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How do I get a Single Status Certificate in India?

Apostille Stamp
A single status certificate sounds self-explanatory. The procedure to get one? Not so much. So that’s what we’re going to learn about in this blog.

To cut straight to the chase, it is mandatory to possess a singlehood affidavit if you plan on marrying a foreigner, especially in Hague Convention nations. In these countries, one is asked to present their singlehood or single status certificate provided by the MEA before marrying a foreigner. The certification helps foreign government bodies keep track of the birthplace of the applicants and their respective relationship status. The host country needs to know whether the applicant is single, married, divorced, widowed, etc., before letting their citizen tie the knot with the applicant. Hence, it is essential to get the affidavit of single status.

So what exactly is a Single Status Certificate or Affidavit, and how is it used?

An affidavit is a written statement confirmed by affirming or taking an oath. Similarly, a Single Status Affidavit is a declaration affidavit wherein one declares details regarding their date of birth, merits and passport details.

You may say, “but I AM single. What’s there to prove?”

Well, it’s the same as providing your pay slips or bank statement to companies you’d like to join. After all, anyone can falsely claim they earn a higher CTC than they make annually. Logically, the employer would want to cross-check your claims’ sincerity by looking at official documents. As it is, if you’re speaking the truth, presenting evidence shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

Now comes the technical part of the procedure. *sigh*

To obtain your Single Status Affidavit, you’d have to present the documents valid to you from the following list:-
Aadhaar Card/Passport-
Birth Certificate/schooling certificate-
Letter of singlehood confirmation, written by applicant’s parent(s), along with their Aadhaar Card(s) attached.-
Original copy of Divorce Decree (if you’re a divorcee)-
Original copy of partner’s Death Certificate (if you’re a widow/widower)

So what processes do Indians need to undergo to obtain their Single Status Certificate?
First, you need to get your affidavit created.
Who does that?
The party creating the applicant’s affidavit is known as the deponent. The affidavit holds facts true to the deponent’s knowledge and claims from the witness. In courts of law, these documents can be presented as evidence.

Once you get your affidavit made by the deponent or notary, you need to go to the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), District Magistrate or Court. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn’t much you can do about it other than putting up with it. None of the above parties will try to expedite the procedure.

Next in line is the State Home Department (SHD), another mentally taxing party to deal with. The SHD takes 3-4 weeks to attest your certificate. There’s a valid reason for this, too – due to the large number of applications they receive, each requiring an in-depth check before being attested, it takes quite a while for the affidavit to get certified.

Anyway, the proverbial clouds are surely lifted, and sunny days are back once you’re done dealing with the SHD. Those are days when you’ll be dealing with the Ministry of External Affairs. You need to call them into action once you’ve completed the State-level attestation process.

The document stamped by the MEA is lawful and can be presented in any Hague Convention country without further investigation. The MEA’s Apostille on the affidavit is considered enough if the person marrying the Indian belongs to a country listed on the Hague Apostille Country List. In the rare occasion when the foreign country is not a part of the Hague Apostille Convention, the affidavit has to undergo further examination, i.e. get attested by the Embassy too.

As per the MEA, Apostille documents are valid for six months only. Hence the applicant must get married within that time frame to prevent Singlehood Affidavit from becoming invalid. They will have to restart the entire procedure if such a scenario occurs. Talk about making life more challenging than it already is!

You’re fortunate if your to-be partner belongs to a country that takes affidavits up to 12 months old from the date of issue. However, it’s important to note that certain countries would accept your Singlehood Certificate even once it’s older than six months. An Apostille service provider can help you correctly identify the validity of your affidavit depending on the country where it needs to be presented.

Now, once again, let’s go over the three possible scenarios in which it would be compulsory for you to possess a Single Status Certificate:

– You’ve never been married and are planning to marry a foreigner.

– You’re legally divorced and now have plans of marrying a foreigner (you can remarry only 90 days or more after procuring your divorce decree).

– You’re widowed and now wish to marry a foreigner.

Once the Apostille procedure is complete, you must check the Single Status Apostille. It must consist of the following details:

– Name of the country that issued the document

– Name of the person issued with the document

– Name of the person signing the document

– Said person’s designation

– Date of certification

– Place of certification

– Number of certificates attested

– Certificate-issuing authority’s stamp or seal

– Certificate-issuing authority’s signature

Now you know how to acquire your Single Status Certificate from India. Please get in touch with us for a hassle-free experience for you to get your affidavit. We’ll be able to guide you throughout the procedure. Once you possess it, you can look forward to kick-starting your – hopefully – wonderful married life ahead.

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