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Ceremony overseas - Certificate of No Impediment

If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership outside of England and Wales, different rules apply depending on the country where your ceremony will be held.

You may have been asked to provide a 'Certificate of No Impediment'.

A ‘Certificate of No Impediment’ is a certificate which confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership, and is sometimes required if you are planning a ceremony abroad.

You will need to consult with the authorities in the country where you are planning to hold your ceremony to check the legal paperwork that they will require before your ceremony can take place. Your local register office can sometimes issue these certificates; however, they cannot be issued for all countries/nationalities due to the various legislation / treaty agreements between relevant countries. You may also need to complete legal paperwork in the country where your ceremony is to take place.

If you are British national and a Richmond borough resident, and you have had it confirmed that you require a certificate of no impediment from Richmond upon Thames Registration Service, please telephone 020 8891 1411 to make an appointment. You cannot book these appointments online.

Alternatively, please contact us with the following information about both of the parties:

  • Nationalities
  • Place of residence
  • Country where ceremony will take place
  • Date of Ceremony

Once we have this information you will be advised if you can make an appointment and / or if a Certificate will be able to be issued for you.

When you attend to give notice, you must be able to state the town, locality and country where your ceremony will take place.

You should also check if the certificate needs to be legalised – 'apostiled' - or translated. Further information regarding legalisation of the certificate can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

If you are marrying in an EU country and require a translated version of your Certificate of No Impediment, you can order a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) from the General Register Office.

Further information and assistance is available on GOV.UK.

The certificates have no expiry dates stamped on them, but different countries stipulate their own rules as to validity of the certificates.

Updated: 20 April 2023

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