Getting a single-status affidavit is relatively simple, but there are various steps required to formalize the affidavit before it can be used to get a marriage license.
What Is a Single Status Affidavit?
A single-status affidavit does exactly what the name implies – it confirms that the holder has never been married, or that any previous marriages were legally ended by death or divorce. Anyone who is planning to get married abroad will be asked to provide this document as proof that he is free to marry. It’s also known as a “No Record of Marriage” “Certificate of Freedom to Marry” or “Affidavit of Marriageability” “Affidavit of Single Status” “Single Letter ”“Statement of Freedom to Marry”. They are the same.
Where to Get an Affidavit Form
There are several options:
The local County Clerk’s office can usually provide a blank affidavit form.
For citizens based outside the U.S., the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate should be able to assist with creating the affidavit.
You can write one from scratch.
Completing the Affidavit
Single-status affidavits are short, half-page documents that are really simple to fill out with some basic personal information. Depending on local rules, the affidavit must bear the holder’s:
Birth date and place.
Date of previous marriages.
The date that previous marriages ended by death or divorce.
Name of the other partner in the upcoming marriage and her country of residence.
While not essential, it’s a good idea to attach a copy of any final divorce decree to the affidavit to avoid any last-minute problems.
Sign Before a Notary
Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary public. The notary will verify the signer’s identity with a valid form of identification. He/She will then witness the signature and stamp and sign the document.
Apostille or Legalization
Once the Single Status Affidavit is filled out and notarized, your next step is to have it either apostilled or legalized, depending on the destination country. If the country where you will be married is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, then your affidavit can be apostilled. For non-members, the affidavit is then legalized by the country’s embassy.
So, the affidavit will be accepted in a foreign country.
Time and Materials
Time (*COVID-19 may cause significant delays):
Notarization: get the documents notarized immediately after a notarial act properly performed by a notary.
Secretary of State Apostille/Authentication: usually about 10-15 business days, depending on the work volume of the office and the delivery time. Most office does not provide expedited services.
U.S. Department of State Apostille/Authentication: standard processing 12 business days, express processing 7 business days, rush processing 3 business days.
Embassy Legalization: standard processing 12 business days, express processing 7 business days, rush processing 3 business days.
Order Form of our center
Authentication Application Form (it differs by your destination country)
The original document to be authenticated
The copy of the document to be authenticated
Copy of the applicant's ID, such as passport, driver's license, and green card
While it is good to be organized, some countries will accept only a recent single-status affidavit, meaning one that has been issued in the past 30 to 90 days.
Take China as an example, you may only do one Affidavit of Single Status every 6 months, and the affidavit is valid for 6 months from the date the consulate authenticates it. The affidavit must be submitted to the Chinese consulate for authentication within 3 months after it was notarized.
Check with the country requesting the affidavit on how old this document can be.
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