Canadian citizenship entitles you to get a marriage visa to marry your Philipine wife and sponsor her application for marriage immigration to Canada. Applying for a marriage visa for your Philipine wife wife and preparing for marriage immigration can be a time consuming task and you will need to be organized particularly with your Canada documents. To qualify for a marriage
visa you must fulfill these basic criteria:
- You must be a Canadian citizen or legal permanent resident aged 18 years or over
- You must be financially independent and able to support her for 3 years after she gets her permanent residency
- You must also support any dependent children for 10 years or until they are 25
- You must have adequate housing where you, your Philipine wife wife and any dependants can live without relying on state benefits
When you marry your Filipina wife you can legalise your Philippine marriage in Canada.
Getting Ready for Marriage Immigration
Before you leave Canada for the Philippines, you should go in person to your local Registrar of Marriages to obtain an Affidavit of Marital Status. This certificate costs $50 and proves your single status by confirming that you are not still involved in another marriage. You can use it within 3 months of the date of issue.
If you fail to do this in Canada, you can go to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines prior to the marriage.
You will also need an original or certified copy your Birth Certificate.
If you have been married before you must produce one of the following documents to support the Affidavit of Marital Status:
- If divorced, you will need your Divorce Decree
- if widowed you will need your Certificate of Marriage and Death Certificate of your previous spouse
Changing Your Canada Documents
When official documents issued in Canada are to be used in the Philippines, they need to be notarised, “authenticated” and “legalised “in order for them to be valid there.
The first thing you need to do is get a notary stamp and signature from any notary in Canada. Get them “authenticated” by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The purpose of the authentication process is to prove the validity of the documents issued in Canada.
The last thing to do is to get your documents translated into Filipino and “legalised” by the Philippines Embassy or Consulate. After that your documents acquire legal validity in the Philippines.
Documents in Need of Legalisation for Marriage in the Philippines
- Affidavit of Marital Status
- Divorce Decree (if relevant)
- Former spouse’s Death Certificate and previous marriage certificate (if relevant)
- Your Birth Certificate
- Name change certificate (if relevant)
- Your Canadian passport cannot be legalised as it is already an internationally recognised document. You must however have photocopies of the ID and bio page notarised as true copies of the original.
Philippines Visa Requirements
As a Canadian citizen you do not need a visa to visit the Philippines, providing that your stay does not exceed 21 days. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the 21 day period and have at least two blank pages. You must have a return ticket or ticket to another destination outside of the Philippines as well as enough money to support your stay in the country. Should you need to extend your stay in the Philippines you must apply to the Bureau of Immigration before the 21 day period runs out.
Once you have prepared all relevant documents and you have a valid Canadian passport, you may make arrangements to join your Filipina wife.
Getting Married in the Philippines
You may decide to marry your Filipina wife in Canada however, getting married in the Philippines is a fabulous experience and relatively straight forward, providing you are organised and ensure that you and your Filipina spouse have the correct documentation.
Whilst your Filipina bride is excited about planning the marriage ceremony you should make her aware that under both Canadian and Filipino Marriage Law, only the civil registration of your marriage will be recognised as legal and only a legal marriage will allow you to bring your Filipina wife back to Canada.
The legal age for marriage in the Philippines is 18, but if your Filipina bride is under 25 years of age must obtain written consent from her parents or guardians. This should be given personally and in writing in front of the local civil registrar officer. Alternatively, it can be in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses. If your Filipina bride does not obtain such documentation, the marriage license cannot be issued for three months.
To register the marriage legally with the Philippines authorities takes a lot of work and you should not underestimate the time or work involved.
The first step in planning your wedding in the Philippines is to go to the city hall or registrar with your Filipina wife and apply for a ‘Notice of Application for a Marriage License’, which costs PHP 315.00. You should take your passport and all of the documents you brought with you from Canada. Your Filipina wife needs to present a Filipino Affidavit of Marriage Status known as a CENOMAR as well as her passport, birth certificate and proof that she is no longer married. If she is under 25 she will need a letter of consent from her parents.
After applying for your marriage license, the information given in the application will be posted for 10 consecutive days inside the city hall or the municipality where your girlfriend lives. The marriage license will be issued after the completion of this 10-day period. The marriage license is valid in any part of the Philippines for 120 days. If you have not got married during this 120-day period it will then automatically expire.
