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Marriage or civil partnership abroad

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If you are having a marriage or civil partnership abroad you may need to provide certain documents to the authorities in the country where this will take place. It is your responsibility to find out what documents the country requires for you to do this legally.

Certificate of No Impediment (CNI)

A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) can only be provided for British citizens, and can only be obtained from the Register Office in the district you live in. The process is the same as serving notice to get married in the UK. It involves booking an appointment to see a registrar, signing a legal statement of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership with someone and confirming that you are free and willing to do so.

Your CNI will be issued 28 days (or the following working day) after your appointment and can be collected from the Register Office or posted to a UK address.

It is your responsibility to find out how long the authorities in the country you are marrying or having a civil partnership will accept a CNI as valid. A CNI has an issue date but no expiry date. However, countries vary on how long they will accept the document as valid from the date of issue.

Find out more about getting married abroad from GOV.UK.

If you are a British citizen and live in the our area, you can contact us to discuss booking an appointment for a Certificate of No Impediment.

Documents required for a CNI

Proof of Nationality, Age and Name – one document

  • valid British Passport
  • full British Birth Certificate. If you were born from 1st January 1983 you will also need your Mother’s full British birth certificate (or Father’s full British birth certificate if they were married at the time of your birth, along with your parents’ marriage certificate) PLUS proof of your current name, such as a driving licence. If you are using a parent’s birth certificate make sure their name on their birth certificate matches their name on your birth certificate (if there is no link you will need to bring evidence of their name change so that the document can be linked to you). Please also be aware that Military birth certificates are not accepted

Proof of Address – one document

  • utility bill, dated within the last 3 months prior to the appointment
  • bank or building society statement, dated within 1 month prior to the appointment
  • Council Tax bill or mortgage statement, dated within 1 year prior to the appointment
  • current Residential Tenancy Agreement
  • current UK Driving Licence
  • letter from the homeowner, tenant or proprietor of the address which confirms how long the bride/ groom has lived there. Also stating their full name, address and confirming they are the owner of the property. This needs to be signed and dated within 1 month prior to the appointment

Proof of Previous Marriage or Civil Partnership – all relevant documents

  • Divorce or Dissolution Document – The original final document from the Court or authority (and a translation if necessary). Foreign divorces may require clearance by the General Register Office before you can be married. This may take up to a month. Any delays in clearing your documents that are beyond our control may result in the loss of some or all of any fees paid. All divorces outside of the British Isles will be subject to a fee up £75. Where available, you can produce a valid digital copy of your Decree Absolute provided by the Divorce Courts. This will be required as well as a printed copy
  • Death Certificate – The original document issued by the registering authority (with a translation if necessary)
  • previous Marriage Certificate if your names are now different to those shown on the above documents

Proof of Change of Name

Evidence of your change of name by Statutory Declaration or Deed Poll.

Foreign documents

If any documents are not in English, you must also have a full translation.

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