Getting married in Canada is an option to any Canadian citizen who wants to marry their foreign spouse. In fact, you do not need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to get married in Canada, which means that you can bring your foreign spouse to Canada on a tourist visa and get married to her here. She will need to satisfy all of the immigration rules in order to qualify for a tourist visa and she will not be admitted into the country if she does not.
Applying for a Marriage Licence
Applying for a marriage licence in the area where you intend to marry is the first step in plannning your Canadian wedding. You can apply at any Registry Services office or in some cities like Toronto it can be done online. A Canadian marriage licence is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. You should go with your foreign fiancee and take all required documentation with you as both of you must sign the application to marry. The marriage licence will be issued that day.
You and your foreign girlfriend need to take with you one valid piece of ID to prove your identitye.g. a Canadian passport, a foreign passport, birth certificate etc. The ID must be an original copy: Accepted forms of ID are valid passports from any country, birth certificates, valid driver’s licence or a citizenship card from any country. If your foreign girlfriend has a US green card she can also present that. If you are a permanent resident of Canada you can also present your PR card.
You will also have to supply the full names of your foreign wife’s parents as well as your own parents. This information must include the mothers’ maiden names and all parents place of birth.
Widowed, Divorced or Under Age
You or your foreign sopuse may have been widowed, divorced or under age for a legal marriage in Canada. If either of you have been widowed you must provide the death certificate of your former spouse and the marriage certificate, both of which need to be written in English or French or translated and signed by a professional translator who must also swear an affidavit to confirm the authenticity.
If you have been divorced and your divorce took place in Canada, you must supply the original copy of your Divorce Decree or Decree Absolute; a court-certified copy from the court where the divorce was granted is also acceptable.
If you or your foreign fiancee were divorced, or your marriage was dissolved or annulled outside of Canada, you must get an endorsement from the Minister of Government Services before the Registrar will issue the marriage licence. Each province has its own office. You need to submit a marriage licence application along with a Statement of Sole Responsibility and original divorce decrees or annulment certificates translated into English or French. You will also need to visit a lawyer in your province to get a written legal opinion, which is addressed to both of you. It should list reasons why the divorce or annulment should be accepted.
If your foreign girlfriend is under 18 years of age she will need to provide written parental consent, which must be signed in front of the Registrar by the parents. Parental consent may not be necessary if a judge decrees so e.g. if the bride to be is pregnant.
Arranging Your Marriage Ceremony
You can arrange your marriage ceremony once you get your Canada Marriage Licence. It is up to you and your foreign bride to decide if you want a civil or religious wedding ceremony. If you decide on a religious ceremony you may have to allow for banns to be published; your religious minister will advise on this procedure. Wherever you marry you will need two witnesses aged 18 or over. At your marriage ceremony, the minister or marriage commissioner presiding over the wedding will fill out the marriage registration forms, which are then recorded at the Division of Vital Statistics. You may be given a Statement of Marriage after the ceremony; this is a temporary document to prove you are married. You must apply for your marriage certificate from the Division of Vital Statistics.
In order to bring your foreign wife to Canada to live with you permanently you need to follow the Canada immigration process for spousal sponsorship, which is part of the marriage immigration program.