- I want to marry a Canadian citizen but not in Canada, what process do I have to follow?
Each country has its own regulations to register marriages. You must call the embassy of the country where you wish to get married to get information about the marriage process there. For a list of embassies in Canada, this page.
- What if my supporting documents are not in English?
If the documents you are sending with your application are not in English or French, you must provide a translation and an official declaration from the person who translated the document. Translations provided by family members are not sufficient.
- What is a marriage search?
This is a search conducted by the registrar's office to find out if the applicant has any previous marriages. A search may be requested by an individual getting married in a province to demonstrate that he/she has not been married in another province.
- What is the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate?
The marriage license is a document that allows you to get married in a specific city. This license is issued by the city hall of that specific city. A marriage certificate, on the other hand, is a document that states that your marriage has been registered and is legal. This becomes part of the government record.
International Marriage Outside of Canada
If you choose to marry outside of Canada for example in your fiancees home country; you may need to obtain a visa to enter the country. Obtaining the visa on your own is possible, but can add an unnecessary burden to the international marriage process, which is already confusing. You can also opt to use a third-party company to obtain your visa in a quick and safe way; information about such a service can be found by clicking on this link: Help Obtaining Your International Visa
Each country has different requirements for obtaining a legal marriage. You will need a Canadian passport to enter the country and most destinations will require that visitors provide additional identity documents such as a birth certificate in order to get married. If you have been married before you will need to provide documentation that the marriage has been terminated, which will most commonly be a divorce certificate. Many countries may also require that you provide an additional document proving your single status.
International Marriage: Specific Country Guidelines
It is extremely important that you follow all the regulations set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada very carefully. Please see this page to learn more
International Marriage: Additional Country Requirements
Depending on the country where you plan to get married you may also have to provide translations of your documents. The process of obtaining translations varies for each country. In the case of a Cuban marriage, for example, you may obtain the translations at a Cuban embassy or consulate. If the translations are not issued from an official Cuban authority, they must be notarized and authenticated by a Cuban embassy or consulate.
In addition to paperwork that must be submitted, some countries have a residency requirement in place for those looking to marry, meaning that a person must reside in the country for a certain period of time before they are allowed to have a legal marriage. In other cases, countries will have a specific waiting period in place for the government to authenticate your documents, such as in Brazil and Spain. Furthermore, some countries like Cuba and China do not have any of these regulations in place meaning that you may get married as soon as you arrive in the country. However, in all cases you must ensure that your paperwork is in order, or the process may be significantly delayed.
Bringing Your Spouse to Canada
After completing the international marriage process, you must now decide where you would like to live. If you choose to live in your spouse's home country, you must determine what requirements you must meet to be able to stay for an extended period of time. However, most Canadian citizens bring their spouse back home with them to Canada, which is a very specific and detailed process. Sponsorship applications, once properly completed, resemble the size of a phone book and contain detailed information about the couple, including pictures, correspondence, documents and many other details. If your sponsorship application is successful, then your loved one will be able to come to Canada and live as a permanent resident. You can submit the sponsorship application on your own, or use a representative to help you navigate the process. Using representation is perfectly acceptable by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and in many cases will make the process much easier for you. You can find more information on services available to you by clicking the following link: Marriage Abroad