Those who are likely to solemnize marriage abroad or solemnize marriage with a foreigner often ask about a single status certificate. Immigration documentation is another reason for it.
Why Single Status Certificate is Required
Certainly, marriage is the main reason for it, but why immigration? But, why this single status certificate is required for the immigration-this post is all about this answer.
It’s true that this is mainly required for visa and marriage purposes. Here, two conditions are the main cause of having it. The first is to prove that you’re a bachelor (the one who has not been married before). Another one is that you don’t have any dependents from your previous marriage.
Now that you know that it can be requested from the one who is married also, it should be clarified that the single status refers to singlehood. A divorced individual and a widower can also be like a bachelor. Therefore, they are legitimately considered the person with no dependents and hence, a single person. This status makes them eligible for this legal document.
It is also called a bachelorhood certificate, the certificate of no impediment, nulla osta, single status affidavit, etc.
Once you have this legitimate proof, present it before the external affairs ministry of the country where you temporarily live or live as an NRI. Then, this authority will verify and further the process of registering marriage (that you are willing to solemnise).
Remember that the submission of this proof is necessary before NRIs marriage abroad. Else, you may be deported or detained for being unable to prove your bachelorhood status. This rigorous step is a preventive measure to avoid marital scams or shamed marriages. A few ambitious people get inspired by the idea of marriage abroad to easily get a green card (mainly, they are resident aliens in the US) or permanent residency in that country.
How Can You Prove that You’re single?
Proving it is not a big deal if you’re genuinely unmarried, divorced, or widowed. You would have papers or legal documents. Show them to the notary public or A-gazette officer across the world and request to draft a single status affidavit. It is acceptable worldwide.
Getting this document is not easy. First and foremost, you should have a checklist of all proofs to support your request.
Let’s make it easier to discover the checklist of all supporting documents. Go through the list below:
- Passport or visa
- 2 Photographs
- Decree Absolute if he/she is legally divorced
- Death certificate if his/her spouse is no more
- Birth proof, like birth certificate, NABC, school certificate
- Address proof, like Bank Passbook & rental agreement
- Parents’ Nationality Card like nationality card or driving licence
- An affidavit stating that the affiant is the son/ daughter/ father/ mother of (parents’ name) and originated from (the country name). It may also mention the date of birth of the affiant.
- An affidavit on behalf of the affiant’s parents, which states that they are the witnesses of his birth and singleness.
Having these documents is not sufficient. You have to get that affidavit attested or apostilled.
Yes, this step is necessary for the fact that they should be acceptable. A plain statement on stamp paper without any authentication or signature of the notary public or SDM (a competent government authority) won’t work. You have to get it attested or apostilled.
Attestation Vs Apostille
Attestation denotes a stamp of authentication. Simply put, it can be a sign of the A-gazette officer and his stamp or the same of any Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).
Now that you know it’s a sign of verified document by a legal body, it’s a must to understand that this process requires stamps and signatures of the foreign ministry like the Ministry of External Affairs (in India), and the consul (the officer at the embassy of the resident and foreign countries).
You won’t have any option, but to have attestation services if you’re likely to solemnize marriage in the non-member countries of The Hague Convention (which are 90 in 2022).
On the flip side, apostille services are no different from attestation. Just one thing is different. You require these services for visiting and getting married in countries that are members of The Hague Convention.
Both services are equally recognised across the globe. Therefore, you must get your single status affidavit or certificate attested or apostille.
Single Status Affidavit
There is another term that may leave you thinking like crazy as to what the single status affidavit is.
An affidavit can be defined as a written oath or a statement that confirms the status (married/ unmarried/divorcee/ widowed), nationality, date of birth, and passport details of the affiant (the person who seeks the affidavit).
The person who is drafts it is known as the deponent. He is the authorised person who examines if the affiant is saying correctly or misguiding. He verifies the documents and reads the gestures of that person also. Once satisfied, he signs the statement of the affiant and also cross-examines the witnesses in the court.
Furthermore, the process of attestation and apostille remains the same. In other words, you need to follow the next steps of legalization. In case of any confusion, you may consult with any NRI consultant, NRI agent, or solicitor.
A single status certificate is required for proving the status of being unmarried, divorcee, or widowed. It helps the foreign immigration officer to understand the genuine reason for marriage. Also, it helps in preventing sham or fake marriages, which can be inspired by the idea of attaining foreign citizenship.