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Marriage to a Foreigner FAQ

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Marrying a foreigner in Canada is a straight-forward process, though there are slight variations in the process between provinces. In order to marry, you need:

  • a completed marriage license application
  • the correct fee (often in cash)
  • photo IDs for borh parties (passports are best)
  • proof of single status for the foreigner (such as a divorce certificate, duly translated)
Contact your City Hall or or municipal office for more details and the application form.

I am PR issued at Nova scotia, me and my boyfriend are in BC now for study reason(he is using study permit). We want to get married and I will sponsor him after we married. So, should we get marry in BC or back to NS? Is there any difference?

It does not matter where you get married in Canada; it’s the same process pretty much everywhere.


I married a Canadian citizen in California in 1987. I went there for a year and found out that he was already married to someone else in Canada and had a son. I left, came back to California and filed for annulment. The court failed to process the paperwork here. I need to complete the divorce. I do not know where he is or how to go about this. Can you suggest a solution?

Depending upon where you live now, you might be able to get the divorce where you live. Canada, for example, allows divorce after a period of estrangement.


What documents or IDs can proof a person’s single status?

If you’re from Canada, marrying abroad, you normally need A Statement In Lieu of a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad.

Other countries may issues Certificates of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad or Certificates of Single Status.


i am a chinese citizen, my boyfriend is a Canadian citizen, we wanna get married in Vancouver, what sorts of documents should we provide to register?

You will both need to present photo IDs. You may need to provide proof of single status from China. You should contact the City of Vancouver for more information.


i’m have a saudi citizenship i want to marry to my Canadian bf and move to Canada forever does the process of getting married to Canadian request a permission from my gov or my embassy?

If you are getting married in Canada, you do not need permission from any government to get married.

There are numerous conditions for marrying in Saudi Arabia including:

  • You must apply for permission from the government
  • You must be between the ages of 30 and 50
  • Your boyfriend will have to prove he’s single and healthy
  • You’ll have to sign some documents attesting that you know your boyfriend is not becoming a Saudi citizen when he marries you.
That’s not the whole list. There’s more.

We strongly suggest marrying in Canada or some other country instead of Saudi Arabia if you can.


I am a Swedish citizen here on a study permit. My Fiance is from Syria and he has a permanent resident in Canada. We are planning to get married this coming summer. Do I need to leave the country at some point or can I stay and continue my studies in Canada?

Marrying will not affect your immigration status either way.


I am a American married to a Indonesian citizen. He was on student visa when I married him in Canada. Now I need a divorce from him. How do I do this. He is remarried to another women in Indonesia and has two kids with her. I have one kid with him 6 years ago. I ask him for a divorce and he said no. So he wants to stay married with two wives. How do I divorce him? He is Chinese Indonesian. It has been 13 years since we married.

Canada has no fault divorce. You can divorce him, especially since he no longer lives here.

Bigamy is illegal in Canada. If you could prove he’s remarried, you can also divorce him that way.


My fiance is a non usa citizen living in new york. We want to be married and live in Canada. What is required for this marriage to take place?

Your fiance must have some sort of status in Canada – visitor, for example – and then you must submit the marriage license application, pay the fee, and provided IDs (passports are best).


I am a Canadian living in Quebec and my fiancé lives in United States Michigan, we are planning to get married in Ontario/Ottawa since Quebec does not allow you to take on your husband’s last name once married. Does Quebec recognize the marriage? Since I will be sponsoring him from Quebec I don’t want it to cause any problems.

Marriages legal in one province are legal in all provinces.


I’m a Canadian citizen and want to marry an international student, can we get married and can he get a work permit if under study visa

You can get married.

He can apply for a work permit if he graduates (a PGWP) or if you sponsor him for permanent residence.


I’m a Canadian citizen, wanting to marry my love from the UK. Could we use an Ontario marriage license application and become married in Ontario? Are there other steps required before the actual marriage can become official? From my understanding, the sponsorship documents can be completed after the marriage is officiated… 

Yes, you can marry in Ontario. The process is to apply for the marriage license and then get married.

Once you are married you can apply for sponsorship.


I am a 22 year old Scottish female currently on the working visa in Canada. My fiancé is a Canadian citizen and I met her (female 28 year old) back in Scotland when she was on her 2 year working visa. We have been together over a year and a half. I still have my 2 year visa as I just received it in January but we are looking to get settled eventually. What is the rules on gay marriage? Will I be able to marry her and her sponsor me eventually or is it different for fat couples to get married and live in Canada. Any help would be useful with this issue

You can get married in Canada whenever you want. You will both need to prove your identities and you will need to complete the marriage license application and pay the fee.

Once married, she can sponsor you.


i’m a filipino but already a canadian citizen can i marry a filipino citizen in the philippines, what documents that i need to prove

You will need to prove your identity (with your passport) and you will need to provide a Statement in Lieu of a Certificate of Non Impediment to Marriage Abroad from Canada.


I was born in ontario, my husband of one year is currently in india. Our lawyer has requested a marriage license. We never applied for one. Online it’s saying I need to bring id’s from both of us when submitting the application. How would I do so? Are copies of his I’d valid to bring ?

How can you be legally married without having applied for a marriage license? You need a marriage license to get married.


I am a Canadian citizen and my fiancé is from Pakistan living in Saudi Arabia for work. We have been trying to be together for a year and a half now but we can’t seem to make that happen. I visited him in Dubai to try and get married but they would not allow us to. He also tried to visit Canada 4 times and got rejected each time. We now have a 3 month old baby that he has never seen. Please help I don’t want to travel to Pakistan to marry him because I don’t want to take our baby that far by myself. Is there anywhere else that we can go that’s not too far for me to travel? And also why do he keep getting rejected? He does not have any record of crimes against him so we do it understand.

Many countries allow two people to marry without a residence requirement. So you have three choices:

  1. Marry in Pakistan and then sponsor him for permanent residence (outland)
  2. Marry in some fourth country where there is no residence requirement for marriage (or a short one), such as any number of European countries, and then sponsor him outland
  3. Submit a “conjugal” sponsorship application wherein you claim you are unable to get married because
    1. He has been denied a visa to Canada four times
    2. You were prevented from marrying in Dubai.
Note: the third option is extremely difficult and they will wonder why you didn’t marry in Pakistan and may reject the application on those grounds.

His application has likely been rejected because they are worried he will stay in Canada once he travels here. He has likely not provided enough proof of his ties to Dubai.


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