Document Check: Canadian Bridegroom
- Original Affidavit of Marital Status issued in Canada or by the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines. It must not be older than three months from the date of issue
- Original valid Canadian passport
- Original birth certificate
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
- Original divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced
Document Check: Filipino Bride
- Original CENOMAR, the Filipino name for an Affidavit of Marriage Status. The CENOMAR is available on this website or from a local registrar and the National Statistics office Philippines. It must not be older than three months from the date of issue.
- Original valid passport
- Original birth certificate
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
- Advisory of Marriage Record and Marriage Certificate on NSO Security paper with proper annotation declaring the marriage null and void and a Certificate of Finality and court decision/documents if you are divorced
- If she is under 25 years of age, written consent from her parents.
Once the Notice of Application for a Marriage License is obtained, you and your Filipina spouse need to go to a judge or a mayor to administer the solemnisation of the marriage. Two witnesses of legal age must be present. Ten days after the ceremony your marriage license will be issued. Marriage to your Filipina spouse does not automatically qualify you for Filipino nationality; you should also be aware that the Philippines is not a country that recognises dual citizenship.
Permanent Resident Application
When your Filipina wife comes to Canada she can change her name to that of your own and you can start the marriage visa process. Any Canadian man wishing to bring his Filipina wife to Canada must sponsor her for permanent residency. The process takes between 6 and 18 months. Spousal sponsorship is a part of the Canadian marriage immigration system that allows individuals to come to Canada under the Family Class of immigration. In your case, you will sponsor your Filipina wife to Canada, as long as you meet the requirements of a spousal sponsor. Spousal sponsorship is an agreement between the Canadian government and you. This agreement is a promise on the part of the sponsor that you will provide your spouse with food, clothes and shelter i.e. all of the basic requirements in order to live in Canada. The spousal sponsorship agreement includes financial support and health care because your Filipina wife will have no access to the social care system. In the marriage sponsorship agreement you promise to sponsor your Filipina wife for at least three years from the day she becomes a permanent resident. You also have to sponsor any dependent children moving with her to Canada for a period of 10 years or until they are 25, whichever comes first.
Spousal Sponsorship Requirements
To qualify as for spousal sponsorship, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are over 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada.
- You are single and free to marry
- You have married your Filipina wife in the Philippines and intend to live in Canada with her
- You are not on any Social Assistance program
- You are not in default of any previous sponsorship agreement
- You have sufficient funds and you are not bankrupt
- You are not in prison
You may not qualify if one of the following points applies to your situation:
- You previously failed to provide financial support when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative
- You failed to pay alimony or child support
- You received government financial assistance for reasons other than disability
- You were convicted of a violent criminal offence, an offence against a relative or a sexual offence
- You failed to make payments for an immigration loan
- You have declared bankruptcy and have not recovered from it yet.
If you qualify for spousal sponsorship, you can fill out the application forms available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Read the guide and complete the application. Remember to support the application with relevant documents.
Canada Visa Application
Your Filipina wife must fill out the marriage immigration forms. As part of the application process, she will need to undergo a medical exam and a criminal check. The medical exam is required to make sure that applicants do not have a medical condition that is dangerous to Canadian public health and safety, or would require elaborate treatment by the Canadian health services. The examination results are valid for 12 months and need to be done by authorised doctors. Your Filipina wife must present a valid police certificate from the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila showing she has no criminal record.
The next step is to pay you application fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You can pay your fees by bank transfer or online. If you choose to pay at the bank, you have to order a receipt of payment, also called immigration form IMM 5401. Remember to bring this form with you to the bank when you pay your fees. If you pay online, make sure you print the receipt of payment form and include it with your application.
Visa Application Fees
The marriage visa application fees are as follows:
- $75 for you as a sponsor
$475 for your Filipina wife
- $150 for a dependent child your wife who is under 22 and not married
- $550 for a dependant of your wife who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married $490 for the right of permanent residence fee which your wife will be have to pay before the status is granted.
The last step is to mail your application along with the receipt for the fees paid and all supporting documents to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario. You will be notified when your application is received and you can check the status of your application online.
Applications are refused if you provide false information on your application form.