An affidavit of single status is a legal document certifying that the person named in the document is not married. Such documents may be required for people applying for marriage visas, to show that they are free to marry after receiving their visas. The requirements vary, depending on the policies of the particular nation, and it is advisable to retain the services of an immigration attorney to get specific advice to smooth the process of immigration.
Also called a certificate of no record or a certificate of no impediment, the affidavit of single status must be brought to an embassy along with other paperwork needed for the visa application. The documentation is carefully reviewed and the applicant is interviewed. If consular officials are satisfied with the contents of the application, a visa can be granted. Under the terms of the visa, the new immigrant must generally marry within a set period of time, and can then apply for residency status.
Embassy requirements for an affidavit of single status may allow people to simply make and sign a sworn statement in front of a notary or embassy official, saying that they are unmarried and are free to marry. In other cases, a records search demonstrating that a person is unmarried may be required. Some nations have tightened the rules in response to cases where people who are already married have applied for marriage visas. Bigamy is generally not legal and the second marriage will be invalid under the law.
In addition to an affidavit of single status, people are usually required to provide documentation about the relationship. The spouse acts as the sponsor for the visa and must also submit paperwork regarding the relationship and planned marriage, and showing that a support network is in place for the person who is immigrating. Governments want to avoid cases where people relocate and then end up requiring government assistance because their marriages fall through.
The affidavit of single status should be kept in a safe place once it has been written out, signed, and witnessed. People filing visa applications may want to consider keeping a duplicate copy of their paperwork in a safe place in case problems develop. Copies cannot legally be accepted, but they can be used to provide proof that documentation was submitted. It is also important to get receipts for paperwork and payments and to confirm that the receipts clearly and explicitly spell out what was received.