As mentioned in our previous post on No Record of Marriage here, there is no national database for marriage records in the United States, and as the result there are two options which are available to individuals desiring to proof their marital status as single and free to marry to foreign authorities. This post will focus on the document known as a Single Status Affidavit.
First of all, it is important to note that the Single Status Affidavit is exactly what the name implies: it is an Affidavit. As per Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Affidavit is a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer. In other words, it is your own statement given under oath in front an official who is authorized to take such oaths, i.e Notary Public. This is not a government document. In the simplest terms, a Single Status Affidavit is a letter, signed by you in front of the notary under oath, in which you attest that you are who you claim to be and that you are free to marry, among other things.
How to get a Single Status Affidavit?
There are several ways which are available:
(i) Draft the document yourself. This is the most inexpensive option. You may find a number of samples on the internet which may serve as a guide to you when drafting the letter. However, when drafting the Single Status Affidavit yourself, it is important to include all the required information as designated by the officials in the country where the document shall be used. Each country may and most likely will have their own requirements for the text and format of the document, while some may not accept the document at all. For example, for China, a Single Status Affidavit must contain not only your personal information, but also a specific statement about your fiancé or fiancée and you, namely that you do not share any blood relations within at least three generations. Some other countries may require you to include detailed information about your fiancé or fiancée into the document.
(ii) Inquire at the local Consulate/Embassy. Sometimes the local consulates and embassies of the foreign countries have sample affidavits available for those willing to get married in such countries. These samples are in general are provided in dual-language format for the convenience of the applicant and contain all the required fields as set by the governments of such foreign countries. Unfortunately, not all of them do provide such samples. If you are already in a foreign country, some US Consulates provide the samples, however, as with the foreign consulates, not all US Consulate provide the sample of Single Status Affidavits. However, it might be worth a try to inquire.
(iii) Hire a service company to draft the document for you. Whenever one does not have the time or the desire to invest time into drafting the document themselves, it is always an option to hire a service to company to draft the document for a convenient flat fee. It is common that such companies can tailor the document to your specifications in a very short time and deliver the document electronically. However, as with any other document matters, it is once own responsibility to ensure that the document is acceptable by foreign authorities in a first place.
Does Single Status Affidavit require Apostille?
Yes it does, but only if the country where you shall use the document accepts apostilles. Otherwise, your single status affidavit will have to be legalized by a consulate or embassy of the target country.
Additional information about the Single Status Affidavit is available here.