Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad
Related services and information
On this page
- What is a certificate (or letter of non-impediment) and does Canada issue them?
- Countries that may not require a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage
- If you have received confirmation that you must submit a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage
- Request a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad
What is a certificate (or letter of non-impediment) and does Canada issue them?
A certificate (or letter) of non-impediment to marriage abroad is a certificate that confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership. Some countries may require this document to get married in their territory. However, this not a universal requirement.
Canada does not issue certificates of non-impediment to marriage. If necessary, the Authentication Service Section or, depending on the country, a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate can prepare a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad (“in lieu of” means “instead of”). This letter will only state that Canada does not issue certificates of non-impediment. It will not contain any additional details, such as an individual’s civil status or their ability to get married abroad. For that reason, some countries may ask for other types of documents from those who intend to get married in their jurisdiction (see the examples below).
Please note that a requirement for a certificate of non-impediment to get married in a foreign country does not necessarily translate in an obligation to submit a statement in lieu issued by Global Affairs Canada. When a country does not issue certificates of non-impediment (as in the case of Canada), the authorities at the country of destination may decide to ask for other types of documents instead. These may include:
- A marriage search record from the provincial or territorial Vital Statistics of residence.
- A single status affidavit.
To find out if you must submit this document, please read the information below and confirm the requirements with the appropriate authorities of the country in which you intend to get married.
If you have received information indicating that a certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad is required, before requesting a statement in lieu to Global Affairs Canada, we recommend that you indicate to foreign authority that Canada does not issue certificates of non-impediment and inquire of any alternative documents you could submit, if any.
Countries that may not require a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage
Based on the information available to our department, the countries listed below may not require a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage issued by a Canadian authority. Please note that the fact that a given country does not appear on the list below does not necessarily mean that a statement in lieu is in required. You should confirm the requirements directly with the authorities of the country in which you intend to get married.
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Disclaimer: The content on this page (including the above list) is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you have received confirmation that you must submit a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage
If it is determined that a statement in lieu must be submitted before you can get married, you should contact the nearest Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate to the country in which you intend to get married to ascertain whether they could assist you with this. Consular services provided at Canadian missions abroad are subject to fees under the Consular Fees (Specialized Services) Regulations. Please note that some countries will only accept statements in lieu issued by the local Canadian mission.
If you received confirmation that you must obtain a statement in lieu, and that the local authorities will not accept one from the Canadian mission, you may apply for one by following the instructions listed below. The regular processing time posted on our website applies for statements in lieu. As such, make sure to submit your request well in advance of your intended travel dates.
Please note that we may refuse to issue a statement in lieu if we have information indicating that the country to which your document is destined does not require one
Request a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad
- 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
- born abroad:
- Canadian citizens: You must submit a certified copy of your Canadian citizenship certificate or a certified copy of your Canadian passport.
- Permanent residents: You must submit a certified copy of your permanent resident card or passport.
- Individuals residing permanently in Canada with a status other than Canadian citizen or permanent resident: You must submit a document showing that you have some kind of long-term status in Canada (e.g. a letter confirming you have been accepted as a refugee under the convention).
- Mail your documents.
Note: If you do not wish the supporting documents indicated in points 2 or 3 to be authenticated, do not list them on the request form. If, however, you wish to have those documents authenticated, ensure to list them in the Type of Document column.
- Date Modified: