’s no legal reason why you can’t get married.
In the UK, you’ll need to provide the following documents to obtain a CNI:
- Your passport or UK birth certificate
- Proof of your address, such as a utility bill or bank statement
- Evidence of your marital status, such as a divorce certificate or death certificate if you’re widowed
- Payment of the fee
When Do I Need a Letter of No Trace?
In some cases, a Letter of No Trace may be required instead of a CNI. You may need a Letter of No Trace if you are not a British citizen or have lived abroad. A Letter of No Trace will confirm that no marriage has taken place in England and Wales for a specific period of time.
The process of obtaining a Letter of No Trace is similar to that of a CNI. You’ll need to contact the General Register Office and they will confirm what information they will require. It’s important to note that a Letter of No Trace is not the same as a CNI and may not be accepted in all countries.
How to Obtain a CNI
In the UK, you can obtain a CNI from your local registry office. You’ll be supplied with a certificate of no impediment application form, which will need to be filled out and sent back with the required documentation.
Alternatives to a CNI
If obtaining a Certificate of No Impediment is not possible or difficult, there are other options that can be pursued. One such option is to obtain a Statutory Declaration, which serves as an alternative document that confirms that you’re free to marry. To obtain this document, you’ll need to make a declaration in front of a practising solicitor or notary public and have it legalised accordingly.
However, it’s important to check with the authorities in the country where you plan to get married to ensure that this document will be sufficient for their requirements before proceeding. It’s always advisable to confirm the necessary documentation and legal procedures with the relevant authorities beforehand to avoid any issues or complications later on.
How a Notary Public Can Help
If you’re applying for a CNI in the UK, you may still need the services of a notary public if you’re planning to get married in a country that requires legalisation or apostille. A notary public can help with the legalisation process, which involves the FCDO certifying your CNI as authentic by attaching an apostille or legalisation certificate.
They can also provide advice and guidance on the requirements for obtaining a CNI in your country of residence. You’ll also need to contact your local British embassy or consulate. They’ll be able to provide you with information on the requirements and the application process.