Letter of No Impediment
If you’re a South African national getting a marriage or civil partnership abroad, you will have to provide to an authority abroad a single status certificate, also known as Letter of no impediment, that proves you are single and not already married. A certificate (or letter) of no impediment to marriage is a certificate that confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership. The relevance of the document to the marriage process is to establish whether there are obstructions preventing you from getting married.
What is a letter of No Impediment?
In South Africa, the Letter of No Impediment is a certificate issued by the Department of Home Affairs to confirm the marital status of the individual as well as their rights and freedom to get married legally. Home Affairs is the only government entity that can issue the document. After application is made the department will check the applicant details against the population and marriage roll registers to ascertain their current marital status. They will then issue the certificate of No-impediment.The Letter of No Impediment can only be issued to South African Citizens and the certificate is valid and can be used for six months from the date of issuing. If you were married in the past, you would need a Letter of No Impediment and a copy of your decree of divorce to prove that you are not currently married.
How to obtain a letter of no impediment?
To obtain a letter of no impediment you can either apply locally in South Africa via the Department of Home Affairs or if you are situated abroad, you can apply via the South African High Commission.
Kindly note that we are unable to submit the application on your behalf.
You will need to submit the following documents in order to process the application –
A completed DHA-1155 Form in black ink;
A certified copy of your ID or passport, and
Pay the service fee.
Other Names of the Letter of No Impediment
The document is referred to differently in different countries. Some examples include:
- Affidavit of Intended Marriage
- Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad
- Certificat de Coutume
- Certificate of Nulla Osta
- Certificate of Freedom to Marry
- Letter of No Impediment
- Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
- Letter or Certificate of Non-Impediment.
- Declaration of Non-Impediment to Marry
- Statutory Declaration of Single Status
- It is important to note that any Certificate of No Impediment issued, on its own, may not be sufficient to allow the marriage or civil partnership to take place. You must ensure that you complete any other legal requirements of the country you have chosen for your ceremony.
- Sadly, fraudulent marriages have become a common occurrence in South Africa so it is advisable to double-check your South African marital status before you apply for your Letter of No Impediment. Due to the large number of fraudulent marriages reported to the Department of Home Affairs every year, the department has put in place a quick and easy way to verify marital status at any time. You can SMS the letter M followed by your ID number to 32551 A reply SMS will be sent back to your cellphone to confirm your marital status and the date of your marriage.
- In addition, the local authorities in some countries will not accept the Certificate of No Impediment if it is dated more than three months prior to the date of the ceremony. It is your responsibility to check for any date restrictions and ensure your documents will be accepted. Also, an absence of the letter may result in an individual not being allowed to marry, within the foreign borders, or it can fail to have the marriage registered in that country.
Apostille or legalisation certificate
The country where your marriage or civil partnership is taking place may require your Certificate of No Impediment to have an ‘apostille’ or legalisation certificate. In South Africa, this certificate is attached to the document by either the Courts or DIRCO and it acts as confirmation that the document is genuine. Further information regarding the Apostille certificate can be found Here
Apostille Service SA has experience in Apostilling Letters of No Impediment and we are knowledgeable in the Apostille process. Trust us with legalizing documents at the Pretoria High Court or DIRCO. You can courier your document to us and we will ensure swift service delivery and have your documents accurately legalized. You are guaranteed to receive your Apostilled Letter of No Impediment safely via trusted couriers. Our services include Apostille of various documents including Police Clearance, Education Certificates, medical certificates, and business documents. Apostille Service SA provides professional translations with an official certified Sworn Translator available.
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