The certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad, is also known as a “certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage,”. For the British and Americans this is also called the “Freedom to Marry” letter. The Canadian government does not offer this like other Western countries. What it will issue you with is a ‘statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad’.
Certificate of Non-impediment
So in short, the Canadian government does not offer a Certificate of Non-impediment but they will offer you a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad. This becomes a problem for many as most countries will need the letter. So there are other options to this issue which you can complete or have completed ay home:
- A marriage search record from the provincial or territorial Vital Statistics of residence. This is normally the easiest to complete and to obtain. So if you are getting married abroad. Then start at home and obtain your records search before you leave the country.
- The single status affidavit. This might also help but may not be accepted by many countries.
The following countries (your mileage will definitely vary) do not need the government certificate:
See also Canadian consular services for further advice as to what the Embassy or Consulate can do for you.
Request a statement in lieu of certificate
You will need to provide the following for your certificate if the foreign government requires it. In most cases they will.
Fill out Section 3 –
Document Information of the request form EXT2165 (Are you requesting a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage?)
Provide a notarized declaration stating your:
- full name
- present marital status
- permanent address in Canada (P.O boxes are not accepted)
Submit extra documents, depending on your situation(s):
- born in Canada: you must submit a certified copy of your birth certificate or passport
- widowed: you must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of your deceased spouse
- divorced: you must submit a certified copy of the divorce certificate
When you have completed the form then you will need to contact the Canadian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. This should be acceptable to foreign governments instead of the Certificate of Non-impediment which they are expecting.