Service summary:
  1. We need the original certificate of no impediment in our office
  2. You can bring it to our office in person or send it by mail/courier
  3. If we receive your document by 10am it takes 2 days to complete
  4. We legalise your certificate of no impediment with the apostille
  5. Your apostilled certificate is ready to be collected or couriered

If you wish to get married abroad, you will need a no impediment apostille certificate.

We can apostille your no impediment certificate in one or two days if you have your certificate ready. Getting a new certificate of no impediment from the GRO takes 28 days. We cannot request the certificate on your behalf.

What it is:  

A certificate of no impediment (abbreviated as CNI or CONI) is a document that states that you can legally enter a civil partnership or marriage abroad. It shows that there is no objection to the proposed marriage. [1]

Frequently used for:

A certificate of no impediment is required when British nationals are getting married abroad.

Original or copy:

Only the original document can receive an apostille certificate.


Some countries may not require a certificate of no impediment. For instance, it might not be necessary when getting married in another Commonwealth country when you are a British national.

Replacement documents:

Suppose you have lost your certificate of no impediment. In that case, you can replace it from your local General Register Office, GRO (this is where you will also receive your marriage certificate, full birth certificate, and death certificate.)

How much does it cost?

A standard FCDO apostille for a certificate of no impediment starts from £79.

However, our apostille services will vary depending on the services you select, such as:

  • Same-day service
  • Notary and solicitor certification
  • Embassy attestation

How to order:

A straightforward apostille for a UK certificate of no impediment can be ordered online. You can choose additional options on the order page. If you are unsure, please call our office and speak to one of our experts.

Where can I apply for a certificate of no impediment?

You can apply for a certificate of no impediment at the local registry office. The Register Office will require a notice appointment, and if there are no objections to your intentions to marry outside of the UK, then the certificate will be provided.

How long does it take to receive a certificate of no impediment?

It takes 28 days to receive your certificate of no impediment. [2]

After you visit the UK local registration office (or civil registry), your intended nuptials will be announced publicly for 3-4 weeks, and if there are no objections, you will be issued your certificate.

Sometimes, the British consulate in the country where you are planning on getting married may exchange your no impediment certificate for a local certificate from that country.

In case I do not have a certificate of no impediment, what other options are available?

If you do not have a certificate of no impediment, you can use a statutory declaration. This document provides evidence of your marital status and states that you are free to marry.

It will require an apostille service to be used abroad.

What information does a certificate of no impediment contain?

The certificate of no impediment contains specific information that provides evidence that you can marry abroad and have fulfilled all of the legal requirements. The following information can be found in the document:

  • Your name
  • Your age
  • Any marriage prerequisites, such as your single status, whether you were previously married and whether your marriage was dissolved.
  • Your occupation
  • Your residence location
  • Your residence at the place for an indefinite period
  • The venue where the wedding is taking place. This information should include at least the town name, plus any unusual spellings of the location.
  • Your residence, district, and nationality

Once you receive your certificate of no impediment, you can present it to the overseas authorities registry office. [3]

This document will need an apostille certificate to prove its authenticity.

Please note that: Each country is usually different when it comes to getting married abroad. Please get in touch with the local authorities to confirm the requirements and the different rules for weddings in their country.

What other documents are needed for a civil partnership or marriage abroad?

Other than the certificate of no impediment, there are other UK documents you may be required to present to the register office to marry abroad, such as:

  • A decree absolute if you changed your name.
  • Documents such as a council tax bill dated, a birth certificate, a utility bill, a UK driving license, etc., can be used to show contemporary evidence of your full name.
  • Your father or mother’s birth certificate can also be used to provide further information about your nationality.

What if you are getting married in a Commonwealth country?

If you are getting married in a commonwealth country and are from England, you will not require a certificate of no impediment. This is because this document is not required between two commonwealth countries.

How long is a certificate of no impediment valid?

The impediment certificate does not have an expiry date. Still, each country has its own rules regarding its validity, and it goes without saying that once you get married, the document loses its purpose.

You should, however, investigate the rules months prior to your wedding.

What if I am a resident of a foreign country?

When you’re a British citizen living in a foreign country, be sure to consult with the closest British embassy in that country on how to attain your certificate of no impediment and get married.

What if the certificate of no impediment is in a different language?

If your apostille certificate of no impediment is in a language other than that of the country you wish to marry, then you will require translation services.

A certified translation of your impediment certificate will be attached to the apostille certificate to make the document valid and usable by the registration service of the country you wish to marry.

Most apostille agencies provide translation services. Enquire beforehand so you can obtain all of these certificate services at the same time.

Will my overseas marriage be recognised in the UK?

Yes. But, you must show proof that you got married. This can be through an apostille certificate of marriage or a civil partnership certificate.

The marriage can be overturned if there’s enough evidence to show that the marriage is not legal.

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

[1] Getting married abroad

[2] Marriage outside the UK

[3] Find a register office