What is a single status certificate?

A single status certificate is in form of an affidavit that will usually state the name, address, age, date of birth, citizenship, occupation, that the person is single and has never gone through a marriage ceremony before; or that his former spouse is dead; or that he is divorced if a divorce has taken place, In some jurisdictions, this document may be known as a letter of freedom to marry, certificate of celibacy, certificate of single status, certificate of no impediment, ‘Certificate de Coutume’, ‘Certificate of Nulla Osta’,  “Single Status Statutory Declaration” or a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage” or a “Single Status Certificate” or “Free-to-marry statement”.

This single status certificate is always in form of affidavit, and it attests to the fact that the deponent does not have any existing marital obligation. It serves the same purpose a marriage certificate will serve for married person to a single person.

Where a single certificate is to be used outside Nigeria for any purpose, such document must be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In some cases, the local government authorities in the requesting country, could demand that same be attested to by the embassy or consulate in the country of origin of applicant, in addition to the attestation by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the applicant’s country.

Types of single status certificates:

There are two types of single status certificates that can be obtained;

There is the certificate of bachelorhood and the certificate of spinsterhood, which applies to men and women respectively but serve the same purpose which is to indicate that a person is free to marry because he or she is not married, or his or her spouse is deceased or they have obtained a divorce decree where there was any previous marriage.

Why is single status certificate required?

A single status certificate is required to show that a person is free to get married. It is usually required by people who want to get married outside of Nigeria, showing that the Marriage Registry has not records of the person being married.

Obtaining single status certificate for foreign usage

The first step for obtaining a single status certificate for oversea usage is to firstly depose to an affidavit of Spinsterhood or Bachelorhood.

After the affidavit has been deposed to, it is to be taken together with any other required documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja for attestation.

Requirements for attestation marital status

Documents required to obtain single status certificate include:

  • Valid Means of identification.
  • For a divorcee, proof that the divorce has been concluded.
  • If the person is a widow or a widower, the death certificate of the deceased spouse and also the Marriage certificate.
  • Evidence of the place of residence of the applicant.
  • Proof of change of name where applicable.
  • Certificate of Birth
  • Affidavit

Published By Starlion Legal




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