Documents for a Wedding Abroad

Canadian and permanent resident getting married abroad

Legal requirements for Canadian residents that want to get married outside of Canada

Getting married is a big responsibility and a difficult decision to make. In addition to having to organize a group of people, schedule venues, find suitable vendors and helping hands, there’s a myriad of documents and legalities that require attention. But what if your spouse-to-be is a non-Canadian citizen and you want to get married outside of Canada?

Visas, restrictions and paperwork

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.

Selecting a wedding destination that will be recognized by Canada

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.

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Check Document Requirements for Your Wedding Destination
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Start by Filling Out Contact Form
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Allow 10-12 weeks for Document Preparation and Processing
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Enjoy Your Wedding Day!
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Sponsor Your Spouse after the Wedding (optional)

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.

Most popular countries for a wedding abroad

Cuba
Havana city view in Cuba
  1. Copy of the passports for both bride and groom notarized and legalized in a proper way in Canada
  2. Birth Certificate, notarized and legalized in a proper way in Canada
    • If you were born outside Canada, the Birth Certificate must have Apostille on it
  3. Original Statutory Declaration of Single Status legalized in a proper way in Canada
  4. If previously married (divorced or widowed), Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate legalized in a proper way in Canada
Cyprus
Cyprus city on hill
  1. Valid passports for both bride and groom
  2. Original long-form Birth Certificate, which contains the names of both parents legalized in a proper way in Canada
    • If you were born outside Canada, the Birth Certificate must have Apostille on it
  3. Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage legalized in a proper way in Canada
  4. If previously married (divorced or widowed), original Divorce Certificate or long-form Death Certificate legalized in a proper way in Canada
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic marina with boats
  1. Valid passports for both bride and groom
  2. Original long-form Birth Certificate, which contains the names of both parents legalized in a proper way in Canada
    • if you were born outside Canada, the Birth Certificate must have Apostille on it
  3. Original Statutory Declaration of Single Status legalized in a proper way in Canada
  4. if previously married (divorced or widowed), original Divorce Certificate or long-form Death Certificate legalized in a proper way in Canada
Mexico
Mexico City square with flag
  1. Valid passports for both bride and groom
  2. Tourist card
  3. Advanced hotel stay
  4. Civil ceremony form
  5. For a divorced bride, who still has an ex-husband’s name - Birth Certificate and Divorce Certificate legalized in a proper way in Canada and translated into Spanish
  6. If a former spouse of a bride or a groom is deceased, then a copy of the Death Certificate
  7. Health Certificate
Thailand
Thailand cinatown in Bangkok
  1. Valid passports for both bride and groom
  2. Original long-form Birth Certificate, which contains the names of both parents legalized in a proper way in Canada
  3. Original Statutory Declaration of Single Status legalized in a proper way in Canada
  4. If previously married (divorced or widowed), original Divorce Certificate or long-form Death Certificate legalized in a proper way in Canada

Documents that may be needed in other countries

  • Passport
  • Legalized original long-form Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Divorce or Death Certificate of former spouse(s), if applicable
  • Certificate of Non-impediment to Marriage Abroad

    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.

  • Marriage search letter

    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.

  • Single status affidavit

    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.

Anyvisa can help you apply for and legalize these documents to be used in other countries. Our team will be glad to make your special day hassle-free!

Marriage Abroad Document Legalization Request

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