Getting married in Canada

Getting married in Canada
Updated 2016-11-29 12:24

If you and your partner are planning get married in Canada, here is some information that may help you in terms of formalities and requirements.

Marriage is a federal jurisdiction in Canada. Government legislates on the matter as the Parliament of Canada has extended marriage law to couples of the same sex since July 20, 2005, granting them the same rights as heterosexual couples. Unlike gay marriage in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, a couple does not have to live in Canada to get married. However, procedures may vary from one Canadian province to another.

In Canada, legacy is passed again by marriage. It is important that foreign applicants know the implications and consequences of marriage based on their family situation. In fact in Canada the spouses become heirs of each other's assets. That is why it is imperative to be informed and well prepared before taking this step. Learn about the transfer of assets and risking to disinherit any heir living in another country.


To apply for a license and marriage certificate, you must specify your wedding date, show proof of your current marital status, proof of identity and other information that may be required. If you want to change your last name when you get married, you will need to notify all ministries and government agencies. They will take care of changing your data, including your Canadian passport, social insurance card, the Canada Revenue Agency, your medical insurance card and your driving license. For more information about this, check with your provincial government.

Useful information

Marriage in Canada confers no right regarding expatriation. Canadian immigration services consider all files spouses or partners in the same way, whether they are married or not. In all cases, partners must prove the reality of their relationship through official documents. However, Canadian immigration is very careful to what is suspected to be an arranged marriage for immigration purposes. Thus, even a married couple, especially new ones, will have to provide solid evidence as to the reality prior to their relationship. Partners who recently met and who intend to marry in Canada have no chance to obtain permanent residence.

Independent processing

Partners wishing to get married in Canada after living a relationship of more than two years, which can be proved, could have more chances. Nevertheless, each case is specific and, therefore, is treated differently by CIC according to its own criteria. Couples must, in all cases, prove that the ultimate goal of marriage is not immigration but real love and the desire to start a family. Take all the necessary information about the wedding before beginning the process.

Fraudulent marriage in Canada

The Canadian immigration service wants to prevent fraudulent marriages such as marriage to a foreign citizen or a permanent resident of Canada for the sole purpose of entering Canada. This is a considered as a crime which can even lead to expulsion from Canada. The immigration service is aware that sponsors and foreign applicants often arrange a marriage of convenience in order to allow a spouse or sponsored to settle in Canada. Immigration officers are specially trained to recognize immigration applications and identify genuine marriages from marriages of convenience. They check documents, conduct site visits and interviews with sponsors and applicants.

Useful links:

Service Canada

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