Are you considering getting married outside of Canada, for example, in your future spouse's country of residence? Can't get your partner to come to your country for the wedding ceremony?
If this sounds familiar, you've come to the right place for information on which documents you and your future spouse need to put together to ensure that your special day is legally recognized in Canada.
Most of the confusion and difficulties come from acquiring travel visas in time, inconsistent or incomprehensible air travel guidelines (i.e. COVID-19 travel restrictions), or just good old paperwork bureaucracy. On top of that, some countries simply won't recognize marriage documents from other countries.
To overcome these challenges, spouses-to-be need to settle in a country both partners can enter safely and without restrictions. Obviously, countries that don't require travel visas have an advantage. Additionally, it's essential to confirm that a marriage certificate issued in a foreign country will be legally recognized back in each partner's country of residence and/or origin.
From a legal perspective, there are a few extra steps that need to be taken to ensure that the destination wedding goes through as planned and the eventual marriage is legally recognized in Canada. With the help of an experienced agent like Anyvisa, both spouses can spend more time planning their special day and leave the marriage certificate legalization and other document authentication requirements to the experts.
Remember that everything has to be done prior to the wedding ceremony, including obtaining travel visas to enter the foreign country, possibly for both the Canadian citizen and their spouses. In the case that the marriage precedes a sponsorship application into Canada, Anyvisa can assist with immigration consultation and preparing the sponsorship document package for IRCC.
Each country from the following list has its own document requirements for couples wishing to get married outside Canada. Each document is, in turn, explained separately for reference.
In Canada, a certificate of non-impediment calls a statement in lieu of the certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad. To get it, you will need to bring us a few documents, and we will send you the original statement in lieu when it is ready. We advise you to apply for the certificate of non-impediment well in advance, as due to high volumes and quarantine measures; the processing times might take up to 10-12 weeks.
In addition to the statement in lieu or instead, some countries may require you to get the marriage search letter. This document is usually obtained from the local governmental body in the territory/province where you live, i.e. Vital Statistics or Administration Office. This search letter needs to be authenticated and legalized in Canada before you will use it abroad.
FYI: As Canada is not in the Hague Convention, the apostille here is not used. Authentication and legalization of the documents are applied instead of it. As the processing times may take more than 10-12 weeks, we suggest starting this process in advance.
In case one of the requirements to marry abroad is to get the Single Status Affidavit (or original statutory declaration of single status), then the process is almost the same.
This document means that you swear that your current status is single. First, this process needs to start from visiting a public notary and getting your Affidavit notarized. Usually, public notaries have the required forms of this document on their files.
After that, you will bring us a notarized original, and we will process the authentication and legalization as required.