What is a Certificate of Non-Impediment for Marriage Abroad?

July 23rd, 2013

If you are getting married overseas, you may have been asked to provide a Certificate of Non-Impediment (also known as a Certificate of Nulla Osta, a Certificat de Coutume, or a Certificate of Freedom to Marry).

The purpose of this type of declaration is to confirm that you are free to wed. Most countries require such a declaration (or its equivalent) before a marriage license can be issued.

Unfortunately, Canada does not provide Certificates of Non-Impediment. Instead, you will have to apply for a “Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad” through the Department of Global Affairs in Ottawa.

But before you apply, please contact the relevant country’s consulate, embassy, or high commission in Canada to determine whether or not you actually require this document.

Once you have confirmed that you do require a “Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad,” you can submit your request to DFAIT in person or by mail. You must provide them with the following information:

  1. The name and citizenship of your future spouse.
  2. Your permanent address in Canada.
  3. A Statutory Declaration stating your present marital status.
  4. If you have been married before, you must also submit your certified divorce certificate or divorce judgment.
  5. If you are widowed, you must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of your deceased spouse.
  6. If you were born in Canada, you must submit your certified birth certificate.
  7. If you were born elsewhere, you must submit certified true copies of your Canadian Citizenship Certificate and Record of Landing form.
  8. If you have lost your Record of Landing form, you must mention this in your Statutory Declaration of Marital Status.

It will take up to 15 working days for DFAIT to process your request.

Red Seal Notary can assist you with the above requirements.

  1. Red Seal Notary will be happy to prepare your Statutory Declaration of Marital Status. Please click here to complete our online form.
  2. If you would rather prepare your own declaration, we will be happy to notarize it for you.
  3. We will also be pleased to provide you with certified true copies of your supporting documents.

To schedule an appointment for these and other services, please call 1-888-922-7325 or complete our online appointment request form.

Our friendly customer service representatives look forward to assisting you.

8 thoughts on “What is a Certificate of Non-Impediment for Marriage Abroad?

  1. Gregory Alan van der Horst says:

    I am in Benin and need a Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-
    Impediment to Marriage Abroad. Can you please clarify for me if
    you can assist me? I only just learned about this issue and am
    seeing slightly contradictory information from different sources.
    had planned to get married quite soon, so would appreciate a
    quick reply,
    Greg van der Horst

    • Blake McClung says:

      Hello Gregory,


      It is difficult to determine if we can assist you without further information. Please email our customer service staff at [email protected], or call 1-416-922-7325, and they can determine how we can be of assistance to you.

  2. ilir qazimllari says:

    hello my name is ilir qazimllari and i am from Albania
    i am planning to marry this august with my finace in Albania
    she is from bosnia herzegovina and she holds a permanent resident status
    in Canada
    my question is does she needs a Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-
    Impediment to Marriage Abroad?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Ilir,

      Thank you for your question and for your interest in our website.

      You should contact the Marriage Registrar or other relevant officials in Albania, provide them with your details and ask them what will be required to legally marry in their jurisdiction. They will be able to tell you what your fiance must provide from Canada and/or Bosnia Herzegovina.

      I hope this information is of assistance.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m planning to marry my
    girlfriend in china , I am a
    Canadian citizen, I was
    wondering what documents I
    will need to marry overseas
    and how to get them ?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Mike,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      What you need to get married will vary depending on the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where you plan to marry. You should contact the relevant authorities for their requirements. In your case, the nearest Chinese Consulate may be of some assistance, or perhaps your partner can contact the marriage registrar or other relevant office locally. Once you have determined exactly what documents you require, we can assist you with any necessary notarizations, or if you need a Letter in lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad.

      I hope this information is of assistance.

  4. Marie says:

    I just wanna ask
    if I applied for no
    certificate are
    they going to put
    that I am
    divorced on the
    Thank you

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Marie,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      Technically, Canada does not actually issue Certificates of Non-Impediment to Marriage. Instead, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a letter in lieu thereof for Canadians getting married overseas. If you are divorced, you must provide the relevant documents with your application, and the letter will include the details of your previous marriage and when it was dissolved. Keep in mind though that the contents and format of these letters are subject to change by Canadian Government officials.

      I hope this will be of assistance.

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