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Certificate of no Impediment (CNI): how to obtain it in the UK

If you are based in the United Kingdom and have plans to get married overseas, you will have to provide a single status certificate. This might be difficult to obtain so in this article, we will share some key information to help you get prepared and make your application process as smooth as possible.

certificate of no impediment

What is a certificate of no impediment?

The certificate of no impediment (CNI), also known as certificate of celibacy, is a document which proves your current status as single in case you want to get married abroad. The relevance of the document to the marriage process is to establish whether there are obstructions preventing you from getting married. This can range from committed offences to an individual objecting to the proposed marriage.

Who can apply

A single status certificate is available to British people who have intentions to marry either in the UK or overseas.

Where to apply

If you are in the UK, visit your local Registry Office. If you are Overseas, go to the British Embassy closest to you. Once the required documents you have produced are reviewed, you will receive the CNI.

How to apply

At the moment, online applications are not possible. You need to apply in person. This is a vital part of the process as it is the easiest way to verify you have no fraudulent intentions for getting the certificate. You just need to visit the local Registry Office near you to complete the application and get the certificate.

If you are a British National living outside the country, you can visit the British Embassy closest to you. In this case, they either complete the application for you or request you provide an alternative means of identification.

The location from where you apply for the certificate will depend on who you are getting married to. For instance, if you are getting married to an Irish National and live in the UK you are required to get the CNI directly from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Documentation you Need to Submit

When making your application for a certificate of no marriage, you will be asked to produce a number of required documents for evidence. These include the following:


In this case, you can either turn in your nationality identity card, British citizenship certificate, British birth certificate or valid passport. You can read more about documents that can be used as proof of identity in the UK by clicking here.


To prove your place of residence, you can choose to provide your bank or building society statement, council tax bill, mortgage statement, utility bill of no more than 3 months of a letter from the owner of your residence.

Proof of Age

If you are below 18, you need to provide proof of your parent’s consent to the marriage. If they are divorced, evidence of a court order showing that one of them received custody of you is required.


If you have carried out a name change, evidence of such an alteration is mandatory. A marriage certificate or deed poll will suffice.

Evidence of condition

This is used to establish the exact circumstance that you are in. For instance, if your spouse is dead and you are remarrying, you are required to provide the death certificate of the former spouse.

How much does the CNI cost

The fees for the single status certificate may vary depending on your location, but they are generally between £30 to £40. We suggest you contact your local registry for more information.

Processing time and validity

The processing time for the unmarried certificate is approximately 28 days, and the document is usually valid for 3 months. The validity period may change depending on where you're planning to use it. So check the validity of this document with the relevant authority for your own peace of mind.