A Single Status Certificate, also called a singleness certificate or certificate of no impediment, is legitimate proof of one’s bachelorhood. Simply put, it represents a legal document that states the marital status as per the judiciary laws of the applicant.
It can be a sworn statement stating that the affiant is single, or has no dependents from any previous marriages. It ensures that the applicant can tie the knot in any foreign country.
Why do you need a single status certificate?
It is compulsory when you are likely to solemnize marriage in a foreign country. However, every country does not have a provision to show a single status certificate. But, many of the European & some Asian countries require it.
With it, the immigration officers try to figure out if the person is married or not. This is a preventive measure to avoid polygamy and illegal marriages. Upon showing this proof, the person is able to solemnize the marriage.
Do remember that the single status does not necessarily mean being unmarried. The person can be a divorcee or widow.
Who is the issuing authority?
There may have no specific issuing authority in many countries. However, an affidavit can help you to fulfill your requirement. Get it from the district magistrate or sub-divisional magistrate upon verifying your documents with him. Then, it is legalized by the MEA and the embassies.
Here is the list of authorities that can issue and legalise it.
The notary is not compulsory. In a few cases, it may be required to verify your sworn statement. Show all supporting documents of your birth, address, and witnesses’ identity papers. He would verify the necessary documents, and then stamps and signs.
The Sub-Divisional Magistrate is a part of the Home Department of the district or state. He has the right to verify the affidavit and attest to your document stating that you’re single.
The Ministry of External Affairs comes on top of all authorities in the process of certificate attestation. It places its stamp on your single status affidavit to authorize it by the central home ministry. It is where attestation & apostille, both services, take place.
The Embassy represents the foreign country. Most of the immigration document authentication requires embassy approval. This document is also legalized here also eventually.
Process of Apply Single Status Certificate
The process to apply a single status certificate is simple if you know it before. Otherwise, it’s better to seek the advice of any experienced NRI consultant. He can also help you with attestation or apostille services.
Here, two ways are defined to apply by self, and through a legal consultant.
Steps to Apply Yourself
- Visit the nearly located District Magistrate (DM) or Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) office to draw an affidavit.
- Get it verified by showing your birth, address, and relationship with parents’ proofs.
- The SDM or SM would attest and sign it.
- Hire an authorised outsourcing agent for getting it attested from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) (because it does not entertain any direct requests).
- Once attested or apostilled, get it counter-attested from the Indian embassy and the foreign Embassy (of the country where you want to get married).
Steps to Apply through a Legal Consultant
- Draft a power of attorney in the name of that consultant to apply on your behalf.
- Send supporting documents online to get your application verified.
- The consultant will follow all steps including drafting an affidavit and getting it attested from SDM, MEA, and embassies.
- Pay the fee.
- The delivery status will be sent together with the receipt.
Checklist of Supporting Documents
The process of getting a single status certificate will be complete once your documents are verified. Here is the list of what documents you need to support your application for a single status affidavit or certificate.
- Affidavit, which is a sworn document stating that the applicant is single, and his/her personal details such as the name, address, identity, and witnesses on a stamp paper are given.
- Address proof, reading the current address of applicants, like bank passbook, nationality card, rental agreement, etc.
- A valid Passport or Visa
- Birth proof, showing the applicant’s date of birth like Birth Certificate, school certificate, etc.
- Parents or relatives’ sworn statement stating that the applicant’s parents are aware of his/her single status. You show your National ID number.
- Decree Absolute is a must to show if the person is legally divorced, and
- Death Certificate is necessary to enclose if yours is a case of spouse’ death.
Format for the Single Status Certificate
This certificate requires no specific standard format to be followed. But, the sworn statement or information in it is accurate, valid, and commonly sought in every country. It states the following details:
- A sworn statement by the affiant, stating that he or she is single, or divorcee, or widowed
- A separate sworn statement of the parents of the affiant, expressing their relationship & confirming his/her marital status
- The date of birth of the affiant
- Passport number of the applicant
- The current address of the affiant
- The acknowledgment statement of at least two witnesses who have a blood or any other relationship with him/her
- Attestation from the competent authority
- Date and signature of the affiant on the day of having the affidavit
It’s Cost and Processing Time
Its processing fee depends on the process. For non-natives, it can be a little costlier, but it’s affordable. The authorized authority charges a fixed fee. There are services charges involved in it, which may require you to pay some extra dollars for it.
Besides, every country’s town, city, and state have different fee brackets to facilitate this service. There are some third-party agencies that offer its legalization, which is also called apostille or attestation. This is mandatory to have done for making your single status legally acceptable. This service, again, requires you to payout.
About processing time, you must inquire with the embassy if you are a non-native or non-resident. It conveys the exact timeline for this document delivery. You may also discover where it should be attested from. The processing time can be a month-long duration because of the steps involved in its issuance and attestation. Generally, it takes 10 working days to be processed. But for non-residents, it can be a month-long process. You may get it faster by hiring third-party assistance.
The single status certificate is legal proof to solemnize marriage abroad with a foreigner. It may not be specifically issued as a certificate, but you may apply for it as an affidavit. It requires an address, nationality, and birth proofs to verify. Once done, you may get it attested from the central ministry & national and foreign embassies.