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We specialize in marriage visas to Canada
We provide easy-to-read, independent immigration marriage information
to help you meet the marriage visa requirements that will enable you to
submit your spousal sponsorship visa application in Canada.

USA Marriage Visa

Canadian citizenship entitles you to get a marriage visa to marry your USA spouse and sponsor her application for marriage immigration to Canada. Applying for a marriage visa 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 spouse visa you must fulfil 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 residence
  • You must also support any dependent children for 10 years or until they are 25
  • You must have adequate housing where you, your American husband or wife and any dependants can live without relying on state benefits

When you marry your USA spouse you can legalise your US marriage in Canada.

 

Getting Ready for Marriage Immigration

Before you leave Canada for the USA, you need to prepare for marriage immigration. 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 matrimony with another spouse. You can use it within 3 months of the date of issue.

If you fail to do this in Canada, you can do it in the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the US prior to the getting an American marriage licence.

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 United States, they need to be notarised, “authenticated” and “legalised “in order for them to be valid there.

You need to 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.

Documents in Need of Legalisation for Marriage in the United States

  • 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.


US Visa Requirements

As a Canadian citizen you do not need a visa to visit the US, providing that your stay does not exceed 90 days. Your Canadian passport must be valid for at least six months after the 90 day period and have at least two blank pages. Should you need to extend your stay in the US you must apply for a K1 fiance visa before leaving Canada and attend a visa interview at the American Embassy or consulate in Canada.

Once you have prepared all relevant documents and you have a valid passport, you may make arrangements to fly to the US to join your American spouse.


Getting Married in the United States

You may decide to marry your US fiancée in Canada, however, getting married in the USA is a fabulous experience and relatively straight forward, providing you are organised and ensure that you and your American spouse have the correct documentation.

Whilst your American bride is excited about planning the marriage ceremony you should make her aware that under both Canadian and American 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 American husband/wife back to Canada.

The legal age for marriage in the US is 18, but anyone under this 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.

Some US states require both the intended bride and groom to take a blood test before they apply for their marriage licence.

To register the marriage legally with the American 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 United States is to go to the courthouse or the Marriage License Bureau in the district where you intend to marry with your American fiancee and apply for a Marriage License. You should take your passport and all of the documents you brought with you from Canada. Your American girlfriend/boyfriend needs to present her passport, birth certificate and proof that he/she is no longer married. The marriage licence will be issued whilst you wait.

Document Check: Canadian Spouse

Document Check: US Spouse

  • Original valid passport
  • Original birth certificate
  • Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
  • Original divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced
  • Blood Test results (certain states only)

Once the Marriage License is obtained, you and your American wife can arrange the marriage ceremony. Marriage to your Americanbride does not automatically qualify you for US citizenship however, the USA is a country, which permits dual citizenship and in order to become an American citizen you must apply through the official government immigration channels.

 

Permanent Resident Application

When your American spouse 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 American wife to Canada must sponsor her for permanent residency. The process takes between 6 and 18 months. Sponsorship is a part of the Canadian immigration system that allows individuals to come to Canada under the Family Class of immigration.

In your case, you will sponsor your American wife to Canada, as long as you meet the requirements of a sponsor. 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 sponsorship agreement includes financial support and health care because your American spouse will have no access to the social care system. In the sponsorship agreement you promise to sponsor your spouse for at least three years from the day he/she becomes a permanent resident. You also have to sponsor any dependent children for a period of 10 years or until they are 25, whichever comes first.

 

Spousal Sponsorship Requirements

To qualify as a sponsor, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You are over 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada.
  2. You are single and free to marry
  3. You have married an American spouse in the United States and intend to live in Canada
  4. You are not on any Social Assistance program
  5. You are not in default of any previous sponsorship agreement
  6. You have sufficient funds and you are not bankrupt
  7. 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). You can download the documents here or have them mailed to you. Read the guide and complete the application. Remember to support the application with relevant documents.

Canada Visa Application

Your American spouse must fill out the immigration forms. As part of the application process, he/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 American spouse must present a valid police certificate from the FBI HQ in Virginia showing he/she has no criminal record.

The next step is to pay you application fee to CIC. 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 American spouse
  • $150 for a dependent child your American spouse who is under 22 and not married
  • $550 for a dependant of your American spouse who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married $490 for the right of permanent residence fee which your American spouse 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 CIC 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.

After your wife/husband has held permanent resident status for three years, he/she is eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Applications are refused if you provide false information on your application form.