Did you know that there are 32 million NRIs and PIOs (including OCIs) that live abroad? Not only this, it is the world’s largest population of emigrants that live and also solemnize abroad. If you look into the count, its 2.5 million Indians who go overseas and many of them establish marital relationships.
Why these numbers?
Actually, living and getting married abroad is not easy. Being a crucial journey, you have to obtain an attested single status certificate from India. For those who are unaware of single status certificate, it is also known as CENOMAR or bachelorhood certificate. This certificate establishes the fact that its bearer is single. But exactly, he or she can be a widowed or divorced. In short, this document proves that at the very time of application, the applicant is living the life of a bachelor or bachelorette.
This is how an individual or NRI can easily claim that he or she is unmarried legally, and therefore, eligible to marry or remarry. This is why it is also called an unmarried certificate sometimes. But, providing so is not easy. You need a certificate of being a bachelor.
So, how can you confirm it?
Certainly, a legal document can prove it, which is called CENOMAR- a Certificate of No Marriage. This legitimate paper confirms that the bearer is legally single and can marry, provided that it is attested.
What is this attestation?
An attestation of a single status certificate refers to a legitimate process wherein documents enclosed with the affidavit or certificate are verified. It confirms that the applicant is single, and hence, eligible for a marriage or remarriage. However, the marriage is not the only purpose. It can be required for employment and immigration abroad.
In order to get documents attested, relevant authorities are established by the government. For those who live abroad, can contact their own country’s embassy for this paper. It helps in the attestation and authentication of the supporting documents.
Typically, this process prevents a person from any kind of legal battle or matter in the foreign country.
All in all, it’s a process that has many steps to follow for legalizing your documents. In this case, the document is the single status certificate. Let’s discover how NRIs can have and get it attested.
At first, discover different types of attestations that may be needed for it.
The initial step is to get your single status affidavit or proof notarized. For this purpose, you have to visit the notary public, who is a competent authority for legalizing your affidavit. Mainly, it should be a sworn document if it’s an affidavit, and should include your personal details, declaration of your single status, and your signature. So, ensure that all things are there. In the case of confusion, consult with an NRI services providing consultant who is experienced also.
State Home Department Attestation
The very next step is to take your notarized affidavit to the respective State Home Department or State Secretariat for attestation. Here, you should always remember that it’s inapproachable for a layman. The consultants or experts are there to execute this request. You can find out online as they are registered with the government for this task. The Home Department will examine your affidavit, and then, verify the authenticity of the notary’s seal and signature. The content or background verification of other than these points won’t be its concern.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Attestation
In this step, your attested certificate is ready for the next level of attestation. So, it is sent to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for further verification. The MEA is responsible for confirming the authenticity of the state-level attestation. This service is again invulnerable for a layman. You need to approach the certified expert for it.
Embassy or Consulate Attestation
For non-residents of India, this step is a must to follow because the foreign external affairs ministry abroad requests for it to show before marriage there. It will accept if this paper is attested by the Indian embassy or consulate in your respective country. Once it is attested, your paper becomes legitimate and acceptable across the world.
Let’s move to the next step, which plays a significant role in legalizing your single status affidavit. It talks about supporting documents to enclose.
Supporting Documents Required for Attestation
- Passport, which must be valid and recognized as your primary identification document throughout the attestation process.
- Affidavit, which is a sworn statement, stating that you are single, which must be notarized.
- Passport-sized photographs may be required in order to confirm your identity in various stages of the legalization process.
- Application Forms, which is specifically required by the authorities. So, you have to fill up your application forms for notary services, State Home Department attestation, and MEA attestation. And enclose supporting documents to submit.
Process for NRIs to Get a Single Status Certificate Attested via Embassy or Consulate
NRIs have to follow a different procedure to get this paper from India. Learn about it from the official blog of S2NRI. Let’s catch up with the steps to follow for obtaining it.
Step 1. Notarization
If you are an NRI, you can either hire a legal consultant, or start by having your affidavit for the single status certificate notarized. You can visit the notary public on your own in the country of residence for it. Following the local notary public’s guidelines is appreciated. This step is crucial to check your actual intentions, which this officer does. It puts stamp once all necessary information in the affidavit is proven right.
Step 2. MEA Attestation in India
The very next step is to search for an authorized NRI document attestation consultant. Employ it for sending your documents to the MEA for legalization. You may hand over your supporting documents directly or send via a reliable courier service as per guidelines. The provider will reach out to the MEA for attestation on your behalf.
Remember that this step requires a fee. You can ask about it prior from the consultant and pay the requisite amount.
Step 3. Embassy or Consulate Attestation
After obtaining the MEA attestation, you will get it through the courier or on email. Take it to the Indian embassy or consulate in your current country of residence. Here’s the list of Indian missions abroad for your reference. This step is a must, as you have to contact the embassy or consulate beforehand. This will help in meeting specific requirements or further procedures if there is any. Remember, the consul may ask to present additional documents or fees.
Once the embassy or consulate has legalized the paper, you or your representative can collect it in-person. It’s notable that you can have multiple copies for your records, as they may be required for various purposes. So, think prior.
Obtaining an attested single status certificate or affidavit from India is a complete process, which involves multiple steps. These steps include notarization, State Home Department attestation, MEA attestation, and embassy or consulate attestation for NRIs. The process can be long or time-consuming. So, it’s essential to plan ahead and ensure that all required documents are in order.